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Length of the rut?

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Length of the rut?

Postby Buckriser » 09 16, 2012 •  [Post 1]

This may have been covered already, but I could not find it. What is the average length of the rut? I have a limited entry muzzy tag in southern Utah that opens on the 26th of this month; and I'm hoping the rut is still going strong.
Thanks!
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Re: Length of the rut?

Postby Swede » 09 16, 2012 •  [Post 2]

The first rutting period is about two weeks long when most cows come into estrus. The time the cows are in estrus lasts only for a few hours.
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Re: Length of the rut?

Postby T/H » 09 26, 2012 •  [Post 3]

Swede wrote:The first rutting period is about two weeks long when most cows come into estrus. The time the cows are in estrus lasts only for a few hours.


when does this first rutting period take place?
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Re: Length of the rut?

Postby ElkNut1 » 09 27, 2012 •  [Post 4]

RIGHT PLACE RIGHT TIME! Cows will come into an estrus cycle up to 4 times according to various studies. The 1st is by the older cows in late Aug early Sept. the 2nd is what we call Peak Rut in 2nd to 3rd week of Sept. The 3rd is mid Oct. & the 4th stage is in early to mid Nov. Cows that have not been covered or that have not conceived can come in again aprox 21 days later from their last cycle. A cow will be in estrus 12-16 hours & can be covered a dozen times by different bulls in this span! In these earlier & latter cycles there are only a few cows here & there that this generally applies too. In other words rutting occurs where there's hot cows coming into estrus or nearing it. Hunters can be a few miles away from one another, one hunter is hearing rutting action & the other nothing at all, why? One is in the area of cows near estrus & the other is not! Right place right time! (grin) This is why in peak breeding times that there's a good chance to get into bugling bulls almost anywhere as there are more cows in the 1-1/2 year to 8 year old range by far, after 8 years old they would be considered "older cows" -------

You should be hitting your hunt with great timing!!! Good Luck!

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Re: Length of the rut?

Postby Vanish » 09 27, 2012 •  [Post 5]

I think we overestimate the distance bugles will travel in some areas of the forest. My wife and I were about a mile apart one day and I had one bull bugling his head off, and she heard nothing.
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Re: Length of the rut?

Postby ColoStateHunter » 09 28, 2012 •  [Post 6]

ElkNut1 wrote:RIGHT PLACE RIGHT TIME! Cows will come into an estrus cycle up to 4 times according to various studies. The 1st is by the older cows in late Aug early Sept. the 2nd is what we call Peak Rut in 2nd to 3rd week of Sept. The 3rd is mid Oct. & the 4th stage is in early to mid Nov. Cows that have not been covered or that have not conceived can come in again aprox 21 days later from their last cycle. A cow will be in estrus 12-16 hours & can be covered a dozen times by different bulls in this span! In these earlier & latter cycles there are only a few cows here & there that this generally applies too. In other words rutting occurs where there's hot cows coming into estrus or nearing it. Hunters can be a few miles away from one another, one hunter is hearing rutting action & the other nothing at all, why? One is in the area of cows near estrus & the other is not! Right place right time! (grin) This is why in peak breeding times that there's a good chance to get into bugling bulls almost anywhere as there are more cows in the 1-1/2 year to 8 year old range by far, after 8 years old they would be considered "older cows" -------

You should be hitting your hunt with great timing!!! Good Luck!

ElkNut1


Paul- Good information here. Do you have a copy of the studies done? I always bring in knowledge of cattle into the converstation as elk and cattle/sheep are very much alike.

How much do you suppose bugling has to do with the proximity of other bulls and harems? I have noticed several bulls with small harems that push into a back bowl and have no reason to advertise the location. I do think these bulls bugle to their cows but it can be so soft that you would not hear it unless you were very close.
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Re: Length of the rut?

Postby >>>---WW----> » 09 28, 2012 •  [Post 7]

Colorado State Hunter said. "How much do you suppose bugling has to do with the proximity of other bulls and harems? I have noticed several bulls with small harems that push into a back bowl and have no reason to advertise the location. I do think these bulls bugle to their cows but it can be so soft that you would not hear it unless you were very close".

I believe that is a misconception that many hunters have because they observe lesser bulls with cows early on during the hunting season and they presume the rut is on just because they see a young bull hanging with the cow herd.. These 4s and smaller 5s are younger bulls. They are herd animals and they like companionship. They are torn between the age of not leaving home and not making it with the big boys yet. Just because you happen to see one of them running with cows doesn't neccesserly mean he is herding a harem. And chances are, if he gets to feeling his oats and does try herding them, the lead cow will put him in place pretty quick. But once that first cow comes into heat, I'll bet you a dollar to a donut there will be a bigger bull step in and drive the younger bull out.
.
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Re: Length of the rut?

Postby ColoStateHunter » 09 28, 2012 •  [Post 8]

I think that there is some validity to that statement. However, in a state such as CO where a large percentage of the 2.5 year old bulls are killed each year, I do not doubt that a "small" three year old bull would have a harem.

However, bigger bull or not, in my experience I notice the bugling fires up when there are harems in close proximity and bulls looking to keep tabs on their cows. I have also watched them in back bowls be very silent and breed cows. Why advertise yourself if you have what you are after...
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Re: Length of the rut?

Postby Swede » 09 29, 2012 •  [Post 9]

The main rutting period is from mid September (about the 17th) until early October. I have heard elk rut activity later, but it has been rare. Most of the reason I may have not heard rut activity late, is because I was out working in the forest and not hunting then. When I was out working, running into elk was just a cooincidence. The early rut for old cows has eluded me, or I did not recognize it. If it is happening I assume it goes on at night. The truth is that I have read more about the early rut and late ruts than I have experienced. For all practical purposes, the rut seems to be still mid September through early October, with just a smattering early or later. I hope this helps keep things simple.
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Re: Length of the rut?

Postby ElkNut1 » 10 03, 2012 •  [Post 10]

Colostatehunter, most all info as I posted is available through the rmef.com website! You can read up on things there & you'll find lots of interesting tidbits in the studies & habits.

Bulls will bugle for several reasons. Their main reasons & purpose can be to attract or call cows their way, this is mainly done in a competitive manner as cows show signs of coming into estrus! Other bugling by bulls is done in an Advertising/Displaying action to let other elk in the area know that they are present, this is generally done before cows are in estrus! Then there's "feeling their oats" type bugling where hormones are changing & they feel urges of the rut especially as velvet is shed. Theirs challenges etc. But the two above reasons are the primary sources when bugling is mostly heard in abundance!

You are correct about bulls bugling to instill their sound or sounds to their cows! This is done so these cows know him by sound alone as the rut picks up, his cows do not have to physically see him to heed to his commands!

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