The elk rut is quite a sight to witness – both in viewing and hearing. The bugling is an amazing sound like no other. Those bulls really know how to show up to the ladies. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Rocky Mountain National Park is not too far for me and I get to witness this up close and personal. Ok, not that up close as they are wild animals. I always keep my distance from these beautiful wild animals. If you do go to see and hear this amazing part of nature, here’s a few tips.
- Keep your distance. The males will be rounding up their harem (group of females) and are full of testosterone. They will charge and defend their harem, if they feel threatened. Be careful and give them space.
- Get out early morning or later in the afternoon/evening. They tend to be more active and out in viewing areas during these times.
- If you see elk, turn off your engine and car lights. Make sure your car doors and windows are closed, and talk quietly. Don’t make sudden movements or loud noises to disturb the animals.
- If you’re in Horseshoe Park, Moraine Park, Upper Beaver Meadows, or the Kawuneeche Valley in Rocky Mountain National Park, stay close to the road and watch for posted closures. Obey all instructions.
- Please also remember that elk are wild creatures and their behavior may be unpredictable. Never approach an elk, and always view these animals from a safe distance.