During the annual Christmas Bird Count a couple of years ago, everyone received notification by noon that wolves had just taken down a cow elk. By 1:00 PM, we were observing an autopsy.
Diagnosis: Lactacting cow elk; unlikely to have any TB lesions based on a cursory examination of in situ lymph glands; pregnant with calf; killed by wolves. That was on December 22.
When we returned a few days later, the entire carcass had been consumed except for a the skin, ribs, muzzle, and a few other bits and pieces. During that winter, we had the opportunity to guide many guests on a guided GPS adventure quest to discover the story of how wolves kill elk; find the site; try howling for wolves; and enjoy the night air.
This photo was taken with multiple light sources – an underexposed (-2 stops) flash on my camera, the headlamps on the snowshoers, as well as the red light from my own headlamp. To take a photo like this, remember to take a ski or hiking pole that has a threaded camera mount in the top of the hiking staff. These are available from Leki, as well as other sources. Makes taking a photo which requires a fairly still moment for a slow exposure like night time quite possible.
Earth Rhythms provides guided night snowshoe outings.
Call 1.204.848.4680 to plan your outing.