WATCH: Massive Elk Shows Off Impressive Bugle During Rut Season

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: marco vancini / 500px

The elk rut season is well underway across the country, resulting in brutal bull fights, intense chases, and impressive bugling. We’ve got the perfect video for you if you’ve never heard the magic of a bull elk bugle.

If you don’t know, elk enter their rutting season around this time of year. During this exciting time, bull elk search for mates. As a result, their behavior changes drastically, and they use their bugle to call out for a mate. But what exactly does their bugle sound like to someone who’s never heard one?

“If fall had a sound, it would be the majestic elk bugle,” wrote the U.S. Department of the Interior in a recent Facebook post.

The post added: “In this season of excitement, bull elk fight, chase, bugle and scream with one another for the right to breed with the females. The eerie call echoes through the autumn nights and serves to intimidate rival males.”

The department also shared the clip below, showing a large bull calling out for a potential suitor.

Although this is a special time in nature, we must give elk their respective space — no matter the time of year. However, this rings especially true during the rut.

If you see an elk in person over the next few weeks, wildlife experts urge people to keep at least 75 feet of space between you and the animal. Riling up a bull this time of year could have fatal consequences.

Piercing howls combined with grunts currently dominate the sounds of the wild. While these odd noises can be somewhat shocking to the inexperienced person, however, they’re normal and a natural part of the American fall.

Elk rutting season serves as important reminder to give wildlife ample space

As previously mentioned, the screeching from bull elk populations marks a phase known as rut season. In addition to bugling, larger, more mature bull elk tend to gather cow elk by the dozen, hoping to increase their chances of winning over a mate.

Beyond bugling, bull elk will also go after other competition to defend their harem of cow elk. They’ll use their giant antlers to fight off other bull elks as a show of power.

Typically, the elk rut takes place in mid-September and continues for generally a month. However, during this time of year, elk can also be incredibly defensive of their territory. This makes it essential to give these wild creatures more than enough space in order to stay safe.

If you’re looking for what not to do if you’re face to face with a rutting bull elk, check out this story about a Yellowstone National Park visitor who nearly gets gored by a massive bull elk.