Elk Hunting Tips – Know Elk Biology
As an informed elk hunter, both for archery elk hunting and rifle elk hunting, I want to know as much about the animal as possible. Knowing the animal, the elk biology and elk habits, you have a slightly better chance at coming home with meat.
So, over the next few weeks I’ll be posting information about elk biology and elk habitat.
The first post today: Information about Bull Elk
Bulls expend a great amount of energy during the rut. It is not uncommon for a bull to loose 100-150 pounds causing bulls to come into winter in poor body condition, making them more susceptible to the scabies mite and other diseases.
- Elk have a two layer coat: a wooly undercoat and longer hollow guard hairs with air trapping qualities on top. The winter coat is shed in the spring and replaced by a thin, sleek summer coat.
- Elk will lie with their feet tucked under the body to reduce heat loss during cold winter days and nights.
- Elk have a reduced blood supply to their legs which keeps their core body temperature higher.
- Elk herd together during storms to prevent heat loss.
- Energy intensive activities, such as long movements, are reduced in the winter.
- Wapiti is the Shawnee name for elk meaning “white rump”.
- A bull averages 600 lbs. in winter and 700 lbs. in summer.
- A cow averages 500 lbs. in winter and 450-500 lbs. in summer. Calves weigh 30-35 lbs. at birth.
- During a calf’s first winter they weigh an average of 250 lbs.
- Elk can run at speed bursts up to 45 mph and can sustain 30 mph.
- Elk eat about 20 lbs. of grass per day. They eat about half this during the winter because the grass is cured, less digestible and less available.
- Calves have virtually no odor at birth and blend well with their surroundings.
- Elk are ruminants like cows and have four stomachs.
More to come…..