On the Fourth of July, Brad Fitch, known as Cowboy Brad, was giving a performance outdoors in Estes Park, Colorado, when an unexpected music fan came to listen in. A female elk joined the celebration, trotting among the picnickers and residents, watching Fitch play his guitar for the audience.
The elk walked right up to Fitch, who tipped his hat politely to her. He then went on playing, welcoming the elk as part of the audience. The audience, for its part, was cool about the whole thing, just letting the elk roam around the park and not bothering her when she got curious. It seems like these people were smart to not mess with the elk or try to chase her off. They just let her do her thing, enjoy the music, and then hopefully move on.
KKTV out of Colorado Springs posted a video from a concert-goer on Facebook, showing the big elk wandering through the audience. “LOVE this moment!” the station wrote on Facebook. “‘Mr. Estes Park’ shared this video with us of an elk crashing a concert in Colorado on the 4th of July! Check out the elk’s reaction AND the reaction from Brad Fitch (Cowboy Brad!)”
Colorado Musician and Wilderness Ranger Speaks About Moment Elk Wandered Over to Hear Him Perform
Fitch spoke with KKTV about the strange incident, describing what he was thinking when the elk showed up. When asked to describe a little about the incident in the park, Fitch replied, “Well, [performing] is something I do often and have done for many years in downtown Estes Park. It’s a free, open to the public music program in the evenings. And it’s not unusual for elk to wander through. However, what was unique on the evening of July fourth, was that this young female elk seemed extremely curious about what was going on. In fact, she just walked right up to me to see what was happening.”
He continued, “As you can imagine it was quite amusing to the folks who had gathered to listen to my music. And I kept a good watch on her because, as you all know, wild animals can be unpredictable.”
Described as a “Colorado moment,” the anchor then asked Fitch about how he handled the situation so calmly, continuing to play even with a big elk standing near him. “For the past fourteen years I have worked as a Wilderness Ranger in Rocky Mountain National Park,” he revealed. “In that capacity, and because I was raised here in Estes Park, I’ve been around the elk my whole life basically. I have had many interactions with them, and I have seen what they do. So, I just kept a good eye on her and I used my subtle body language and observed hers, and knew she was just curious. And sure enough, once she’d gotten enough, she gradually walked away.”