Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bull Elk - National Elk Refuge - Jackson, Wyoming

It warmed up a few days ago and the ice melted on Flat Creek, which runs through the refuge. These bull elk used the warmer weather to eat the grass exposed along the edge of Flat Creek as the snow melted back a little. Two of the bulls have a broken antler. Can you find them?

There are about 7,500 elk on or near the refuge at this time. Refuge workers are feeding these elk alfalfa pellets every day this time of year, but they prefer natural foods when they are available.

These large bulls will start shedding their antlers in March. After the elk leave the refuge this May, local boy scouts will gather the shed antlers and sell them. An Elk Antler Auction is held in Jackson and attracts buyers from many states.

Artisans buy the antlers to make chandeliers, furniture and other items out of the antlers. The money earned by the scouts is shared with other community charities.

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