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The speaker is a 61-year-old White man with a high school education from Jackson, Wyoming; he was recorded in 1967.

County: Teton
State: WY

The town of Jackson (present-day population approximately 9,500) lies at the southern end of Jackson Hole, a valley surrounded by the picturesque Teton mountains. Hunting, cattle ranching, and fur trading were once the backbone of the local economy, but have since been replaced by tourism (catering to national park visitors in the summer and skiers in the winter). The area???s mountains and valleys are a natural habitat for large herds of migratory elk. In 1912 the federal government bought land and created the National Elk Refuge just north of Jackson. In this segment the speaker talks about the calls a male elk uses in the wild for mating or for challenging other bulls.
Inf: Well, the elk bugle is the m-, uh, a sound like a trumpet sound made by the male animals during the rutting season or mating season, which is, uh, normally from the first full moon in September for about, uh, five weeks. And it seems that they, uh, it aggravates it more to have snow and cold weather. They seem to be more active during that time than they do when it???s a good dry fall. In the good, uh, hot days and cool nights, why, they don???t say much in the daytime, where they???re, especially where they???re hunted. But uh, when it???s stormy, then they move around a lot and, uh, carry on considerable.

And that bugle is a challenge that the bull gives when he, uh, wants to collect a harem of cows. The harems run from three to twenty head, is an average group that a bull has with him. I???ve seen as high as sixty with one bull, but, uh, where there???s a lot of little bulls, a big bull can???t handle that many cows. While he???s out on one side of the herd to fighting ou-, off a bull, four, five other bulls come in on the other side and each one drives four, five cows away. And he can???t keep track of that many.

And then the bugle is used to um, challenge another bull to combat. And, uh, this, this is, uh, nature???s way of, uh, choosing the fit for survival. If these bulls aren???t in perfect condition, they can???t, uh, the, the weak bulls get whipped outta the herd, get whipped away and, an??? uh, kept away from the cow. So it???s just the strong that, uh, can stand this rigorous rutting season, and that???s why they have a good strong calf crop.

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