Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Big Game Hunting

Are the Elk Bugling in Colorado?

Uploaded on August 22, 2011

I thought it would be helpful to team together and report on the rut. Every year the elk seem to rut at different times, probably because of the weather. What do you think? I hunt north of Steamboat Springs with a bow. I plan on being up there this weekend for the opening day of archery season. I will let you know what I hear. My guess, with the heat we have been having, the elk will be quiet. I'll report back on Monday the 29th of August.

Top Rated
All Replies
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

I just finished a weekend bow hunt for elk, deer and bear. Got into a lot of elk in 1-1/2 days. It was extremely hot. I did not hear any real bugles. Heard some grunts and barks. The bulls are still in velvet. Did see a new elk rub. Hunters nearby indicated they heard bugling Saturday morning. I can't confirm this. It may have been other bow hunters. It needs to cool down, I think, before the elk want to get into the rut. I'll be back in the woods next weekend.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Near Pagosa Springs two bow hunters hunted August 28-29th. Elk were up high near timberline. No bugling.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

September 2-5th. Hunted north of Steamboat Springs. Heard one bugle at 6:30 on the 4th. Got into elk and was able to call-in and talk to cows with calf calls. Heard one bull chuckle. Still very warm and little movement of the elk. It may be two weeks before the elk get going in the rut (e.g. Sept 17-18).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Sept. 3-4: Tincup Pass, west Beuna Vista, two bowhunters didn't hear anything all weekend. No bugling. Deer still in velvet.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Wanted to make one point. On the 4th, the bull that chuckled answered my chuckle twice. So, it could be the beginning of the rut...very beginning.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from GoldenBowman wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Saw about 30 cows this weekend with two bulls, bulls were starting to chase each other around and gathering cows, did not draw this area this year

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from KT123 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Sept. 3-5 Flat Tops wilderness area. No bugles or noise from bulls. Saw only one rub in areas that usually have many. Rutting activity may be a couple of weeks later than normal this year if the last week is any indication.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Sept 8: The rain and cold snap, might be just the ticket to set them elk off into the rut.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Heading up to hunt Sept 16-22. I will try to upload any bugling reports.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from KT123 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Sept. 9-11. Bulls began to bugle, but they were not aggressive and didn't seem to be responding to each other. The bugles occurred randomly during the day, and there weren't very many. I was in the woods from before sunrise until after dark each day. I saw three bulls, two of which were with cows, and only the lone bull bugled. It seems like the are starting to look for cows, but bugles are half hearted at best.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I'm a flatlander from Illinois so I don't have much too add but just wanted to say that I'm enjoying reading your posts. I try to get out west as much as possible.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amck56 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Sept16-18:In the Wet Mountains this weekend, not a sound and the first weekend since archery opened that I didn't see an elk.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from KT123 wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

Sept 17-19: Elk were bugling rarely. They weren't aggressive and did not seem to be challenging each other. I saw only one bull with cows and didn't hear or see what appeared to be frustrated satellite bulls. I shot one bull that was in a bachelor group with 3 other bulls. I still believe that the rut was delayed this year.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

Sept 14: The game processor and a muzzleloader in Steamboat told me that the elk didn't start bugling north of Steamboat Springs until Sept. 14th.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

Sept 16-22: The elk were bugling in the early morning on the 16th. I saw several big bulls without cows. This means they are just getting started in herding up. The bulls would not answer most calls. By the 20th, I did see a couple bulls with one cow. Only one bull was really into the rut and he had one cow and was bugling at 11:00 AM. By the 22nd, some of the elk were going all night long. We have only until the 25th to get a bull. I shot a cow on the 20th, but my wife has a tag and we are going back up today. The rut is at least a week later than usual this year. In fact, the aspens are just starting to turn at 7300 ft. This is a week late as well.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

It appears to me the temperature has a lot to do with the rut. It seems like it's getting later and later each year. Global warming is having an effect on the rut...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from columbus archer wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

I've been hunting unit 28 by Winter Park, Unit 37 east of Breckenridge the last 2 weeks and have yet to hear a bugle. Every hunter i've encountered has said the same thing. Seems as if the rut is 2 weeks behind. To bad the season ends early this year. Aspens the last day have turned color drastically.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

September 23-24th: I guided my wife the last days of the season. The elk were bugling, but they were still not crazy. They would not answer most calls, and if they did, it was a delayed response. Columbus archer may be right...the rut was two weeks late this year. This might be good news for first season rifle. If I was hunting that first season rifle in October, I would make sure I was up there on opening day with my bugle and cow calls. They will shut up as soon as the shooting starts and they will be very hesitant to come into any calls after the first day. It was a tough year for archers in Colorado. The news I got from several other fellow bow hunters were all the same...the elk were very quiet.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

September 24th: My wife and I heard a bugle down low. We busted down the hill, the bull continued to bugle. I knew there was a wallow down there and they were coming into water. It was so darn hot and dry. We got down the hill, I set my wife up, I called and the bull had just moved off to our right. He continued to move off and couldn't keep up with it. It just came into water, bugled while he was moving and shut up. Always next year. I had several other instances where I would go to a bugle, get there, and not hear another thing. The bugling was just too sparatic and there was too much time inbetween bugles. We never got to the peak of the rut.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

September 15-15, 2012: The elk were bugling in the morning until about 10 a.m. both days. There were not that aggressive in returning calls, which tells me that they are not that serious abou the rut yet. Not much budling at night either, which is also an indicator. I would think by this weekend, that things might be heating up. But, the Colorado bow season ends this weekend, which may be too soon to see the peak of the rut.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 33 weeks 1 day ago

Elk were bugling opening day in NW Colorado on August 31st. I think the fact it has been wetter than usual has improved the health of the cows and has gotten them ready sooner for the rut. So, I think the peak of the rut may be mid September instead of late September.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 32 weeks 6 hours ago

CoBowHunter - Are you hunting public land?

