Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Big Bull Elk Have Arrived

Last night the Arkansas Wildlife cover star, the Boxley Stud, arrived and took most of Pretty Boy's herd. As I suspected, Pretty Boy is a year or two away from being big enough to compete with the biggest bulls. The Boxley Stud made quick work of Pretty Boy and mostly just bluffed him off. Many bull fights never happen because the small bull will not go into a one-sided fight. That was the case last night.

This drama took place at dusk in the first field south of the Observation Pullout.

Further south down the valley, just south of the Buffalo River, another big bull has been working a cow herd for over a week. Last night he brought the cows close to the road and we had an exceptional shoot. He provided photographers with many closeups, close enough so you could see the pores on his nose.

It is time to come, time to see the most virulent bull fights of the season if you are fortunate. The table is set for fighting and the bugling is getting more frequent by the day. Don't miss this once-a-year treat to see the spectacle of huge elk facing off for domination and breeding rights in Boxley Valley, the elk capital of the south.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Early Rut has Started in Buffalo National River Country

The last few days have marked the beginning of the 2010 Arkanas Elk Rut. The annual spectacle of the Arkansas Elk Rut is beginning.

One large herd bull has taken possession of a herd of cows near the Ponca Access in the north end of Boxley Valley. While I have not heard any bugling personally, I have heard reliable reports that the first bugling has begun.

I have seen every other sign of the rut. Big bulls are now sniffing the air to locate estrous females. One bull at least has a herd, and I have observed him attempting to mate with a cow.

Many cow elk will start coming into estrous next week and this will pick up steadily for two weeks. This is absolutely the best time to see elk fights.

My basic advice remains the same. Get out early, survey the valley, at least from Ponca to the Boxley Church before making your decision as to where to see or photograph elk.  There will be many great choices, but there is usually a best choice. You won't see the best shows unless you check the whole valley.

Rainy, cool weather has extended viewing times. It is time to visit and see the best wildlife show in Arkanas, the annual Arkansas Elk Rut in the Buffalo National River's Boxley Valley.