Elk Rut on it’s way…

6:30AM Sunrise over the Blue Ridge Parkway
6:30AM Sunrise over the Blue Ridge Parkway

The drive from our house in Clyde, NC to The Great Smoky Mountain National Park takes about an hour. On this morning I would go by way of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

_DSC31077:05AM Entering the Park at Oconaluftee River Entrance to the park, mist had rolled over the landscape.

It was the day before yesterday while on this scouting trip…

Hearing the night before that Elk were very active, I wanted to see for myself.

_DSC3114 I came upon the herd just before turning into the Smokemount campground. This guy sure was looking handsome. Antlers all shined up and coat ready for some serious  dating.

And there was a lot of activity among the Cows and Fawn,

_DSC3125 more or less gathered as if being collected by a bull.

_DSC3139                                                                                  The Little Fawn were prancing around. I wonder what they were thinking.

_DSC3142

I heard a single Bugle from the area of the Oconaluftee River. _DSC3153Soon emerged one of the biggest guys I’d see in a long time, Velvet hanging in strands from his antlers. Wandering through the meadow he soon arrived at the edge of the cover and proceeded to tear up saplings and rubbing his antlers against the branches and leaves. It wouldn’t be long before these two males would be vying for the right to rule the harem — The Rut would soon begin…

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