Largest Bull Protecting His Harem during the Canadian Rockies Elk Rut
Here is the largest Bull Elk with his harem of cows in a beautiful area along the Athabasca River. The most competitive territory during the mating or rutting season for elk in this area of Canada's Rockies; other Bulls are almost always touching on the boundaries of what he can protect. He came into the rutting season in very good condition, but is offered very little rest from protecting his harem. This usually causes significant weight loss over about a month and a half. Many satellite bull elk may even sneak in while the larger bulls are bugling and battling over a harem.
Bull battles are very common during the elk rut, which can result in several different bulls managing the same harem for short periods over the course of mating season. It is fairly rare for one bull to have the genetics to hold on to a harem during the entire month and a half of challenges. As the rutting season ends and cows are no longer in estrus, bulls will gradually relax and form bachelor groups over the winter again.
This may be this Bull's last year as the reigning King of this area, but we hope to see him back in top form again next year.
Tours in Canada's Rockies