elk in the yard

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by UncleFudd, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. UncleFudd

    UncleFudd Member

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    I thought I would share a few pics of the elk in my yard as they come to drink.
    I put the 350 gal tank half on my side of the fence and half on the side of the Apache sitgreaves national forest that runs along the entire East and north border of the ranch. It makes it really nice to be able to ride through the gate that I installed in the forest fence and ride all over the entire national forest in addition to my own place. I have a full section along my East fence and two complete sections along the north side of my place to go out and play on when we want to ride for a while.


    There were so many elk coming every night to get water especially this time of year when the forest is so dry, that the Game and fish dept here in Az brought another 350 gal tank and placed it beside mine. I still couldn't keep them full so I installed an automatic shotoff on one of the tanks so it keeps it topped off, all the time now.

    Anyway, I put my camera with the 80-400 lens just inside the screen door of my game room downstairs and waited in the evening until the elk came and thought i would get a few pics to show. The first 6 elk were all bulls as you can see some of the antlers beginning to form in the velvet. They were from the size of nubs , (three to five inches) out to over two feet long at this time.

    These 6 got water and then grazed on down into the meadow and about 10 minutes later another 7 animals showed up and these were also all bulls with about the same size horns. Then after they left about 25 to 30 head of cows and calves showed up and began to play and carry on at the tank and then several of them began to graze right toward the house and actually got within 50 yards of me and the camera at one time.

    I will continue to watch them and get more pics of the bulls as they grow and send the later if I can get some more pics. But as the monsoon rains start and water begins to be more plentiful, they do not show up as regukary and most of the ones that do are the cows and calves. The bulls become more evasive. But I will watch and get pics if I can.

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  2. RichR

    RichR Member

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    Neat pics
  3. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk New Member

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    :thumbsup:
  4. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Those are great pics.
  5. Bobitis

    Bobitis Guest

    No matter how hard I try, I just can't imagine elk in Arizona. :confused:

    Great pics Fudd.
  6. UncleFudd

    UncleFudd Member

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    Thanks guys and gals.
    Bobitus, I think Az has one of the largest elk herds in the nation now. I am not sure what, if any state has more of a population than Az has currently. When one takes into consideration how badly the wolves have and continue to decimate the elk herds in Wy, Idaho and Montana, I am fairly certain these numbers will continue to grow as well.

    As I pointed out, there are so many of them coming to just these two tanks every evening and night, they will drain one of the 350 gal tanks to the point they are dry in about 6 days if you can imagine. That is the reason I contacted the G&F to tell them I was having trouble keeping the tank full and they brought another tank just like mine out a few days later and placed it right next to mine. Very good of them.

    Last week on one of the evenings prior to my taking these pics, we counted as closely as possible, 127 head of cows, calves and bulls, as they came to drink at these tanks between 5:30 PM and dark. There are more of them drinking all night and many of the cows and calves are still coming the last thing in the morning up until about 07:30. We have not seen many after that time.

    Also you may find it interesting that I just had the right timing to see a big mountain lion follow some of the cows and their calves into the timber early one morning about two weeks ago. I had seen the cows and their babies go into the timber just about 500 yards from our house and a few minutes later I glanced up to where I had seen them disappear and saw the lion go into the timber exactly where they had gone. Very lucky and perfect timing as the lion was only visible for a few seconds before it went out of sight. My wife and i both have seen two of these big cats near our place on several occasions, but this was a first time seeing one of them following the elk.

    Glad to hear so many of you enjoyed these pics. Always worry that I am taking up good space away from firearms issues so it is good to know others enjoy the wildlife as well.
    As I said, if it is OK, I will try to get more pics of the bulls as their "clown stickers" get bigger. (that is rodeo parlance for horns) for any of the folks from SLC who need explanation of the finer things. LOL

    UF
  7. geds

    geds New Member

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    WAY COOL Fudd! I always enjoy your posts. You are very lucky to live where you do! Thanks for sharing with us suburbanites!
  8. UncleFudd

    UncleFudd Member

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    Thanks geds and remember, the light is always on and the coffee is always hot, strong and plentiful.

    You are right, I am truly Blessed to live where I do and to be able to see these things almost daily and even more so to have a lady who enjoys them as much or more (if possible) as do I.

    so glad you enjoyed.

    UF
  9. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

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    i will check out pics when i get home
  10. BRSmith

    BRSmith Member

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    :thumbsup: Very nice!
  11. glens67

    glens67 Well-Known Member

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    My favorite place to hunt is just east of Elk City ID. Last time I was up there no Elk in the usual places. After two days went into town to the market and was talking to one of the locals who said that most of the Elk had moved into town due to the Wolfs...
    DON"T LET THEM INTRODUCE THOSE THINGS IN AZ
  12. Buckshot

    Buckshot Active Member

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    Sweet. Dry as a bone here. Rains are starting up though. Bit early...hope it bodes well for a long, wet monsoon. We'll see. At least we're not burning the state to the ground like year's past, or like Colorado.
  13. 68c15

    68c15 Well-Known Member

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    do you get worried about the big cats? I know I would. might be a good idea to keep a rifle near the door/window.
  14. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Great picks! Thanks for posting them, and we will be looking for more!
  15. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

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    VERY neat set up for the Elk UF and some awesome pictures!
    Keep those pics coming, enjoy them. I have a feeder set up for Whitetail Deer here and as we are starting into a drought as it seems, alot of the deer are hanging out at or around the ponds.
    I came across a big old buck yesterday that was actually laying in the edge of the water in a pond back in the woods and another one that was bedded down in a pond's cattails late in the evening and the pond was right out in the sun.
    I thought at my feeding area, I'd "try" and supply them with some water, as I've never tried it before. I set up a 5gall. black bucket near the feeder and they are curious, but wont drink out of it? I know they NEED the water but they havent drank out of it in a week as of yet. Maybe in time?

