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Gate Crashers

June 2, 2012

As if I wasn’t building enough fence every day already!  These guys, err, gals are making my life much more complicated right now.  Besides bursting through numerous electric fences about every other day, the elk are making quite a habit of dining in the already thin looking hay field.   Makes me feel pretty silly to think back about taking pictures of the lone elk in our town when I was a freshman in high school.   Now 40 years later, they are everywhere – and unlike cows, they do not respect fences of any type.

They were having quite a time last night playing in the drizzle and driving me crazy trying to figure out which fence was going to take a hit this time.


I finally just chased them away, which is about like killing slugs in the garden, they’ll be back probably as soon as I turn my back.  Sigh.

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. June 2, 2012 10:51 am

    There are signs on the highway up-Island from here warning of elk crossing – with 10 foot fences stretching for miles on both sides – but there are still accidents. I love your unlikely comparison to slugs…conjures up quite a picture.

  2. jenj permalink
    June 2, 2012 10:52 am

    No chance of elk steaks?

    • Mom24boys permalink
      June 2, 2012 12:35 pm

      mmmm! I just cooked up our last elk steaks 2 weeks ago. I wish there was a chance of more for the freezer this year but Hub’s fibromyalgia hasn’t eased off in over 8 months so I can’t imagine him hunting this season. We might get a deer and I won’t regret that but I think the Idaho elk he got tastes better than beef even. [he and his buddy hunted near garbanzo, lentil and alfalfa fields - that made for some very tasty and tender elk steaks!]

  3. Head Farm Steward permalink
    June 2, 2012 10:58 am

    Ducks eat slugs. You just need some really, really big ducks…lol.

    • June 2, 2012 11:38 am

      HFS, here we call them cougars ;) Although they like beef as well!

      • Mom24boys permalink
        June 2, 2012 12:40 pm

        Elk as slugs — all I could picture were giant, elk colored slugs, leaping over fences by the 3s and 5s… of course, streaming behind them glistening sluggish trails… uk.

  4. A.A. permalink
    June 2, 2012 11:21 am

    In case you haven’t yet read about it:
    http://www.moosefarm.newmail.ru

    *wink wink*

  5. Terry permalink
    June 2, 2012 12:41 pm

    Great photos! Sorry they are busting your fences. I thought I had heard that introducing wolves back into society in the NW was wiping out the elk and other hunted animals. Looks like they are thriving near you.
    Give Blake a hug from me! That picture in the barn was way to cute!!

  6. Bee permalink
    June 2, 2012 1:21 pm

    Sounds like the bear who keeps coming to dinner — well, more like three AM snacks — at our house. He’s savvy to electric wire, so although that kept him out of the grain, he’s still climbing in the pig pen and stealing their stuff, ditto the chicken pen (no chicken dinner though, since they are locked up at night), trashing the trash cans and driving the dogs crazy. To say nothing of what it’s doing for hubby’s blood pressure… And it’s not bear season, although we do have a permit. California Department of Fish and Game basically just shrugs. Still, I guess I should be glad we haven’t been having cougar problems like we did last year. Ahhh, life in the country!

  7. June 2, 2012 1:29 pm

    I agree with the elk steak comment. We wish the deer here would come right out and wait to be shot, lol.

  8. Sheila Z permalink
    June 2, 2012 2:34 pm

    I thought my life was rough with White Tail Deer as thick as fleas around here. I have a couple of Great Pyrs outside at night and their barking keeps the deer at bay somewhat. Before the dogs the deer ate everything.

    Can you get nuisance permits and hunt elk? That’s what farmers are allowed to do here with the deer. They can hunt anytime and take any number on their property if they are getting deer damage in their crops. I know a few farmers that don’t bother raising beef and don’t buy any either. They get enough red meat from picking off deer in their crops. We are seeing more large predators lately, bears and coyotes, so maybe they will start taking out some of the fawns and the deer populations will slow down.

  9. June 2, 2012 5:34 pm

    I seem to remember that salt does something nasty on slugs. What about elk?

    My Uncle told of raiding watermelon patches when he was younger. One patch was being watched, he discovered, as he failed to outrun a light shotgun load of rock salt. Perhaps just the noise would be enough to drive off the elk.

  10. joshuabardwell permalink
    June 2, 2012 6:44 pm

    I say! Looks like dinner to me!

  11. Sid permalink
    June 3, 2012 6:04 am

    Maybe you could take their presence as a complement for the good grass. And as the grass is only getting better . . .

  12. June 3, 2012 10:52 am

    One small scale farmer near us loss the whole of their veg supply for the winter through a group of elk, so every sympathy. I seem to think they jumped a fence too that was designed to keep out the wild boar.

    At least on that front now we have a contract with a hunting organisation and if we have a problem with them we only have to call them out, they are even going to build two hunting towers on our land to keep them at bay and that will include elk if they come our way. Is there no one in your area wanting to hunt on your land? Or is it not allowed?

  13. Whitpirate permalink
    June 6, 2012 3:42 pm

    Perhaps it is time to take on a hunting lease this fall…. .I’ll apply for a non-resident license to help you cull the herd…. :) Pesky buggers on fences though nothing like a moose. Moose can break a concrete wall if they want to go through but elk have a nasty way of taking 2 out of 4 fences in a field out when they ramble on through.

  14. June 8, 2012 1:06 pm

    Bummer…we had some fence damage when our local herd hung around longer than usual into spring, but fortunately headed out before the intensive cattle rotation started. Our herd gets to be up to 50 elk then, and if they get spooked, it’s like a buldozer drives through…

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