4 Animal Sounds Every Hiker Should Hear Before They Die

Bucket lists aren't just about views. Make a point to hear these 4 amazing animal sounds in the wild.
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Bucket lists aren't just about views. Make a point to hear these 4 amazing animal sounds in the wild.

Bugling Elk

You won’t believe this sound comes out of that animal until you hear it for yourself.

[audio mp3="http://www.backpacker.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/52elkbellow.mp3"][/audio]
Where Rockies and west
Time of day Sunrise to midmorning and late afternoon to sundown.
Time of year September and October
Terrain Meadows
Best hikeTonahutu Loop in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Howling Gray Wolf

Let this chorus of baleful echoes send chills down your spine.

[audio mp3="http://www.backpacker.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/11wolfhowls.mp3"][/audio]
Where Northern MN, WI, and MI; spotty in the West (but usually north)
Time of day Nightfall
Time of year Year-round (winter is best in Yellowstone, late summer is best in Minnesota)
Terrain Valleys abutting forests
Best hikeMcCargoe Cove to Rock Harbor in Isle Royale National Park, MI

Rattling Rattlesnake

We don’t recommend actually seeking this out, but we guarantee it will be memorable. Back away slowly.

[audio mp3="http://www.backpacker.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/22rattlesnake.mp3"][/audio]
Where Almost everywhere
Time of day All day
Time of year Year-round in temps above 60°F (most active in 80-90°F)
Terrain Almost everywhere; check reptileknowledge.com.
“Best” hikeGila Crest South in Gila National Forest, NM

Battling Painted Buntings

Listen to this birdsong competition as males vie for females.

[audio mp3="http://www.backpacker.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/35indigobunting.mp3"][/audio]
Where South and the Atlantic Coast
Time of day Dawn to midmorning or late afternoon
Time of year Late March to late August
Terrain Thick underbrush
Best hikeRay Roberts Greenbelt Hike in Clear Creek National Heritage Center, TX