By Jennifer McRae

ESTES PARK, Colo. (CBS4)– Flocks of tourists gather to watch bull elk challenge each other, bugling and defending their herds every September. The annual rut brings huge herds of elk to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.

(credit: Colorado Parks & Wildlife)

Elk, deer and moose are all entering their rut in Colorado’s high country.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife want to remind visitors and people who live in Colorado to give these animals plenty of space, wherever you encounter them.

(credit: Colorado Parks & Wildlife)

“If you’re seeing ears back, hair raised, lowering of the head… those are all signs of aggression,” said Ashley Nettles, Wildlife Biologist with the Dillon Ranger District. “So, lots of space is the key and not getting too close… if they’re blocking your path on a trail, go around if you can or just pick a different trail and head back.”

(credit: Colorado Parks & Wildlife)

Colorado Parks and Wildlife estimates that Colorado is home to 280,000 elk, the largest population in the U.S.

RELATED: Want To Hear Elk Bugling In Colorado? Find Out When To Go And Where

Jennifer McRae