Big Boys Cry

Colorado Elk Bugling

Don’t miss the season premiere of the Rocky Mountain Bachelor.

Relationship problems aren’t reserved strictly for humans. Rocky Mountain Elk experience a few, well, rocky patches of their own – creating a scene amid dramatic scenery that’s hard for viewers to resist.

The drama unfolds every mid-September to mid-October during mating or “rutting” season when the mature bull elk must attract – and keep – a harem of cow elk. The bull shows off his massive antlers, flaunts his strong physique, gives off a musky odor, and distinctively bellows, barks, whistles, and grunts.

This “bugling” can have different meanings depending upon the circumstance. In one instance it might mean, “Hey, ladies, look at me!” If his harem starts to wander off, the bull might bellow a “Don’t stray too far, gals.” And should another bull approach his herd, a “Back off, pal!” bugle is certainly warranted. Given that wooing a herd of up to 30 or more cow elk is no easy task, the bull may also bugle out of sheer exhaustion. 

Spectators, however, never tire of witnessing this grand display every fall. Although the bull elk may bugle throughout the day, dawn and dusk are the ideal times to gather your own herd to see this seasonal spectacle. Elk bugling tours are a fantastic way for the whole family to experience the fall landscape of the Ranch Creek Valley and are complimentary for guests at Devil’s Thumb Ranch.

Complimentary Elk Bugling Tours for guests happen from September to mid October. To join a tour, please call our Activities Center at 970-726-8231.


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