When the chill turns the aspen to gold, bull elk are busy battling other bulls for the right to breed the females that come into estrus.
Elk antlers are designed to disengage when combatants back away. But they are easily damaged while velvet-covered and spongy-soft inside. Fortunately for this spike elk, these damaged antlers will be shed over winter, and both of his new antlers should grow normally next summer.
A pronghorn bucks marks his territory with scent glands, and one pair of glands is located just below the ears. When the mature bucks rub their horns and scent glands onto vegetation, they sometimes end up with a new set of head decorations.