If you’ve done any research into elk hunting, you’ve probably heard the word “rut” or “rutting” mentioned. Rutting season is a massive event for elk and those who hunt them every year; this is when the elk breed. During the rut, elk behavior changes significantly, and if you don’t know about it, you’ll be caught off guard. 

Rocky Mountain Elk Ranch is here to share our wisdom on elk rutting season with you. The guided elk hunting trips we offer at our Idaho ranch take place during the rut, so we have all of the information you’ll need. Continue reading to learn more about the elk rutting season.

What is Elk Rutting Season?

Rutting season is when male elk, bulls, look to find a female elk, cows, to mate. The rut occurs from September through mid-October, and it wildly impacts elk behavior.

During rutting season, the elk, particularly the bulls, get highly active. They move around more often and frequently vocalize. The vocalizations bulls make during this time sound a bit odd, like a high-pitched whistle with grunting sounds. This sound is known as the bulge, and it is a bull’s mating call, one of several ways they try to attract a mate. 

Wading in mud is another way for bulls to attract cows during the rut; bulls will soak themselves in mud to coat themselves in urine. Additionally, they will rub their antlers on things like trees, shrubs, and the ground to show off to females and intimidate fellow bulls. Rubbing their antlers also helps to strengthen their neck in case they need to fight another bull. That’s another thing to keep in mind during rutting season; elk get much more aggressive than usual. It isn’t uncommon for two bulls to face off against one another.

Another way in which elk behavior changes during the rutting season is the formation of harems. Usually, elk are solitary creatures, but during the rut, they form harems, which are a group of cows with one bull. 

Experience Elk Hunting During the Rut

Elk hunting is at its best during the rutting season. With the sounds of bugling in the air and the elk at their most active, hunting during the rut is a fun and exciting experience that should be atop any hunter’s bucket list. 

You can enjoy the fun of elk hunting during the rut with Rocky Mountain Elk Ranch. We would love to have you out to our ranch for a guided elk hunt. To book your trip to our Idaho ranch, call us at 208-351-7301.