Early Rut

“Horning of vegetation begins early in the rut and increases in frequency, and probably in intensity, during the rut. Like wallowing, it is an activity largely of older bulls and may occur without visible cause or in response to the advertisements of other bulls. It is a dominance display in which weapons are exercised – at times for the apparent benefit of opponents just prior to a fight. It is a noisy activity, augmenting the advertisement and often leaving a conspicuously peeled pole. When not contacting the tree trunk with his antlers, a bull may scrape the tree with his teeth, sniff, and rub his head against it. Thrashing can be quite variable, apparently depending on the kind of vegetation available. Wallowing, urine spraying, and vegetation horning are part and parcel of the attention-getting activities of rutting bull elk; they are not manifestations of classical territoriality.” – from “Elk of North America; Ecology and Management” by Thomas & Toweill

One Reply to “Early Rut”

Comments and critiques are greatly appreciated, thanks!

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