Last night we got heavy rain (for the second night running) and this usually puts a damper on morning elk activity. This morning there was only one small herd at the 43/21 intersection. The good news is it was a new herd, so maybe they will be moving in to the fields now with seasonably normal weather.
Last night elk viewing was good in the Ponca fields and there was a bull fight. Little Tine was deposed as the herd bull in the Ponca fields. I did not witness the fight, but I did see Little Tine off by himself this morning licking his wounds figuratively. All of this is absolutely standard rut behavior.
My guess is that the Ponca fields will be good tonight too even though the map does not show it. I only report what I see. I did hear some bulls bugling in the Ponca fields area this morning so I feel pretty confident with my guesses.
This morning I did hear bugling in the south end around the upper wilderness trailhead. The Smith Creek field was recently hayed, and with that done, it is poised to become active. This is a very long term pattern across many years. The elk are clearly nearby. It would be a good idea with any visit to check these far southern fields. One day soon the elk will show up. My guess is that it will be any day now. The ingredients are in place.
No otter today. I had a report of feeding otter at the Ponca low water bridge late morning yesterday. Otter feed at all times of the day so it is still worth checking the low water bridge area when you visit to see the elk.