Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Elk Viewing Map & Report 9/19/12

This morning the elk were in the back fields in many cases, but they are a small trip to the viewing areas. I did note two things today that have relevance to the rut.

First, today for the first time I saw one of the huge bulls "Godzilla", of Utube bullfight fame, heading toward a herd I am sure is in one of the back fields. His appearance confirms the movement of the biggest bulls into the rut. The Boxley Stud is around too this year. He has a distinctive left side drop tine and a nice rack. I do not have a photo yet, but two different photographers sent me photos of him. I am sure of the ID of this animal. He is much larger this year.

Morning and evening patterns of elk viewing vary some. When you look at dates and zones below, understand elk move in and out of view in any particular zone fairly often. When the sun hits the fields elk will bed down, generally out of view. In the evenings they will return from bedding areas to viewing areas about 5 PM or so, depending on weather conditions. In the mornings often elk are out of view at 8AM, but on cloudy and rainy days they may stay much longer in the viewing areas.

Be sure to always drive the length of Boxley Valley to determine the best viewing spot. The map guidance below is very good and reliable for 90% of the time. Occasionally elk do make major moves to new fields, for example they might move to a north valley field. Lately the south half of Boxley Valley has been very dependable, especially down by Smith Creek. As you can see from the map, now and then there are exceptions.

Heed the warnings for the elk danger areas in red drive slowly.

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