Elk – Cervus canadensis
The Elk deer is a very large deer species and one that has a unique stature to it. The males especially stand with a very proud design to them. You can’t help but be impressed with the way these animals carry themselves. The males usually have antlers that are very large and that have six or more points on each antler.
You will notice that Elk deer have hair that grows in several body areas. Depending on the location where they live this hair can be very long. The body is usually a shade of brown and very glossy. They can also feature darker colors though including gray. It isn’t uncommon for them to have some light cream patches on the sides of the body. Full grown males can weigh up to 700 pounds. The females are usually smaller at about 500 pounds.
Elk deer Distribution
The location for the Elk deer varies depending on the seasons. During the warm summer months when there is lots of food they can be found roaming the open plains. As the colder winter moves in, it becomes harder to find food sources. That is when the Elk deer will move into the wooded areas for shelter and to be able to find as much food as they can for survival.
Elk deer Behavior
The Elk deer is a more independent species of deer. They do form herds but they do it more out of the need for group protection than for socialization. The males don’t remain with the herd at all once they reach the age of maturity. It can be very hard for a male Elk deer to be able to establish a territory where there isn’t already a claim to it.
Elk deer Diet and Feeding
The food sources for the Elk deer will vary by season as well as the location where they are found living. Some of the common items they consume include various types of grass and different species of plants.
Elk deer Reproduction
The males will create harems out of the does that are ready to breed. What is also noted is that the older and stronger males won’t have just one harem. Instead they will have several of them that they go to in order to mate with as many females as possible during that six week period of time.
It is almost 9 months later when the fawn arrives. This is from May until June of the year that follows the breeding season. There is almost always only one calf born at a time. The mothers take excellent care of the young and will wean them when they are about two months of age. The females are ready for mating at two years of age and it is three years for the males.
Elk deer Human interaction
Due to the enormous size of the Elk deer it is one species of deer that people avidly like to go hunting for. They can get lots of meat from one and also have a very large trophy to display. The Elk deer is strong, powerful, and also very fast though so it can be quite a challenge to successfully take one down.
They don’t tend to be as frightened by people and vehicles as other types of deer. Around many busy roads they can be seen standing to the side but not bolting across the roads or creating a dangerous situation for those around.