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Rutting & Breeding areas!

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Re: Rutting & Breeding areas!

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 03, 2012 •  [Post 1]

Rutting grounds or breeding grounds can be anywhere! But, that anywhere place is a spot or area they will use year after year! It is no different than any good elky spot found near meadows, parks, basins, draws, etc. As a general rule the Cows run the show when these herds/or harems are established no matter how big or how small these groups are.

Elk can show at these areas as an established group with a bull intact or cows can show up alone. This doesn't mean a different stronger/bigger bull won't take over these herds from time to time. But they generally come as a group.

Many believe that these areas are where calves are dropped & so return to these same areas as adults & juveniles. This is certainly true in some respect for elk that live in a more controlled weather type environment. Meaning, snow depths does not interfere with them doing this on a yearly basis.

However there are many areas & States where this is not possible, calves are dropped in one area & breeding is done in an entirely different area. Elk will move up from winter range into their Summer range as they follow snow-lines. Many will find they hunt breeding areas in which they hunt yearly & there is no way that these elk can be at those elevations during calving time in June or early July in many places. This forces the issue that these areas can be separate!
ElkNut1
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Re: Rutting & Breeding areas!

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 03, 2012 •  [Post 2]

We've found that elk will stay in these breeding areas once there for 2 weeks at a time before moving on. Hunting pressure or predators certainly have a play in this matter as well & can force elk out & into different more secluded areas.

These areas of concern will certainly show that lived in look! Rubs everywhere, new & old alike, semi open to very open is the norm. We have a few where the areas are extremely heavily timbered but supply them with the needed feed, water & cover. When there's lots of bulls contending for the cows it can be chaotic at peak times & this area will show it!
ElkNut1
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Location: Idaho

Re: Rutting & Breeding areas!

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 03, 2012 •  [Post 3]

Not all cows are bred in this time frame. Cows can cycle 4 times a year & many will conceive in Oct. with a few more in Nov. this can push dates beyond Sept. meaning cows will be in estrus in Oct & Nov, at this time elk as a rule can be out of these "breeding" areas as they move about. Cows will be in heat/estrus for 12-16 hours, it's right place right time for some great competitive bugling action then as bulls compete for this cow or cows!
ElkNut1
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Posts: 4632
Joined: 05 11, 2012
Location: Idaho

Re: Rutting & Breeding areas!

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 03, 2012 •  [Post 4]

What do you look for? It's more like what we listen for! (grin) I have located many of these breeding/rutting areas over the years! The #-1 way has been through vocalization, find the many satellite bulls harassing the herd bull & his cows & you've located the area!!! If cows are not in heat it is very common to see many herd quality bulls all in the same herd, things will change & the competition will rise as soon as cows start showing signs of estrus or soon to be covered!
We've found these times to be at their best from Sept 10-25

Not all cows are bred in this time frame. Cows can cycle 4 times a year & many will conceive in Oct. with a few more in Nov. this can push dates beyond Sept. meaning cows will be in estrus in Oct & Nov, at this time elk as a rule can be out of these "breeding" areas as they move about. Cows will be in heat/estrus for 12-16 hours, it's right place right time for some great competitive bugling action then as bulls compete for this cow or cows! (grin) I have located many of these breeding/rutting areas over the years! The #-1 way has been through vocalization, find the many satellite bulls harassing the herd bull & his cows & you've located the area!!! If cows are not in heat it is very common to see many herd quality bulls all in the same herd, things will change & the competition will rise as soon as cows start showing signs of estrus or soon to be covered!
ElkNut1
ElkNut/Paul
 
Posts: 4632
Joined: 05 11, 2012
Location: Idaho


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