Elk herds abound throughout Yellowstone and its environs providing many glorious opportunities to photograph this magnificent species in the splendor of fall colours.

Although the rutting season is essentially over, it’s best not to get too close to these stags.

Lone bull elk casts a wary backward glance. Note the battle wound on the bridge of the snout.

Two young stags duke it out in the early morning sun in preparation for the real battles in the years to come.

A herd of does coming down from the mountain heights towards the winter pastures below.

I spotted this herd trying to descend towards the Gardiner river below and stopped by this precipitous slide.  Thinking this might be an opportunity to shoot a herd of elk slip-sliding pell mell down a mountain side, I set up for the shot, but the herd, thinking the better of the situation, decided upon a strategic retreat.

Finally, this picture of abandoned antlers at Wapiti (fittingly enough the native name for Elk), Wyoming, just outside the Park near the historic town of Cody gives a clue as to the historic abundance of elk in the area.

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