Idahoans and Tourists Beware! It’s Rut Season and Dangerous
It’s rut season for many of our larger-hooved animals. They may be more aggressive than usual if you approach them. Keep in mind, elk may not be as nasty as a moose, but at this time of year, the difference is like being hit by a heavy truck or a light truck.
Some biologists from Idaho Fish and Game joined me on-air at Magic Valley This Morning and issued the warning and asked that you be careful. This is getting to be more of a challenge in what we call the smartphone era. Our devices come with cameras and we want to get the best possible picture. Since most of us don’t own expensive cameras with elaborate zoom lenses, proximity becomes an issue.
I showed them a story out of Colorado. A crowd of tourists at Rocky Mountain National Park decided to get close to a massive bull elk. You can watch them scatter as the mammoth animal leaps a fence like an Olympic medalist. Not far away, in Estes Park, an elk took exception to traffic and battled a pickup truck. There are similar videos surfacing recently out of Canada.
The truck at least offers some protection. The crowd at the national park is exposed and shorts and T-shirts make poor armor. Is a great picture worth your life? Remember, unless you were Joe Rosenthal, a picture doesn’t define your life (he took the iconic image of the flag raising on Iwo Jima!) You can buy postcards with often better pictures of the animals and you can tell friends you saw something very similar.