Friday, May 11, 2012

5/11/12 Elk Viewing Excellent Today

Newborn Calf Elk 
Elk viewing is outstanding in the valley now, but you must get up to see them. Viewing in most seasons is an "ends of the day affair", never more than the "summer pattern" we are in now. I saw elk in all zones this morning, and stragglers elsewhere. To see them all you must get up early and be out there at daybreak.

Early summer mornings are great viewing, evenings are good viewing.

There is an amazing amount of forage now until haying is completed over the next few weeks. For ranchers, this means there will be 3 cuttings of hay, an outstanding year.

Calving is the theme for the next few months. Some cow elk breed early in the rut, and others late.  They return to estrous on 30 day cycles until successfully bred. This process extends across months from early September (early) to even January (very late). The peak for calving is in June, but early calves could begin arriving now and extends to late summer. The peak for calving is just weeks ahead.

Haying in Boxley Valley -- A great photo
opportunity in morning fog
Remember this. You will not likely see a newborn calf elk, but if you do, give the cow and calf room. A cow elk with a calf is a dangerous animal and she will attack and stomp you. I will be reporting more on calving in the next entry.

Sometimes I get asked to guide. I don't. I will not tell anyone where elk nurseries are, don't ask. We need to respect these animals and not harass them. This is especially true during calving season.

See updated elk herd location map below:

May 7, 2012 Elk Herd Location Map & Wildflower List

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