Did you know that an Elk is also called a Wapiti? We're not kidding! It's a Native American word that translates to "light-coloured deer". 

Elk in winter by Anthony Riera

Did you also know that an elk can jump 8 feet vertically into the air? Who knew! 

The first time you see an elk, you never forget it. They are one of the most majestic and captivating mammals you'll ever see. They can often be found along the highway throughout the Canadian Rockies National Parks, but to spot one up a back road, in the middle of nature, where they aren't used to seeing folks and vehicles... that's a different story. 

An entire "gang" of elk (that's right, they're not called a herd - that's how cool these beasts are) crossed in front of our truck, on our way up the logging roads one summer.

The dominant male began trotting in front of our vehicle attempting to lead us away, while the rest of the gang took off into the bushes in a hurry. We were completely mesmerized by the enormity and strength, along with the majestic way they gracefully moved under their towering antlers. As much as we wanted to stay close, we respectfully slowed the truck down to give him space. 

Once the male knew his family was safe, he dove back into the bushes, leaving us to travel the dusty dirt road alone once again. It was a moment we'll never forget.

Back road wildlife encounters become frozen moments that we are so grateful to have witnessed. Moments that weren't spent behind a camera view finder, and instead were spent fully engulfed in every detail and every feeling. Those are the memories we enjoy the most.

What's your favourite wildlife moment? Let us know in the comments below!


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