The elk mating season or rut occurs in September. Their high-pitched whistleor “bugle” is a surprising sound coming from such a large animal. The bugling is a challenging or defiant call to other bulls, telling them – “I am here, I am strong, I am in charge.” Bugling actually includes a varietyof calls: grunts, popping sounds, whistling, and deep moans. Male elk urinate on the ground, roll in the dirt and mud, rake their antlers across the ground and through grass and small trees, using up much of their energyfor more than a month. Thus the most aggressive bulls lose a lot of sleep and weight. If there is an early, hard winter, these bulls will be some of the first to winter kill. It seems counterproductive for them to be amongthose most likely to die; but, these strong bulls should have many of their genes successfully living on in the upcoming spring crop of calves.