DENVER (KDVR) — It’s elk mating season, which is more than just videos of elk getting their antlers stuck in lawn decorations. It also means annual meadow closures and restricted fishing spots at Rocky Mountain National Park.
You may have already seen videos of elk getting their antlers caught in pools and wires. This signals the start of mating season, also known as the elk rut.
Elk often get their antlers caught in things during the rut because the males tend to rub their antlers against trees to impress females or show dominance, according to the National Wildlife Federation.
To prevent disturbing elk during mating season, meadow areas in Horseshoe Park, Upper Beaver Meadows, Moraine Park, Harbison Meadow and Holzwarth Meadow are closed from 5 p.m. to 10 a.m. starting Sept. 1 and ending on Oct. 31.
Some fishing spots along the Fall River, like the Thompson River and Colorado River, require you to walk through the closed areas. These spots will be closed from 5 p.m. until 7 a.m.
Closing the meadows at certain times will increase the wildlife viewing experiences for park visitors, so you may catch some elk in action.
Be wary, rut season can also cause the animals to become more aggressive as they try and assert their dominance, said NWF.
Even if you see an elk struggling with something in its antlers, it’s best to stay away and contact CPW at 303-297-1192 to help the elk out.