The growth patterns of young elk from the time of his birth to his full maturity are described competently and informally within the flectional context of a regional study. Dave , a young forest ranger observes Smoky the elk from afar and takes great care to protect him from the farmers' preying dogs. A common conflict between the ranger sent to preserve the wildlife on land declared a national forest -- and the farmer accustomed to hunting the woods freely -- is enacted. Dave asserts his authority among people like Jake Hedd, the farmer responsible for killing Smoky's mother. The plot however functions as a vehicle for transmitting a wealth of information about life in these parts. Closeups of the young elk, as protective coloration saves him from destruction, as he learns the way of the forest -- of the pack of wild boars who menace the farmlands and the other wildlife of this region, are perceived with a keen and knowing eye.