Arkansas Wildlife Blog and Gallery
Buffalo National River and NW Arkansas

Seasonal Patterns for the Arkansas Elk Herd in Boxley Valley

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Notes to Entry:
Season Herd Motivations Locations in Boxley Valley
  Cow Elk Security, Gestation & Childbirth North Boxley Valley, isolated from herd bulls.
  Bull Elk Security, Isolation from Cow Elk Upper Wilderness area for biggest bulls, more south end.
  Cow Elk Calving  June & July
Isolation during calving
Security in herds with calves

Isolated areas during calving -- river cane lines, tree lines, remote fields.

Mostly in central to northern fields.
  Bull Elk Isolation from cow elk until fall.

Growing antlers, in velvet

Middle to late August, bulls scrape velvet.
Mostly in southern fields and the upper wilderness.

More timid than cow elk, generally gone from fields a half hour after sunrise.
  Bull Elk Pre-rut behaviors, some late scraping.

Mating season (rut) late September to Mid-November, some later.
Pre-rut behavior moves bulls into proximity to cow herds. Young bulls often mix in.

Rut begins, big elk arrive from upper wilderness around first week in October. 

Bull fights for mating rights through entire rut.

  Cow Elk Mating Cows become estrous. Start of estrous different for old cows and yearlings (perhaps staggered two weeks).

Cows return to estrous in 30 day cycles until successfully bred.
  Cow Elk Security Herds move to central and north valley locations. Some herd bulls persist into December.
  Bull Elk Security Bachelor bull herds form after rut. These herds are segregated by size.

Bulls move to Upper Wilderness and south valley locations.
Seasonal Patterns overlay the other environmental factors that shape elk behavior.

Careful thought about the interplay of elk biology with variables like weather, river levels and cattle grazing provide insights into likely elk locations and migrations.
Elk By Seasons || Elk Movements || 2009 Field Map || Photos & Poses 1 || Photos & Poses 2 || Photos & Poses 3
Elk By Seasons || Elk Movements || 2009 Field Map || Photos & Poses 1 || Photos & Poses 2 || Photos & Poses 3
Elk Photography Workshop 2009