In my last post (Photographing the Lead Bull Elk in Boxley Valley), I shared my experience arriving early in Boxley Valley and photographing a dominant bull elk before he retreated into the timber. After capturing those first shots, I wanted to showcase the beautiful pasture where I had spotted the elk herd.
This valley is truly picturesque, with green fields surrounded by forested Ozark mountains. The large hay barn in the pasture really stands out against the lush greenery and trees. Right before I left the area, another bull elk emerged in the same pasture near that striking barn. If you look closely at the wide shot of the barn, you can just make out that elk in the distance.
I also wanted to share a close-up shot of this second bull, who was one of the ones chased off by the lead elk I photographed earlier. He has impressive antlers too, and I was grateful to get this shot before having to relocate to another area of the valley to continue searching for more elk.
Boxley Valley is a remarkable place to observe and photograph wild elk in their natural environment. The mix of open pastures and woodlands, combined with the elk’s calm acceptance of vehicles, creates ideal conditions for capturing these majestic creatures. I can’t wait to return and spend more time with the resident elk herd. Stay tuned for more photos and adventures!
Steve Creek, Wildlife Photographer
Information About Boxley Valley:
Boxley Valley is a picturesque valley located in the Ozark Mountains of northwestern Arkansas. It sits adjacent to the upper Buffalo National River, which was America’s first National River established in 1972. The valley is known for its scenic views, open pastures, and roaming elk herds.
The wide valley bottom along Boxley Creek allows elk to gather and provides great habitat. Boxley Valley is home to Arkansas’s largest elk herd, which was originally reintroduced between 1981-1985. Viewing the elk, especially during the fall rut, draws many visitors to the area.
The winding Buffalo National River and its bluffs border the western edge of the valley. Popular float trips on the river often start upstream near Boxley Valley then continue downstream through the Ozark National Forest.
Boxley Valley offers beautiful mountain vistas combined with open meadows full of wildflowers in spring. Gravel roads wind through the valley, allowing visitors to take in the scenery and look for wildlife. Several trailheads in the valley provide access to the Buffalo National River trails system for hiking and backpacking.
Overall, Boxley Valley is a stunning representation of Ozark mountain beauty. Its proximity to the free-flowing Buffalo National River and roaming elk herds make it a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor recreationists.
Image Information (Landscape):
- Date: 10/9/23
- Time: 7:28 AM
- Camera: Canon EOS R5
- Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
- ISO: 16000
- Aperture: 10
- Shutter: 1/400
- Exp. Comp.: +0.3
- Program: Manual
My next post in this series: Images and information about a bull elk scent checking cow elk: Capturing a Bull Elk’s Scent-Checking Ritual