Elk Bugle (Ceverus canadensis nelsoni) – Rocky Mountain National Park

An elk I saw the other day, buglin’ away and protecting his harem from lesser males. I believe his antler tines are 7×6 (depending on how you count), making him almost an Imperial Bull (6×6 are Royal Bulls, and 8×8 are Monarchs). The elk of Rocky Mountain National Park are in full rut, which means a lot of dinosaur-like calls echoing across the subsantial elk habitat here. The bugle you hear is used to intimidate other males, or to initiate sparring. It also seems to attract females. A few days ago, there was a showdown between a few smaller males and this massive bull elk, whose harem numbered in the dozens. He managed to chase off the younger males and keep his harem largely intact, although he may have lost a few cows in the fray.

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