GOLDEN POND, KY: Every fall, beginning in September, mature bull elk in the Elk & Bison Prairie at Land Between The Lakes begin their mating season. Bugling actually sounds more like a loud squeal. The Elk & Bison Prairie is open seven days a week, from dawn to dusk. The prairie features a 3.5-mile paved loop road. Interpretive stops help visitors view wildlife and learn more about this native habitat. Prairie passes cost $5 per vehicle and are available at the Elk & Bison Prairie entrance or any Land Between The Lakes facility.
Biologists introduced elk into the 700-acre prairie in February 1996. “The peak of bugling season usually occurs from mid-September to mid-October,” says Curtis Fowler, Range and Wildlife Technician at Land Between The Lakes. “This is one of the most exciting times to drive through the prairie.” Currently the prairie has 55 to 60 elk and 75 bison.
“Late afternoon provides 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 to 20 minutes for the sounds of elk and other wildlife while remaining in your vehicle. Visitors often drive the loop more than once.”
Land Between The Lakes asks visitors to observe the Elk & Bison Prairie rules to be safe. Elk and bison can be unpredictable. Visitors are to remain in their vehicle when these large animals are nearby.
Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area manages more than 170,000 acres in western Kentucky and Tennessee as part of the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Agriculture’s public lands program. Land Between The Lakes offers outdoor recreation, lake access, land management, and environmental education to over 1.4 million visitors annually. The Friends of Land Between The Lakes works in partnership with the Forest Service providing program services, funds development, and volunteer support.
To find more information about Land Between The Lakes, log on to the official website at www.landbetweenthelakes.us or call toll-free at 1-800-LBL-7077 or local at 270-924-2000. For more information on the Friends of Land Between The Lakes, log on to www.friendsoflbl.org. To subscribe to the official electronic newsletter, send an email to LBLinfo@fs.fed.us. Land Between The Lakes official Twitter accounts include @LBLScreechOwl, @LBLNature, @LBLHomeplace, and @LandBtwnLakes.