Sadly, this morning a calf elk was killed by a motorist. Speed kills. My guess is that it was not a tourist, but rather someone in a hurry to get somewhere. During the elk rut, any speed over 45MPH is madness. When elk are visible along the road, 20MPH is more like it. That's two elk this year, and two that could have probably been avoided with a little restraint.
This morning, as predicted, there were more herds evident with the opening of muzzle loader season. The 3 elk herds were located in the Ponca fields (scene of the traffic death), in the middle valley field, and another in the north corner of the field north of Smith Creek in the south end.
Lots of people out viewing and enjoying the show. Middle valley viewers were cautioned by police to be more careful. That is a dangerous viewing area with blind curves and dips in the road.
The major viewing was over by 8:30AM, although stragglers remained much later. The hunting pressure for whitetails clearly moved more of the elk herd into the valley.
Remember to drive carefully. If you see elk on the side of the road they may bolt in front of you. Go very slowly if they are on the roadsides.