Every season, there is something unqiue to do at Point Reyes. In the early fall, it is the tule elk rutting (mating) season.
The rutting, best seen along Pierce Point Road and out on Tomales Point, can be a terrific sight as males bugle (a high-pitched cry from the males) and battle each other to form their “harems.”
I’ve seen the dominant male with two dozen females close around him, while other males guard their sad, female-less patches of land from afar.
As of late Sept, the Park HQ says that the rutting season should last until late October and that the elk are most active in the late afternoon.
Bring a pair of binoculars!
Here are some great resources on tule elk elsewhere on the Web…
- Start with this terrific KQED production on the elk. Click for a full-screen view…
- Good overview of the Tule Elk
- A chronicle of a recent visit to Tomales Point (with nice photos)
- Good video of Elk in action (I’m pretty sure, though not certain) this was filmed at Point Reyes). Contains barely audible, but slightly salty commentary.
- Map of Tomales Point