Fall is of course the time of the "rut". The Bulls were in a relentless pursuit of the females… Sometimes the cows were not so interested, but in an explosive moment the bulls were in pursuit anyway.
Once the Bulls had their harem, keeping them safe was another matter all together. There was always one guy or another coming to check out the situation. Usually the main bull was never far though. Often times the intruder would realize he over stepped his boundaries and just walk away. Sometimes a little trashing of the brush by the dominant male made things a little clearer who ruled the roost!
Sometimes though that wasn’t enough either. Then it might require a few head tilts, and things calmed right down. They literally tilt their heads side to side showing off the size of their antlers. Eek, one year I was following a bull thru some brush trying to get "the shot". After a while he started showing his rack toward me in that side to side manner! I took the hint pretty quickly and got the heck out of there. I also bought a longer lens and some common sense : ). You can get pretty close to these guys, but as a general rule I try not to. Like the saying goes, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Dominant Bull head tilting
If the head tilting didn't seal the intimidation deal, then sometimes back they went to trashing things! When they do this sometimes the noise is quite distinct. I believe they use it, along with low toned grunts to call in potential rivals.
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