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Cyclists stopped in tracks by giant elk, and it's 'awesome'

For The Win logo For The Win 7/2/2020 Pete Thomas
a deer walking on a dirt road © Provided by For The Win

A man and his son were bicycling in Rocky Mountain National Park last Saturday when they were stopped in their tracks by a herd of bull elk walking toward them in a straight line.

The accompanying footage, captured by James Mason on the Old Fall River Road, shows the majestic elk, with towering antlers in full velvet, strolling past the riders only a few feet away.

It was a precarious situation, which is why Mason and his 19-year-old son, Nick, remained motionless to avoid spooking the animals.

“Maybe 3.5 miles coming down the dirt road we came around a left bend and as we turned, I saw a group of elk 50 or 75 yards away,” Mason told For The Win Outdoors. “I told my son to stop and stay calm, and not to move, and I took my phone off my bike and got the footage.

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“I got a little worried about the last couple of elk because they got really close before turning. Anyway, it was an awesome once-in-a-lifetime experience for my son and I.”

Elk are among the largest members of the deer family and males can weigh several hundred pounds. They’re not typically aggressive toward humans, but they are unpredictable and tourists are advised to give them plenty of space.

Mason, who is from Denver, said parts of Old Fall River Road are alongside steep drop-offs, so there was really no way to give the elk they encountered a wide berth.

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