Every year around May through early June, elk mothers leave their herds to give birth in solitude. Their newborn calves look and act much like baby deer, and spend their first few weeks of life hiding in low brush. Their spotted coat and lack of scent naturally hides them from predators, and for good reason—calves are easy prey for any wolf, bear, cougar, or coyote that happens to find one. If the young animal manages to survive to two weeks of age, it will return to the relative security of the herd with its mother. At two months of age, the calf will be fully weaned and begin to lose its spots.
In conjunction with #PROJECTELK, RMEF’s latest installment of Elk Country Chronicles takes you through the perilous first year of an elk’s life. For more elk facts, you can visit the RMEF’s website here.