Bull elk in Yellowstone National Park are on the make, and they can be unpredictable and dangerous during fall mating season. If you’re headed to the park, keep your distance from these fellows as they will experience no guilt in hurting you.
It’s the elk mating season, commonly referred to as the rut, and it is officially underway. So, keep these thoughts in mind:
- Bull elk can be unpredictable and dangerous during this time.
- Stay alert! People have been severely injured by elk. Elk run quickly and may change direction without warning.
- Always maintain a distance of at least two bus lengths (25 yards) from elk.
- Give them room, use your zoom. Never approach or pursue animals to take their picture. Zoom lenses with focal lengths up to 300mm or 400mm offer a great combination of portability and reach.
- If an elk charges you: (1) Quickly find shelter in your vehicle or behind a tall, sturdy barrier; (2) Run away if nearby shelter is not available.
- Follow directions from park rangers.
- You are responsible for your own safety.
- And if you see a stupid tourist approaching one these animals for a photo, yell something at the top of your lungs to tell him (or her) to back off. You may save a life!