Don't Miss the Rut!

Late summer is an exciting time of year at Northwest Trek. Take a Discovery Tram Tour and learn all about the exciting rut, or breeding, habits of hooved animals like deer, sheep, elk and moose. Watch and listen as they grunt, snort, bugle, and spar!

Sounds, postures, and gestures

The rut, or breeding season, is the time of year when hooved animals pass on their genes to continue the species. Males generally assert dominance over each other to compete for females, who ultimately decide the genetic fate of the herd. To establish a hierarchy of dominance, individuals use sounds, dominant behaviors, submissive behaviors, courtship postures, and other social cues.

Got Elk?

Hear the famous Roosevelt Elk bugle in the video below. The bugle is a long call, usually made by larger bull elk, that asserts dominance over other bull elk. This video also shows a practice sparring session for juvenile bull elk.

Meet some of the animals in rut

The rut season is different for each species. Look for these animals in the Free-Roaming Area.
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American Bison
Roosevelt Elk
North American Moose
Rut: August-September Rut: Late August-September
 Rut: October-November
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Black-tailed Deer  Bighorn Sheep
Rut: October-November Rut: November-December  

Learn More

Look for the rut behavior of Roosevelt Elk and other hooved animals during a Discovery Tram Tour, included with admission. Each Discovery Tram Tour is guided by a friendly naturalist who will answer all your questions about the rut and satisfy your curiosity about these majestic animals!

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