Give elk room, use your zoom, Yellowstone advises during annual rut

Billings Gazette

It’s that time of year when hopeful archery hunters trek to the woods in hope of luring a bull elk into shooting range by using bugles, grunts and cow elk calls.

It’s also when tourists go to Yellowstone National Park to hear bull elk bugle, fight and chase visitors who get too close.

Known as the rut, the annual elk mating season is kicking off so it’s worthwhile to remind park visitors to be cautious. As the Park Service noted, bull elk can be unpredictable and dangerous, so keep your distance — at least 25 yards or two bus lengths away.

“Give them room, use your zoom,” is one rhyme the Park Service uses to remind people. Zoom lenses with focal lengths up to 300 millimeters or 400mm are recommended.

If an elk charges you quickly find shelter in your vehicle or behind a tall, sturdy barrier. Run away if nearby shelter is not available. Always follow directions from park rangers.

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