While driving along Endert’s Beach Road south of Crescent City CA (Del Norte County), Leonard and I were surprised to see a small herd of Roosevelt elk (Cervus canadensis roosevelti) cows and their calves in a field next to the road. I was able to get quite close for a few pictures.
In the early fall bull elk begin to form a harem. Often rival bulls must fight to claim cows for their harem. A single calf is born 240 to 262 (average about 255) days after breeding, usually in late May or early June. Rarely the pregnancy results in twins and even less frequently in triplets. The baby weighs between 30 and 35 pounds and has a spotted coat. The calf can follow its mother at 3 or 4 days and grazes in 4 to 6 weeks. After about two months the calf is weaned from its mother’s milk, however, it will stay with the mother for almost a year, leaving just before next season’s offspring arrive.
Since I discussed Roosevelt elk in a previous post (10-01-2012 “Roosevelt Elk”), the information will not be repeated again.