How long have elk been living in the Colorado Rockies? A thousand years? Ten thousand years or maybe longer? With the days heavy winds beginning to abate, I wandered out on a trail and took a step back in time. Armed with radically different gear and intent than our archaic forebears, I crouched in the tall grass and took in the scene. Harems of cow elk were being jealously guarded by the herd bull. Meanwhile, satellite bulls circled the periphery looking for a chance to mate with a cow elk that had wandered from the herd bull’s view. Quickly, the herd bull runs to defend his harem as he lowers his immense rack and readies for battle. Bugling and chuckling emanate from field and forest both near and far and betray their locations. Tapping into ancient life cycles like the elk rut is a wildly enriching experience that nourishes the spirit and connects you to your older self.