Elk Population Facts and Statistics For the United States
The elk population in the United States today is well over 1,000,000 animals, with the population growing fairly steadily since a population count was made in 1975, at which time the estimated population was just over 500,000. Even though a population count taken every five years seems to suggest a constant increase in numbers, the elk population is, like most things in nature, somewhat cyclical.
For a herd to either grow in numbers, or sustain an existing number of animals, supporting habitat needs to be there. Most of the habitat suitable for elk is found in the Rocky Mountain region, so it is little wonder that the Rocky Mountain states generally have the largest populations. Of course there are those factors which can cause the elk population to decrease at times. One is loss of habitat. Loss of habitat is very often caused by human development of the land, but in the case of the elk, forest fires play a major role.
When forest land has burned and lies barren for a short time, knapweed often takes over. This noxious weed is difficult to eradicate, and crowds out the types of vegetation that would normally support a herd of elk. Severe winters often take a toll on herds, as do predators, primarily wolves. The reintroduction of wolves into certain regions has been accompanied by a reduction in the elk population in those regions. The combination of a severe winter, and a presence of predators, presents the elk with a double whammy. Hunting is another factor contributing to population loss. The good news is that the elk are a long ways from being an endangered species, quite the opposite in fact.
There are four species of elk in the United States, the Rocky Mountain elk, the Roosevelt Elk, the Tule Elk, and the Manitoba Elk. 90% of the elk are of the Rocky Mountain species. The Roosevelt elk accounts for most of the remaining 10% of the elk population. The number of Tule elk, found in California, numbers under 4,000 animals, and the Manitoba species, found in a couple of the eastern states, numbers under 1,000.
Colorado is the state with the largest elk population (290,000), followed by Montana (160,000), Idaho (110,000) and Wyoming (106,000). New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington have smaller, yet sizable populations. These numbers are for Rocky Mountain elk. The bulk of the Roosevelt elk population is in Oregon (63,000) and Washington (36,000). A portion of Washington’s population resides in Olympic National Park, where the species was introduced in the early 1900’s.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is the organization to go to for all kinds of information about elk, including elk population. The Foundation sponsors a number of activities directed towards protecting and preserving elk habitat, often working with other outdoors organizations, such as the Back Country Horsemen. The RMEF has a number of chapters across the United States.
Protection Symbols in Magic
Acorns, Elk, Earth Squares, and More
When it comes to magical protection symbols the variety is endless, depending on the magical or shamanic tradition with which you work. For instance, according to the Druids, the symbol of an acorn is said to bring protection into a Druidic symbol. Certain Native American tribes use the symbol of the Elk as protection against psychic spirits. Earth religionists often reply upon the Earth Square (a cross within a square) to draw on protection energies from the four directions of the earth. Needless to say, when it comes to picking protection symbols the variety can seem overwhelming.
Guidelines for Choosing the Right Protection Symbol
It’s not possible to review every magical symbol out there but here are a few guidelines you can follow when choosing protection symbols to use in your magical practice.
1. The protection symbols should come from a fully-working and complete system that has a history of success, such as the Tarot deck (we use the Waite-Rider deck), the Futhark Runes, or a specific tribal tradition.
2. Your chosen protection symbols should relate to the areas you want to protect. For instance, if you want to protect something large and physical, such as your property, you would want to choose a protection symbol like the Disc (a star surrounded by a circle) or the symbol of three mountains. Both of these symbols relate to anything on the physical plane. If you wanted to protect and nourish your Spirit, you would want to choose a symbol like the Sun from the Tarot. In the Tarot the Sun card nourishes and protects the Spirit.
3. Put your protection symbols where they can do their job. For personal protection, many people wear their protection symbols as amulets, rings, or earrings. For protecting your property, your can put the symbol up around your property or just at the entry points, such as over the doors. For protecting people far away, you can put the person’s picture on a keyed plate and put the protection symbol on the plate with the picture.
Finding Out If You Have the Right Protection Symbol
Choosing protection symbols to use for various magical purposes can take some real thought and research. If you are not sure whether a protection symbol is right for your needs you can always use your pendulum to test it. If you are trying to choose between different protection symbols, you can lay them all out in front of you on a keyed plate and let your pendulum show you which ones will be the best for your needs. Last, but not least, if you start using some protection symbols and they don’t seem to be working, go back and do some research and choose some different ones to try. Remember, magic is always an experiment in progress. While you may not get everything right the first time around, remember that you can always go back and fix something that is not working.
