Elk fans should be gearing up for the 2010 Arkansas Elk Rut in historic Boxley Valley. In less than 6 weeks we will be in the thick of the 2010 elk rut as massive herd bulls vie for control of breeding rights. Each year more and more people have discovered that Boxley Valley is the single best place for elk viewing in many states. Prime time is from mid-September to mid-October. It is during this period that bull elk fight before settling into the normal rut.
By far the best and most reliable viewing is along Highway 43 in the fields north and south of the Highway 21 intersection. It is true that elk do stray into other fields now and then, but these fields have been planted as feed plots for the elk who prefer them.
Photographers and elk viewers should equip themselves with long telephoto lenses and good binoculars. A 400MM lens is ideal, but a 200MM lens will with with a multiplier. 10x binoculars are ideal for getting up close.
Stay tuned to this blog for up-to-date information on the stages of the rut. We are now in the preliminary staging. From about mid-month until early September bull elk are rubbing velvet off their antlers on trees. They have pretty much completed their antler growth by now since the antler drop in late March and early April. Visitors might see this scraping off of the velvet around mid-August, but generally that will require very early morning or late evening visits.
Bugling will begin in mid-September, but it peaks later in the month. Last year I hear the first bugle of the season in mid-August, and the last one in December, but these are very rare outliers, and perhaps temporary insanity. Hearing an elk bugle for the first time is a revelation, an experience that should not be missed.
I will tell you when I hear the first bugling of any significance. That is in the future now.
If you plan to come in late September you can take advantage of the Ozark Mountain Artists Studio Tour. This year the event will be September 17th to 19th. The tour is a great event for the whole family and a perfect compliment to fall elk viewing that is a morning and evening affair. For more information on the Tour visit their website, http://ozarkmountainartists.com . This year is the 4th edition of this popular event that draws from 5 states.
Stay tuned for updates on the elk rut and fall events in the Buffalor River region.
In Other MattersAfter 3 years this is the right time to move my blog to Google Blogger from Word Press. I prefer the look and feel of Blogger, and it meets my needs for a simple way to convey news. My suspicion is that hardly anyone looks backward at old posts, so that is kind of irrelevant. Any post of permanent value is probably reworked and elsewhere on the site as part of the permanent content.