Ya'll we've been to Colorado several times and seen lots of elk. This is our favorite time to come because the dynamics of the males and females during this season is so fascinating. I believe this is the largest herd we've ever seen and for some reason this year they are very close to the road. They act as if the hundreds of people standing there with cameras in hand don't even exist.
Jerry said he counted 41 cows in this group. We couldn't get them all in one picture so I'm posting three.
Now usually there is only one male with any group of females, whether that group has one cow or 41 cows. They are very territorial. But this year there are often a half dozen males with any group. Oh, the women all belong to only one man but the other males watch him like a hawk and if they think he isn't looking they try to sneak in. The males lose several hundred pounds during this couple of months! They don't let down their guard long enough to even eat.
These two young males aren't really fighting. They are like two teenage boys wrestling on the living room floor trying to see which one is strongest.
They sort of lock horns and push, each one trying not to lose his footing.