During the first week of December I took a drive to the western slopes of the Coastal Mountains. The destination was the Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. It’s managed by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife to provide winter habitat and supplemental feeding for wild Roosevelt Elk. A series of open pastures border a paved road, offering good views of up to 200 Elk during winter and spring.
Elk are one of my favorite big game animals and, of course, I greatly enjoy hunting them in the fall. The big bulls are magnificent and can weigh well over 1,000 lbs. And, it doesn’t hurt they are delicious to eat. As an illustration of the old adage “you can learn something new each day”, I spotted a light-blonde Cow Elk, likely an albino. Among the tens of thousands of Rocky Mountain and Roosevelt Elk I have seen, only once before have I spotted an albino one. Ironically, it was a Calf Elk near the same area two years ago. Could it be the same Elk? Not only are wild albino animals rarely born, but they usually don’t last long because predators can easily spot them.
After taking photos of the Elk, I took a drive to Fishhawk Falls a short distance northwest of the Jewell area. All in all it was a nice way to spend a cold, dreary day in the late fall.