Deer and Elk are in the mating season called the Rut. During the rut, cows and calves form harems with one or two mature bull Elk.
The Deer Buck and Bull Elk have grown a large rack of antlers. Antlers serve two purposes.
- They indicate age, strength, stature and endurance of a male to survive, thrive and show that he has good, strong genes to pass to the next generation.
- Antlers are also a form of protection and defence. Once a Deer or Elk puts their head down, anyone facing them is faced with many pointed bony antlers that can cut, bruise and severely damage their opponent. Bull Elk or Deer Bucks sometimes come to blows with other males of their kind, over who is the key male to mate with the harem that they are defending.
This makes the males testy and potentially dangerous at this time of year. It is a good time for humans to give the herds lots of space. If you are lucky, you may hear the fantastic bugling sound of the Bull Elk. The Cows and Calves also make amazing mews and high pitched squeals as part of their day to day communication.
To listen to their voices follow this link: https://elknetwork.com/elkfacts/
Willow and Aspen poplar bark are winter food for Deer and Elk, especially when the snow is too deep to scrape down to the grasses for food.
Check out how Willow bark can help humans with pain relief.