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Cervus canadensis


Elk belong to the deer family. Large bulls may weigh 800 lbs and have large antlers, which are shed annually. Cows are smaller and are without antlers.


Elk live in forests and forest edge habitat.


I found this elk just north of the Mammoth townsite in Yellowstone National Park. In fact, I first spotted him as he charged across the road from the townsite and up this ridge in pursuit of a cow elk that had strayed from his harem. I pulled over into a parking lot and jumped out of the car with tripod and camera. The vision for this photograph was already formed; I really wanted the moon in the photo with the bull silhouetted against the sky.

No species ID suggestions

41 Comments (1–25)

James McNair
James McNair 3 years ago

Incredible image

Gordon Dietzman
Gordon Dietzman 4 years ago

Thanks everyone for your kind comments....

Hakim Rouidi
Hakim Rouidi 4 years ago

woooow amazing

Nice pic!!!

medusasnakes123 4 years ago

I like the moon in the picture! :)

HazelMarley 4 years ago

Great pic

Ok This is just too cool! Love your Profile Pic too. You are amazing at catching all these Beautiful Animals. :)

Gordon Dietzman
Gordon Dietzman 5 years ago

This bull elk was well-known to Yellowstone visitors, as he hung around the Mammoth townsite where many people could see him. I heard today that this bull, known as No. 10 for his ear tag, died in the last few days.

SandraPereira 5 years ago


Khathoub 6 years ago

woah.. amazing!

Mau Sanchez
Mau Sanchez 6 years ago

Great shot!

LaurieWinters 6 years ago

Beautiful photo!

FoTony 6 years ago

Me too! Just great.

Leah M
Leah M 7 years ago

I love this pic!

Gordon Dietzman
Gordon Dietzman 7 years ago

I just got back from photographing wildlife in Colorado and South Dakota. Had a great time photographing elk in Rocky Mountain National Park and have uploaded an elk spotting. These are absolutely magnificent animals and I never get tired of photographing them. Thanks for the kind words.

VivBraznell 7 years ago

What a perfect shot

moralcoral 7 years ago

love this shot great how everything is in the right place at just the right time, the elk, the moon, the twilight! just fantastic!

:) <3

great and wonderful picture, you were in the right place in the right time.

Gordon Dietzman
Gordon Dietzman 7 years ago

Thanks Hamed! It was a very good opportunity to be creative. Much fun....

Hamed Moshiri
Hamed Moshiri 7 years ago

very beautiful !!!

NicoleB 7 years ago

This is amazing!
Good for you that you can estimate their behaviour so well.
This is poster / magazine worthy!

Christiane 7 years ago

This is such a great photo.. Beautiful!!

Gina9210 7 years ago

Gordon, thank you for sharing.

Ashish Nimkar
Ashish Nimkar 7 years ago

Yes...Gordon..thanks for story hidden in the picture..!!

Montana, USA

Lat: 44.98, Long: -110.70

Spotted on Sep 19, 2009
Submitted on Feb 28, 2011

Spotted for mission


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