Elk Rut, Cataloochee Valley


Autumn is the mating season for the 150 or so elk that live in the Cataloochee Valley of the Smoky Mountains National Park.   During this time of rut, the elk are out in the valley, bugling, sparring with other males, and pursuing females -- a great time for viewing and photographing them.


While I usually make this trip in October, I wanted to make some images of elk in the nice morning fog that sometimes lingers in the valley.  When I saw a fog friendly forecast of the same temperatures being predicted for the dew points and the morning lows, I decided to make an early trip.  Both the fog and the elk made appearances, providing a couple of enjoyable mornings.

       September, 2016

Male and female elk in fog in Smoky Mountains National Park
Bull elk  in Smoky Mountains
Close up of elk bugling in Smoky Mountains
Smoky Mountain elk in fog at Cataloochee Valley
Bull elk bugling in fog at Cataloochee Valley in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Male elk in open area with fog in Smoky Mountain of North Carolina
Elk sitting in pasture Great Smoky Mountains National Park info
Elk in Smoky Mountains
Two male elks facing off in Smoky Mountains National Park
Two elks head butting in Cataloochee Valley
Two elks head butting in Cataloochee Valley
Sunrays on pasture with tree on foggy morning light Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Mountain ridges in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Black and white of mountain ridges with fog
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