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ELK

ELK ENCOUNTERS

• Like moose, elk may appear to be docile and calm, but they can become aggressive very quickly if they are agitated.

• Caution should be used around elk, especially in the spring, when mothers—known as cows—are protective of their young and also in the fall, when elk are in their mating season, known as the rut.

• A mature bull elk can run as fast as 40 mph and have even been able to outrun a horse is a sprint.

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ELK (Cervus canadensis) ECOLOGY

• The North American elk stands as one of the largest deer species on earth.

• Elk are herbivores, with grass being their preferred food source.

• Elk breed from mid-September to the middle of October and give birth in the spring. During this breeding period, bull elk bugle to announce their presence and attract mates. This very distinctive sound is caused by the elk expelling air through both his lips and nostrils simultaneously. In fact, the elk is whistling and roaring at the same time.

• Elk shed their antlers in March or April. Elk antlers are made of a fast-growing bone that can grow as much as one inch per day, depending on how much sunlight the elk is exposed to. Sunlight causes a boost in testosterone levels, causing the increased antler growth.

• Bulls can reach up to 800 pounds. Mature cows typically weigh between 500 and 600 pounds. 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ELK IN MONTANA, CLICK THIS LINK.