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Where are the mature bulls ?
Colorado elk a couple days ago had no visible mature bull around. What do you think is up with that at this point ? Badbull
unreal... looks like they need some cow culling...
Probably close by. I watched a herd of over 70 elk for 2 days last year and didn't see small herd of bulls until day 2. They were hanging out on the fringe of the herd, and all 4 of them easily disappeared in small patches of juniper on the edge of the herd. Where I hunt, it's not uncommon to see one bull with 20 or 30 cows and calves.
Maybe he’s in someone’s cooler.
No idea but I'll take the cow on the far left
Looks like Jaquomo got to that herd before you
They are not far away. More than likely hanging in a bit of cover on the downwind side.
They bugle all winter Screwball.
"They bugle all winter Screwball."
Umm, maybe the elk that live around you in Kansas bugle all winter (sarcasm), but the elk that live around me, here in Colorado, sure don't.
I don't see a lot of calf elk in that picture some but not as many should be.
Badbull, I've seen this a few times with big herds that have a few dominant herd bulls competing for the cows. The bulls get so preoccupied trying to run each other off, or competing for a few stray cows, that they get separated from the main herd.
In fact, that's exactly how I killed my bull a few years ago. He was raising hell with another big bull, and trying to round up a few lagging cows. Meanwhile, his herd of about 40 animals moved past me, allowing me to slip in-between the bull and his herd. When I cut loose with a bugle, the bull turned inside out and he came at me on a dead run. At that point, his herd was 200-300 yards away from both of us.
I see 15-20 calves in that pic, so obviously cows are getting bred. I agree with others, the mature bulls were probably nearby, but out of your sight.
No mature bulls in Colorado. No need to come here and hunt OTC.
I don't live near, or hunt wild elk in Kansas Grey Ghost. I have hunted elk in Colorado since 1999, and have been quite successful on public land with a rifle. I routinely hear multiple bulls bugling in 3rd rifle, and the guide I used to use said he hears them regularly all winter. They seem to bugle more when they cross onto private land though. The last 3 years, I've hunted a herd of close to 300 elk. Turkeys also will gobble all year around.
They were bugling so loud last year, they called in 6 Californians that came right up to where I was waiting by the fence for them to cross. I documented it all in my Part III semi live hunt last year.
With all due respect, Thornton, how many herds of elk have you observed all winter? I get to do it every year near at my place. It's a herd that gets hunted hard, but can also find refuge on private land where they don't get hunted. The bulls go mostly silent when they hear the first rifle shots ring out in early Oct. Occasionally I'll hear a bugle or two at night after that, but rarely during hunting hours. I'm sure it's conditioned survival behavior that may not apply to some less pressured herds.
Congrats on your late season rifle success. Do you ever hunt them with a bow?
Don't patronize me. I'm only posting what I've seen and what I've been told by lifelong residents of your state. Fact of the matter is, most guys wouldn't believe it unless they heard it themselves.
I wasn't patronizing, just relaying what I've witnessed with my own eyes and ears for the last 25 years that I've been in this neck of the woods. I've have never heard a bull bugle beyond Christmas, and rarely beyond Thanksgiving. I'm blessed to be able to observe elk almost daily during the winter, until they migrate to higher ground sometime in March.
M.Pauls, l thought of Jaq also but quickly discounted him as he hunts far away from this area. Grey Ghost, I think that I may have seen what you describe and do remember seeing a herd like this with a single huge bull that seemed to be in charge with no other bulls around. Is it possible that all these cows have a headache and don't want to play? Badbull
I live with elk all year long…..a lot of elk…..don’t know if I’ve ever heard them regularly bugle in winter. Just my observation.
I have never heard a bull bugle past the last day of October.
I’ve seen lots of herds without mature bulls. But mostly during hunting season when the bulls are in survival mode. In the Bitterroot the big bulls don’t even winter with those herds. They are a couple clicks higher in elevation toughing it out. They just don’t like civilization. In Wyoming it’s a different story. There are definitely solo big bulls but even during hunting season you can find 5 points and small 6s with the big groups. I’d say the place this pic was taken has at least a little bit of a low bull to cow ratio.
I’ve heard a bull bugle in October and in November and even heard a bugle turkey hunting in April. Elk can bugle year around. But I never hear bulls bugle on the regular year round. That is bs. I Have lived in elk country for 37 years.
I've heard an occasional bugle outside normal months but one time in December we watched a couple bulls bugling like crazy and harassing a cow. I assume she was likely missed and on a 4th cycle.