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Sunday, November 3, 2019

New Behavior

 As I was about to feed the dogs breakfast 4 weeks ago Carol noticed a few elk outside. The more we looked the more there were and they were all around the house. Separate herds just kept coming and hanging around the house. As we began to watch them for the next hour we noticed that there were 9 mature bulls and that 9 herds had actually congregated around the house for as far as we could see.  I have never seen 9 distinct herds combine and hang around so long.

We had to take the photos from inside the house so we wouldn't spook them by going outside which is why the railing is in the pictures.
Other that the two bulls in a pushing match, which didn't seem very serious, all the bulls got along with no competition between them.  There were so many elk that we could not begin to count all of them but there were many. Almost on cue they broke into the smaller herds that they arrived with and each went their separate way and in different directions. They all mingled together and then just as suddenly as they arrived they departed in different directions.
I have waited for a month to make sure they were not coming back and none have nor have we seen any signs of elk around. We know some poachers watch our blog to keep track of the location of the elk which is why I have waited this long to post the photos. We have never seen so many separate herds come together like this and then intermingle - then each go their different directions.

We have not seen any for weeks before this congregation all came together and since they have left we have not seen any sign of a single elk. One group went toward the big lake at the end of our road, two herds went up the mountain in different directions, another went down the mountain, and the others all got into their respective herds and moved off. I would estimate that there were 30-75 in each individual herd. The 9 bulls don't include the younger spikes we saw. We may never see that phenomenon again. We felt privileged to watch for a solid hour.



Caddie said...

This was truly amazing. Thank you for sharing.

Caddie said...

My comment never came up, so posting again. So many elk gathered is just amazing. You are so fortunate. Thank you for sharing.

Bruce said...

Caddie: Your comment was in the dashboard but I have it set so I publish comments that are submitted. A vast amount of comments come from outside the USA and in language that I don't understand. Some attach web sites to their comment using our blog site for advertising or scams. I therefore have it set so I can review the comments before they are published to sort out the wrong ones.
We appreciate your taking the time to comment and give us feedback. Comments do not get published sometimes until the next day.

Gypsy said...

What a treat to have this many elk visit you. Do you have any idea about elk behavior, or why these two herds congregated around your place? You are so fortunate.

Bruce said...

Gypsy: I don't understand elk behavior that well but from all I can determine this gathering was outside of the ordinary behavior.