I thought I'd share a little bit of what it is like living by the Cedar River watershed in Ravensdale. The pictures were taken yesterday morning in the neighbor's yard across the street from me. It is not uncommon to see a small herd like this one of seventeen at this time of the year and in the fall. What was different for me was watching the bull with one horn herding and chasing out an intruder over the course of about five minutes.
The picture below shows them after the bull had bunched them up. Prior to this, they were spread out on both sides of the fence that is made of a heavy gauge wire that was broken by them jumping over from one side to the other. The bull is the lighter colored one in the middle of the picture. If you look closely you can see one horn. Surprisingly, he was one of the smaller animals in the herd.
Living by the watershed can be a rewarding experience such as what I observed yesterday. My Grandson was spending the weekend so he was also able to observe them. In a few weeks we will be able to see them in both our front and back yards as their migratory patterns in and out of the watershed are the same each year. Unfortunately, they can also be a problem, especially on fences, trees, shrubs, flowers . . .
The pictures below are of two small trees in our yard that a large bull elk (seven point) decided this past fall needed some pruning.
Over the years we have seen the elk wreak havoc in the yard, but we have learned how to protect trees and shrubs until they reach a certain maturity. The behavior of this particular elk was an aberration as it wasn't in the spring when horns are coming in or during the fall rut. Even with the damage over the years, being able to watch the "herding" with my Grandson and in earlier times with my own children makes living near the watershed a positive experience. After all, the elk have been using my property far longer than I have and will continue to use it after I am gone.