Sunday, September 28, 2014

9/28 Elk and Boxley Valley Report

It feels now like we are entering the customary fall rut. Boxley Valley now has hundreds of viewers of all ages from all over Arkansas and adjoining states. Many rely on these reports to plan their visits. The elk are cooperating with bugling and herd movements especially in the north end of the valley closest to Ponca. Safety is now becoming an issue with so many people milling around the parked cars. Visitors with children need to keep them close, unfortunately drivers continue to speed through the viewing areas. Please drive slowly, watch the road, and never double park. There has never been a fatality but those of us who follow the rut are very aware of the danger. I would say if you are coming to hear bugling you need to visit zone 1 (see map) closest to Ponca morning or evening. Picture taking is easier in the evening when there is no fog. I prefer mornings because the elk are closer to the fences.  We are still in the peak bull fight period. There are reports of fights and evidence of them in slightly wounded bulls. In other wildlife attractions, there is a single trumpeter swan on the mill pond. River otter continue to be very active just downstream from the Ponca Low Water bridge most often in late morning around 10AM. Otter are a bit hard to spot, look for feeding in the weed beds and ripples and wakes. It is a treat to see otter and photograph them. Otter seldom sit still.  The good news is that feeding begins when sunlight hits the pools, so you can set your camera up for a fast shutter speed.  I like to shoot at least at F8 so focusing is easier. 

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