Writing and Media by Dove Henry
ASC Landmark Crew Member
Click above to hear the elk
During the third week of September—the peak of the elk rut in Montana—the Landmark crew made a trip to the Slippery Ann elk viewing area in the Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge. Herds of elk cows grazed and wandered in the grassy clearing, guarded by large bulls. Beyond them, the towering cottonwood trees bordering that stretch of the Missouri River had just begun to yellow, their trunks like columns. I decided to return after sunset to capture an audio recording of the bulls bugling.
As Wesley, Pete and I played cards at our nearby campsite later that evening, the eerie, distant sound of bugling echoed through the cottonwoods. After we finished a round, I grabbed my recorder and walked back toward the elk. The half-moon beamed, stretching my shadow across the ground as I came out of the trees. I continued walking and heard large animals rustling in the brush; in the moonlight, I could make out the dark shapes of cow elk running about 30 feet to my right. A bugle erupted close by, harsh and guttural. I sat down on the road and turned on my recorder.
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