Bugling Elk...

This is a Royal Bull,  or 7 Point bull, that Ralph got himself at Boulder Creek, just off the Lochsa, about 22 miles east of the Selway River.

Elk are related to deer but are much larger. Elk are also called "wapiti", a Native American word that means "light-colored deer."  A bull (male) elk's antlers may reach 4 feet (1.2 meters) above its head, so that the animal towers 9 feet (2.7 meters) tall.  Bull elk lose their antlers each Spring, but they begin to grow them back around May in preparation for the breeding season in late-summer.

Elk migrate to high mountain grazing grounds in the early summer, where the cows (female elk) give birth. During the breeding season in the late summer,  the bugling of bull elk echoes throughout the mountains. These majestic and powerful animals fight to win the cow elk's attentions, and  strip the velvet off their new antlers using them in violent clashes that determines who gets to mate with whom.  Typically the older, bigger male elk win the battles and dominate small herds. Elk range in forest habitats, feeding on grasses, plants, leaves and bark. the male elks large antlers are shed each year. The male Elk also participate in mating behaviors during the rut, including bugling, which is a loud series of vocalizations, they also take part in posturing, antler wrestling or sparring, all of  which establish dominance over other males and attracts females.

 Ralph Crawford