Elk hunting is enjoyable hobby and sport for millions of American. Most hunters know that hunting is more then simply luck. Skill has to a lot to do with how successful a hunter is. Successful hunters know an animal’s habits during the various times of the year. Along with an Elk’s habits, you will also need to have a good idea of where they will be hanging out. You may not always find them there, but it should put you on the right trail.
Here are some tips. If it is a hot part of the year, hunters should be looking for places where the food supply is large and where it is cooler. If you are having trouble fining ELK, look for the bedding and rood sources of local bulls. You will likely find some Elk nearby. Performing these kinds of functions and thinking these things through is called pre-scouting.
Pre-scouting can be difficult (especially if you do not know what you are doing). It can also be time consuming especially for hunter that are from out of town and who do not know the area very well. In these cases, they will want to turn to look for outside sources to help you improve your chance of getting an Elk.
Some really good resources to check out include the Game and Fish department for the state that you are hunting in. The United States Forest Service is also another really good option. These departments can be a great help and often are happy to help you.
Because individuals in these departments are in the area all of the time, they have a good grasp at where the various game will be, their habits and what is successful in order to nab them. They also understand what their food sources are and where they can be found. If you can find their food source, then you will find them close by.
To be a successful Elk hunter, you will need to be able to trick the Elk. You can not let them know that you are around. They should not be able to see you, hear you or smell you. You have to obviously know where they are, but the vice versa can not be true if you want to experience some success.
Elk hunting is not cheap. You will need the right equipment so be prepared. If you are going to hunt, you will need to spend the money that is necessary to do the job. Don’t scrimp, especially if you are taking an out-of-town trip.
It would be a waste to spend a lot of time and effort because you are trying to save a few bucks. If you do not have the money now, save up until you do, so that you can have a really good time and increase your chances of actually catching an Elk. Elk hunting is an enjoyable and challenging sport. Elk are huge animals that live in rough terrain. To increase your chances of success, you will need know a lot about the movement of the elk and also be prepared physically to track and harvest them.
Animal Jewelry: a very different and beautiful form of adornment
Animal jewelry is a wonderful way to express your love and appreciation for your pet animal. Not only is it an ideal gift to give to animal lovers, but it is also a rather unusual jewelry item which you can own yourself. Though animal jewelry in some form or another has been around since quite some time, it is only recently that the market for it has come of age. It is now available in almost every conceivable size, shape, form and texture for all age groups. Whether it is a sophisticated brooch for a woman, or tiger cufflinks for a man or a monkey necklace for a child, it can all be found and made to order if need be.
Animal jewelry is available in many different styles. Some popular motifs for designs include dolphins, cats, horses and dogs. Animal jewelry is such that it can be truly appreciated by an animal lover. It comes in a wide variety of price ranges. It can be something very reasonable and can also be quite expensive. Some kinds of animal jewelry are made of precious metals and decorated with precious and semi precious stones. Such expensive high end animal jewelry can be made from sterling silver or gold and can even have diamonds or rubies as settings. The kind of craftsmanship used the finish and over all look also makes a huge difference to the overall price of this kind of jewelry.
Animal jewelry is available in various specialty stores, jewelry stores, antique stores and boutiques. It can also be found in some kinds of departmental stores and also online. If you can afford it, you can even get animal jewelry made to order according to your specifications. Many kinds of animal jewelry is found in the shape of charms/totems and pendants. They are considered to be quite lucky and auspicious in certain cultures and regions and are worn as good luck charms. These charms and pendants can be produced to appear still, or even in motion.
Animal jewelry is not only beautiful, but it is also unique and a wonderful way to show your appreciation for animals. This type of jewlery in the form of rings is quite popular. Many animal lovers can choose to have their favorite animal on a ring of their choice. Other styles of animal jewelry include picture bracelets. These styles of picture bracelets have separate links that may either be circular or box shaped and can have a picture of an animal or an engraving of an animal on the inside. Designs may include wolfs, turtles, snakes, bear claws, otters, elks, and deers, among many others.
Animal jewelry is the perfect gift for the animal lover. Animal lovers can find beautiful necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, armlets, pendants, belt buckles, cufflinks and even body jewelry with animal themes like horses, dolphins, butterflies, geckos, elephants, frogs, ladybugs and much more.
Elk Hunting Tips
Despite being one of the largest game animals around, elk are rarely clumsy or careless, sometimes making them the complete opposite of the hunters that go after them. The most successful elk hunters have careful, planned hunts, aiming to take advantage of an elk’s behaviors to take home an elk.
