Elk NetworkWhat Happens During Elk Calving Season

Conservation | June 11, 2018

Tis the season for young elk to be welcomed into the world. Below are the words of Jeremy Banfield, Pennsylvania Game Commission Elk Biologist.

The majority of cow elk are bred around the third week in September. After a 245-day gestation period, cows will separate from the rest of the herd to give birth during the first two weeks of June.

Elk calves have white spots at birth and weigh between 30-40 pounds. Within 30 minutes of birth they can stand and nurse. They gain over one pound per day! For the first few days of their life, instinct tells them to remain motionless and hide from any potential predators, but after about five days they have gained enough weight and strength to keep up with their mother. Mother and calf will then rejoin the herd after about 7-14 days.

(Photo source: Joe Kosack)