Elk viewing improved dramatically today on the weather change. The #1 fields for elk viewing were the Ponca fields where the herd bull has near 70 cows and there were at least 3 or 4 satellite bulls that were nibbling around the edges of his harem. There was a lot of bugling. For a time it looked like there could be a bull fight, but it didn't happen this morning.
Other elk locations on the map are for small groups of elk, but of interest to visitors. It is hard to project how this will change now that the summer heat pattern finally seems to be broken down.
The best practice is always to check the whole valley before settling on a spot for viewing. The big sleeper field now is the one on the south end by Smith Creek. Now that cool weather has the elk moving around it will hold a good herd, the habitat is just too good to stay empty. Any day now.
I could not say exactly how many cars were in the valley this morning, but 60+ seems about right. Some just drive through for a quick look, dozens park and soak it all in. Sunday morning used to be light traffic. I can only imagine how the evening traffic will be.
We clearly now have returned to normal viewing that embodies what the elk rut is all about.