I live on Vancouver Island. Most people who live here don’t realize it but if you drive inland off the main highways you pretty quickly get into some remote and undeveloped country. Sightings of wildlife, especially our local Roosevelt Elk, are fairly common. If you’re not familiar with what an Elk is picture a cow built like a horse and you’ll be pretty close. Here’s a short ‘tail’ of one such encounter.
I was driving out of the back country from hiking in the Nanaimo Lakes area when 3 big Elk bounded out in front of me from the bush. After I restarted my heart I gently stopped the truck at the side of the road.
I could see that the Elk hadn’t gone far into the bush and wanted to get some close up photos of them. Being a subscriber to Murphy’s Law, I knew without looking that I must have the wrong lens on my camera. A quick look down at my camera confirmed this. I quickly changed lenses and set up my camera for wildlife shots.
Now Elk are very elusive and will run off at the slightest noise so I knew I had to stay quiet. I mentally prepared myself by thinking ‘I am smoke….I am the mist on the water… I am the wind in the trees…I am stealth itself’. Being as ready as possible I gently opened the door to begin the pursuit of my photographic prey. The loud reminder from my truck that the key was still in the ignition reverberated beautifully off the mountains surrounding me, leaving no doubt in minds of the Elk that they were being pursued by a moron.
Having lulled the witless beasts into a false sense of security, I set off into the bush. The 20 minutes I spent trying to work my way close to them produced nothing more than a profound understanding that whoever designed the Elk must have put that white patch on the back of their ass as the bovine equivalent of a one finger salute. I’m sure I could hear them laughing as they ran away.
Nature 1, Lorne 0.
The Elusive Elk.