Video: Massive Elk Screeches at Fly Fisherman Standing Inches Away

by Jon D. B.
(photo credit: Eric TRAVERS / Gamma-Rapho / Getty Images)

Watch as this impressive bull elk screeches at a stoic fly fisherman mere inches away. If you’ve never heard an elk trumpet, this may come as quite a surprise.

The unidentified fisherman is deep within elk territory in Cherokee, North Carolina. An enormous bull elk stands right behind him with a female companion. Although the scene looks peaceful, the fisherman is wise to stand still and not make eye contact. September is mating season for elk, and this bull is in full rut. This means if anything – or anyone – were to challenge his claim to this female – they would meet the business end of his antlers.

Thankfully, this encounter does not go awry.

While elk are truly gorgeous to behold, they can be incredibly dangerous. Their immense size – and the male’s formidable antlers – mean they far outmatch humans in any physical confrontation.

Elk are not aggressive by nature. Like most animals, however, they become far more aggressive during their mating season. For elk, their “rut” begins in September, and males become exceptionally dangerous during this time. When this bull elk screeches, it is most likely serving as a warning to the fisherman to steer clear of his mate – or else.

In turn, females can become far more confrontational during calving season. While calving in late spring to early summer, elk cows are typically overly aggressive toward anything that gets too close – especially humans.

White bull elk (Photo by W. Wayne Lockwood/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

If the elk in this video looks truly enormous, that’s because he is. Fully mature bull elk – like the one filmed – can stand over 5 feet tall at the shoulder, and weight 800 pounds. Add their four foot antler-span to that, and you have one nature’s most remarkable beasts standing before you.

[H/T WhiskeyRiff]