Elk are large animals with good-sized whitish rumps or “wapiti”, which is also the Indian name for elk.
Clear-cuts and forest fires provide necessary food for these magnificent creatures.
In early February I parked at a locked gate to the entrance of a large swath of private forestland southwest of Mt. St. Helens.
After 12 miles of hiking, and lots of elevation gain, I returned to the bridge across Gobar Creek having seen no elk, but lots of elk calling cards.
Several bald eagles were in the area prompting me to look for, and subsequently spot, several carcasses of spawned-out salmon along the creek.
The cycle of life continues.