Spike elk


Visit any elk herd at this time of year and you will find it largely composed of females. Yet, now and then, among them there is a spike elk — a yearling male which has already grown single-prong antlers. Strangely, these, so called, spike elk, are prized by hunters. Go figure.

A spike elk is a familiar member of a female herd. 


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2 Responses to Spike elk

  1. Karen Pidcock says:

    Alistair, my godson who’s an active & informed hunter/trapper, replied when I shared this to him: “The photographer might actually be surprised to learn that it is in almost all situations illegal to shoot a spike bull. If someone really wanted to they could enter a draw where there are very few tags given out But generally it is illegal to shoot anything under 6 point bulls. The thinking behind this is that by the time they have reached this level of maturity, they are past their prime as breeding bulls. Anyways, I just thought that might interest you.“

    I wondered!

    • Alistair says:

      Karen, I suspected as much: the appeal to some hunters (reported on a number of hunting websites) is that many regional regulations make it difficult to achieve the catch. So, it may be that the value of the spike elk to some hunters is not as much for itself as it is that of overcoming regulatory hurdles.

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