Teton Mountain Ranch: The Elk

March 15, 2010 · 4 comments

I didn’t know I wanted a pet elk before Saturday, but it turns out, I do.


Really, it’s not surprising. I have a long history of enjoying the company of pronged critters. But it’s been a while and I had forgotten how darned endearing and intriguing they are.


In the first place, any animal who can grow a new tree out of its noggin every year has got my respect right off the bat. Even the ugly ones, like, say, a North American moose.

Oh, don’t even pretend that a moose is an attractive animal. Impressive, yes. Maybe even regal, in an Abe Vigoda kind of way, but attractive? Compared to this?


If I was an elk sitting in a plastic surgeon’s office discussing possibilities for a nose job, I’d have this photo with me and just slap it on the desk and say, “This. This is what I want. And while you’re at it, I’d like the chin too, please.”


Those gorgeous noses aren’t just for looks, either.

Steve had mentioned before we got in their compound that elk are very curious. And sure enough, as soon as we got within range, every head went up and they sniffed us up one side and down the other, all from 20 yards away. They were so intent on this sniffing business that I found myself wondering if I’d forgotten my deodorant.

Nothing like being around an animal with a good sniffer to remind you that, in spite of all our Ban roll-on and Ivory Snow and Old Spice efforts, we still stink like humans.


In our previous post about Teton Mountain Ranch, I mentioned that Steve and Greg train their trail horses by having them tag along on the feeding runs they make.

Part of that training apparently involves being sniffed. Up close.

The horse seemed mildly disconcerted by this situation.


But when a dozen elk bulls in full foliage joined in the fun, the training entered the advanced phase.

He looks worried to me. Does he look worried to you?

Steve and Greg had the situation well under control, though, and the elk all had a good chuckle about the whole thing.

Those elk… such kidders.


Rick, I think I’ve changed my mind about the poodle puppy. Can we have an elk instead?

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Lavinia June 10, 2016 at 5:35 am

Of the panoply of website I’ve pored over this has the most veacirty.


Gail March 16, 2010 at 8:57 am

These are beautiful creatures, but Abe Vigoda – Regal?? Really? :-}
P.S. Stick with the poodle….


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