Smoky Mountain News
Park Cautions Visitors on How to Safely View Elk
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 14:17 | Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 September 2014 14:49
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials remind park visitors to exercise caution as they view and photograph elk so that both the animals and themselves are protected. Elk are currently entering the fall breeding season, known as the rut. During this time period, from September 1 through October 31, fields in Cataloochee and Oconaluftee are closed to all use. Even if the elk are not present, people are not allowed to walk into the fields.
During the rut, male elk make bugling calls to challenge other bulls and attract cows. Dominant bulls use the fields to gather and breed with harems of up to 20 cows. Bull elk actively defend their territory by charging and sparring with competitors using their antlers to intimidate and spar with other males. Encroaching too close may lead a bull to perceive you or your vehicle as a threat causing them to charge.
A guidebook to over 45 local waterfalls and back roads. Only $4.95 a copy. Visit waywardguide.com for more information or to order.