After a very cold night on the heels of a record setting cold day, elk were moving all around and you could feel the rut hitting a higher gear. In our visit this morning we saw two mating events. The main herd we watched in the Ponca fields had a number of satellite bulls around it. This is the herd that had been in Lost Valley. It may well return there if that bull is to keep his harem. Plenty of bugling. Bull fights possible any time in this field.
Else where in the valley the herd in the south end is heading north. I expect it to pop into the grassy field just north of Smith Creek tonight or tomorrow morning. There is a monster bull hanging around this are, probably the best bull in the valley this year, the "Boxley Stud". I believe he is a 9x7. Prince favors these fields too.
There are scattered elk elsewhere, including a few bulls that put on a nice show in the field just north of the 43/21 intersection. One of those bulls is a recently deposed herd bull and a pretty nice bull.
LOTS of viewing and photographers now in the valley, especially in the evenings. Drive slowly and watch for pedestrians. Traffic jams now from time to time.
Below is the map for 10/7: