Beauty is the Beast by Jann Ashworth

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About half-way between Maligne Lake and the town of Jasper, in Jasper National Park,in the Canadian Rocky Mountains of Alberta, we couldn’t believe our luck when we spotted this magnificent bull elk grazing in an open stretch of woodland. Though it was just about mating season, and we knew the bulls were very aggressive and unpredictable at this time, we stayed very quiet and took around 35 photos while he paid us little attention other than to glance at us now and then. He even bugled once..a sound that sent chills through us. Maybe he was calling his harem, or perhaps sounding a challenge for any other bulls. Either way, it was another stroke of luck to hear the sound.

September 4, 2009, Sony DSCF828 camera.

Featured in Canadian Rocky Mountains

In the TOP TEN of the Wildlife Photography challenge of Photographers of Canada group Feb. 28, 2010


  • Joy Watson
    Joy Watsonabout 5 years ago

    wonderful capture.

  • Hi Joy, thanks for dropping by, and for the very kind words!

    – Jann Ashworth

  • Vickie Emms
    Vickie Emmsabout 5 years ago

    that’s a beauty Jann, I’ve been to Jasper in September and its a wonderful time of year to see the bulls,,,,,,,,great shot, reminds me of some of mine, they are such elegant animals aren’t they

  • Good morning Vickie..truly, they are the most beautiful animals..I’ve seen more moose than elk, but elk are just superb! We were so lucky to see this one and he was so tolerant , no aggressive motions at all!

    – Jann Ashworth

  • Nanagahma
    Nanagahmaabout 5 years ago

    Wow, you were lucky. What a great shot. He’s got quite a rack there! I bet the bugle call was a big surprise!

  • The whole thing was a big surprise! We were told to watch out but be very careful because of the mating season, so didn’t expect to even see one of the bulls. It was just perfect!!

    – Jann Ashworth

  • kkphoto1
    kkphoto1about 5 years ago

    A beautiful capture Jann!

  • Hi Kay..many thanks for your kind words..I was really happy to get this one!

    – Jann Ashworth

  • Mariann Rea
    Mariann Reaabout 5 years ago

    WOW!! That’s amazing!!!

  • Thanks very much Mariann, we were very lucky to have such a cooperative subject, and so beautiful, too!

    – Jann Ashworth

  • Eivor Kuchta
    Eivor Kuchtaabout 5 years ago

    Fantastic capture, Jann! It’s a fascinating sound, the bugle. Too bad you couldn’t add that to the picture here, for us to hear. I saw one almost in the town of Jasper, when I was on that road you describe, on September 3rd. We were hoping to see bears, but no luck with that.

  • Hi Eivor.. we were noticing all the signs on the road warning about wildlife, and wondering where it! That was on Sept. 4, next day after you..and couldn’t believe our luck when we found this beauty.Would have liked to see a bear also, but happy enough to get the elk.

    – Jann Ashworth

  • A.M. Ruttle
    A.M. Ruttleabout 5 years ago

    Don’t you LOVE these guys????!!!!!

  • Oh I DO!! We were so amazed when this guy was so patient and accommodating. Certainly was a perfect end to the day.

    – Jann Ashworth

  • Pam Hogg
    Pam Hoggabout 3 years ago

  • Hi Pat, good to see you again. Hope you’re having a great summer.
    Many thanks for the Feature. Really appreciated!

    – Jann Ashworth

  • deb cole
    deb coleabout 3 years ago

    And this beast is absolutely beautiful!! Excellent work! :o)

  • DriftingAudrey
    DriftingAudrey8 months ago
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