Elk Calf

By: Dawn Wilson

This week’s featured animal is the elk calf.

There are so many fun facts about elk so let’s narrow that down to just the little calves. They are making their entrance to the world this week with many more to come over the next few weeks. And with Rocky Mountain National Park now open, there is a greater opportunity to see elk calves.

1. Elk cows typically give birth to one calf, which can stand in about 20 minutes.

2. The rule of thumb for the beginning of calf birthing season is when the cows have completely shed their winter coat. This typically happens by Memorial Day weekend in the Estes Valley.

3. Elk calves are born scentless as a method to hide them from predators.

4. Elk calves are also born with white spots to help camouflage them in willows and other bushes from predators.

5. Elk calves are born after an eight to nine-month gestation period and weigh about 35 pounds.

Dawn Wilson is a professional and award-winning nature photographer who lives in Estes Park year-round. You can see more of her work, join one of her Rocky tours and purchase prints at DawnWilsonPhotography.com.

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