Arkansas Wildlife Blog and Gallery
Buffalo National River and NW Arkansas
Notes to Entry:
These pictures are from 2010 of the Arkansas Elk Herd
BNR Elk Gallery #5, The 2010 Rut #3
You've got to push yourself harder. You've got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You've got to take the tools you have and probe deeper.
Photographer William Albert Allard
"Hacksaw" trails his harem in a Buffalo River crossing.
This bull is a satellite bull, a mere 5x6, he is a couple of years away from the big league. This cow is one of a group who strayed away from the "Boxley Beast", a true monster bull. She just ignored this satellite in spite of his best moves and rejoined the "Beast" a while later. This scene is fairly common.
Boxley Beast with his harem, the evening after he got hobbled in mid-October.
Here he is bugling, but in the prior week he seemed to get tired out. The stage is set for him to lose his harem, either for the season, or just a break. The big herd bulls often change throughout the season for many reasons. Often it is just fatigue.
Boxley Beast shares a moment of affection with one of this year's calves. This was the next day and he appeared to recover from the fighting mentioned above. This is October 15.
In early November, the first all bull elk herds form. This is not the dominant pattern, but rather an emerging one. These two sparring bulls were part of a bull herd of medium sized bulls. Not long ago they were satellite bulls and might be again depending on circumstances. Many larger bulls remain in the satellite bull pattern as the 2010 rut slowly winds down. We are now in the second estrous generally. There is at least a month to go in the rut, but it is clearly past the peak and moving into roughly the last third for 2010 for the majority of animals. Though the rut is winding down, elk viewing is still very good and viewing hours are longer in cooler November weather.
November and still rutting in the Buffalo National River. Here one of the big herd bulls, Junk Yard Dog (drinking), is crossing with his harem to the bedding area at first light. The other bull (on the left) is Pretty Boy, who became a satellite bull after being the first herd bull of the year.
There is less urgency now, fewer cows are in estrous, but there are some. Pink river grass adds fall color to this river crossing scene. Cutting light makes it a painting.
Below taken from the road, handheld at 400MM. Leaf off is opening up shots.