The elk rut is a magical time of year when you'll hear bugles echoing around the valley and find bulls sparring and rounding up their harems. It's the pinnacle of wildlife watching, requiring a telephoto lens, binoculars, and safety (for yourself and the animals) at the forefront. It's important to emphasize the wild in wildlife. Check out our Insider's Guide to Wildlife Watching if you're in need of more tips. And if you're looking to capture a photo of your own, check out our tips to nailing your dream elk shot. Just because the rut is winding down doesn't mean the elk are leaving, they tend to hang around town throughout the winter, and while they may not be as active, they're still a sight to see (from a safe distance).