|Photo by Kate Thomas Keown|
by Jojo (grade 6)
Imagine you're driving in the misty morning and a giant creature wanderers across the road and then disappears into the mist. What was that creature? That creature might have been a Rocky Mountain Elk. Rocky Mountain Elk are hanging around Camp Sherman and Sisters and are moving all the time in a giant herd of about 100+ elk. What are they doing here? They are migrating through Oregon and are trying to find food wherever they go. Then during the Spring, hunting season opens and they split up and go there own ways. That's why it is so hard to hunt these creatures because they are always moving to new places while they are looking for food.
These elk are also here to mate. They gather up in large groups and then they fight for a mate. The bulls fight for the females. The winning bull gets to mate with the female(s) depending on how many there are. Then the females leave the pack and give birth to the babies around June. When baby elk are born, they normally weigh about 30 to 33 pounds. During March and April the elk shed their antlers because they are preparing for the summer breeding season. The will grow them back before summer.
Why are elk so hard to hunt? This herd is really hard to hunt because there are very few bulls and they are a lot smarter than other younger bulls. Some of them have been around a lot longer and they are adapted to the environment and its surroundings. Another thing is these elk are really scared of humans so they stay out of recreational areas and they are always moving to a different location. So it is very hard to get them in one spot to hunt them. The elk usually go where there is food so they will graze in open fields and grassy pastures as well as lush green areas and may be found roaming through the forest. Overall these majestic creatures are one of a kind and are roaming freely today.