This excellent short film, The Life of Elk, is the perfect primer on elk biology and behavior for either the uninitiated or elk fanatics both.
The Life of Elk is a seven-minute film that pretty well covers all the bases concerning basic elk biology and behavior through the four seasons.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) put this film together as an introduction to the life of the large ungulate and although it is clearly a kid friendly production, folks of all ages will enjoy this quick tour of an elk’s life cycle throughout the year.
There may even be a few tidbits of information that experienced elk hunters may have forgotten or didn’t know. Like the fact that elk calves gain around two pounds a day during the first several months of their lives. Or that mature bulls can lose upwards of 200 pounds from constant fighting with other bulls during the rut.
But perhaps most startling to some will be the statistic that prior to the European settlement of North America, more than 10-million elk roamed the land.
By the early 1900s elk had been reduced to around 41,000 animals, thanks primarily to market gunning.
But thanks again to sport hunters and the development of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, elk have made a terrific comeback and now number over a million animals. They’ve been reintroduced into several Eastern states, as well as into Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ontario, and their population continues to grow.
That’s a great message and one that cannot be said often enough.
As the film rightly concludes, hunters are indeed the greatest conservationists in the world. Keep spreading the word, and share this video with your kids.
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.