Elk Bugling Programs Begin at Wind Cave National Park

Ranger Tom Jarvela examining antler used during elk bugling program.
Ranger Tom Jarvela examining antlers used during elk bugling program.

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News Release Date: September 4, 2008

Contact: Tom Farrell, 605-745-4600

WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, S.D. – Listening for the bugle of the Rocky Mountain elk is the subject of ranger programs this September at Wind Cave National Park. The elk’s high-pitched whistle heralds the arrival of fall and the mating season of the Rocky Mountain elk.

Throughout the month of September, rangers are giving brief interpretive programs about elk before leading a caravan to a nearby pullout to listen for them. These programs are offered Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday evenings through September 27. Participants 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.

“This is an excellent opportunity to enjoy the fall season and one of your local parks,” said park superintendent Vidal Davila. “The sound of an elk bugling is truly one of the wild sounds everyone should hear.”

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 27 and open until 5 p.m. through October 18. The park’s winter interpretive schedule begins on October 19 with daily cave tours at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. and visitor center hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

To hear a recording of an elk bugling, visit the park’s website at https://www.nps.gov/wica. For more information, call the park at (605) 745-4600.


Last updated: April 10, 2015

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Hot Springs, SD 57747


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