Closures implemented from 5 p.m. to 10 a.m. in some areas.
'Tis the season of love for elk (and other wildlife), and it's better for everyone if we just let them get their groove on in private.
Due to increased incidents between park visitors and elk during rutting season, Rocky Mountain National Park has extended the closure hours of certain meadows (aka elk love nests) in the park.
"Beginning on September 1, park officials put annual closures in place for travel on foot or horse off established roadways or designated trails from 5 p.m. to 10 a.m. In previous years, these closures were until 7 a.m. The closure time has extended to 10 a.m. this year, due to a significant increase in visitors approaching elk over the last two years when the morning meadow closures lifted," the park said in a press release.
The closures will last through October 31 and are effective in Horseshoe Park, Upper Beaver Meadows, Moraine Park, Harbison Meadow, and Holzwarth Meadow in Rocky Mountain National Park. Fishing in the Fall River, Thompson River, or Colorado River within the posted areas remain the same as previous years and are closed from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m.
The closures are in place to prevent disturbances during mating season. Bull elk get particularly aggressive during rutting season and are not afraid to go after anything they feel threatened by. As we've seen in way to many videos lately, people seem to be forgetting to give wildlife space, which can result in harm to both individuals and the animals. Check out what an elk can do when it's had it with people in this video from last year's rutting in Estes Park.
"The purpose of the closures is to prevent disturbance and harassment of elk during their fall mating period and to enhance visitor elk viewing opportunities. As always, elk calling and the use of spotlights or vehicle headlights for spotting wildlife is prohibited in Rocky Mountain National Park," said the park.
What do you think about the extended closures? Let us know in the comments. Check out Elk Rutting Season in Colorado is in Full Swing for more information on this special time of year.