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  • Tuesday, September 11, 2018

6 Fascinating Facts About Elk

It is September in Estes Park and we all know what that means, Estes Park Elk Fest is just around the corner! Every fall, visitors can hear the haunting call of the bull elk in the Estes Valley; for which the town of Estes Park celebrates with the Estes Park Elk Fest. So, kick off Elktober and celebrate Elk Fest in Estes Park with these fascinating facts about elk.


1.   Sounds of an elk

Every fall people in Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park can hear the bull elks bugling in the low valleys of the Rockies. But how do these bull elk actually make that haunting sound? The bugle reaches pitches that are far too high to be made by just the elk’s voice box. Pay close attention when a bull elk is bugling, you will see he is moving both his lips and his nostrils. Amazingly the bull elk is whistling and roaring at the same time.

2. Fast growing antlers

The antlers of an elk, only found on a bull elk, are one of the most distinctive characteristics of the elk. But they are also one of the more fascinating ones as well. Their antlers are made of fast-growing bone that can grow as much as one inch in a day! The actual size of an elk’s antlers will depend on how much sunlight they are exposed to, as sunlight causes a boost in testosterone levels, causing the antlers to grow. And it is said by biologists that the Rocky Mountain West elk have the largest antlers of all subspecies.

3. You smell good

Part of the bull elk’s mating process consists of wallowing in mud a bath to coat themselves with urine “perfume”, all in the hopes that the scent will attract a mate.

4. At lightning speed…well almost

Weighing in at almost 700 pounds, the North American elk exists as one of the largest deer species on earth. But don’t be fooled by their large stature, a mature bull elk can run up to 40 miles per hour!

5. On a scale of 1 to 10

Did you know elk can count? Well, they can count to 10 at least. It has been tested that when a female elk is given a choice between a male elk with 10 points and one with less than 10, the female will pick the male elk with 10 points.

6. Preparation for the breeding season

Bull elk will lose its antlers each spring in March but will grow them back starting in late May in preparation for the breeding season in early fall. After mating season, in early summer, elk will migrate to higher ground where the cow (female elk) give birth. Each cow will have a single calf, usually standing by the time it is only 20 minutes old.


Interested in attending Elk Fest in Estes Park? See here for further event details and up to date information.

Where to stay in Estes Park

If you are planning to attend the Estes Park Elk Fest this year, we invite you to browse accommodations at Brynwood on the River. We offer convenient and affordable lodging, whether you are looking for a quiet and soothing River Cabin or a nostalgic Theme Cabin, Brynwood on the River has a variety of cabins to suit everyone’s needs.

So, book today and start planning your fall getaway to Estes Park!