The annual rut has begun for elk across the United States. As the large animals become more aggressive and territorial, fights between bulls become violent, even fatal. One individual captured two massive bull elk battling it out alongside a hillside road and the footage is insane.
The clip was posted by @barstooloutdoors only a little while ago this evening and already the clip has more than 12,000 likes. The footage features two of the hooved, antlered giants facing off alongside the road. They circle each other, both looking for the best line of attack.
Suddenly, the two drop their heads and lock antlers, swinging their thick necks and dangerous spikes back and forth.
“Oh, f–ck!” the narrator exclaims, as the two animals disappear out of sight down the hillside. Quickly, the elk with the higher ground lifts his head and pursues its combatant down the side of the mountain.
While the animals’ battle is no doubt the highlight of the video, something else contributes to their enormity. In front of the narrator’s car, a silver Honda Civic brakes relatively near the battle scene. Prior to the animals’ interlocking antlers, the high ground elk stands level with the vehicle. Overall, it completely dwarfs the car, standing head and shoulders above its roof.
Thankfully for the driver, the large bull elk took out its aggression on another of the animals, rather than the vehicle or driver themselves.
Yellowstone Elk Pose Danger to Visitors During Rut
Along the United States’ western coast, Yellowstone National Park’s elk population has further entered rut season. While the season may pose a greater viewing opportunity of some monster elk for park visitors, getting too close to the animals poses a major danger to humans.
As many male animals do during mating season, bull elk become incredibly aggressive and territorial this time of year. The fact is clearly demonstrated in the clip above. In response to the coming season, park authorities released in a statement, “Bull elk can be unpredictable and dangerous during this time.” The statement further emphasized that park visitors must stay alert.
“People have been severely injured by elk. Elk run quickly and may change direction without warning.”
The warning is especially important this rutting season as, due to Yellowstone’s mild winter last year, elk females were better able to raise their calves, contributing greatly to a jump in the animals’ population. 2019 saw a population of 5,800 elk within the park, while 2021 saw a total population of 6,249.
So, as the animals range between four and six feet at the shoulder, with the bulls especially weighing between 800 and 1,400 pounds, we beg Outsiders in elk-populated areas to be especially careful around the animals this time of year.