Roadside Browsers

FTLComm - La Ronge - May 27, 2001 (Pictures by: Judy Shire)
Only a decade ago Elk (Wapati) were rarely seen, they were few in numbers and the few hunting licenses issued for them were given out in lotteries. But that situation has definitely changed as roaming herds of these, the second largest members of the "deer" family have become increasingly widespread.

Earlier this year we showed you pictures taken near Somme of a herd browsing in a field like cattle and this past week you may have heard of the Carrot River farmer who has lost his alfalfa seed crop to foraging Wapati and is soliciting hunters from nearby reserves to harvest these big eaters.

Unlike deer Wapati usually do not turn their heads toward you when you approach them on the highway at night which is also a habit of moose. This means that drivers travelling in areas where these animals are present must keep an especially sharp eye for shadows that move into their headlights. During the day or night both elk and moose are less likely to move when they are approached by a car whereas deer are as likely to head for your car as they are to bounce off into the woods. Wapati and Moose are positively huge animals and a collision with one can result in both wildlife and human fatalities.

This pair of grass eaters were photographed Friday afternoon South of La Ronge.