I was winding down from a long, hot, and busy day on the course, just relaxing in my recliner when Tom (Elkhorn Cafe owner) stopped by to see if I wanted to work the next day as I was off at the course. Always wanting to help Tom out I said yes and we chatted about the comings and goings of each other’s day. I just happened to look out the front window and saw Bob, (our neighbor from nearby Montana and retired sheriff) pacing over at a quickened pace. Knocking at the door Tom and I hollered to come in but he hollered back to get my ‘big lens’ as he calls it. “Larry, there’s a bull elk on the far ridge.” I grabbed the binoculars as the far ridge is about 3/4 of a mile from where the motorhome sits. There it was, alone and grazing and I could make out a grandiose set of velvet antlers. I ran back in for my ‘big lens’ and shot him against the horizon. This was neat as I’d never seen a bull elk in the wild before. Not satisfied, I grabbed my tripod and told Robin I was taking the Jeep and heading for the far ridge, not thinking I would have any luck. But the greatest failure in life is in not trying. I didn’t anticipate anything so I wouldn’t be disappointed but in the back of my mind I was mentally preparing for just how I was going to compose a shot should I be so lucky. Maybe it is luck, or just taking advantage of opportunities. I weaved the Jeep up and around the switchbacks to the top of the ridge and pulled off the main road. Cresting the hill, I thought the Medora cemetery may be a good spot to stop and scan the landscape. Lo and behold as I pulled into position I happened to glance left and there he was. The biggest bull elk I had ever seen in the wild. In fact, the only one I had seen in the wild. My heart was racing. It was if buck fever overcame me and I had visions of my past, as a teenager when I would get so excited during a hunt, that my eyewear would fog up. Now I hunt with a Canon and the eyewear is long gone but that ‘arrested adolescence’ is still there. The sun was behind him, to my dismay. But there would have been no way I could position myself to have the sun on his face and at my back. So I did the best I could do with what I had without creating enough commotion that I would have frightened him away.
I hope you like the result. He seemed to pay me no mind and continued his grazing. What a sight.