- The North American elk is one of the continent’s largest mammals.
- Elk are primarily found in the mountainous regions of the western U.S. Relatively small herds can be found in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia and Kentucky.
- Elk meat can be prepared the same as beef.
- Elk meat has a richer, sweeter flavor and it makes a great roast!
- Considered among hunters to be one of the best wild-game meats.
- It’s similar to venison, but is usually leaner and has little-to-no gamey flavor.
- Light, lean and tender.
- Elk is also rich in minerals, particularly iron and phosphorus which accounts for its rich dark coloring.
- Bulls develop massive antlers that extend over four feet from their head and span just as far apart.
- A fully mature bull rack weighs as much as 40 pounds.
- Bulls lose their antlers each winter and grow a new set each spring, just like the white-tailed deer.
- North American elk population is now estimated to include over one million animals.
- Males (known as “bulls”) typically weigh between 400 and 700 pounds, but can grow to 1,000 pounds
- Females (known as “cows”) weigh between 300 and 600 pounds.
- For most of the year, bulls live in small groups identified as bachelor groups while cows, calves, and yearling bulls (spikes) live in herds.
- Cows generally give birth to one offspring — known as a calf — each year during late May or early June.
- Elk graze on grass year round. They seek out alpine meadows found at higher elevations during the spring and summer months, and locate valleys and open areas during the late fall and winter when extreme weather is less of a factor.
Bull: adult male.
Cow: adult female.
Spike: yearling bull.