A bugle can be deadly for an elk.
The eerie high-pitch screams, a telltale Wyoming sound of fall, are how bulls advertise their fitness to prospective cows they seek to breed. But there’s a distinct downfall to the bugle: the sound, audible from a long way off, gives away prized bulls’ whereabouts to human hunters and other predators.
That wasn’t a worry for this six-by-six bull who was bugling away on a still morning along the northwest shoreline of Yellowstone Lake. Although it was elk hunting season in much of Wyoming, no such pursuit is permitted inside the protective bounds of Yellowstone National Park.
Between bites of grass, the big bull tilted his head and gave into instinct every few minutes.