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Contact: Tom Farrell, 605-745-4600
WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, S.D. – Elk at Wind Cave National Park have begun their annual bugling season. This high-pitched whistle heralds the arrival of fall and the mating season of the Rocky Mountain elk.
Throughout the month of September, rangers will give a brief interpretive program about elk before leading a caravan to a nearby pullout to listen for them. These programs will be offered on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday evenings through September 30. Participants should meet at the Elk Mountain Campground Amphitheater at 7 p.m. and are encouraged to bring a flashlight, a blanket to sit on, and to dress warmly.
“Although Highway 87 leading to Custer State Park will be closed beginning September 11 due to work on the Beaver Creek Bridge, we encourage local residents to spend an evening in the park at one of the pullouts near a forested area listening for this sound of the wild,” said Park Superintendent Linda L. Stoll said.
The fall ranger program schedule also includes Natural Entrance Tours of Wind Cave throughout the day. Participants are encouraged to bring a light coat or sweater and good rubber-soled shoes. The tour lasts approximately 75 minutes and involves 300 stairs, most of which are going down. The park visitor center is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through September 23 and open until 5 p.m. through October 14. The park’s winter interpretive schedule begins on October 15 with three daily cave tours of the Garden of Eden area and visitor center hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
To hear a recording of an elk bugle, CLICK HERE (Windows Media Audio file, 138 KB, 4 seconds). For more information, call the park at 605/745-4600.