As many have predicted since the reintroduction of elk into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park a few years ago, growing numbers of these animals has trigger an outward expansion of the usual range of these big game animals. Last week a young bull was spotted In South Carolina; the first such sighting of these animals there since the 1700s.
According to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, the young male bull elk was first spotted on last Friday at Camp McCall - a Southern Baptist Convention camp in Pickens County, S.C. The next day it was observed outside the U.S. Post Office in Sunset, S.C., and the following day it was seen wandering the links at The Reserve at Lake Keowee. The elk is believed to be around two-and-a-half years old and could weigh up to 700 pounds.
The elk rut is underway. Dominant bulls accumulate “harems” of receptive cows. Harems of 3-15 cows are zealously guarded by the dominant bull. Young bulls bold enough allow their natural instinct to approaching the harem of a bull risk getting their brains beat out. Smart ones like the young bull sighted in South Carolina move along to assume a restless bachelor life. Next fall or the year after, the young bull in question will be mature and strong enough to challenge the bull for possession of his harem.