Golden Pond, KY – Land Between The Lakes (LBL) National Recreation Area invites everyone to experience the annual magic of elk bugling in the Elk & Bison Prairie. The bugle, which actually sounds more like a loud squeal, is the mating call of the mature bull elk.
Since elk were introduced into the 700-acre prairie in February 1996, biologists eagerly anticipate the start of “bugling season” each fall.“The peak of bugling season usually occurs from mid-September to mid-October,” says Curtis Fowler, LBL’s Range and Wildlife Technician. “This is one of the most exciting times to drive through the prairie.” The prairie is home to 51 elk and 52 bison.
“Visit the prairie in late afternoon for the best chance to hear the unusual bugling sound and see the elk calves,” explains Fowler. “Take some time to stop at the prairie’s interpretive stops or along the road, turn off your vehicle engine, and listen for 15-20 minutes for the sounds of elk and other wildlife while remaining in your vehicle.”
The Elk & Bison Prairie is open seven days a week, from dawn to dusk. The prairie features a 3.5-mile paved loop road and interactive interpretive stops from which visitors can view wildlife and learn more about this native habitat. Prairie passes cost $5.00 per vehicle and are available at the Elk & Bison Prairie entrance or any LBL facility.
To fully enjoy your experience, remember to remain in your vehicle if animals are nearby and give animals plenty of space if they are near the road or vehicles. It is important to remember elk and bison are wild animals and therefore need to be respected. Elk and bison can be unpredictable. Please observe the Elk & Bison Prairie rules so that everyone can enjoy a safe visit!
LBLs’ herd started in 1996 with wild elk received from Elk Island National Park in Alberta, Canada. Over the years, the thriving elk population has been closely monitored for diseases while maintaining the animal’s wild identity so that they can be reintroduced into the wild. Since February 2001, 90 elk from LBL have been used for elk reintroduction in the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee.
Come Outside and Play at Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. Managed by the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Land Between The Lakes provides outdoor recreation, lake access, and environmental education for the public to enjoy.
Visitors are encouraged to review the official website at www.lbl.org often for Calendar of Events, updates on programs and policies, safety information, maps, temporary trail and road closures, and more, or call 800.LBL.7077 or 270.924.2000.
Follow LBL on Twitter @LBLScreechOwl or @LandBtwnLakes. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.