Interesting Facts About Elk Hunting

Elk HuntingJACO Outfitters offers guided elk hunts in New Mexico at various times of the year. Elk live among terrain that’s physically demanding for hunters to navigate, so if you’re going to hunt elk, it’s best if you’re “in shape.” You’ll be hiking up/down/around “difficult” terrain with a backpack and a bow or rifle. And you’ll probably be far from a road– instead, you’ll be a couple miles from a road/people/stuff. Before you decide to hunt elk in New Mexico, you should practice hiking up steep hills with a heavy backpack (30 pounds or more) in order to get you mentally and physically ready for your guided elk hunting adventure.

Thin Air

Since elk tend to live in the “high country,” expect the air up there to be “thin.” Hunters should practice breathing from their noses, keeping their mouths closed– that will help when actually elk hunting up a hill or mountain.

Elk and Their Relatives

Did you know elk are members of the Cervidae family? This family includes caribou, deer and moose. What distinguishes elk from their relatives? It’s got to be their massive antlers as well as long legs with cloven hooves.

Elk Size

A typical elk measures about 4 to 5 feet from hoof to shoulder and weighs between 325 and 1,000 pounds. Of course, thanks to their antlers, they look taller– a male’s antlers, for instance, can grow 4 feet above it head, so they appear 9 feet tall! Female elk, though, do not have antlers.

Elk Living Habits

Elk live in herds (of 150-400 members) and tend to prefer woodlands but stay out of dense forests. Males hang with males, and females tend to stick around other females. Herds are actually matriarchal– run by a single female. By the way, during mating season, a dominant male will defend his territory around his harem of females (usually up to 6 mates), so you don’t want to make him mad.

Finally, know this: elk only eat vegetation– mostly grasses in summer and woody growth in winter, so thankfully people don’t have to worry that elk are going to try and eat them.

Want to hunt elk in New Mexico? Take a guided hunt with JACO Outfitters.