2.7 bull elk idle
Bull elk are the sole male members of an elk herd found within any of the game's designated elk hunting grounds. They emit hot pink scent trails. Males can easily be visually identified due to their thick necks and a pair of antlers (which vary in appearance per season). They are not as vocal as their female counterparts. While not observed personally by players in-game, bull elk are responsible for the occasional ambient bugling.[1]


Male elk are comparatively hardier and stronger than their female companions. Though it will take more time, effort and strategy to send these bulls fleeing, they are not to be underestimated by lone players or small packs. Their endurance and damage output is better and stronger than those possessed by cow elk. It is very easy to fall to a bull elk standing his ground if proper caution is thrown to the wind and the task of preparation has not been undertaken.

Depending on difficulty, elk of both sexes can run for shorter or longer periods of time on the easiest and hardest difficulties, respectively. When health is running low, he will turn and face the player, fighting back until his last breath.


Almost all prey emit two types of scent plumes.

Large plumes rising into the sky are indicative of the location of a carcass, either from natural world generation or the final resting place of prey that has been hunted and killed by players. These persist until the carcass has been consumed and will only dissipate when its source has been fully depleted.

Small plumes indicate a trail left by prey, serving as a guide which players can follow to find the scent's source. Hunting grounds always generate trails leading to the herd. Ravens, which often fly above the herd, can be used in place of scent tracking.


  • Though it is a different shade, they share their scent trail color categorization (magenta) with cow elk.
  • Bull elk carcasses never naturally spawn in the game world. Elk carcasses generated are always cow elk, which is evident by their physical appearance.
    • As of 2.7.3, which saw the introduction of moose, this remains unchanged despite the presence of bull (and cow) moose carcasses randomly replacing an elk carcass during world generation.


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