Male elk bugle to attract females and challenge other bulls

PARK TO TRAIN ELK VOLUNTEERS — The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers to help manage elk viewing this fall. Training is Sept. 6. During the rut in fall, male elk bugle to attract females and to challenge other bulls.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers during the fall season to help manage elk viewing opportunities in the Oconaluftee and Cataloochee areas of the park. Volunteers are needed to work through mid-November for one, four-hour shift per week in the late afternoons.

All interested volunteers are required to attend a training session from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, Sept. 6, at the Oconaluftee multi-purpose room near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in Cherokee.

Volunteers will provide information to park visitors that prepares them for responsibly viewing elk in a manner that keeps themselves and the elk safe. Volunteers will join either the Luftee Rover volunteer program at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center or the Elk Bugle Corp volunteer program in Cataloochee.

When elk are present in the fields, volunteers will assist with traffic management to provide for visitor and wildlife safety. Volunteers will also provide information about elk along with cultural and natural resources found at the Mountain Farm Museum near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and in the Cataloochee Valley.  

A pot-luck lunch will be held for new and current volunteers immediately after the Sept. 6 training. 

To register for training or for information, contact Kathleen Stuart at 828-497-1914 or kathleen_stuart@nps.gov. For more information on elk, visit www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/elk.htm.

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