My travels in nature.

Originally the Eastern Elk were indigenous to Arkansas. But by the nineteenth century they were completely extinct.

In 1981 the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission initiated an elk restoration project in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas.

 Between 1981 and 1985 ,112 Western Elk from Colorado and Nebraska were released in Newton County Arkansas. All release sites were near the Buffalo National River 

  Elk have free range and can be seen at several different locations along the Buffalo National River.

  In 2018 there was estimated to be between 600 and 700 Western Elk in and around the Boxley Valley area near Ponca.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has an Elk Education Center in Ponca where you can stop and get information on sightings and it has a small museum.

   I did not know that elk were even in Arkansas until one day I was out walking at 2 Rivers Park in Little Rock and started talking to a guy that saw my camera and he told me that he had seen several in the Boxley Valley / Ponca area. 

  I went up there the very next day. The drive up to the Buffalo National River is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. It's full of beautiful overlooks and scenic landscapes.

  So anyway I get into the Boxley Valley area and the first field I came to had 42 elk in it. The dominant bull elk had massive antlers and some of the younger bucks were challenging him. That did not last long.

   It really does my heart good to be there early in the morning and hear the bugling elk ( there mating call is called bugling) calling for his mate during mating season.

   One of my bucket list photos is to be there during rutting season and get a good photo of two of of these massive elk fighting.