Fall View of an elk heard at Boxley, AR
Another fall view of an elk herd at Boxley, AR
One of the best places to see elk in Arkansas is between Boxley and Ponca, Arkansas. Morning and dusk are the ideal times to see the elk herds. If you can visit in the fall, you have a good chance of hear the bugling of the male elk during their breeding season. The elk were native in Arkansas, but in the mid-1800's they went extinct from the area. In the 1930's they were reintroduced, but again became depleted by the 1950's. In 1981, the Arkansas Game and Fish successively introduced them again and have a good maintenance program to grow the herds. Hunting is presently allowed, but it is heavily regulated to allow the continued growth of the herds.
There are many other things to see in this area. Check out web pages for Jasper Arkansas, Steel Creek, Arkansas's Grand Canyon, Lost Valley, and Twin Falls. If you camp, RV spots are very limited in most areas and many of the primitive campgrounds are down steep dirt roads, which require 4X4 trucks to get to. For other accommodations check out these links: Ponca Area, Jasper Area, Camping, government primitive camping sites.
Below are some pictures we took in the fall of 2018. You can park along the road to view or photograph the elk, but be sure to pull completely off the road so not to block traffic. There is a picture here of one of the bull elks, but unfortunately we did not get to hear the bugling for a mate, which is often heard by visitors.
During the rutt season, the male elk can be heard bugling for a mate. This 2 1/4 minute video done by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. You can hear the bugling call and see some excellent video of an elk herd near Ponca in the Buffalo River Valley. If you stop along the road while visiting the area, be sure to pull off the road completely so as not to block traveling. Be sure you bring a camera and be patient as the herd grazes so you can get some good pictures. A zoom lens is helpful. If you have a video camera, you may catch the mating calls if you are there in the fall.