This morning the herd run by Pretty Boy was not in the Ponca fields (like yesterday), and Hercules was not in the field north of Smith Creek. In both these cases, we the herds are moving around a lot in a complex of fields.
|Lost Valley Bull in front of Clark Homestead|
The middle valley herd has been in the same field now for 4 days. There is a similar field complex there, but they seem content to graze in the same viewing field for now.
A Look Ahead
Today begins muzzle loader season. The significance of this is that the hunters will reduce the desirability of many fields due to hunting pressure. This means that the 3 field complexes currently in use will have fewer fields in each complex because the elk avoid the hunters. To get to the bottom line, expect the elk to move into the "viewing fields" more often because there is no hunting pressure in Boxley Valley.
This could also cause a shift of the areas currently in use by the elk. It is quite possible for example that the herd(s) that have been using the south end fields will move to the fields near the intersection of highways 43 and 21.
|Elk Herd Crossing Lost Valley Entrance Road in 2009|
This weekend should be great. We are near peak fall color and the elk are still in rut. We are perhaps now in the last third of the peak period, but elk viewing and photography will be good for at least another month.