This is a picture of Mount Yipsilon in Rockymountain National Park taken in the fall of 2008.
It is early afternoon and the Bull Elk are just now becoming active again.
By 5:00 pm local time they will be in active rut, and at that time the park service closes some areas, limiting access
so park visitors will not disturb the Elk as the bulls begin the process of establishing dominance and their right to breed with the cows.
All images copyright Larry Ledwick unless otherwise noted in the caption
Prior to the time the Park Service limits access, the Elk frequently will be very close to visitors as they move around.
This big fella had been napping right beside the road as the sun came up, his cows on the nearby slope above the road.
As the crowds of visitors began to increase, he decided he needed to "escort" his cows across the road, as they were getting skittish, and were reluctant to cross the road
through the gaggle of photographers gathered there. He simply got up, and with the obvious body language of an Alpha Male, calmly walked right through the crowd and herded "His" females across the road.
The Elk frequently move through the town of Estes Park and can be found most anywhere in the town.
In this shot you see the close up and personal view I had as I got out of my car near the school. This young bull was
watching another bull who had a herd of cows on the athletic fields conveniently protected by a chain link fence.
Here is the second bull standing at the fence letting the younger bull know he did not need any assistance watching over his cows.