The visitors may have slowed down but not the elk. The elk are now in the middle of the rut season. One bull can control many cows, so it’s not that good for the other, less dominant bulls.
Bull elk are not the only ones trying to be dominant. I got to the EBC World Headquarters to find my three shift mates already there. The e-car is back and the couple had taken it with all the elk goodies. Pat used his truck and had taken the large antlers that I usually use – #2 from 2008 – so I was left with some puny antlers, maybe from a yearling. Not much to show folks.
Yet, at this time, it’s not a good idea to even play with antlers if bulls are around. They don’t want any competition. One Park worker had a close call when he was in a field with bulls.
Since there were few people, I walked to the Dock Caldwell Cemetery.
Like the Hiram Caldwell Cemetery, the walk was very short but steep. Both are small family cemeteries, much smaller than the Palmer Cemetery opposite the Palmer Chapel.
Dock Caldwell Cemetery was fenced in but you can open the fence and go in. It is obviously not visited much, but it is certainly well-tended. There’s a sign on the road and a parking spot.
I also learned the fishing regulations for the park.
Now this may sound boring but I find it very interesting. Besides, it’s part of my job. As Ranger Mark said in our training, “If you get the same question from visitors more than once, it’s time to find the answer.”
As I drove back close to the end of my shift, the elk came out. They’ve been in the same field all the time. Even though I had binoculars, I couldn’t see the bull’s tag number.
Don’t let this picture fool you. The big bull is about to run off the younger elk. Also, I took this picture from quite far away. I used my full zoom and then cropped. You need to be at least 50 yards away.
I talked to 27 people, including a couple from Amsterdam.