View My Stats

Friday, March 25, 2011

Update on Estes Park Elk

On 3/24/2011 12:00 PM, Lyle Davis wrote:
> I think the Elk own this town!
> YouTube - Showdown In Elk Town - Human Planet, Cities, Preview - BBC One
Kent Ballard responds:

I can testify to the truth of this film. I was in Estes Park, Colorado at the last of March back in '90 or '91. Estes Park is the eastern gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park and the town looks pretty much like that. The elk have the right of way and the street signs say so. And like all dumb tourists, we got too close to them sometimes and one would snort at us, then we'd suddenly realize this wasn't someone's 600 pound pet dog. When we pulled into our motel parking lot my stepson jumped out of the van and stepped directly into an enormous pile of elk poop. They'd wander the streets, the sidewalks, through intersections, and seemed to pretty much run the place.

When we left the town and made the short drive to the entrance of the park proper, we seemed to leave most of the elk behind. They seemed to enjoy town life more, but there were a few in the park. Personally, I was glad to be rid of them. Trying to watch three kids and a wife in an elk herd is something I was never trained for.

But once we got into the park a couple of miles, we ran into the other form of wildlife that thinks it owns everything--bighorn sheep. They came into the valleys that time of year to graze fresh grass and were every bit as foul-tempered as the elk, more so actually. I've seen sheep on farms and never thought much about them. Rocky Mountain Bighorns are a different animal altogether. The bucks are huge, lightning fast, and they're also in their rutting season. You need to keep an eye out for them and not get too close.


No comments:

Post a Comment