Death Traps and Home Ranges
2020's false hope is 2021's death trap
On July 5th, 6th, and 7th of 2021 I witnessed elk on the hills surrounding Central Pond 2 as well as down next to the "pond". This so-called water source is nothing but a mud hole and potential death trap as evidenced by the corpses documented in this same spot last September.
There is nothing there for these elk. Nothing but false hope, disappointment, and potential death. Yet they are still there. What does this tell us?
For starters it lets us know that this fantasy world some have concocted in which all the elk magically find their way to a tiny trough miles away (that they don't even know exists) is exactly that; a naive fantasy providing convenient denial. It is also evidence of the significance of the home ranges of the sub herds, which a prior study shows that each group of elk mostly stick to areas they have apparently designated as "theirs."
Further north in the reserve (continued below)
is "North Pond 2" which has also provided fools a sense of false "health security" for the elk because it didn't go completely bone dry in 2020 (like all the other bodies of water). That may not be true this year. On July 7th of 2021 North Pond 2 appears HALF the size that it did in September of 2020. With record heat waves wrecking the state and no hope of rain for at least 5 months it is likely this stagnant cess pool will also be bone dry.
But before it goes completely dry it too will become a death trap...(continued below)
...it is likely this so-called pond is on its way to being last year's Central Pond 2, the death trap pond. Why wouldn't it? The banks are already difficult to walk through and there appears to be signs of struggle where at least one elk had to drag itself away from the water's edge. Can you imagine? It's like one of those sick Hollywood horror films where the bad guy offers the victim a chance at escape if only they put themselves in harm's way first. Water, albeit disgusting water, awaits these elk if they can only manage to trudge through the mud. Unlike last year, the elk hanging out in the area stayed far from the water's edge.
Let's compare to Central Pond 2 in 2021...(continued below)
Take a moment to observe the details of central Pond 2's status as of July 7th.
Below is video footage showing the proximity of the elk to Central Pond 2 on July 7th. In the first clip I am down in the pond, in the second I am up on the hill.
For comparison below are images of Central Pond 2 on September 25th, 2020
Now let's look at North Pond 2
Believe it or not the above and below images are the same location not even a year separated. Which one looks good to drink from?
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