    Nice set-up for the Elk and keep those pics coming!
  16. UncleFudd

    UncleFudd Member

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    Don't worry much about the big cats as they are both in good shape and healthy. They are close at times when we go for walks but seem to be curious only and will not approach the dogs. If they were older or sick or crippled then I would worry. BUt so far they have always kept their distance and not bothered anything around the place. I don"t think we would see them much or at all if not for the elk and the close proximity to the water during this drought season. But as you mentioned, there are rifles near every door in the house as some of the critters that visit I or the wife get rid of them as soon as we see them. Keeps me in good target practice as well.

    Zane,

    Thanks for the complements and for appreciating the pics as well. It is fun and actually the water tanks were for our horses, I just placed them so critters in the forest could have access to them from their side of the fence. There are several that stay on our side up on the mountain directly behind our house. The area crosses our drive way and then goes straight up the side of a mountain and there is good pine and alligator, juniper cover for them up there so they pretty much stay up there all year around. Right now, there seems to be several of the younger bulls staying up there and the cows and their new babies are staying out in the heavier timber in the national forest. I think the bulls in the pics are "long yearlings" or two year olds, and probably spikes or even small two or three pointers. But time will tell as their antlers begin to form more toward the pointy ends.LOL.
    At least two of them are older, larger and more mature bulls and you can tell easily even at this point as their horns are three or four times the length of the younger guys.
    I am always amazed at how quickly they grow this time of year. It is almost like watching time lapse photography and they are scratching up the trees rubbing the velvet already.

    As far as your bucks drinking the water, you said there is a water tank or natural pond fairly close by and they will nearly always go to the natural water before they will ever drink out of tanks or buckets. Don't know why but they do and will usually not drink from the ones we put out until they can no longer get water at all from the ponds, streams etc.
    Still fun to watch them or to try to help when or if we can.

    Thanks again to all and I will try to watch and keep some pics as the babies get bigger and the horns develop more. (We got to see a doe, mule deer and her baby last night but it was a surprise and I did not have the camera ready. The baby was really small, probably a very late fawn and it still has the bright, white spots and still kind of stiff legged when trying to keep up with mommy. It was really cute and wish I could have gotten some pics of it for the ladies on here.) I'll watch and see if she shows up again.

    I think we will have some monsoon rains fairly soon which may slow down the numbers a little and it always makes a huge difference in the number of bulls that show up. When the rains begin the bulls get skittish and do not come around as often or if they do come it is in the night and we don't often get to see them.

    UF
  17. MSGT-R

    MSGT-R Active Member

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    If you knew about the attacks at an Orange County CA wilderness park a few years ago, you would be re-evaluating that statement..
  18. UncleFudd

    UncleFudd Member

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    Thanks for the heads-up sarge.
    I knew about the attack on the lady but if memory serves me at my old and infirm age, LOL the cat in question prior to being put down was both old and ill. In fact it did not even have a full set of teeth which made it take the easiest and most accessible prey.

    Also these cats are well fed and game (deer and elk) are obviously plentiful at all times so no need for them to turn to an easier prey yet. But still we try very hard to be diligent.

    One other thing also and I realize that none of these things I say are fool proof, but we have an early warning system with us at all times, the dogs and in addition NEITHER of us EVER walk our place unarmed, period. There are any number of critters that at any time could turn on us including skunks and javelinas which abound, coyotes are always a possibility in particular if there were to be rabies in the area etc. We recently found a young coyote dead on the north end of our place and it was really obvious it had died a very violent, unassisted death from the struggle and disturbance on the ground around the carcass. When we found it, it was newly stirred up and we called G&F immediately. They were able to confirm that it had died of rabies, but that was nearly two years ago and no other reported cases that we know of then or since. But rabies add another element of worry to any and all of the critters in the woods.

    And last, we try to be alert and aware as we can possibly be and most if not all on this forum are very familiar with those specific efforts. Beyond all this we try to enjoy everything we see and feel as our total experience at this stage of our lives and the rest as they say is in God's Hands.

    Stop by sometime, walk the place and have a cuppa. Will change your life to experience our little piece of Heaven to say the least and my java is not bad or so I am told.;)

    UF
  19. rosierita

    rosierita Active Member

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    the pics are AWESOME!! thank you for sharing them with us!
  20. MSGT-R

    MSGT-R Active Member

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    Keep a close eye on your pets; bring them in when you aren't around..

    Thank you for the invitation.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012
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