Monday, September 26, 2011

9/26/11 Report -- 2011 Elk Rut is Smokin'

The 2011 Elk Rut in Boxley Valley is really smoking now. The bulls have arrived and there are 7 herds with herd bulls going now. Of course, most of these are small -- a bull with a handful of cow elk. The big guy remains the Boxley Beast in the south end of the Smith Creek Field.

Visitors will find elk in all the traditional fields from one end of the valley to the other. This morning the bulls were bugling until 10 when I left. In the early morning light they were really bugling often.

Here is the lineup of  7 herds and bulls from North to South:

  • Ponca Fields -- Junk Yard Dog (JYD) -- New arrival, he has nearly perfect rack that is kind of round. A great bull with a handful in his harem. He was a late bull last year. (Ponca Fields)
  • Middle Valley Field -- Pretty Boy, an early rut bull from last year is in the middle valley field, not a great viewing spot. He is still a bit small, I expect him to be replaced. 
  • 43/21 Intersection -- Many bulls and a small group of cows. No ID on the herd bull. 
  • Moore Creek Field -- Small group of cows with no ID on the herd bull. 
  • North End of Smith Creek Field -- Godzilla with a handfull of cow elk. 
  • South End of Smith Creek Field -- Boxley Beast and a nice harem, probably the largest.
  • Trailhead to the Upper Wilderness -- Maverick with a handful of cows. 

The conditions could not be better for viewing. My choice would be the south end by Smith Creek. I believe the traffic is lower there and there are plenty of animals and lots of bugling. Also, be on the lookout for Prince. He is a satellite bull to the Boxley Beast herd.

Be safe and drive carefully. The elk are moving around a lot and cross the highway more often in rut.

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