Four days ago, 603 started our calving season off right. That morning, I was pretty sure she was in labor based on how she was acting, but since all seemed well, I just let her do her thing. And do it, she did! Later that afternoon, I was lucky enough to catch a good look at baby - though it was from quite a distance.
The following day, I was happy to catch a glimpse of the calf nursing late in the afternoon. It appeared healthy, so I wasn't too concerned when I didn't see it for the two days. But this evening, I thought I really wanted some proof of life, so out I went with my camera to see what I could see.
Lo and behold, the girls were all in the upper pasture and I felt the odds were in my favor that baby was in the lower pasture, so I closed the gate and went hunting for him/her. 603 told me clearly that baby was in my pasture with her behavior, and then as I was watching her, I saw baby's head pop up from behind the rock wall. As I first approached baby, s/he was standing but then it decided it was supposed to hide, so it lay down. Mama was right there on the other side of the fence giving me a piece of her mind.
I didn't want to antagonize mama too much, but I figured it was my chance to get a few nice photos of an elk calf without a fence between me and it. I have a bit of zoom on my camera, so I only had to get within about 15-20 feet of baby to get some good pictures. Mama was pacing the whole time, hair standing on end, grinding her teeth at me.
Baby didn't provide me with an opportunity to identify its gender, so we'll have to wait before I can start calling it a him or a her. Regardless, it is certainly cute!!
Well, I didn't want to make mama too crazy, so I took my dozen photos and left them alone. I sure hope this little one has some friends soon!! I think 604 may be next on deck, but I guess time will tell!