The Madison Elk Herd
From an elk's perspective, this valley offers
everything needed for year-round survival.
Food is abundant. These meadows become
snow-free relatively early and stay lush longer
into summer. During May-June calving season,
nearby lodgepole pine forests shelter newborns
from coyotes and bears.
In 1988 fires burned the slopes across the river.
For the next several years the dense forest will
be more open and less sheltering, which may
affect the movement of the herd. Harsh or mile
winters, however, continue to be the great
regulator of the elk population here and
throughout the park.
In June you may see cow elk with calves.
Bull elk gather harems during the breeding
season from mid-September through October.