Kevin (Kansas) and I hit up Sprague Lake in the morning for sunrise, but with the cloud cover we headed to the west of the lake, and for few brief moments the sky lit up pink to the east. The mountains were under clouds and the morning light never really came, so we headed up to Bear Lake. The Aspens up at Bear are nearly at their peak, and with the low clouds it really made the colors pop. Then still with the clouds low and grey we hit up Alberta Falls and got some great shots there an along the way. The afternoon was a bit slow but the elk were out and about before we called it a day. Taking Kevin out again tomorrow morning for sunrise so more to come.
This morning I lead a tour for brothers Joseph (Houston, TX) and Doug (Arvada, CO) focusing on wildlife and photography. No sooner do we pull into Estes Park from Poll Hill than we run into some nice elk close to the town hall. 5 or 10 minutes into watching a small JV squad bull elk push some girls around, another small JV squad bull comes running over the hill, then the much larger 6×6 bull behind bugles and rushes to the scene. A second even larger 6×6 bull close to town hall came a running and we stood on the town sidewalk getting one of the most amazing displays of elk rut behavior I’ve seen. The two large bulls locked antlers in a true dust flinging fight, and plenty of posturing. In the end our little JV squad bulls were nowhere to be found and all the girls had gone back to eating under the watchful eye of our big 6×6 bull. Just listening to the bugles bounce off the rocks made for an awesome morning tour.