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The antlers and neck, which is somewhat thicker and straighter, are the only visual differences between males and females.
When hunted, they flee until provoked. While a cow elk will flee and only chooses to fight before she is taken down, requiring multiple bites before she turns and fights until the last breath. The bull is quite unique in that he will turn to face the player much sooner as opposed to fleeing. He deals more damage than a cow elk.
One bull elk will spawn in every elk hunting grounds. Due to his scent trail's different shade of pink, it is easier to spot among the magenta trails of the cows in the herd.
A bull is difficult to take down alone, but not impossible; perseverance is especially rewarding if hunting with a mate in single player and being within range of a carcass with which to restore health whenever necessary. In multiplayer, it is advisable to hunt one with a pack of three or more players and activate a pack rally for the strength boost, repeating when the effects have expired.
Death is a common occurrence while hunting him, especially if there are no carcasses nearby or if it becomes difficult to run and kill a hare that has spawned nearby. A common strategy involves biting the rump, while others repeatedly bite the neck until dying, only to continue the assault upon re-spawning until he is killed.
It is fairly common for players to group together and howl after successfully bringing down a bull elk.
- Though it is a different shade, they share their scent trail color (pink) 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 lack of antlers.
- Unlike cows, who will often turn around and try to flee upon being pursued, bull elk will turn around and attack the player upon being pursued without fleeing.