I guess they’re not “lost”, just misplaced.
I heard a calf crying for 20-30 minutes before I saw it behind the fence. It sounded like it was coming down to get to the road along the fenceline. There were no adults around and the calf was running back and forth on the road, clearly lost. Mama wasn’t calling to calm it down either. Then a few adult elk came into view in the field and the calf quieted down a little. It was still bothered that it couldn’t get close to mama though. The cows seem so nonchalant about their calves. They wander off and just leave them crying. Animal behavior is interesting…sometimes it is similar to human behavior.
Anyway, then I saw 2 calves on the other side of the fence. At the end of the couple hours, both adults and calves were going in the same direction albeit with a fence in between. I’m sure there is a place the elk can jump the fence to get back to their calves.
Here’s a video of an older elk sibling taking advantage of the situation. You can barely see the 2 little calves moving behind the tall grass and fence near the top of the screen; one behind the first cow and the other passes behind the 2nd cow elk.
Click on YouTube (bottom-right of video) for a better view.