Elk rutting season 2019 has kicked off in Estes Park


A bull elk bugles as elk collect in the meadow at Horseshoe Park in Rocky Mountain National Park for their annual rutting season on Sept. 23, 2008. (Lyn Alweis, Denver Post file)

The annual rutting season has begun, and that suggests frisky elk are turning their primal mating instincts into a tourist attraction for Estes Park and nearby Rocky Mountain National Park.

The nine-hole Lake Estes Golf Course is closed due to the fact of all the amorous activity going on (though the 18-hole Estes Park Golf Course a mile to the south remains open).

“They’re all more than the spot correct now,” stated Tim Resch, owner of Estes Park Outfitters, a neighborhood outside activity enterprise. “They generally tear up the golf course fairly fantastic.”

In the course of rutting season, the elk mate. At times, they fight. And a lot of it occurs correct in Estes Park.

“Oh, yeah,” Resch stated, “right down the key street at times.”

The rut generally begins in late August and runs till the middle of October, Resch stated, adding that the finest spot for viewing is generally Moraine Park in Rocky Mountain National Park.

“A bull will get anyplace from one particular to a hundred cows, generally it is 30 or 40 cows per bull,” Resch stated. “Then there’s satellite bulls that are not the herd bull. They’ll sort of cruise about the outskirts attempting to score a tiny bit if they can, but the herd bull will run them off generally.”

It all sounds a tiny risque — and aggressive — but truly, it is nature’s way.

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“The bulls will be sparring with each and every other, they’re attempting to see who’s larger, badder, far better,” Resch stated. “Sometimes they can gore each and every other so a lot that they can kill each and every other. It does not take place as well usually, but there are some fairly fantastic fights. A lot of occasions, although two major bulls are fighting, a younger bull will sneak in and attempt to go breed although the other guys are preoccupied.”

Estes Park will host its annual Elk Fest Sept. 28-29, and the occasion will consist of a bugling contest, reside music, a displaying of the film “Elk of Estes Park,” Native American dancing and storytelling, vendors and a “Kids Corral” with activities and crafts. Colorado Parks and Wildlife will present an “Elk Camp” with educational booths and a self-guided elk tour.

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