One of the most important aspects of any hunting expedition is scouting the area, and this applies as well when hunting elk. A hunter who comes to the hunting area without scouting the area first, or at least having some familiarity with the area, may as well resign himself to a sightseeing trip. Whenever possible, take some time before the hunting season starts to familiarize yourself with the area you will be hunting elk at, taking note of paths they take from their hiding spots to their grazing spots.
If scouting is not an option, and you can afford it, you may want to consider taking a guide to your elk hunt. Most guides are closely familiar with the territories of the elk you plan to hunt, and with the behaviors of elk as well, allowing you a chance at taking down an elk. A partner who does have the time to scout is another option; make sure you coordinate and plan with your partner before and throughout your hunt.
Another important aspect of the hunting trip involves scent management. If you have never heard that term before, it refers to taking care of how you smell during your hunt so that you do not spook the target animals. Elk have very sensitive olfactory organs, and will often flee once they catch even one whiff of a hunter on their trail. This means taking extensive steps to make sure that your scent is at least neutral, and also to take note of the wind at all times, specially when stalking an elk.
In regards to rifles and cartridges, you will want to take a heavier, more powerful tool to take down your elk. If you plan to hunt with a bow, this means a bow with a stronger pull. Elk are larger creatures with tougher hides, and you will need a lot of stopping power to take one down. In addition, simply getting the heavier weapon isn’t the end-all. Take as much time as you can to practice with it, making sure to practice at different targets, at different ranges and angles. Some veteran hunters even advise practicing on your off hand, just in case.
Lastly, if you want to bag just any elk, all you need do is the minimum to hunt an elk. However, truly amazing trophies will only go to the hunter that is willing to go earlier, and farther into the areas where elk reside. A carefully planned, well-guided and executed hunt, performed with a commitment to find and take down a trophy elk, has the best chance of success.
New to Hunting?
OK, so if you are new to this grand sport, what is your first question going to be? Well A good place to start is with the bow. There is a mass of high quality bows out there, the more popular bows are called stick bows, there are also recurve bows and also compound bows.
An extremely important consideration when purchasing a bow is the draw weight and its draw length, also you need to know if your going to be shooing a compound or recurve, your draw length is of significant value to this.
Select a bow in the weight range that is comfortable for you, its very easy to make the mistake of many and select a bow that is too over powered in the vain hope that you will grow into it. Shooting with an overpowered bow will result in bad shooting style and bad habits will form that will be hard to break down the line. Why not ask a Local shop or store if you can demo a bow, if possible demo as many different bows, with different weights, lengths etc. All things being equal, the individual feel of a bow will make a huge difference in the way you shoot it.
If you are going to go for the stick bow, or recurve bow, think about one within a 50 to 60 pound draw range. It is excellent initial point with plenty of growth , it is what you would call an all intention weight, it will achieve most tasks.
If you are going to a compound, you might think about a bow in the 60 to 65 pound range. Typically, if you can handle a recurve of a certain weight, your compound should not me more than 15 pounds more weight than a recurve. If you are selecting a compound bow, find one with a higher brace height, that is the distance from the string to the riser of the bow.
A bow with a higher riser will be a more lenient bow. It will not embellish your form errors quite as much as a lower riser height. A higher riser will normally not be the fastest bow, but for the new archer will be a better starting place.
Establish what you will be using your bow for mostly. If you want to be rustic with your bow, cedar shafts are the best choice. If however you are into a compound, you will probably need to consider either carbon or aluminium. Typically, carbons are more durable, and lighter resulting in a flatter trajectory.
Aluminium are less expensive and a little weightier, allowing for slightly higher kinetic energy. If you will be hunting Elk or Moose, for example, choose a heavier aluminium shaft. For whitetail deer, or turkey or even bear, a lighter shaft would be fine, either an ultra-lite aluminium or a carbon arrow. If you will be shooting at long distances, a lighter shaft will help reduce distance judging errors.
In most occasions any properly tuned arrow will work. Carbon arrows are more expensive, but will generally take more stress than aluminium, but aluminium are a lot cheaper to loose.
Elk Hunting Tips – The Importance of Year-Round Shooting Practice
When preparing for a Colorado elk hunt or any western big game hunt, one of the best things any hunter can do is practice shooting year-round. Whether you plan to hunt elk with a guide or outfitter, or on a do-it-yourself adventure, there’s no excuse not to practice regularly with your weapon.
