News Release

WARNING: Bull elk in Yellowstone can be unpredictable and dangerous during fall mating season

Bull elk on the Fawn Pass Trail
Bull elk on the Fawn Pass Trail

NPS / Jacob W. Frank

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News Release Date: September 7, 2022

Contact: Morgan Warthin, (307) 344-2015

  • 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.

Last updated: September 7, 2022

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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