Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tule Elk

The tule elk is the smallest subspecies of North American elk and is found in the marsh and grasslands of California. I found the ones below in the Owens Valley between Lone Pine and Bishop. They can also be found in Carrizo Plains National Monument and Point Reyes National Seashore.

Adult males weight between 450 and 550 pounds and females 375 to 425 pounds.

I have seen them several times along the road above Lone Pine.

My most recent sighting was this last summer after climbing Boundary Peak in Nevada with my brother Chris. This large bull was off Hwy 395, just inside the fence, surrounded by a number of cows and bugling to another bull in the distance.

It was very fun to be so close. The setting was not as surreal and wild as it was when we heard the Roosevelt elk bugling in Olympic National Park, but it was nevertheless a thrill.

This bull was quite bossy in herding his females around.

Fun stuff.

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