ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK

Rocky Mountain elk have the largest antlers of all North American subspecies.

Of the four subspecies of elk found in North America, two reside in British Columbia. Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus canadensis nelsoni) are most numberous in the east and west Kootenays and spread as far as the Liard River area in the northern part of the province as as far east as the Thompson region. Rocky Mountain elk have the largest antlers of the 4 North American subspecies.

Elk have a golden brown coat during the summer and a longer, grayish brown coat during the winter.  Their legs, head and neck remain dark brown year round.  Mature bull elk have rich brown antlers with ivory tips and long cylindrical beams that sweep upward and back.  Bull elk will rarely have more than 6 points and will shed their racks in March. 

A Rocky Mountain elk’s diet primarily consists of sedge, grass and ferns, but is supplemented by willows, elderberry, cedar and hemlock. In the winter, elk ranges are most commonly found in open forests, grassy bench lands or floodplain marshes. In May and June, these elk migrate to subalpine and alpine basins that support lush vegetation. At maturity, a cow will weigh about 500 lbs and a bull will weigh about 700 lbs. Elk meat is leaner and higher in protein than both chicken and beef.

Photo Credit: Ironman100

Rocky Mountain Elk

Species to Hunt in BC

Rocky Mountain Elk

ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK

Everything you need to know about the big game species to hunt in British Columbia – the Rocky Mountain Elk

ROCKY MOUNTAIN BIGHORN SHEEP

In late summer and autumn, bighorn sheep have a brown coat with a contrasting ivory-white rump patch, a white muzzle and white trim on the

MOUNTAIN GOAT

Mountain goats have the thickest and longest pelage of any North American ungulate aside from the muskox. Despite its name a mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus)

Canada Moose

CANADA MOOSE

Moose are herbivores that need to eat up to 20 kg of vegetation a day to fuel their nearly 10,000 calorie diets. In North America,

Whitetail Deer

WHITE-TAILED DEER

White-tailed deer are tan or reddish-brown in the summer, and grayish-brown in the winter. The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virignianus) is the most widely distributed of

North American Bison

NORTH AMERICAN BISON

Bison can weigh more than a ton and stand up to 2 meters tall. Bison (Bison bison), also known as buffalo, are very large animals

Cougar or Mountain Lion

COUGAR (MOUNTAIN LION)

The cougar mainly preys on deer, but may also prey on bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, moose, beaver, porcupine, mice, rabbits and birds. Cougars (Felis

Mountain Caribou

MOUNTAIN CARIBOU

Mountain caribou live in areas where the snow is too deep to dig through and eat the tree lichen of old forest growth for eight

California Bighorn Sheep

CALIFORNIA BIGHORN SHEEP

The horns of a California bighorn have more of an outward flare than those of the Rocky Mountain bighorn. California bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis sierrae)

Dall's Sheep

DALL’S SHEEP

Dall’s sheep live in parts of the Yukon, Northwest Territories and the extreme northwestern corner of BC. Clinging to sheer rock faces or sedately grazing

Stone Sheep

STONE SHEEP

The Stone sheep is somewhat larger and chunkier than the Dall’s sheep, with a larger and relatively wider skull, and heavier, darker-colored horns. A mature

Shiras Moose

SHIRAS MOOSE

This huge animal has very long legs, a large hump on its shoulders, and massive palmate antlers. The Shiras moose (Alces alces shirasi) has the

Mule Deer

MULE DEER

Mule deer are brownish-gray in color, have a white rump patch, and a small white tail with a black tip. Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) are

Black Bear

BLACK BEAR

Black bears can be distinguished from grizzlies by their facial profiles, shoulders, smaller size and shorter claws. Black bears (Ursus americanus) are the most widely

Roosevelt Elk

ROOSEVELT ELK

Roosevelt elk are the largest subspecies by body mass. Of the four subspecies of elk found in North America, two reside in British Columbia. Roosevelt

Black Tailed Deer

BLACK-TAILED DEER

Black-tailed deer occur along the entire coast of British Columbia Black-tailed deer are a smaller subspecies of mule deer. Their coat is slightly darker in

Alaska Yukon Moose

ALASKA YUKON MOOSE

The largest sized antlers are usually produced when bulls are 10 – 12 years old, but bulls can reach trophy size as young as 6

Other Species to Hunt in BC

Wolverine

WOLVERINE

Wolverines are fierce animals. They have strong, sharp teeth and semi-retractable claws that they use for digging, climbing and scaring away predators. The wolverine (Gulo

Gray Wolf

GRAY WOLF

Wolves are voracious carnivores and in some cases, have shown to drastically reduce ungulate populations. The gray wolf (Canis lupus), also known as the timber

Canada Lynx

CANADA LYNX

A lynx’s diet is primarily made up of snowshoe hare, but it will also consume squirrels, grouse and other rodents. The range of Canada lynx

Bobcat

BOBCAT

Bobcats will hunt squirrels, rats, mice, voles, beavers and nesting birds, but they prefer rabbit. The bobcat (Felis rufus) occupies open coniferous and deciduous forests,