Elk was by far the most frequently seen animal during my recent visit to Yellowstone National Park. We stopped at least four times to photograph the Madison Elk herd that lives along the banks of the Madison River. I photographed this bull on a rainy day during one of our stops. He was grazing along with his harem. The Madison Herd gets its name because the herd tends to stay near the Madison River throughout the year and does not migrate seasonally as some of the other herds do.
Elk is the most abundant large mammal found in Yellowstone. Paleontological evidence confirms their continuous presence for the last 1,000 years in the park. Yellowstone was established in 1872 when market hunting of all large grazing animals was rampant. It wasn’t until 1886, when the US Army was called in to protect the park and wildlife that the slaughter was brought under control. The population then grew substantially after that.
This image was taken with my Canon EOS 7D Mark II using my Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 II Lens set on 400mm. The camera was set on Aperture Priority mode with the aperture set at f/8, shutter speed at 1/320th of a second and the ISO set at 800. I used a tripod for stability. This is a single image processed in Lightroom and finalized in Photoshop using Nik Color Efex Pro.
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