A couple of nights ago, both the Runner and I were out getting the garden ready for the cold and for the bear. I was putting frost blankets on our beds, hoping that the frost would not kill everything. The Runner was putting up an electric fence, hoping to deter the bear from eating the whole garden. We both succeeded.
As we worked, we heard the ethereal sound of an elk bugling on the hillside above us. His high pitched bellow echoed off the valley walls. It is the season when elk are busy making calves. One male gathers a group of female elk, and he works so hard to keep them with him and to prevent other bull elk from mating with them. Indeed, a bull elk who successfully keeps a harem with him might not survive the coming winter. He even forgoes eating in his quest.
Bull elk also adorn themselves with mud, grass, and urine to attract the cow elk. That started in late September in two wallows in a side valley near our house. Check out the crazy behavior of the bull elk in a video from very close to our home in Lab Valley.