It’s elk rut season in the United States, and that means we’ll probably (but hopefully not) start seeing video after video of tourists making incredibly dumb decisions in Estes Park, Colorado.
I don’t think I’d call the people in this video that dumb. It’s never a good idea to approach an elk in your car, especially a bull elk, as they may see it as a threat and attempt to attack (like what nearly happens in this video). These people are definitely too close, but they do stay in their car, and eventually begin backing away slowly when things get dicy.
The real meat of the video is the argument going on inside the car. That’s where the true entertainment is.
“Back up Jack, back up Jack, BACK UP ….. JACK”
“Back up WHERE?”
Since it’s elk rut, a lot of people are headed to Estes Park, Colorado, and that means it’s a great time to brush up on elk safety.
Always keep a safe distance from any wildlife, including elk. Approaching any wildlife within 50 yards (150 feet) can disturb, displace, or piss off wildlife, and is often illegal. If an animal is keeping an eye on you or moving when you move, you’re definitely too close. Always keep your pets on a leash, for their sake, for the wildlife’s sake, and for your own sake. Don’t allow them to bark at, lunge at, or chase the animals, either.
When you do decide to stop and snap some pictures, remember that distance is key! Again, stay at least 50 yards away from the elk. Move your car safely off the road and do not block traffic. Respect private property, as well. Just because an animal wandered onto someone’s land doesn’t mean you can too. Also, don’t imitate elk calls or bugles during rut. That will endanger both you and the elk.
Image Credit: Kenna Mia via TikTok