Every season has its distinct smells, sights, sounds and sensations: the immaculate white of winter, the first breeze of spring that anticipates summer, the smells of cut grass, sunscreen and July barbecues.

And then, of course, there’s fall, which in the Rocky Mountain West comes with its very own soundtrack: the eerie, otherworldly cacophonous bugle of the bull elk — an invitation to any females within earshot to come join his harem, a challenge and a warning to any males who dare to encroach on his domain or covet his potential mates.

We’re just past the height of bugling season, but those who venture out to the edge of a forest meadow or stop and park on a mostly untrafficked dirt road still stand a very good chance of hearing the bellow coming through the woods. And as soon as they do, it will truly be autumn for them.

Read more about the rutting season of the Jackson Hole Elk Herd in the Valley + Scene section of the Oct. 14 edition of the Jackson Hole News&Guide, and also catch up on the arts and entertainment world, get acquainted with the routines of a few of the RV’ers who have been visiting the Tetons all summer, learn about the latest innovative project of the nonprofit Vista360° and, as always, so much more.

— Richard Anderson

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