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Field Report: Colorado Elk and Turkeys

April 13, 2009.

On Friday, April 10, I was home taking care of a sick kid (too sick to make it to daycare, anyway). We were driving around my neighborhood (Colorado's Front Range, elevation 7,200 feet) and had some run-ins with elk and turkeys.

We passed a herd of 14 elk, all bulls. Shed hunters may be interested to know that the big bulls had already dropped their antlers and had about 6 inches of fuzzy new growth coming in. Spikes still were carrying both horns, and the raghorns were about 50% shed.

After spotting the elk, my son and I drove over to the 12 acres we own about a half-mile from our house. I had put out a trail cam a few weeks ago, and wanted to pull the pictures off of it.

On the way, we saw 2 gobblers hanging out together, one of which was in full strut. I did not see any other turkeys with them, very different from 2 months or so ago, when they were in big winter flocks.

When we drove back later in the afternoon to re-set the trail cam, I remembered to bring my camera with me. I almost drove right by one of the toms we had seen earlier, but a loud gobble from just off the road got my attention pretty quickly.

This was the best photo I got:

And this little video clip shows off his beard nicely. For the tough conditions along Colorado's Front Range, this is a very nice bird.

The trail cam yielded a few interesting photos.

This raghorn was still carrying his antlers on a photo with a March 22nd timestamp:

Nice photo of a doe with her ears back chasing another doe off while they were feeding before the onset of a blizzard:

A photo of a cow elk. Not really that remarkable, except that I don't get alot of elk on the property (mostly just tons of does):

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