You do not want to get in the middle of two bull elk, especially if it’s right in the middle of rutting season.
The typical rutting season for elk starts in the middle of September and lasts a month or so, and features high tension and aggression displayed by male elk fighting for territory, or even worse, a mate.
In this clip, it seems likely that the battle between the bull elk was over a cow elk in the haremF, and they decided to throw down right in the middle of the group as they all were standing in a shallow stream. If they aren’t careful, they could end up like two unfortunate moose that got their antlers locked together, causing them to both drown in knee-deep water(human knee measurement, not moose measurement).
I’m sure a couple of the elk were thinking “really? right now? right here?” as the two towering bull elk started to square up with one another. As soon as their antlers went down, every other elk in the area that wanted no part of the fight evacuated the body of water as quickly as they could.
There was certainly some bad blood, or maybe even some history, between these two elk when they locked eyes and decided to clash some antlers. This type of behavior is normal with male elk, but something about this matchup made it seem like these two antlered animals really didn’t like each other.
Antlers start clanking and water starts splashing as the bull elk go at it, and both of them try to dig their legs into the slippery stream to gain leverage on the other. The fight looks like it’s rather even (excluding some moments, like when one of the elk pushes the other out of the water and up the bank), and seeing that much raw power in full force shows just how badass nature can be.
The battling bull elk keep their antlers locked together for a good 30 seconds before they finally dislodge from one another and back up. They continue to be in the “attack position,” though it looks like by the end of the video, their fight is most likely over, or is at least experiencing a brief break before another round (like a boxing match).
You can view the remarkable encounter between the two full grown bull elk below: