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All About the Elk of Rim Country

The unofficial mascot of Rim Country is without a doubt the majestic elk. Here at The Strawberry Inn, Mike the Elk is the endearing name we gave to our digital concierge who you’ll receive texts from before your stay. When you’re visiting, the odds are always excellent that you’ll spy at least a few elk from our local herd. Today, I’m sharing some more in-depth information so that next time you’re here, you can impress your friends and family with everything you know about elk!



5 facts to know about elk


  • The antlers on a full-grown bull elk can weight up to 40 pounds! Can you imagine lugging that much weight around?

  • One of the methods of communication that elk use is by cracking their ankle bones!

  • Scientists say that elk can count to 10! When they presented female elk with the choice between a bull elk with 9 antler points, and one with 10 antler points, the female will almost always choose the one with 10 points.

  • Even if you don’t see an elk, you can likely find signs of elk activity by looking at tree trunks. Male elk often scratch and rub against trees, leading the trunk to be bare in parts.

  • The North American elk is one of the largest deer species on earth, weighing nearly 700 pounds. Despite its large size, it can run up to 40 miles per hour, and can jump up to EIGHT FEET vertically. Watch out!



Where to spot them in Rim Country


You don’t necessarily have to go looking for elk to catch a glimpse, but if you want to really up your odds of spotting some, I suggest sitting on the patio at Old County Inn at sunset. They often congregate across the street in the field. It’s a sight to behold, especially when nearly the full herd is there! You’re also likely to spot them along Hardscrabble Rd. near Moose Mountain Antiques. Lastly, we see them all the time down by the Lower Park as they walk along the creek and crossing Fossil Creek Rd.



Safety info


Look, I know the elk are incredible. I know they seem very open to allowing people to get close. But the fact remains that they are WILD ANIMALS. Don’t feed them, don’t approach them, don’t run after them. Admire them from a distance and utilize your zoom lens to get those amazing up-close pictures of the elk. These safety tips are important all the time, but especially during rutting season and later when the calves are born.


What is rutting season? Rutting season is elk mating season. This is when you’re likely to hear the famous elk bugling. The male elk uses the bugle as a mating call, and as a deterrent to other male elk. Male elk become aggressive and territorial, so stay far away. Rutting season is September-October.


We love to see the pictures you all capture of the elk here in town! Make sure to tag us on social media with any you post. Book your wildlife watching getaway now by clicking here.



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