Fall is probably my favorite time of year to be outside with my camera, not only because of the vibrant yellows and greens we see in the aspen as the season changes, but this is also the time when ‘rutting’ elk are at their peak and usually easy to find.
The mature bulls are busy building, and trying to hold onto their harems of cows. In the morning the air is filled with the exciting and almost constant sound of elk bugling, thrilling the thousands who make the annual pilgramage from many states. The sound is very distinct, usually deep and resonant at first, followed by a high-pitched squeal before ending in a succession of grunts. Watching them can be just as dramatic, and it isn't uncommon to see the bulls dueling with each other or chasing off intruders, including you if you're not careful!
One of the best spots in Colorado to view, and hear the elk is Rocky Mountain National Park. The peak of elk rut generally lasts from mid-September to mid-October, although it is often possible to hear elk bugling into November. To see more elk photography and other 'critters' native to Colorado, go to my Colorado Gallery.