Elk specs:

Name for male, female, and young

Bull, Cow, Calf

Female adult weight

weight icon 500 lbs toolip question mark

Male adult weight

weight icon 700 lbs toolip question mark

Neonate weight

weight icon 30 lbs toolip question mark

Young to adult size ratio

weight ratio icon 1:17 toolip question mark

Male to female size ratio

weight ratio icon 1.4:1 toolip question mark

Age range

icon calendar 26 toolip question mark

Geriatric age

Geriatric icon 18 toolip question mark


Shield icon Antlers toolip question mark

Average number of offspring

DNA icon 1 toolip question mark

Max number of offspring

DNA icon 2 toolip question mark

Length of gestation

DNA icon 250 days toolip question mark

Timing of parturition (i.e., birth)

calendar icon with question mark Mid May-late June

Age of first reproduction

icon sprerm and embryo 2 (occasionally 1) toolip question mark

Timing of rut

icon sprerm and embryo September toolip question mark

Social or solitary

toolip question mark

Hider or follower

toolip question mark

Harem holder or tending bond

harem holder or tending bond slider: 1 out of 4 toolip question mark

Browser or grazer

toolip question mark

Primary summer food

Carex spp. (Sedges), Agropyron spp. (Wheatgrass; including Pseudoroegneria spicata),  toolip question mark


Primary winter food

Carex spp. (Sedges), Agropyron spp. (Wheatgrass; including Pseudoroegneria spicata), Cercocarpus spp. (Mountain Mahogany) toolip question mark


Migration strategy

Map icon Migratory or resident toolip question mark

Primary predator

predator icon Mountain Lion, wolves toolip question mark

Common disease(s)

disease icon Brucellosis, chronic wasting disease (CWD), meningeal worm toolip question mark

Winter habitat

lower elevation icon Lower elevation valleys with mixed-shrub and grassland habitats toolip question mark

Summer habitat

mountain icon Various habitats at higher elevations toolip question mark

Icon credits: DNA by LAFS from the Noun Project, Food Chain by James Keane from the Noun Project
Picture credit: Pseudoroegneria spicata by Dana Visalli, mountain mahogany by Ken DeCamp

Elk in forest


Make a pub(lications) crawl through our recent findings:

Lamont, B. G., K. L. Monteith, J. A. Merkle, Tony W. Mong, S. Albeke, M. Hayes, and M. Kauffman. 2019. Multi-scale habitat selection of elk in response to beetle-killed forest. Journal of Wildlife Management.

LaSharr, T. N., R. A. Long, J. R. Heffelfinger, V. C. Bleich, P. R. Krausman, R. T. Bowyer, J. M. Shannon, E. M. Rominger, C. P. Lehman, M. Cox, and K. L. Monteith. 2019. Biological relevance of antler, horn, and pronghorn size in records programs. Journal of Mammalogy.
Bighorn sheep outline Mule Deer pronghorn Moose White-tailed deer Elk


Research: our current projects


Deer-Elk Ecology Research Project

Species distribution:


Most elk occur in the western region of North America, but there are several reintroduced populations in various states, such as Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Missouri.