WATCH: Huge Herd of Elk Spotted Near Major Colorado Ski Town

by Sean Griffin
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(Photo by: Nano Calvo/VWPics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Telluride, Colorado is known as one of the premiere skiing locations in the state, and it seems this massive elk herd wants to get in on the winter fun.

This video below posted by Visit Telluride shows an incredibly large group of elk roaming through the Colorado countryside near the resort.

The video pans from a hilltop where dozens of elk follow in a long line among the barren trees. Then, the camera follows the line, and we see even more elk crossing a road in uniform fashion.

There must’ve been hundreds of elk following along in this line, and as they unfurl simultaneously they almost look like items on a conveyor belt.

You can watch the wild clip below. “Just some locals out for a stroll,” Visit Telluride wrote in its caption.

The camera pans back over the beautiful backdrop of the San Juan Mountains. The elk can be seen chugging along in line with their herd for the entirety of the clip. Near its end, it appears that a few elk rounded the back of the pack, ensuring everyone else had crossed the road and followed on.

During the elk rut, it’s a good idea to avoid all males, who become more aggressive around this time of year.

Elk rutting season occurs when the males attempt to dominate and earn the right to mate. This often results in clashing among males. Bulls will become particularly aggressive and release powerful pheromones. They also display their muscular antlers, necks, and bodies prominently.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Calling for Sharpshooters for Elk Dispersal

Telluride is still preparing for opening day, which is scheduled for November 24th. It seems like the elk herd wanted to beat the skiers and tourists.

Colorado Parks & Wildlife estimate that over 280,000 of the animals roam Colorado. This makes the state home to the world’s largest elk population.

The modern population originated from 50 elk that were imported from Wyoming in 1916, which shows that they’ve thrived in a significantly short time period.

However, recently, Colorado Parks & Wildlife announced they’re searching for “qualified volunteers” to help hunt.

They’re currently in the midst of the second year of an elk dispersal project. This project is occurring at Great Sand Dunes National Park and National Wildlife Refuge.

Part of this dispersal effort involves a selective slaughtering, called culling, of the elk. However, CPW says the effort should be viewed as part of the intensive elk management project. It’s not hunting or recreation, they say.

Volunteers would most likely have to commit up to two days of effort. CPW reported that the volunteers can also keep the carcass of antler-less kills.

Volunteers will come from the Colorado public. However, there remain strict participation requirements. Volunteers must pass a shooting qualification test where they prove that they can hit small targets at 200 to 300 yards out. Apparently, they must strike each target three times in a row without missing in a three-minute time period.

Wildlife Manager Rick Basagoitia has described the shooting challenge as difficult “for even the most seasoned elk hunters.”

Volunteers can apply for the role here. Tips on how to complete the shooting qualification are located here.

Outsider.com