The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for our area starting January 2 at 10:00pm through January 3 mid-day. Conditions could be hazardous so plan ahead and stay safe. Learn more here.

Did you know Elk can bugle?


No?! Well, let me make a suggestion: Plan a pre-fall trip to Haywood County and visit Cataloochee Valley, the birthplace of the reintroduced elk population in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. During fall breeding season, also known as “rut”, male bull elks perform their legendary “bugle” calls to attract female cows and other bulls. At this time, bull elks can be heard bugling and are often seen sparring with one another in an overall attempt to impress female elk. This annual ritual typically begins in early to mid September and can last into the early weeks of October. But of course, we here at the Haywood Tourism Development Authority get the inside scoop and here it is: The bugling has begun!  While the bugling is in its “early-rut” stages, it will continue to increase as we get further into September.  So what are you waiting for?  Make your plans now to witness this special time of the year for the elk of Cataloochee Valley! Here’s some helpful information about the area from our friends at the National Park Service: Visit Cataloochee Valley

elk at cataloochee

Now that we’ve sparked your interest, here’s a few tips to help you plan your visit.  The elk of Cataloochee Valley are most visible at dawn and dusk, so plan accordingly. Pack a picnic breakfast or dinner and explore the historic valley while you wait. Travel back in time with visits to several original homes, a school-house and a church that tell the story of one of the first pioneer settlements in Haywood County. To get the most out of your visit, book a guided eco-tour of the area through Cataloochee Valley Tours. They will guide you to the best viewing spots and will share all the wondrous wildlife and historic heritage of Cataloochee.  Not into guided tours? That’s fine! Cataloochee is easily explorable on your own.  But as with any wildlife, please practice caution and keep your distance from the elk or any other wildlife you encounter in the valley.  They may be cute, but they are also wild and are best enjoyed from a distance.  And please do not try to feed wildlife; it is just as dangerous for them as it is for you.

So how about a little preview of the elk bugle? You know we’ve always got you covered:

The Bugling of Elk in Cataloochee Valley

Related Posts

Spending your hard-earned money and precious time planning a vacation that the entire family will enjoy, both adults and children, can be overwhelming, especially
Dreaming of firefly nights and moonlit memories? Nestled between mountain peaks in the North Carolina Smoky Mountains, the town of Waynesville offers activities and
The summer is coming to a close, which means it’s time to mark off those final bucket list items. Here are just a few