|Bull Mistaken for Tree in Ponca Field|
Yesterday, October 14th, there were 5 herd bull and cows herds in the Boxley Valley. I did hear about a 6th, but did not verify it personally. Going from north to south, the first herd is in the upper 3 Ponca fields. A second could be observed along the cane line in the mid-valley area, way back where most viewers would not notice them. A third has been hanging out behind the Mill Pond, I think this is Bubba Stud, but this is an educated guess based on watching movements. The fourth and fifth herds are concentrated in the 43/21 intersection fields.
|The Bugling Boxley Beast and Harem|
Contrary to what might be considered common sense, the dominant bull position in elk herds changes often during the rut. It is hard work for a herd bull to fend off the frequent challenges of candidate herd bulls and the frequent visits by satellite bulls. Often an attack by a herd bull is accompanied by incursions by satellite bulls. This was evident yesterday morning. In one case the dominant bull was under attack by a herd bull and 3 satellites. When he fought the challenging herd bull, the satellites took some of the cows. This happens fairly often. Researchers have determined that the satellite bulls actually breed more cows than the herd bulls. The herd bulls spend a lot of time protecting their harems and have less time for breeding.
|Fall Color at the Ponca Access 10/14/10|
|Buffalo River, Bee Bluff East of Kyles|