Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Witness Bull Elk Fights -- Get Your Timing Right

Bull Elk Fight in Boxley Valley near Ponca
Late September 2008
Fall weather returns this weekend and the elk viewing should be very good. We are inching closer to the rut, beginning now just a little over a week off, and kicking in full gear in 2 weeks out.

During the first part of the elk rut the bull fights are especially fierce because it is the first time the pecking order is established. By the first part I mean the last week of September through the first week in October.

In 2007 during early October I witnessed 3 real huge bull fights at once in the same field at the same time. The stage was set by a huge dominant bull, the Boxley Beast, RIP, who had backed up his harem of 100 cow elk into the corner of a fence line. He was protecting them from 14 satellite bulls, a few of which were legitimate challengers.

Bull Elk Fight Early October 2007
October 12, 2007
The largest of the challengers engaged the "Beast" and an 25 minute fight began. Almost immediately two other fights began. I was alone at the intersection of highway 43 and 21 with three real bull fights in front of me.

The Beast won. But during the fight, other smaller bulls took all the cows he was protecting.

I will never forget that fight (and those fights). Six big bulls were clashing, spinning, grunting and spitting right in front of me and I was alone to witness it.

My point is this. If getting a bull fight is your objective, you need to do 2 things.  1.) Start visiting early in the rut, beginning in mid-September. 2.) Put in the time. Time in the valley translates to improved percentages for success.

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