Tuesday, September 13, 2011

9/12 Update & Slight Map Edit

I made a couple of simple herd map edits to clarify the locations to out of town people. The addition of the elk observation pullout and Smith Mountain Road to clarify the locations a bit. I also changed the scale of Smith Creek's location in the south valley fields.

This map is not literal, the primary shortcut is that it compresses a portion of the middle valley area where 1) elk are seldom found, and 2) the fields are so far from the road that viewing is more or less impossible.

I made the text for the dates smaller.

Below is the current map for 9/12.  We are definitely entering the active period of the rut, moving past the first rut to the main event. The frequency of bull fights will increase now for the next two weeks, as will bugling. Elk remain concentrated in the south end of the valley.

Remember this fundamental. Elk and cattle do not mix. A good rule-of-thumb is that if a field has cattle, there will be no elk. If cattle are moved into a field, the elk will relocate. This is probably why there are no elk in the fields around Ponca at this time.

If you look at the dates, you will note that there are many single dates, and only a few multiple day ranges. My point is just because you saw elk in a field last year, the likelihood that they will be there next visit is pretty small. The exception would the fields at the intersection of HWY 43 and 21. There is a 330 acre food plot there designed to attract elk. Even at that, that field can be empty for long periods of time.

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