Arkansas Wildlife Blog and Gallery
Buffalo National River and NW Arkansas

Understanding Elk Herd Movement Patterns in Boxley Valley

Relevant Links:
Notes to Entry:
Cause Effect Locations/Movements
The Annual Elk Rut Testosterone tidal wave, loss of all judgment and restraint by bull elk.

Bull elk run everywhere looking for love, all day long, and half the night.

Bull elk space their herds after dominance is achieved, often spreading to the ends of Boxley Valley. This can be pretty dynamic.
High River Levels Migration routes cut Elk blocked in 50% of their normal range.

May migrate to unlikely fields.
River Flooding Migration routes cut and grazing areas flooded. Elk migrate to high ground of available fields. May disappear for a couple of days.
Cattle in Fields Elk avoid cattle if possible. Elk move to back fields, secondary fields.

Elk migrate north and south in Boxley Valley
Bright Sunlight Elk seek shade, return to fields at ends of the day.
During the day elk seek remote bedding areas, often on bluff tops or along the river.
Hot Weather Elk become nearly nocturnal, and only can be viewed briefly in very early morning, and sometimes at late evening after sun leaves Boxley Valley.
Elk will move to remote bedding areas to avoid heat.
Cold Weather Frequent all-day viewing. 



Winter months often offer the best and most reliable elk viewing of the year.
Elk stay in the fields and bed down in the open at night.

An interesting sidelight is that frost may form on their coats if it is cold enough, and last until melted by sunlight.
Rainy Weather Elk are often out all day long.

No migration generally, just out longer in the fields.
Thunderstorms / Violent Storms
Elk take shelter in bedding areas. The herds may "hole up" for a few days.

After these periods, the elk may appear to really "break out" and run everywhere for great viewing.
Often many causes occur at once. They may compound one another and really change elk behavior.

Expect the unlikely when elk face these challenges, they are more likely to turn up in low percentage fields like Lost Valley and Steel Creek.
Elk By Seasons || Elk Movements || 2009 Field Map || Photos & Poses 1 || Photos & Poses 2 || Photos & Poses 3
Elk Photography Workshop 2009
Elk By Seasons || Elk Movements || 2009 Field Map || Photos & Poses 1 || Photos & Poses 2 || Photos & Poses 3