The Big Elk Bull will be one of the Leaders this Elk Rut. Here He is a couple weeks ago in Full Velvet and Now Today, shed of Velvet and with a Dry, Hard Rack.. Fully Rut Ready!
We were lucky to catch an Elk Bull After Shedding One Antler. You can see he feels a little bit odd with one antler gone. Usually, they will shed the other antler within 24 hours and by the looks of the fresh wound, it had sealed up and healed somewhat, so it was worth observing for a bit. The antler still in tact did not show any separation yet, as you can see. We were not lucky enough to catch the other antler dropping before all of the Elk Bulls became startled by something in the bush and moved on. The Sheriff and some of the other Dominant Elk Bulls were bedded down in the forest near by.
The First few Elk Bulls we have witnessed shedding their velvet. You can see in this video that their testosterone is rising quickly. We expect one more week will reveal these amazing animals going into full instinct. What most people don't realize is that they have gone to "safe places" to develop and are following travel rituals that brings them back into prime Elk production areas. This Spring was exceptionally hard on Elk as so many Grizzly Bears took newborns for calories. It is so important for Elk to thrive here, and we look forward to seeing more success on their part.
Elk Bulls rub their antlers against trees, shrubs and the ground to impress cows or show dominance during the Rut. Prior to the rut like here, this behavior is exhibited as bulls shed the drying velvet from their antlers. This process can even become bloody as the still-living felt is torn away from the antler beneath. The damage caused to the tree is called a "rub", while the process is often called "polishing". These Bulls seemed to be combining their velvet rubs with some sparring practice for the Elk Rut here.
Here is this area's largest and most dominant Bull(the last 5 Years), in full velvet today. We have not previously captured any moments of the "Sheriff" at this stage, as he packs on more weight just before the Elk rut. Wolves managed to bring down a very big Elk Bull not that long ago and we were worried it might have been the "Sheriff", but are so glad to see him here today! Everyone will be Cheering you on again this Year Big Guy.
A Magnificent Bull Today.. He was one of the most active and dominant bulls during the Elk Rut last year and it looks like he will be topping his form this year. It is fantastic to be able to witness these Athletes in their prime. This Elk Bull will be shedding his velvet in about 1 month. He was one of the first to shed last year.
One of the Largest Elk Bulls in the Canadian Rockies Before and After Fully shedding his Velvet. Just one week later his antlers are dry and he is ready for the Rut. Larger, more mature Elk Bulls shed first as their testosterone rises, giving them an advantage on establishing continued dominance early in the Rutting Season.
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