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Reply

from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

September 24th: My wife and I heard a bugle down low. We busted down the hill, the bull continued to bugle. I knew there was a wallow down there and they were coming into water. It was so darn hot and dry. We got down the hill, I set my wife up, I called and the bull had just moved off to our right. He continued to move off and couldn't keep up with it. It just came into water, bugled while he was moving and shut up. Always next year. I had several other instances where I would go to a bugle, get there, and not hear another thing. The bugling was just too sparatic and there was too much time inbetween bugles. We never got to the peak of the rut.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

I just finished a weekend bow hunt for elk, deer and bear. Got into a lot of elk in 1-1/2 days. It was extremely hot. I did not hear any real bugles. Heard some grunts and barks. The bulls are still in velvet. Did see a new elk rub. Hunters nearby indicated they heard bugling Saturday morning. I can't confirm this. It may have been other bow hunters. It needs to cool down, I think, before the elk want to get into the rut. I'll be back in the woods next weekend.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Near Pagosa Springs two bow hunters hunted August 28-29th. Elk were up high near timberline. No bugling.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

September 2-5th. Hunted north of Steamboat Springs. Heard one bugle at 6:30 on the 4th. Got into elk and was able to call-in and talk to cows with calf calls. Heard one bull chuckle. Still very warm and little movement of the elk. It may be two weeks before the elk get going in the rut (e.g. Sept 17-18).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Sept. 3-4: Tincup Pass, west Beuna Vista, two bowhunters didn't hear anything all weekend. No bugling. Deer still in velvet.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Wanted to make one point. On the 4th, the bull that chuckled answered my chuckle twice. So, it could be the beginning of the rut...very beginning.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from GoldenBowman wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Saw about 30 cows this weekend with two bulls, bulls were starting to chase each other around and gathering cows, did not draw this area this year

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from KT123 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Sept. 3-5 Flat Tops wilderness area. No bugles or noise from bulls. Saw only one rub in areas that usually have many. Rutting activity may be a couple of weeks later than normal this year if the last week is any indication.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Sept 8: The rain and cold snap, might be just the ticket to set them elk off into the rut.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Heading up to hunt Sept 16-22. I will try to upload any bugling reports.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from KT123 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Sept. 9-11. Bulls began to bugle, but they were not aggressive and didn't seem to be responding to each other. The bugles occurred randomly during the day, and there weren't very many. I was in the woods from before sunrise until after dark each day. I saw three bulls, two of which were with cows, and only the lone bull bugled. It seems like the are starting to look for cows, but bugles are half hearted at best.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I'm a flatlander from Illinois so I don't have much too add but just wanted to say that I'm enjoying reading your posts. I try to get out west as much as possible.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amck56 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Sept16-18:In the Wet Mountains this weekend, not a sound and the first weekend since archery opened that I didn't see an elk.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from KT123 wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

Sept 17-19: Elk were bugling rarely. They weren't aggressive and did not seem to be challenging each other. I saw only one bull with cows and didn't hear or see what appeared to be frustrated satellite bulls. I shot one bull that was in a bachelor group with 3 other bulls. I still believe that the rut was delayed this year.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

Sept 14: The game processor and a muzzleloader in Steamboat told me that the elk didn't start bugling north of Steamboat Springs until Sept. 14th.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

Sept 16-22: The elk were bugling in the early morning on the 16th. I saw several big bulls without cows. This means they are just getting started in herding up. The bulls would not answer most calls. By the 20th, I did see a couple bulls with one cow. Only one bull was really into the rut and he had one cow and was bugling at 11:00 AM. By the 22nd, some of the elk were going all night long. We have only until the 25th to get a bull. I shot a cow on the 20th, but my wife has a tag and we are going back up today. The rut is at least a week later than usual this year. In fact, the aspens are just starting to turn at 7300 ft. This is a week late as well.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

It appears to me the temperature has a lot to do with the rut. It seems like it's getting later and later each year. Global warming is having an effect on the rut...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from columbus archer wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

I've been hunting unit 28 by Winter Park, Unit 37 east of Breckenridge the last 2 weeks and have yet to hear a bugle. Every hunter i've encountered has said the same thing. Seems as if the rut is 2 weeks behind. To bad the season ends early this year. Aspens the last day have turned color drastically.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

September 23-24th: I guided my wife the last days of the season. The elk were bugling, but they were still not crazy. They would not answer most calls, and if they did, it was a delayed response. Columbus archer may be right...the rut was two weeks late this year. This might be good news for first season rifle. If I was hunting that first season rifle in October, I would make sure I was up there on opening day with my bugle and cow calls. They will shut up as soon as the shooting starts and they will be very hesitant to come into any calls after the first day. It was a tough year for archers in Colorado. The news I got from several other fellow bow hunters were all the same...the elk were very quiet.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

September 15-15, 2012: The elk were bugling in the morning until about 10 a.m. both days. There were not that aggressive in returning calls, which tells me that they are not that serious abou the rut yet. Not much budling at night either, which is also an indicator. I would think by this weekend, that things might be heating up. But, the Colorado bow season ends this weekend, which may be too soon to see the peak of the rut.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 33 weeks 1 day ago

Elk were bugling opening day in NW Colorado on August 31st. I think the fact it has been wetter than usual has improved the health of the cows and has gotten them ready sooner for the rut. So, I think the peak of the rut may be mid September instead of late September.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 32 weeks 6 hours ago

CoBowHunter - Are you hunting public land?

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Reply