Dancing Elk

Looking out the dining room window, we see nature at its best. The coyote highway is a highlight, we love to watch the fog as it meanders through the tall firs on the hill, and keep track of the herds of elk as they come off the hill to graze in the field, but the other day I saw the first dancing elk that I have ever seen.

Earlier in the evening we saw five adults and two calves come down off the hill. They stayed close to the hillside which is about 1000 yards away. We did notice one had antlers about a foot long, and the comment was how he was a young bull since the antlers did not branch out. We forgot about watching them since they were not particularly interesting.

Near dark, I looked out the window again to see all of the animals from the show barn lined up along the fence. There were 6 momma cows, 6 calves, 3 yearling heifers and the herd sire all standing in a line along the fence looking out into the large open field. My view from the house was 16 animals butts since they were all facing the same direction.

They were all watching a single cow elk about 200 feet from the fence line. I noticed that she was standing with her neck stretched up like a ballerina, and she was side-stepping this way and that. It looked like a dance of sort.

My animals were all transfixed by the movements and no one was moving, just the same as we were as we were looking out the window, watching the unusual show. The elk finally made a sweep and a bow to her left and a coyote that had been hiding in the brush near the fence jumped up and ran away. The dance had not been to entertain us and our animals, it was movements made to scare away a predator.

The elk had been more aware of her surroundings than we were during this dancing interlude.

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