Too early for the rut?

Deep4ks

Member
Messages
33
Was down hunting my early archery tag for Muley's and came across a herd of 30+ cows and a big bull already following them around. It was on Saturday the 20th.

I guess it's never too early for the bulls to be with the cows???

He was no slouch either. Good bull from the distance we were glassing from.

Thoughts???
 

copple2

Active Member
Messages
685
As soon as those bulls shed their velvet, their behavior changes. Some will start searching out cows to "get ready".

Normally you see that with younger bulls this early, but on occasion, big bulls will do the same thing.
 

MtnHillbilly

Member
Messages
45
You really just never know? A couple years ago open day archery I had a herd of 30 cows with 5 bulls hanging around below me at 150 yards and at 1 in the afternoon in 90 degrees a cow went into full estrous whine and all the bulls came a running.
 

Deep4ks

Member
Messages
33
Thanks for the responses everyone. A lot of factors can come into play as to why he was with the cows already. I have just never seen it myself that early, especially with the size of bull he was.

I guess he doesn't mess around. He wants first dibs on all the ladies. There was a few other raghorns and spikes as usual in the herd but this guy stuck out like a sore thumb.
 

BackSlider

Member
Messages
27
I had bulls bugling in Nevada on the 17th-19th. Didn't hear any on opening day. Granted it was 1 different bull per day, but it was a big one and they each had a lot of cows. The one I shot decided to bugle at 1:30 in the afternoon. Came in to a cow call on a string.

I think it varies by location and possibly some other factors.
 

RRCowboyStar

Active Member
Messages
213
Saw this guy yesterday behind the house, Watched him for a couple of hours, was with about a hundred cows and spikes, no rutting activity at all.

Elk 2 8-28-22.jpg


Elk 8-28-22.jpg
 

FixedBlade

Member
Messages
10
I was on an LE Elk unit in Utah yesterday looking for buck deer and saw a 6 point bull with a dozen cows. Two spikes had been kicked out of the group and were a few hundred yards down the hillside. The bull bugled a single time that we heard before they went back onto the private. We had to think for a second but it was certainly the bull and not a hunter, there are no bull hunts on this unit until Sept first, and we were the only ones at the trailhead. This is a lower tier LE unit with only a modest elk population. Was the highlight of the day for sure. Change is in the air!
 

Servehim

Very Active Member
Messages
1,700
In the Gila a couple years ago just learning roads etc. I stopped and got out to glass , heard a awful bugle, thought for sure it was a Texan. Headed over to introduce myself, low and behold it was a solid 6x6 with 30 cows on 8/23.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,991
My daughter beat us to our cabin in SW Colorado. She said he heard a bugle off our back porch at twilight last night. We are headed up Friday. Can’t get here fast enough
 

Largebull

Active Member
Messages
500
Good pre-rut activity in Northern Arizona. Typical start of the rut for AZ is September 19.
Thats perfect. My rifle hunt there starts the 23rd. Most archers will be done by then or out of time off. My 45 years living in AZ. I always said the rut starts 3rd week in September. !9th ,right on My dads birthday .Good luck Archers ..................................BULL!
 

Broomer

Active Member
Messages
226
When the first full moon in August occurs it’s only a short 13 days or so before the cows can be in estrus. Not every cow will be in estrus but it can start that early and they start to herd up so the bulls can follow them around and wait.
 
Messages
47
Been chasing elk with my bow in central Utah and most of the big bulls are not with the cows. I watched 40 head of cows and calves in one nursery herd with no spikes or branch antlered bulls around.
 

jims

Long Time Member
Messages
3,177
Bulls were mostly single or in bull groups where I was in Wyo this past week. Yesterday I saw a bull going from cow to cow smelling them but not truly rutting yet. It won't be long!
 

Broomer

Active Member
Messages
226
Spent the weekend in Montana and it was insane. 150 head of elk all rutting one night and all through the night. Before it got dark it was amazing to watch how the big group started to break up into smaller groups.
 

HntHrdr

Active Member
Messages
620
Still nothing piping off in my drainage yet… I imagine they are making noise a little higher up, but it has been hot! God is smiling on all the muzzy boys with the temp drop coming this weekend… calling for a high of 52 where I’m at Saturday, just leave a few bulls for me when I get back at it on the 18th ;)
 
Messages
47
Bulls starting sounding off during the night this past weekend in central Utah. The daytime was dead due to 99 on the thermostat all day. This heat wave is insanely hot.
 

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