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#7277593 - 01/06/13 04:58 PM Re: How smart are old bull elk ? [Re: Rock Chuck]
Jaguar Offline
Member

Registered: 09/12/08
Posts: 120
Loc: WY
Very interesting, RC. That almost sounds like a fitness test for the bull, administered by the lead cow. If he can't keep up with her, he is of inadequate fitness to sire the next generation. Huh. Facinating what tidbits show up in these forums.

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#7277847 - 01/06/13 05:37 PM Re: How smart are old bull elk ? [Re: Jaguar]
Rock Chuck Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 01/05/06
Posts: 26814
Loc: Filer, ID
I don't know if it's for fitness testing or for finding cows, but they do do it. One year, we watched a herd of about 16 cows race over a ridge and off to one side of us. They were followed by a 4x4. We had to scratch our heads about how he got all those cows and concluded that he stole them when the herd bull was off fighting or something. Anyway, they were really covering the ground at that fast trot they have. We ran into them again 1/2 hr later. However, the little bull had just been reduced to satellite bull status by a nice 6x6. He was less than pleased about losing his harem.
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#7278091 - 01/06/13 06:14 PM Re: How smart are old bull elk ? [Re: Rock Chuck]
Jaguar Offline
Member

Registered: 09/12/08
Posts: 120
Loc: WY
I would bet they never really were "his". That may be why he wasn't keeping up. Possibly the original herd bull got whacked, and the little guy tried to become the big guy. I have watched that behavior in pronghorn. Any satellite buck or bull had better try to get his job done fast, 'cause he is not going to keep a harem long. When that happens with pronghorn - the herd buck being whacked - those does bust out pretty quick and make an escape. They are always followed by whatever satellite bucks are hanging around the edges.

Be an interesting study if one had enough time.

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#7280394 - 01/07/13 10:24 AM Re: How smart are old bull elk ? [Re: Rock Chuck]
Alamosa Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 1866
Loc: Southern Colorado
They often tell this as a joke, but it endures because is much truth in it. It has much wider applications.

The young bull says, "let's run down there and have our way with one of those cows."
The old bull replies, "let's walk down there slow and have our way with the whole herd."

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#7280936 - 01/07/13 12:47 PM Re: How smart are old bull elk ? [Re: saddlesore]
elkhunter130 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 455
Loc: Grants Pass, Oregon
Originally Posted By: saddlesore
For years I have been trying to tell guys that when the elk hear back packers, horse packers, people setting up camp, pounding stakes,cutting poles, etc, moving in right before the season,the elk line out and leave.Then these same guys camp right in the middle of prime elk habitat and wonder where the elk go. Same thing, they then procede to walk around in the timber with the pretense of "scouting". What elk may be left from the previous noise of the packers, leave also. Add acouple of ATV's to the equations and you end up with a camping trip instead of a hunting trip. Guaranteed this will have repsonses from guys that say they see elk right around camp, etc, butvthatis theexceptionto therule

Where hunter pressure is low, this isn't as common, especially on private land where elk come in contact with landowners working the land more.

Any bull that lives to be 3 yrs old gets educated real fast.One big educator is these guys that persist on calling bulls in and then the bull either bust them or the guys decides that bull isn't big enough and spooks the bull on purpose.
Those bull stick that info away in the recesses of thier brain and use it the next time they hear a bugle.

Gotta remember it's life and death to them and just a game to hunters.



I have found this to be the simple truth. I have seen it more time than I care to count. Heck I was one of those guys for a long time wondering where in the heck did the elk go.

Now I play the escape routes. I try and learn my area well enough and just try and anticipate the pressure. Then I just try and get high and glass. Elk will camp on the same bench all season if something has moved them there. Why move if you feel comfortable.

I have found in several of my areas that the elk have established travel routes. Traditionally those have paid off but don't get the idea I kill elk every year. I don't. It's just sometimes they are where they are supposed to be and sometimes...
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