During the rut, bull elk abandon all common sense. While these majestic animals of the American West are normally docile and peaceful, when that hormone-fueled time of year comes around, they become ornery and aggressive. For males, the goal is to establish dominance and secure a mate. They want to be the big guy in town, and they want to win over the ladies. Testosterone spikes and the elk get amped up to defend their turf. That means sparring, or fighting, occurs between male elk.
Typically, the largest bull in the area is going to be the most dominant, but every once in a while, the underdog comes out on top. It's not always the size of the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog that determines the outcome.
In this video, a much younger bull has the nerve to challenge a distinguished veteran of the mountains, specifically a massive bull with a 7x7 typical frame, not even counting the mess of extra junk points. And, to his surprise, this young bull doesn't know how to quit.
One can argue the younger bull was in the right place at the right time to steal this victory, as the older bull seemingly already had his fair share of fights prior to this entanglement with visibly broken tines and a small patch of blood on the back of his neck. Per the video's description, this video came out of the Canadian Rockies, where this larger bull had been running off rivals for nearly a month before this battle ever took place. More than likely, the younger bull got a tine in there to puncture the skin. At the end, the bull appears to be completely gassed.
While it could be viewed as a cheap win, you could also say that younger buck was strategic in making his move, as all that really matters in the end is the win, the loss, and which bull got the cows. To defeat such a large bull is still an accomplishment no matter how the fight occurs.
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