If you ever heard a bull elk bugle in the fall, then these photographs will hopefully illustrate these exciting sounds! The bugle of an eager bull in the rut is an undistinguishable and sometimes ear-piercing sound. Some people drive many miles just to hear this musical sound of the fall in elk country.
A bull will bugle for several reasons. First, he will try to show dominance and intimidate competing bulls for the cows that are ready to be bred. Bulls will answer each other even from hills some distance away just to be heard and remind other bulls that there is already a big bull to contend with on this hill. These competing bugles can be quite a chorus! A second reason a bull will bugle is out of sheer frustration. A bull will follow a cow, hoping for her to be ready, but then be sadly disappointed. As the cow moves away, the bull will bugle in frustration.
Bugles can be heard any time of day or night. It can be pretty cool, and even a little eerie, to be out on a full moon night and these shrilling sounds! Careful observation and close listening skills can reveal the variety and unique bugles of different bulls. Some are deeper and some are more high-pitched. Still other bugles can be long and drawn out, while others are more short-lived and concise. Each one has an important message!
Bugles and bulls come in all sorts and sizes. The next time you are out in elk country, listen carefully and listen hard. These unique sounds are sure to bring a smile to your face and perhaps a bit of warmth to your heart. The sound of the bugle indicates the bulls are healthy and active. They have one thing on their mind during the fall season and they are making their presence known–all with the shrilling sound of their bugle!