Arkansas Wildlife Blog and Gallery
Buffalo National River and NW Arkansas
Elk are huge, car wrecking animals. Accidents involving elk can kill you and there is no good reason to speed where the elk are concentrated.

The average elk will run 500 pounds or more, and the bulls run up to 900 pounds. That is a lot of mass to be speeding around. Yet people do and I am constantly amazed.

Let's look at this logically. The prime viewing area, and the places you are most likely to hit an elk, is very small. The real risk is pretty much confined to the area from the Boxley Baptist Church to the Ponca low water bridge (access site). This area is about 4 miles long. Yup, just 4 miles. Now lets do the math. Look at the chart below:
Boxley Valley Speed Limit 40mph -- Save the Elk, Save Yourself
Driving Speed Time Required to Drive 4 miles in Prime Elk Viewing Area Time lost by slowing below  60 MPH Stopping
Braking Improvement
below 60 mph
60 mph 4 minutes ----- 240 ft. -----
50mph 4.8 minutes 48 seconds slower 175 ft 65 feet faster stop
40 mph 6 minutes 2 minutes slower 120 ft. 120 feet faster stop
30 mph 8 minutes 4 minutes slower 75 ft. 165 feet faster stop
Braking Improvement vs. Time Lost by Going Slow for 4 miles:
Time Savings
Braking Improvement
Can you afford to lose 2 minutes to cut your braking distance in half?
Just in case you are still not sure, think about this. Highway 43 in Boxley Valley is a softly winding road with quite a few blind curves and small hills. These are more than enough to block your view of a crossing elk just a short distance ahead.

The difference between 240 feet of braking distance, and 120 feet of braking distance is to have any chance of stopping in time. Why? Because at 60 mph, on one of these little hills or curves, you will not see the elk until too late.  You won't see them until you are 40 yards away. You will then face two choices at 60 mph, hit a huge animal or ditch your veicle, down one of the embankments, or into a rock bluff. These are choices that do not have to be made, if you make the rational choice of slowing down to 40mph between the Boxley Baptist Church and Ponca. Isn't your life, or the life of an innocent animal worth two minutes?
These elk on the right are terrified. Half their herd has crossed 43 by Ponca, and instinct urges them to follow. The idiot in the red truck is traveling close to 70 miles an hour, and he is less than 300 feet away and not slowing with the elk in plain view. If one jumps in front of him, he, and they, have no chance. The driver has entered the zone where luck alone will save him from his stupidity. Note the ditch on the left, and the bluff on the right. This was two years ago and I remember it well. It pissed me off.
big bull crossing at ponca
At 40mph this beautiful bull is a photo op, at 60mph, he is a victim. Imagine this 900 pounds of muscle on your hood. This was shot during a herd crossing just south of Ponca on highway 43.
big elk on bank
The road is down the bank on the left. This big guy will jump the fence, or jump into the road.  He is rutting, and in many ways fairly nuts. This at Lost Valley entrance road and highway 43.
elk herd waiting to cross 43
This herd is preparing to cross highway 43 near Ponca. When you see elk pooled up against a fence like this, they will probably cross the road.
panicked elk on 43
Terrified elk trying to cross 43 near Ponca, separated from their herd. Speeding motorist did not slow down, he could have killed them, himself and me.
Boxley Elk Crossing Points
(in order of likelihood of a crossing)

Highway 43  1/2 mile south of Ponca
Highway 43 at highway 74
Highway 43 at Lost Valley entrance
Highway 43 at highway 21intersection
Highway 21 north of Boxley Bridge
Elk Herd Crossing at Highway 43/21 Intersection
Elk crossing at the highway 43 and 21 intersection. They will cross on both sides of this intersection. They can be pooled up ready to cross and not visible until you are right on top of them because the banks are steep.