Why Do Bull Elk Rub Their Antlers Against Trees During Rut Season?
Rut season (mating season) for elk is coming up in mid-to-late September. To prepare for the season, bull elk will be rubbing their necks against trees. Here's why.
Thousands of people will be heading up to Estes Park to witness all the elk that are in town during the rut season, which normally lasts about one month. In August, the deer will be shedding their 'velvet' from their antlers, and then the bull elk are going to start 'bulking' up.
When the rut season is in full swing, the bull elk will begin to fight for dominance. They may be only like a 'shoving match' between two elk; oftentimes, after a hierarchy has been established, the bulls have to fight harder, using their antlers. That's where the August training will be coming in.
The bull elk build-up 'bulk up' their neck strength by rubbing their antlers on trees. This also helps to darken their antlers (like a nice tan on a bodybuilder.) Folks who live in the Estes Park area can attest to the fact that they've had elk 'attack their trees, in preparation.
You might set up some great montage music to go along with the sight of the 'training' going on, like a 'Rocky' movie. First, the velvet shedding, then the tree rubbing, with maybe a photo of an opposing elk taped to the tree. 'I'll see you in October, Gerald.'