Elk Physiques

Having spent most of my life around Rocky Mountain Elk on the east side of the Cascade Mountains, I’m always amazed at the Roosevelt Elk in the Coastal Mountains.

Rocky Mountain Elk tend to look like long-distance runners, almost skinny. This is especially true for the bulls after the fall rut season.

Roosevelt Elk tend to appear very well-fed, almost rolling in fat at times. It has to do with the abundance of food where they live. I once read large Roosevelt Elk bulls can live their entire life within one square mile. The dense rain forest environment provides water, protection and lots of good food.

On the other hand Rocky Mountain Elk must move many miles in a day, for protection from predators, to water sources and to food-laden meadows. It’s a much more difficult life and it shows.

I’ll let you guess which one is the best eating. And, I’ll let you guess which ones are shown in the following photos taken in late December.


Elk (training for a marathon?)

Elk bruisers

Elk bruisers

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Nice sized Bull Elk

Nic- sized Bull Elk

Where did the "little" guy's other antler go?

Where did the “little” guy’s other antler go?



Categories: Oregon Coastal Mountain HikingTags: ,


  1. We have the tule elk in California, they are the subspecies of this same elk. I find the variations of the subspecies interesting, and enjoyed this comparison post, John. Such an elegant animal. And what lovely photos!

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