Elk vs" Deer - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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Elk vs" Deer

I've a question for anyone living in the Elk range here in Pa.... Since the Elk and Whitetail both compete for the same foods, Are there fewer whitetail living in the areas where the elk are?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 12:53 AM
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Re: Elk vs" Deer

Actually the deer and elk don't really compete that much for food and frequently the deer do better because of the elk.

Deer are generally browsers and elk are generally grazers though both will browse some and both will graze some. Elk will also graze on a lot of plants that deer will usually not even eat.

I have seen where both deer and turkey followed the elk around in the winter during periods of deep or crusted snow. The elk, being much larger can plow through deeper snow and paw through deep snow or crust to turn up acorns or grasses that the deer and turkey then took advantage of.

Another way the deer and turkey benefit it in the fact that the Elk foundation and others pump a lot of money into creating habitat in the elk range that frequently benefits deer and turkeys as much or more than it does the elk.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 01:37 AM
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Re: Elk vs" Deer

The original elk native to the east coast, the eastern elk, were primarily browsers.

The Rocky Mountain elk are primarly grazers.

It's like replacing a corvette with a vega, they are Chevy cars, so I guess it's close enough.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 10:08 AM
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Re: Elk vs" Deer

Just curious R.S.B. Are you still on the PGC payroll. To say the deer do better because of the elk is ridiculous. A small group of bulls can totally destroy a bunch of apple trees in one night. Acorns are an elk favorite. The years we have resident elk in our area the deer sightings go down.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 11:12 AM
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Re: Elk vs" Deer

I can't speak first hand to the question, as I really don't have much to base it on. I will say that an overwhelming number of my neighbors in northern Centre County believe the elk compete heavily with the deer herd. It doesn't seem like there are a lot of elk fans among the locals here.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 10:17 PM
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Re: Elk vs" Deer

I can speak firsthand, and am a firm believer that the habitat improvement that is done all over the elk range benefits the deer herd tremendously. I know that the two animals do compete somewhat for food and a herd of elk can make a lot of it disappear fast, but when the mast crop is bad the deer always have food in the plots put in for elk.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-17-2016, 01:15 AM
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Re: Elk vs" Deer

Quote:
Originally Posted by northcentral
Just curious R.S.B. Are you still on the PGC payroll. To say the deer do better because of the elk is ridiculous. A small group of bulls can totally destroy a bunch of apple trees in one night. Acorns are an elk favorite. The years we have resident elk in our area the deer sightings go down.
I retired well over four years ago so no I am not on the Game Commission payroll.

As for elk benefiting deer. Well people can and will believe only what they want to believe. As for me, I have seen first hard, while flying over the elk range in the middle of the winter, doing the annual elk surveys for a couple decades, just how much the deer and turkey followed the elk around during the deep snows of winter. Therefore there is absolutely no question in my mind that the deer and turkey both benefit from having the elk out there.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-17-2016, 08:30 AM
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Re: Elk vs" Deer

And as a resident living in the elk range for a couple decades and observing the elk heard increasing every year in the zone I live in the presence of elk are changing the landscape. I agree the plots put in for elk do benefit all wildlife... now if we could get the elk to winter over on the plots we would be set. Sekora, you ever see a small herd winter over at least 2 miles from the closest food plot? The game commission will tell you everything is great with the elk herd but that is not really the case.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 05:24 PM
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Re: Elk vs" Deer

Quote:
It's like replacing a corvette with a vega, they are Chevy cars, so I guess it's close enough.
Or the even closer relative, the Chevy Chevette.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-01-2016, 08:11 AM
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I can tell you first hand the ill effects the elk herd has on my camp property near the clinton/cameron co line. We went from having shooter bucks and 10-12 doe each year in the yard, to now literally having none. All i see are elk, they have pushed the deer out.

It very well may be coincidence but i've seen the deer population climb in other areas (not inhabited by elk herd) and i'm wondering if thats the case as of the last few years, deer moving

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