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Bull Elk Color Change?

Old 02-08-2003, 04:58 PM
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Default Bull Elk Color Change?

While hunting elk in NM last year I noted that the bulls were noticeably lighter in color. They had a very blonde color which stood out among the cows. Is this common in other states. I don't recall ever noticing it on bulls I've seen in Colorado. Is it a rutting thing and only prevalent during rut?

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Old 02-08-2003, 06:42 PM
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Default RE: Bull Elk Color Change?

I've seen elk in several different states and whether spike or herd bull they're usually blonde in color year around, nothing to do with the rut. Even after they drop their antlers around march you can still pick them out in a herd because of color. elknut1.
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Old 02-08-2003, 07:34 PM
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Default RE: Bull Elk Color Change?

the only time i've ever seen an elk change color is just after it went through a wallow.

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Old 02-08-2003, 09:32 PM
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Default RE: Bull Elk Color Change?

I have noticed that elk and deer will get lighter during the summer and darker in the winter. I assume that it has something to do with needing to absorbe the heat better in the winter than the summer.
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Old 02-08-2003, 09:33 PM
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Default RE: Bull Elk Color Change?

DARTanian That was a good one, I'm still laughing out loud. Did you know I'm a mason just like yourself, have been for 27yrs now. Thanks for the laugh. elknut1.
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Old 02-10-2003, 10:10 AM
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Default RE: Bull Elk Color Change?

The bulls are always a lighter color than the cows.
The older bulls are even lighter than the spikes.
I saw a bull elk a couple years ago that looked the color of a moose.
Upon further inspection he was covered with drying mud from a wallow.
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Old 02-10-2003, 10:45 AM
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Default RE: Bull Elk Color Change?

I am also a photographer so I view and photograph elk year round. There actually is a very distinct difference in thier color between the summer and winter seasons. Although the rut has nothing to do with it. In the summer months elk have a much shorter coat and it is darker in color, almost a light brown. Can't tell a whole lot of difference between bulls and cows as far as color.

In the winter months the elk have thier much longer winter coats and they are much lighter. The elk have two main colors, the blonde body and the dark mane and underbelly. The dark underbelly on bulls is much darker than the cows and the blonde body is much lighter.

I've never actually seen elk in the summer months anywhere but Utah but I have seen lots of pictures in other states and it appears to be the same everywhere there is a major temperature change between summer and winter.
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