Elk of Jackson Hole
There’s a lot happening to the Elk of Jackson Hole right now from the Jackson Hole National Elk Refuge…the northward migration is under way. The Elk of Jackson Hole move north in order to spend the summer high in the Tetons, The grass in the high Teton Mountains is green for about three months of summer. It’s as exciting to me as watching the Elk of Jackson Hole in rut during September and October.
Other news concerning the Elk of Jackson Hole is this bulletin from the National Elk Refuge.
Spring Elk and Bison Migration
The last day of supplemental feeding for the year was 4/1/14. Elk of Jackson Hole numbers have fluctuated since that time but have remained high until recent days. On 4/19/14 there were still approximately 5,000 elk on the south end of the refuge, but a large movement occurred across the Gros Ventre
River and Kelly Road over the weekend, and by 4/21/14 there were only 1,300 elk of Jackson Hole on the south end of NER. This is typical migration timing for elk that winter on NER and is consistent with the snow melt and green up patterns that we are experiencing this Spring.
Bison numbers on the south end of the refuge have ranged from 425-650 since the end of supplemental feeding. Most of this variation has been due to bison moving back and forth from the north end of NER where they are difficult to observe. Bison do not appear to have left the refuge in large numbers yet.
And in other news…, also from the National Elk Refuge: GPS collar data shows that peak spring elk of Jackson Hole movements occur during the second and third weeks of April. This season was no exception. On Saturday, April 19, roughly 5,000 elk remained on the south end of the Refuge. Elk numbers dropped significantly during the remainder of the weekend as large numbers of animals migrated off the Refuge, with many elk moving to the sagebrush flats just north of the Gros Ventre River and south of the Jackson Hole Airport. By April 21, the number of elk remaining on the Refuge had dropped to 1,300 animals.
So there you are – if you ever wanted to know anything about the Elk of Jackson Hole – but were afraid to ask.
Hamish and Rochelle
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