Friday, June 1, 2012

6/1/12 Elk Calving Month Has Arrived

4 Day Old Calf in Rare Roadside Picture
June is the peak month for elk calving. Calving will continue for at least two months, and there will be calves born quite late, but June is considered the peak.

This morning the elk pattern was clearly from the mid-valley and points south, but there were stragglers elsewhere. As I mentioned in my previous post, the seasonal cow herds are now broken into smaller groups for the most part, and there are many cow elk that are isolating themselves in preparation to give birth. Typically they will rejoin the herds a few weeks after calving when their newborns are mobile.

Should you run into a cow elk with a newborn calf, give her a lot of room. She can and will stomp you if she thinks you are a threat to her baby. This happens every so often as tourists don't heed threatening gestures that are clear to experienced wildlife watchers. Remember these are wild animals, and never so wild as when they are protecting their young.

The bull elk are in velvet and this morning were right along Highway 43. These were the big guys. As is true this time of year, you have to get out early to be assured of seeing them. The bull elk were gone today by 7AM.

If you get to the valley at sunrise, watch for elk along the roadsides. Many fields have been hayed and the roadsides offer the best forage.

New month, new map. See the locations of elk below on June 1, 2012:

6/1/2012 Elk Herd Locations -- Stragglers Elsewhere 

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