Centennial Valley Bull Elk in Velvet

/, Centennial Valley, Elk, Montana/Centennial Valley Bull Elk in Velvet

Bull Elk in velvetBull Elk in velvet – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I still haven’t gone through all of the bird photos I took on my recent trip to Idaho and Montana but I wanted to share images of some of the wildlife I saw there too. Some of the wildlife I see quite often like the ground squirrels and deer but some of the larger animals I do not see regularly are moose and elk.

When I spotted two bull elk early in the morning in the sagebrush of the Centennial Valley on the 10th of July I was very excited and started taking photos as soon as I could. The elk were moving from the mountains on the north side of the valley and heading towards the Centennial Mountains on the south side. I usually only see them on the move like that first thing in the morning, out in the open valley they must feel far more exposed than in their preferred habitat which is in the forest and along the forest edges.

Sometimes I wish there was a way to let wildlife know we mean them no harm and that the only thing I shoot with is a camera because the two bulls were extremely skittish and didn’t stand still for long. These elk, unlike the ones to the east in Yellowstone National Park, are wary of people and they take off running if you even stop your vehicle for a few seconds. Getting photos of them can be quite challenging.

I liked how this bull elk stopped while he was surrounded by sagebrush with just a sliver of blue water in the background. The only time I was able to photograph both bulls was when they ran over the hill with their rumps facing me.

Life is good.



  1. April Olson July 25, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    A very beautiful healthy looking bull.

  2. Utahbooklover July 25, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    A beautiful animal and a great image Mia. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Elephants Child July 25, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Beautiful. And sadly I can completely understand wild animals being wary of our species.

  4. Pepe Forte July 25, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Magnificent animal; great pic. Thanks Mia.

  5. Patty Chadwick July 25, 2017 at 10:31 am

    A very noble-looking animal….in a perfect, classic pose….

  6. Heather July 25, 2017 at 9:20 am

    The classic pose. What a wonderful picture with the velvet matching the colour of his coat. It’s nice to see him in such good condition. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Liz Cormack July 25, 2017 at 5:31 am

    Gorgeous animal. Gorgeous photo. I know what you mean about wishing there was a way to let wildlife know you mean them no harm. I saw a coyote with two half-grown pups this morning but could not get decent photos. Just their rumps.

Comments are closed.