Elk Calf

Montana2015

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May 1, 2018
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Today on my way home from camping, I was on highway 200 approx 8 miles east of Lincoln. Running along both sides of the highway (very close to the turn to go up Stemple Pass) is a very high game fence. I noticed on the highway side of the fence a very young calf sticking it's nose through the fence to it's mother. I turn around and go back and observe the situation. Both the calf and cow where crying or chirping at each other. Approx 300 yards to the east was a road with a large cattle guard. I see no way that the mother and calf where going to be able to rejoin each other. I ended up walking down to the calf as it was laying in the grass. The cow was pacing back and fourth approx 30 yds from the fence. I decided to pick up the calf and carry it to the the other side of the fence via the cattle guard. Both mom and calf are chirping pretty good. Once through the other side, I set the calf down and it it heads to the bushes. The cow then heads cautiously to the calf. My hope is that they became reunited. However, after giving it some thought, my fear is that by handling the calf the cow will shun it due to my scent on the calf. Does anyone have any thoughts on this situation and the possible outcome.
 
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npaden

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Sounds like you did the right thing to me. The whole abandon because of the scent thing on the fawn/calf is an old wives tale spread to discourage people from handling them.
 

ClearCreek

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They will be reunited. Motherly instinct will override any scent you left on that calf.

ClearCreek
 

ImBillT

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I guess cattle guards aren’t that effective on calf elk. I’m glad it went so smoothly.
 

hank4elk

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It's that time of year in NM. Cows have run off last years calves & they are wandering around wondering what happened,why does mom hate me?
And soon the spotty bodies will show up along the fences chirping to mom who is calling back trying to teach calf about fence crossing & how to keep up with mom.
I have taken to sitting in the truck & waiting for the lesson to take, sort of. Elk dislike cattleguards too. It's a real bummer when they just run along the fence trying to find a way thru.
Lessons.
 

waygoner

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Jul 12, 2016
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A few years ago I saw a fawn mule deer try to cross a cattle guard. It slipped and fell through, stuck with no way to get out. My buddy and I pulled it out and sent it on its way. Not sure what happened after that. Mamma was no where to be seen.
 

scubohuntr

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Montana
I've seen it happen many times with cattle. Mom puts baby down on the fenceline, because that's where the taller grass is to hide it in. Calf rolls around a bit, trying to get up, ends up standing up on the wrong side of the fence, and can't figure out how he got there. They generally manage to find their way back, but of course, that's in country without wolves, lions, and bears to find it before it figures it out.
 

Rzrbck918

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Bixby Oklahoma
Good work. I think that gives the best chance for survival. That's gotta be some good karma coming to you in the elk woods.
 

Montana2015

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Good work. I think that gives the best chance for survival. That's gotta be some good karma coming to you in the elk woods.
I hope so, lord knows I need it. I told my wife, hopefully that calf is a bull, and that it grows to a great big one and I get a crack at it in 8 to 10 years. Although by then it is going to need to be in an area pretty accessible, as I'll be well into my 70's.
 
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