There's no doubt the rut is on in the world of deer, elk and moose. This time of year is looked forward to time by hunters all over the country, especially here in Wyoming.

If you've ever wondered why hunting season is in the fall for most large game, it's because you are more likely to see animals roaming around during the day.

According to, as the daylight hours shorten, does and cows will go into estrus and are ready to breed. Bucks and bulls have a similar chemical change in their bodies, that makes them more aggressive and they'll be on the move looking for love.

How do we know that rut is on, you ask? There are signs.

  • It's fall and the days are getting shorter
  • males are rubbing their antlers on trees and shrubs
  • wallowing in mud or dirt
  • animals are moving around more and are more likely to be seen during the day
  • breeding
  • fighting/sparring

When two, or in some cases more, male animals are vying for the same doe/cow, they will spar or fight to challenge dominance. Usually, the sparring will be between an older dominant male and a younger male trying to make his mark.

They sparring will begin with them rubbing their antlers together and being to push each other around. As we get deeper into rut, these shoving matches could turn into full on brawls.

These fights don't always end well, it could mean serious injury or death for the loser. If the loser of the fight is still standing, he's usually forced to leave the area and find other females to breed.

Many times hunters will try to create the sounds of sparring as a tool to lure in other curious bucks/bull to the area.

If you've ever had one of the rare chances to see sparring, you're one of the lucky ones. It's not something that everyone gets to see, but recently two bull moose were captured on video sparring in Southeast Wyoming.

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