Fascinating Facts You May Not Know About Elk

What do you know about elk? If you’re like most people, not much! If you’re a hunter, though, and elk are on your radar, you probably know some basics.


Robust Size

There are lots of interesting facts to learn about elk. For instance, did you know they’re one of the largest mammals in North America? How much do you think a male elk can weigh? If you guessed 700 pounds, you’re right. Now that’s big! How about females? They’re usually up around 500 pounds. 


Did you know that elk are often mistaken for moose? The way to distinguish between the two is to look at their size and the shape of their antlers. Generally, moose are larger than elk, and can grow up to 6.5 feet high while elk are usually 3 to 5 feet high. Moose antlers tend to be wide and flat whereas elk have elongated antlers with points coming off large beams. Oh, and another thing: moose tend to be solitary, whereas elk roam together!


Elk are part of the deer family, and they’re the loudest members of the deer family. Their high-pitched roar is known as “bugling,” and it’s used to attract mates during mating season. 

Male Antlers

Unlike other deer species, only male elk have antlers. They begin growing them in the spring and shed them in the winter. Elk antlers are covered with “velvet,” which is a soft layer of skin. What are antlers used for? Males use them to fight over females! 

 Miscellaneous Facts

Do elk like cold weather? You bet they do! They prefer it. If it’s hot out, don’t expect elk to be too active. Furthermore, elk usually forage in the early mornings or late evenings to avoid daytime heat. 

What do elk have in common with cows? They both chew their cud. 

How about babies? Elk babies are called calves, and here’s an interesting fact: they’re kept hidden after they’re born for a couple days. Calves actually lay motionless for about 16 days after birth. They’re born with almost no scent. 

Elk generally live in herds which can sometimes number in the hundreds or even thousands. Herds are matriarchal and segregated by gender– interesting, right? How old can they live to be? Typically, 24 – 26 years. 

If you’re interested in hunting elk in Colorado, contact Samuelsson Outfitters today.