The tiny, rural community of Ponca is located in the upper Buffalo National River wilderness area of northwest Arkansas, about 70 miles southeast of Fayetteville, AR.
Rocky Mountain Elk were reintroduced to the Buffalo National River by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission as a means of replacing the Eastern Elk, which was hunted into extinction in the early 1800's. An elk herd of about 800 animals now populates the entire 150 miles of river. Elk watching in Ponca is most popular in the fall and winter, when herds feed in the fields which lie between Hwy 43 and the river.
On a late-evening stroll, a bull elk strikes a poster-worthy pose against a rich background of Buffalo River autumn color.