Elk are majestic creatures. At Rocky Mountain Elk Ranch, we interact with these animals on a regular basis, offering success-guaranteed hunts at our lodge in Idaho. As such, we’re quite fond of these magnificent beasts and have a lot of knowledge about them. We’re happy to share our expertise with you, so we’ve created a list of fun facts about elk that you probably didn’t know.
1. Bulls and Cows
If you’re a hunter, this fact probably isn’t news to you, but for the uninitiated, male elk are known as bulls, and female elk are known as cows. This terminology differs from the other members of the deer family, but it’s vital jargon to know if you ever plan on hunting elk.
2. Elk Are Surprisingly Fast
Elk are one of the largest deer species on the planet and can weigh up to 1,100 pounds. However, don’t let their substantial size fool you; these creatures are fast. A bull can run up to 40 miles per hour. At top speed, Usain Bolt, the fastest man on Earth, wouldn’t come close to beating an elk in a race.
3. Elk Are Very Social
Elk prefer to live in large groups, also known as herds. Finding elk herds that reach well into the hundreds isn’t uncommon. However, the biggest herds have been estimated to be much larger than that; Colorado alone has nearly 300,000 elk.
4. The More Antler Points, The Better Luck With The Ladies
Hunters get excited by the number of antler points a bull has, but it isn’t just humans that prefer more points; cows do too. If given a choice to mate with a bull with six points or a bull with ten points, the cow will usually choose the ten-point bull.
5. The Why and How Behind the Bugle
Now, this is one of the most unique fun facts about elk that you’ll come across. If you’ve ever been around bulls during rut season, you’ve probably heard them make a very distinct sound, like a high-pitched whistle that turns into a grunting sound. This sound is known as a bugle, and it’s a bull’s mating call. It’s an interesting sound; they create it by whistling with their nostrils and roaring with their throat simultaneously.
6. Newborn Elk Are Camoflagued
When a baby elk, known as a calf, are born, they are quickly hidden by its mother in tall grass or thick brush. Calves lay nearly motionless for about 15 days, so keeping them hidden from predators is essential.
Fast Fun Facts About Elk
There are too many fascinating facts about elk to cap our list at six. Enjoy a few more fast facts.
- Elk are the loudest species of deer.
- The Shawnee called elk “wapiti,” which translates to “white rump.”
- Elk coat themselves in urine “perfume” to help attract mates.
- Most of the year, elk stick to same-sex groups inside the herd.
- Elk antlers can grow up to an inch a day and grow faster in the sunlight.
Are you interested in learning more about elk? Rocky Mountain Elk Ranch’s blog is full of great information on elk, hunting tips, and more. We’d love to have you visit our Idaho ranch for an unforgettable elk hunt. For more information about staying with us, visit our website or give us a call at 208-351-7301.