Monday, February 25, 2013

Tule Elk, Carrizo Plain National Monument

During one of my recent weekends spent trawling the Carrizo for fascinating stuff I happened to encounter a small herd of nine tule elk. This was an awesome moment, seeing elk in the wild just 40 miles in a straight line from the Southern California coast. In my four recent trips I've seen quite a bit of wildlife, coyotes and weasels and raptors and such, but this was really neat. I'd still like to catch a glimpse of the pronghorn antelope that are slowly repopulating the plain. Maybe I'll get lucky. This herd spotted me with ease and quickly bolted away.


  1. Hi David,
    Up Santa Paula creek near Cienega Camp the other week I saw a HUGE animal in the forest. It became startled and thumped away up the hillside. Could it have been a tule elk? It seemed too large to be a California mule deer...

  2. Laura, I don't know what you saw. Can't even begin to guess. I swear I've seen elk prints near Buckhorn, and I heard a rumor a years ago that some elk had gotten off one of the Tejon hunting clubs, so I suppose anything is possible. But I kind of doubt it. There are probably some big critters up in Bear Haven though, which is right next door. -DS