Bull elk in Yellowstone National Park can be unpredictable and dangerous during fall mating season

YNP 9-8-22

  • The elk mating season, commonly referred to as the rut, has begun in Yellowstone National Park.
  • Bull elk can be unpredictable and dangerous during this time.
  • Stay alert! People have been severely injured by elk. Elk run quickly and may change direction without warning.
  • Always maintain a distance of at least two bus lengths (25 yards) from elk.
  • Give them room, use your zoom. Never approach or pursue animals to take their picture. Zoom lenses with focal lengths up to 300 or 400mm offer a great combination of portability and reach.
  • If an elk charges you:
    • Quickly find shelter in your vehicle or behind a tall, sturdy barrier.
    • Run away if nearby shelter is not available.
  • Follow directions from park rangers.
  • You are responsible for your own safety.