Gone Hunting (with a Camera); March 2009; Scientific American Earth 3.0; by Jim Cornfield; 4 Page(s)
Estes park, colo.: early on an autumn morning, a light confection of snow begins dusting treetops on the eastern edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. We¿ve pulled our 4×4 to the side of the road, and I¿m huddled low by the fender to line up my camera for a shot of four approaching elk. My guide, wildlife photographer Steven Morello, whispers to me from the driver¿s side. No abrupt moves, he cautions; if I stay quiet, I¿ll probably get a long shot of these animals when they amble up the hill to our right.
Three of them do exactly that. But the fourth, a young stag with an impressive set of antlers¿impressive to me, anyway¿ makes an unexpected turn and saunters straight in my direction. He stops briefly, swings his head to scan me with his opposite eye, and practically poses for a quick portrait. I hadn¿t expected this to be quite so easy.