It’s that time of the year again when bull elk shed the velvet that has been nourishing their antler growth for the last six months.
Although it looks painful, shedding velvet does not hurt the bulls — it’s equitable to a snake shedding its skin.
To remove the drying velvet, known as raking, bulls thrash their antlers in bushes and rub them against small trees. It takes but a day or two.
The rut (mating) season should start in another few weeks, at which time the biggest of the bulls will gather harems and spar, clashing their antlers together with younger challengers for the right to mate with his harem of cows.
Some Rim Country folks have already reported hearing late-night bugling, a bull’s bellowing sound that signals he is “available.”