In a rut

Yellowstone is in the midst of the annual “rut”.

That’s a polite term for fighting and sex.

The bison and the elk spend about a month or so each fall with this great distraction. The males get all pumped on testosterone and bump & crash into each other to determine who is the toughest and therefore has the right to breed with his choice of females. The females don’t seem to have a vote.

Elk males bugle to announce their status, and although I’ve been hearing this distinctive bellow for a couple weeks, I’ve not been able to catch a shot of one in the act. Still working on it.DSC_3527DSC_2606

Notice in that last photo the little rider-on-the-rump….

They also will scrape their antlers on the turf in order to snag grass and weeds…apparently to make them look even more imposing!DSC_3640

We noticed two females waaay out in a field one evening that were unaccompanied…very rare during the rut. But then we realized there were two males in the woods on the other side of the road trying to cross in heavy traffic. They were right beside us, but moving fast. I apologize for this photo, because it was nearly dark and you can see the elk is running…but I wanted to show you the snow on his rack and how wet his coat was!DSC_3737

To stay with the antler theme, I thought this sunset across Lake Yellowstone would be appropriate.DSC_3454

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4 thoughts on “In a rut

  1. Hey,,, Enjoy all that Bellowing… Hollering, Screaming.. Whether it be from BIG or just little critters while you can, it’s a long way back there…
    We so enjoyed it last year.

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