09/13/2014 12:40 EDT | Updated 11/13/2014 05:59 EST

Elk mating season ramps up as Parks Canada warns people to steer clear

It's the time of year when a male elk's thoughts turn to romance — and Parks Canada's turn to warning people that elk romance can be dangerous. 

Bulls can become aggressive during rutting season and park officials are warning visitors and residents to steer clear of the animals to avoid getting injured.

"In the past, we've had them where they've got people cornered behind trees and stuff," said Blair Fyten with Banff National Park's human wildlife conflict section. "It's a pretty terrifying situation to be in when you're behind a tree and you've got some relatively big elk, you know, 700 to 800-pound male elk."

Fyten suggests people use a long lens to take photos if they plan to be heading out to areas where the animals will be.

The mating ends in mid-October.