Elk Habitat

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Elk habitat is classified in two categories: typical and prime. Typical elk habitat is any land that carries the three requirements of an elk herd-food, water and security shelter. In any area where elk are known to live, elk can be expected to seek out these areas that are typical for elk habitation.

However, not all typical elk habitats will contain elk. Within this typical elk habitat will be specific pockets of terrain that the elk naturally migrate to that are termed “prime elk habitat”.

Experienced outdoors people who live among the elk seek out these prime elk pockets in the upper sub alpine regions in the mountains, where grass and wet boggy areas provide isolation, exceptional feed, and plenty of water for drinking and wallowing in during summer when horse flies torment the elk. The elk roll in these wet, boggy areas and cake mud onto their hides, which keep the horse files from biting them.

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Even in the more arid desert country, the elk have typical and prime habitat areas, such as juniper side hills, which provide security for the isolation-loving elk. In the plains, the elk enjoy living on the prairies but also prefer grasslands with bushy ravines nearby to escape the hot summer sun and predators.

Fortunately, elk are highly adaptable, thanks to the fact that they are capable of digesting both grass and woody pulp from brush at the same time. As such, the same elk that roam the high wild Rocky Mountains, can easily adapt to a more nomadic life roaming though the arid southwestern desert country. And with today’s recent restocking of elk to the eastern states, these transplanted elk have quickly adapted to a life of foraging through the hardwood forests.


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