Listen to elk bugle at Wind Cave this month only

Local News

WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, S.D. (KELO) — September is a special time for the Wind Cave National Park. It’s the only month of the year that you can hear an elk bugle.

The best time of day to hear an elk bugle is early mornings or early evenings.

“They do the elk bugling during the mating season and that’s primarily in September, early October,” Farrell said.

Wind Cave Park offers a program at 7 p.m. People gather at Elk Mountain Campground where they get a short introduction about the animal attraction. Then, everyone carpools out to the wilderness to listen…

“It’s a very odd sound, very high pitch whistle sound, real sound of the wild and if you’ve never heard it before, you definitely have to come out see it,” Farrell said.

“I think any time you can hear an elk bugle, it’s really pretty neat. It’s such a unique sound and it’s just fun to hear it in person,” Rachel Gall said.

Even though the elk bugle is a really loud and distinct noise, we have to remain quiet so that we don’t scare them away.

“There’s a lot of reasons that elk do this bugling. Some people think it’s to kind of have sense of dominance; scare off all their rivals with their harems. Some people say it’s like a stress relief but no matter why they’re doing it, it’s still a very unique sound and something that’s fun to listen to,” Farrell said.

“You can go hiking all the time but the elk are only bugling one month out of the year,” John Gall said.

While elk are usually more scared of you than you are of them, Wind Cave Park says you must always be aware of the wild animals around you in case of unusual behavior.

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