Elk Hunting in the Mountains of Montana

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Have You Ever Hunted Elk in Montana?

These stunning photos document a 2010 elk hunt in the rugged mountains of Montana.

Sighting In

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Image 1 of 10

1 | Sighting In

A few pre-hunt shots to check zero. Everything looks good to go.

Glassing the Herd

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Image 2 of 10

2 | Glassing the Herd

This hunt was documented with Canon equipment. Besides the hunters glassing the herd, it’s the photographer’s job to take his shots without getting busted by wary eyes. 

Taking in the Scenery

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Image 3 of 10

3 | Taking in the Scenery

The rugged terrain adds more challenges. As the hunters close the distance, I'm trying to both capture them, as well as elk. And, with this shot, the elk had yet another distraction. See if you can pick it out.

Elk Within Range

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Image 4 of 10

4 | Elk Within Range

Lining up this shot was especially difficult. The elk, of course, are sensitive to movement of both the hunters and me, and the cover isn't always optimal. 

Ready. Aim. Fire.

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Image 5 of 10

5 | Ready. Aim. Fire.

The hunter taking aim in this shot would seem pretty easy, but there are composition elements to take into account. And, of course, the opportunity doesn't last long, since the hunter is about to shoot. 

Follow the Blood Trail

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Image 6 of 10

6 | Follow the Blood Trail

Blood in the snow. Detailed shots like this might not mean much on their own, but when combined with the other images, they serve to tell a story. 

Victory

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Image 7 of 10

7 | Victory

Everyone takes the standard grip-and-grin hero shots. But good photographers add another element to them. The hunter approaching his downed bull for the first time is a moment that's definitely worth capturing. 

Load

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Image 8 of 10

8 | Load 'Em Up

Hunters know that once the elk is loaded, there's still work ahead. 

Skinning the Elk

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Image 9 of 10

9 | Skinning the Elk

Skinning the animal is a part of the hunt. There's no reason to leave it out of the photos just because there's blood involved. 

The Winning Score

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Image 10 of 10

10 | The Winning Score

And now for the rough-score tally -- a 350-class bull isn't too shabby.

Editor's note: This was originally published August 31, 2011.

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