Greetings from the elk baby factory of Wisconsin.
It was a very good week. Nine calves confirmed born; 7 were caught (6M, 1F) and are on the air. Mammas of calves that were caught are Nos. 02, 06, 09, 14, 15, 25, 26; those with newborn calves that escaped our capture efforts are Nos. 04, and 16.
Of note, No. 26 bred last fall as a yearling. She was the first elk conceived and born in Wisconsin 2 years ago. Her photo as a calf, had wide distribution. No 14 is the Hurley Lady. Her calf of last year was taken by a bear when it was about 1 month old. The remaining radio-tagged cows are being monitored closely for impending births. Bulls 07 and 23, the 2 oldest bulls, were seen with Cow 13 last week by loggers in the Bear Lake area. They were described as being “huge” in body and velvet antler.
The 3-year-old bulls in the area of the main herd near Clam Lake also have an impressive start on antler development. They will be out of the “raghorn” class this year. We have one more calf collar to apply and will use the ear-tag transmitters for any additional catches. We have a large enough sample tagged at this time but will not ignore any new opportunities.
Some calves could be born as late as the first week in July, products of the 2nd or 3rd estrous cycle of the cows.
[Image: Courtesy of Flickr user citrusjig]