This time of year I love to travel to the Slippery Ann Elk Viewing Area north of Lewistown, Montana. It’s about an hours north of town on Hwy. 191. I’d call it a scenic drive, passing various ranches, antelope, deer and maybe a coyote or two along the way.
Once we crossed the James Kipp Bridge, we took a right on a gravel road for 5 miles into the viewing area. Slippery Ann Elk Viewing Area is part of the Charles M. Russell National Refuge. In recent years records show that nearly 500 elk visit the area in September. Numbers remain high through early October, and begin to thin out as harems break up and the bulls begin to feed once again to store up reserves for the winter ahead.
We set up our cameras and recording equipment and sat back to watch the show. I find it very interesting to watch the bulls challenge each other as they round up their harems of cows. While all of this excitement is going on, the spring calves are mostly minding their mothers. Even more interesting, is that the cows actually pick the bull to mate with, most likely to choosing the biggest bull, which can weight as much as 1,000 pounds.
As mating season winds down, the elk separate in their groups with the cows, calves, and spike bulls hanging together. The bigger bulls go off in their own direction until next mating season.
As dark approached, we finished our picnic dinner and sat back to listen to the bugling blasts and blunders of the bulls, as well as cow squeals for well beyond an hour, a symphony of nature at its best.
It would have been fun to stay all night, but we politely packed up our equipment and ourselves up and drove back to the Yogo Inn, an excellent base camp for our adventures and the best Sunday Brunch I have had in awhile.
Till Next time, fun travels and tight lines.
Troutski and Road Trekin Adventures