Keeping in “”shooting shape”” in terms of regular shooting is very beneficial during the off-season. One of the worst feelings as a hunter is blowing a shot opportunity. Hunters who consistently practice will always be more successful.
The weather could be bad, your heart will be pounding, you’ll be breathing hard and you may be on a steep slope or shooting at an awkward angle. Very rarely will a bull elk offer a second shot. When you only have one opportunity, you must be ready to make it count.
During the winter months or when the weather is bad, head to the indoor range. Better yet, joining an archery league can be a lot of fun. It will add some competitiveness, encouraging a shooter to get better. Plus, it offers the opportunity to learn from other archers.
3D shoots can be a lot of fun too and many hunting clubs offer them. Again, these allow shooters to practice under some competitive pressure. 3D shoots also force archers to practice judging the distance to the target.
While range finders have eliminated a lot of the guess work today, there will always be a time in the field where the time circumstances won’t permit use of range finder prior to the shot. Archers who are consistently good at estimating yardage will have a serious advantage.
As the weather warms up, take your target outdoors where permitted or find rabbits, squirrels or even soft stumps to shoot at. Practice different yardages, angles and shooting positions. In the field you may find yourself kneeling or sitting and shooting uphill or downhill.
Also practice with your hunting clothing on and shooting your bow with the quiver both on and off. Try running up a steep hill and then steadying yourself for a shot. Run back down and repeat.
It is also helpful to work on increasing your effective range during the off-season. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone and practice shots just outside your range. Continue to stretch and grow your shooting abilities.
Last but not least, try to imagine and simulate the real live experience of the shot each time you pick up the bow. Make sure your draw is smooth and quiet, just as if the bull of your dreams were standing within range. Test yourself to make the first shot count.
The more these things become second nature, the better the chance you have of taking that bull of a lifetime when an opportunity presents itself.
Much of the same ideas for archery practice also pertain to rifle. Unfortunately, some rifle hunters don’t spend as much time shooting their rifle prior to their hunt as they should. This includes practicing at longer distances if possible. No shot with a rifle is a given, no matter how fancy the optics mounted on top.
Lack of practice and preparation can and does result in many missed opportunities. In fact, in our experience on average, rifle hunters are missing more opportunities than archery hunters these days, which is hard to believe.
It all boils down to persistent practice, knowing the distance and practicing shot positions you will encounter in the field. The off-season can be a great time to make a run to your local rifle range. Even on nice days, you will typically have the range to yourself this time of year.
As the nicer weather approaches, many clubs offer competitive shooting. This can be a great way to improve your shooting and get some great practice time. The off season is also a great time to experiment with new loads, whether you shoot hand loads or factory ammo. Find products that offer the best performance out of your rifle.
It’s amazing how some guys will play down the need to shoot consistent, tight groups at the rifle range given the large kill zone of an elk. They seem to forget that when you are off just a few inches at 100 yards, you can multiply the margin of error significantly if the bull of your dreams is standing at 300 or 400 yards away. There is no doubt that shooting confidence and consistency out to 300 or 400 yards will greatly increase your chances of taking an elk.
Both bow hunting and rifle hunting for elk in Colorado’s high country can be challenging, whether you plan to go with an outfitter or not. Make sure you’re ready for that shot of a lifetime.
An Introduction to the Archery Compound Bow
Prior to the 1950s, those who were interested in the sport of archery were limited to the choices of longbow and recurve bow. Typically which a person chose depended on what use he/she was going to put the bow to, target practice or hunting. Most hunters used recurve bows because they had more power than longbows for killing big game like deer and elk. When the archery compound bow was invented, that all changed.
The compound bow is very different from previous bows because it is strung in a continuous loop that uses a pair of pulleys to multiply the force applied to the arrow. In addition, at least on of these pulleys, usually both, is a cam that allows for a release of tension on the arms of the archer when the bow is fully drawn. This makes it easier to hold the arrow in firing position and aim to get a truer shot than is possible under full load as with longbows and recurves.
Another major change brought about with the advent of the compound bow is the ability of the archer to adjust the draw strength of the bow. Longbows and recurve bows are manufactured to have a particular draw strength when fully drawn. Compound bows can be adjusted within certain tolerances in the field and can be changed drastically simply be changing the pulleys and cams on the bow. This makes it possible for different people to use the same bow at different settings based on their size and strength, and advantage that did not exist before the compound bow.
One drawback to the archery compound bow is that it is difficult to unstring and string. Where long bows and recurve bows are unstrung by the archer to release tension, the compound bow can only be unstrung or strung with the use of special clamps to hold the limbs in position. A person can be seriously injured trying to sting or unstring a compound bow without the proper tools.
