The Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge will be conducting “Bugling Elk Tours” for the general public during the months of September and October (see tour schedule for exact dates).
The Bugling Elk Tours will take participants into the Refuge’s Special Use Area during the height of the elk mating season, thus, offering a unique opportunity for wildlife viewing. At this time of year, the male bull elk compete for available female cow elk to form their harems. To ward off competing bull elk and to attract and keep cow elk in their harems the bull elk produce a high pitched ‘whistle’ or ‘bugle’. Tour participants will have the opportunity to view elk in their natural habitat and to hear the bugling of the bull elk. Viewing other species of wildlife such as bison, white-tailed deer, and wild turkey are not uncommon during the tours, although weather conditions make wildlife viewing opportunities unpredictable.
The tours will begin at the Visitor Center. The Visitor Center location is noted on the Refuge map which is available online or may obtained from one of the dispensers located at each of the five entrances to the Refuge. The tours are conducted by members of the Association of the Friends of the Wichitas.
These programs are intended for individuals and family groups. Reservations are limited to one family (up to six individuals) per telephone call. Children must be at least eight years old. Restrooms are not available on the tours. Wheelchair access is available if requested at the time of reservation. Refuge tours are dependent upon wildlife and weather conditions. Tours may be canceled or modified if adverse conditions exist. Program dates are tentative as of 1/1/2020.
Reservations are required. Reservations will be retained until 10 minutes before each scheduled program’s start time. After that time, stand-bys will be accepted. If the bus seating is filled after accepting stand-bys, late arrivals with reservations will not be able to participate in the program. For reservations call (580) 429-2197, weekdays from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, starting on the reservation date indicated. For additional information visit: www.fws.gov/refuge/Wichita_Mountains