They’re back!! (video at the bottom of the post) The elk were pushed out of our field January 3rd by The Fish and Game. There were over 300 head that had been in the field. By the time it got dark some of them had come back. When we got up in the morning we had a little over 100. They were right behind the house, just out our back door.
Our biggest worry is keeping them out of our haystacks. My husband took the 3×4 straw bales and stacked them 3 high all around the haystacks. There is no way they can get into the hay. They are a little picky and don’t like to eat straw. This worked really well. Now to keep them out of our trees.
That many elk can be really destructive really fast. We still really enjoy watching all of them. Most of them are calves and yearlings. There were a few older cows in the herd.
Pawing thru the snow
In order for the elk to get the alfalfa and grass that is under the snow, they use their front leg to paw. I was amazed at how much snow they can move with the front feet. They use that front leg and actually move at an angle to push the snow away with their hoof. After they paw at the ground and move the snow they eat the grass and hay. Then they repeat the process again. They have moved the snow all over the whole field.
The elk really enjoy the sunshine. It is a really cold day here today. We have been below zero at night and in the single digits to the low teens during the day. When they have had enough to eat they bed down in the snow and enjoy the sun.
Found an owl
January 4th and 5th the elk were back every night but didn’t hang around during the day. On the 6th the semi trucks came to haul out some of our hay. They hauled half of one stack. When they pulled the tarp off of the stack one of the great big owls flew out from underneath the tarp. I bet he was pretty warm with the sun shining on the tarp right where he was sitting.
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