There are few greater icons of the North American wilderness than elk, and thanks to the combined efforts of hunters and conservationists across the continent, the species is able to thrive today. At one time, before the arrival of European settlers, more than 10 million elk roamed across North America. Elk played a significant part in Native American culture and were highly valued not only for their meat, but also their hides, which provided material for clothing, shelter, and blankets. The demand for elk meat and hide eventually led to dwindling elk numbers, and by the turn of the century, fewer than 50,000 remained.
Theodore Roosevelt was one of the first champions for the species, helping to start the modern conservation movement and setting aside millions of acres for the elk to thrive on. Today, hunting and conservation organizations like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation continue to do the good work and ensure that the elk has a place in North America.
Of course, you probably knew all that. So how well do you think you know elk? For the experts out there, this quiz should be a breeze, but don’t worry—we’re already working on a harder version.
Image courtesy the Bureau of Land Management