If it's fall, it must be Elk

There is nothing quite like the eerie bugle of a bull elk in the fall. Fall is also the best time to see them. It is the breeding season—the rut—and elk can be very much on display without much concern for humans or whatever else is going on around them. Cows, calves, and bulls are all out and about as the bulls compete for the cows, and build and defend harems. Mature bull elk will “spar” with like-sized and antlered elk to determine dominance. Smaller bulls will do the same for practice, as they will have no access to the females.

Fall colors abound as well: the yellows, greens, and oranges of aspen; the blood red sumac, Virginia creeper, and poison ivy; the shiny golden hairs of the curling mountain mahogany seeds; yellows and greens of riparian willows and cottonwoods; the fading gold of grassy fields; and the occasional patch of snow from an early storm.

Boulder County Parks & Open Space properties where you can see (and hear) elk include: Heil Valley Ranch, Hall Ranch, Ron Stewart Preserve at Rabbit Mountain, Mud Lake & Caribou Ranch, and Walker Ranch. Best times for bugling are the cooler mornings and late afternoons, or any overcast/rainy day in late September/early October. Stay safe: on-trail and on-leash. Elk might not be the only thing you see out there that is big and scary. Bears are in their eat-everything-around-the-clock mode and those higher elevation properties have moose as well. Your cameras will have a field day no matter what you see! Post your best here on the Boulder County Wildlife Project on iNaturalist.

Publicado por biologistdave3 biologistdave3, 02 de outubro de 2019, 03:52 TARDE


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