It’s rutting season for many of our large hoofed animals. They may be more aggressive than usual if you approach them. Remember that elk may not be as mean as a moose, but at this time of year the difference is like being hit by a heavy truck or a light truck.
Some Idaho Fish and Game biologists joined me on air at Magic Valley This Morning and issued the warning and asked you to be careful. This is becoming more and more of a challenge in what we call the smartphone era. Our devices come with cameras and we want to get the best picture possible. Since most of us don’t own expensive cameras with elaborate zooms, proximity becomes an issue.
I showed them a story from Colorado. A crowd of tourists at Rocky Mountain National Park decided to approach a huge bull elk. You can watch them scatter as the mammoth animal jumps a fence like an Olympic medalist. Not far away in Estes Park, an elk veered against traffic and ran into a pickup truck. Similar videos recently surfaced in Canada.
The truck offers at least some protection. The national park crowd is exposed and shorts and t-shirts make poor armor. Is a beautiful picture worth your life? Remember, unless you’re Joe Rosenthal, a photo doesn’t define your life (he took the iconic image of the flag raised on Iwo Jima!) You can buy postcards with often better photos of the animals and you can tell your friends that you saw something very similar.