How did the Roosevelt Elk inherit their name?
Roosevelt Elk inherited their byname through President Theodore Roosevelt in the early 1900s; their formal name is Olympic Elk and in the late 1800s, they were nearing extinction as a result of inadequate hunting guidelines and conservation practices. Theodore Roosevelt, widely regarded as the “Conservationist President,” took the action necessary to recognize the valued lands that should be left untouched as well as owned and maintained by the U.S. government, establishing national forests and parks around the country. In preserving these environments, the many animals living in these areas of the United States became protected as well. One specie, in particular, was the Olympic elk and thus, they are now often called Roosevelt elk, the name that will be of reference in this article.
Get to know the Roosevelt Elk.
With a notable presence in both Oregon and Washington, the Roosevelt elk are found within the mountainous and densely forested areas of the land. Being herbivores, the diet of the Roosevelt elk consists of grasses, ferns, shrubs, and lichens found amidst their surroundings that are filled with desirable vegetation. The bulls weigh up to 1,200 pounds, while the cows maintain a weight of 700 pounds to 730 pounds; these elk are easily identified through their large necks that are comprised of a fairly dark shade of brown fur, while the rump is relatively light in color. With a keen sense of smell and excellent hearing, the Roosevelt elk seek to stay concealed within their Pacific forests when any potential threat arises; they typically roam at dawn and dusk. In addition, they are found living in large herds, though the bulls prefer to remain in isolation until rutting season.
When does rutting season begin for the Roosevelt Elk?
Rutting season for the Roosevelt Elk begins in late August and lasts into October. Especially during this season, bulls will partake in bugling, a call that can be heard for miles, although is sometimes hindered when the elk are within a thicket of trees. Furthermore, the bulls will form their harems of cows, in which they will breed with as the bulls become defensive and highly aggressive towards other bulls. Gestation for the cows lasts until May or June, and then the cows become exceedingly protective over their young, a time in which spectators and hunters must be on alert when in close proximity to these spectacular elk.