August: Month of Transition in RMNP
August is a month of transition from Summer into Fall. By late August the tundra turns its fall colors. The juvenile animals are starting to head out on their own, so sightings of coyotes and badgers are on the rise. Up by tree line the Elk are searching for various plants with high calcium and potassium levels to help solidify their antlers. Antlers are roughly 50% protein, 30% calcium and 20% potassium, and the last month prior to the velvet coming off is when they finally turn into hard bone for their fall fights. Generally around August 15th you'll see bull elk loosing their velvet. Keep your eyes peeled for the elk's fresh white and sometimes bloody antlers.
Guest Post by Jared Gricoskie of Yellow Wood Guiding. If you are interested in your own guided tour to see the wildlife of RMNP, contact Jared at http://ywguiding.com/