Utah Field Guide: Wapiti

The elk or Wapiti as it is sometimes called is native to North America and eastern Asia and is common in the mountainous regions here in Utah.

Biologists have long classified elk into six subspecies. Utah is home to an estimated 72,000 Rocky Mountain elk and our herd continues to rise. Found in mountain meadows and forests during the summer, and the foothills and valley grasslands during the winter. These animals migrate with the seasons which allow them to find food year round. The best time to observe elk in my opinion is just weeks away when the mating season starts.

Males are much less wary during the rut. Bulls wallow in mud to coat themselves with “perfume” to attract cows. They also bugle, rake trees, shrubs and the ground with their antlers to attract cows and intimidate other bulls.

For more information on the wapiti or any other creature of Utah, be sure to check out our Utah Field Guide on our Outdoors page at KSLTV.com

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