In the sport of archery, the compound bow is currently the apex of the evolution of bows. A compound bow is often much more powerful than a longbow or a recurve bow, although that can be changed. The fact that the draw strength of compound bows can be adjusted is an incredible improvement over longbows and recurve bows that have only one weight. The release of tension brought about by the cams used in the pulley assembly makes it much easier for an archer to hold an arrow in the ready position for a longer time and take a steadier aim at the target.
For hunters, compound bows are often shorter than even a good recurve bow, meaning less chance of getting tangled in undergrowth and making a lot of noise getting it loose. This alone is an advantage when hunting wild game, especially whitetail deer, who are often aware of the hunter before he is aware of the animal. Since its invention, the compound bow has become the archery hunter’s best friend.
Elk Hunting on a Budget
Like many types of hunting, elk hunting can be a very rewarding experience. The thrill of seeking out the quarry, getting close enough for the shot and then the excitement of bringing down one of the largest of the deer species cannot be beaten. The right equipment is a necessity as well, so we will talk here about your elk hunting budget.
Equipment and supplies are essential to the successful hunt and these can be a bit pricey. So you need to do two things first:
Set a hunting budget for what you will spend , and
Make a list of what you will need for that hunt.
These factors can vary depending on whether you go on an unguided or a guided hunt, the area you intend to hunt, how long you intend to stay afield and other factors. Of course, the proper firearm and ammunition are essentials and should constitute, in my humble opinion, at least 20% to 30% of that hunting budget.
For starters, concentrate on the basics that you MUST have, like warm clothing, boots, knife or field dressing kit, gloves, thermal socks, underwear and elk calls. You should be able to find these items at a local sporting goods store, but you can also shop online and find deals. Usually, you can find hunting budget busters at the end of the season and in the off season.
Secondary essentials can include fold up seats, portable stands and scent control items. These can also be found at local brick and mortar stores, but online shops can offer bargains. One thing you can do is look at the name brands of the items you need, then search out the same item in a secondary brand. You would be surprised at the money you can save by simply using a not so well-known brand.
When putting together your hunting budget, money can be saved in several ways. Using secondary brands us very god for saving money over the name brands. The same item that provides the same effect can cost up to 40% or 50% less in some cases. Don’t just pay for a name.
Look for kits that contain several items you are looking at. I did this last hunting season when I upgraded my scent control program. The individual items would have cost more than $50. I found a kit that included all of them PLUS a couple of other things for $37; a savings of about 17%.
Overall, it pays to simply be smart and not buy the first thing that you find. Do some research and find other types and brands that provide the same service. Even if you want to shop at a local storefront, go to their online site and check the inventory for availability. Saves you time and money traveling somewhere that doesn’t even have what you need on hand. Some places will have free shipping to the store nearest to you and you pick it up when it arrives, so you get the things you need all in one place and don’t even pay shipping costs. That can be significant to you as a cost saving maneuver.
Make Money Selling Deer Antler Chandeliers
Because of the rapid increase of new hunters coming into the industry, the entire species of deer have become more and more valuable. People simply love to watch, take pictures of, and hunt deer. As more and more people begin to love the sport of hunting, more and more industries are being created. There was the boom in the camo industry and then the boom in modern day archery. There is so much money to be made with hunting related items.
I am not sure when deer antler chandeliers were created or thought up, but who ever thought of the whole idea is a pure genius. The companies that manufacture these chandeliers are gaining a ton of profit. Now when I say a ton, I mean a lot of money. I have searched all over the internet for more information on the prices of deer antler chandeliers and this is what I found. The majority of deer antler chandeliers where from twelve hundred dollars to over six thousand dollars. Did you hear that correctly – six thousand dollars! That is a lot of money for such a simple piece of art. I do not mean simple to make – I just meant that they are simple and elegant and it probably wouldn’t take to long to make them.
Make a note that the prices on deer antler chandeliers that I posted above is simple an estimate – not a fact. I am sure that the price will differ with each company and style. Each chandelier has a different size and width meaning that some have more antler and are therefore more expensive. I believe that the price also reflects the type of antler being used. The more exotic, the more expensive – at least that make since to me. A chandelier made from moose antler should cot more that one made from a deer – it only makes since. And one made from a elk should also be more expensive that a chandelier made from a deer antler. You can also get one of these made from a fake antlers that should decrease the price by a landslide.