Cause for silent bulls/minimal bugling
by Idaho Steve
I'm hearing from a lot of bowhunters out there in both Idaho and Montana that the bulls are bugling less and less, and cow talk is even becoming increasingly quieter.
I'm wondering what all your thoughts are.
The most common theory I've heard is that the elk are keeping silent to prevent wolves from pinpointing their location. Maybe that is a contributing factor.
But I've also heard that it's actually the human calls--both their sophistication and frequency of use, that has had the most impact on silencing the herds over the past couple years. As human calls have become more and more frequent and perfected over the years, bull elk are wising up and no longer responding to bugles, or even cow talk.
Some scientists suggest that the bulls that are surviving the hunting seasons, and the rut, are the ones who are remaining silent. The bulls that are bugling and responding to the calls are dying. Therefore, the surviving bulls are passing on the "silent" gene to their offspring. In effect, we're seeing evolution occur in front of our eyes.
I'm also wondering if this year, with a bright moon dominating the month up until later this week, the herds have been silent more during the day because their overnight activity is so feverish. Basically they're bedded from sunrise to sunset because their up all night partying.
Any feedback would be great!