WATCH: Bull Elk Scares Off Competition With Ear-Splitting Bugle in Yellowstone National Park

by Megan Molseed
(Getty Images)

Wildlife lovers may have heard this haunting sound before. However, it is one that isn’t often heard unless you are somewhere where bull elks are ready to breed. Such as this one located within the Yellowstone National Park.

The bull elk’s bugling call is certainly a unique one. It’s something that visitors to Yellowstone National Park may hear during the fall months. An unmistakable shrill call that can be heard from miles away.

The purpose of the bull elk’s unmistakable bugling sound is to demonstrate its macho-ness to cow elk. These elk are the females in the area. The shrill bugling call also serves as a way to intimidate other bulls that may be within the area. Pushing them away to other areas and other cow elks.

“Have you ever heard this sound while visiting Yellowstone National Park?” a Yellowstone National Park statement asks of the unique sound and sight.

“If you have, you witnessed the bugle of a bull elk during their rut or mating season,” the Yellowstone statement explains. “Each bull’s bugle is different and acts as a calling card to females.”

According to the statements, this call is a way for the bull elk to let the female elk know that there is a “strong mate is in the area.”

The Bull Elk Bugling Call May Be Fascinating, But It’s Also A Sign To Give The Massive Creatures Their Space

Watching the bull elk in this environment is absolutely fascinating. It’s a sound we may hear in the distance while visiting some of our most beloved national park areas throughout the country. However, this also signals that the already dangerous animals are focused on mating, and aggression is often a part of this state. A wise piece of advice for sure, however, the general consensus remains that we should stay out of an elk’s bubble in general.

The Yellowstone National Park officials note that those watching wild elk (and other wild animals) need to stay at least 25 yards away. The bull elk are “especially aggressive and protective of their territory right now,” the Yellowstone National Park statement notes. The message adds that these elk will “not hesitate to charge you if they feel threatened.”

According to national park officials, the elk can run up to 40 miles per hour. This is why park officials note that “it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings.” And, they say, “If an elk charges, retreat!”