Elk Herd

 On Saturday morning, Harland and I took a tour of the Maxwell Wildlife Refuge, famous locally for their herds of bison and elk. Both animals once freely roamed in Kansas, but are now only seen in parks or refuges like Maxwell. It was a cold and windy day, so we bundled up in lots of layers, and hopped on the tour tram with a bunch of other photographers.

First we saw a large herd of elk.

I’ve only ever seen them in Colorado at Rocky Mountain National Park, so seeing them closer to home was a treat. The elk were hoping to be fed, so they were staying within sight of us, albeit from a safe distance.

The breeding season, or rut, would have occurred back in October and November and with all these mature bull elk I’ll bet it was an amazing sight to see them sparring with each other.

They were also more limber than I would have thought possible.

While we were watching the elk, a large bison was following the tram and watching us. He too was hoping it was feeding time.

Come back tomorrow to see him, and the rest of his herd.



As I looked around at all the cameras, tripods, and long lenses of our fellow photographers, I was struck by the thought that it would be a good thing for the “rapture” to occur right at that moment (leaving Harland and I behind),

 and then we would collect all the camera equipment for ourselves. Ha!



Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

You may also like...

14 Responses

  1. Glenda says:

    They are here in Missouri now too. The Rapture! Really competitive photographers, huh?

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Awesome shots 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  3. Peggy says:

    Oh my goodness! How exciting. I Love your photos. How majestic they look. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. Kathy says:

    What beautiful shots! Come on now, you don’t relly want to be left behind. You just have to think of some way to persuade those people to get out of your way and leave their equipment for you. LOL.

  5. Kathy says:

    Oops, also meant to say I especially love the seventh picture.

  6. Bob says:

    Rapture? Would’nt it be more likely that if the rapture had occured right then. You guys would have been taken, and then the other photographers would have gotten your gear. AND you guys would be saying to yourself “Dangint here I am in heaven and no camera to take a picture with”

  7. I will have to show this to my son. His bedroom is decorated with Elk!! Lovely pictures!

  8. Louise S says:

    Nice pics! Any idea how much their antlers weigh? They give the elk a majestic look, but I wonder if they’re heavy.

  9. What beautiful animals! I love the shot that’s head on, staring straight at you! It is a little funny to see all of the photographers with their equipment in contrast with the animals in their natural habitat, just looking at the people and thinking “what the heck are you looking at?” It is a really neat contrast! You took fantastic photos! I love elk and I have only ever seen them from a distance when we went to see Mt. St. Helens in Washington. I did get to hear an elk bugling while camping way up in the mountains in Washington, just outside of Seattle. That was pure magic. I loved it!

  10. Doe of Mi. says:

    Again beautiful photos. Neat that you can get that close. I agree with Kathy the 7th one is great. But I can see why they are hoping to get fed – kinda boney even with their winter coats. I’m happy you are going to rethink the Rapture statement. :>)

  11. Saun in Ohio says:

    Wow, I first look through the photos then go back and read. Now I know how you got all of these great photos

  12. shelljo says:

    Just a note–there are some wild elk out here in western Kansas–along the Arkansas River near Dodge. We don’t see them often, but when we do, it’s a treat!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.