There were 3 elk calves in this small Roosevelt Elk herd today. I read that a calf is fully weaned by the end of the summer…about 2 months old. And a calf will gain 250-300 pounds in the first year. As quickly as they gain weight, maybe these 2 calves are only a couple weeks apart? I’ve got more questions than answers!
The calves don’t stick right next to mom all day so do they find each other again by smell or voice or sight? I’ve seen the calf get close to a couple cows who chase it away before she finds the one she can nurse.
At least once during the summer I’ll see a yearling nursing and wonder if the mom had and lost a calf and her last year’s calf is just opportunistic?
They’re beautiful animals without a doubt.
The Roosevelt Elk calves will mostly lose their spots by winter. But the yearlings still act like kids; jumping, running and playing with each other. Here’s one of the little calves trying to figure out the purpose of a scarecrow. To watch this YouTube video in a larger window, click on the play arrow and then on the YouTube icon in the lower right corner.
I got out early today to see if the elk were still hanging around where I saw them bedded down last evening. I didn’t find any newborn calves but there were a couple yearlings showing their new antlers.
Most of the elk have lost their winter coats by now but this calf seems to be lagging behind. I’ve noticed an adult keeps their coat a little longer than the others too. I can’t remember if it is a cow or a bull though. If I see him/her I’ll now know who this little guy belongs to.
There are about 35 elk in this herd. I wonder how many can call Alllie Mom?