Colorado has its four seasons and some may even argue that we have a fifth season as well: that would be elk season. Soon, that season will be in full swing as hundreds of these enormous and impressive animals make their way to the mountain town of Estes Park.

According to OutThere Colorado, their arrival just happens to coincide with their rut season which basically is their mating season. Not only will the elk be hanging out, they'll be feeling a little frisky. With all of this pent-up energy and willingness to mate, hundreds of elk head to the lower elevations (for them) and can easily be spotted just hanging out and roaming around throughout the town, including in the middle of the street, where I was fortunate to witness just last fall. It was so cool and so surreal.

That was actually my very first visit to Estes and I had my 6 year-old in the car with me, and he was just was I. Every time we've been there since, we're always looking for elk crossing HWY 36, but no dice. Now I know why: we were there right during the heart of their mating season when this occurred.

The elk mating season, also known as their rut season, usually lasts from mid-September to mid -October and there's good reason why spotting them in and around Estes Park is pretty common: there are around 2400 elk that call the Estes Valley home.

If you plan on heading up to check this out at some point, please remember to be respectful of majestic animals by keeping your distance. Elk are wild animals and can charge if they feel threatened, especially during rut season when they're extra anxious and looking to mate. Their antlers and hooves have been known to gore people in the past. Just keep your distance and if you see them near your car...don't get out to get a closer look.

This man was charged on a golf course here in Colorado just last year during rut season.

YouTube/KSDK News

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