First, the animals are locals, so they won't pad the number of liberals living in Blaine County.  Two people have recently told me about the herd (one almost had a collision). It's large.  I haven't yet seen it because the animals gather near the road a short time before sunset, which is past my usual bedtime, and it's an hour to drive there from home.

The bulls are large.  Really large, I'm told.  The herd is mainly on private land and if it doesn't wander, is pretty much safe for now.  Unlike moose, elk aren't miserable creatures with mean streaks.  You should still keep a safe distance from animals and as rut season gets rolling along, you should take some extra precautions.  Males can be a bit more aggressive and are the size of a light-duty pickup truck.

Here's some advice for wildlife peepers from Idaho Fish and Game.  If your presence forces an animal to move, then you're too close.  Selfies aren't a good idea because normally it requires proximity.  Don't impersonate the tourons!  Binoculars will allow more comfortable access.  If you want pictures, invest in a good camera with a good zoom lens.  If you make the right purchase, you'll get years of good use.  You'll be able to use it while bird watching as well, alongside our many canyons.

The elk are likely to remain north of Hailey for quite some time.  There aren't many threats, and it should be a good winter range.  After fashion, they'll simply become part of the landscape.

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