Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

The Delights and the Dangers of N. Oregon Coast Elk

Published 05/02/2018 at 5:55 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

The Delights and the Dangers of N. Oregon Coast Elk

(Seaside, Oregon) – One of the big surprise delights of wandering the north Oregon coast is catching sight of the grand and stately Roosevelt elk, which have fairly heavy populations on the Clatsop Plains and parts of the coast range. They’re especially astonishing when they show up in full view around Highway 101 between Cannon Beach and Seaside, lounging on the slopes near the highway. (Above: elk at Ecola State Park).

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; Fourth of July availability
In Cannon Beach:
Find rooms for Fourth of July
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
Independence Day room openings
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Who has rooms for the Fourth holiday
In Lincoln City:
Openings for Fourth of July
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
Where rooms are to be found on holiday
In Newport:
4th of July openings
In Waldport
New amenities offered, find openings for Fourth
In Yachats, Florence
Availability for Fourth; lodgings not listed anywhere else

Around the north interchanges of Cannon Beach, they’re really a stunner and a traffic-stopper. Few things cause more people to pull over than the herd laying around the grassy spots in full view of the highway.

Even more spectacularly, they can sometimes be seen loafing about Ecola State Park’s viewpoints, incredibly close to humans.

What are your best chances of seeing these great and beautiful beasts? And what are the dangers?

Herman Biederbeck is a wildlife biologist specializing in deer and elk at the Tillamook office of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). He said there’s a lot going on with these elk, and how and when you can spot them is not really predictable. There are also some basic rules to observe to keep yourself safe around them, as there have been more news stories about them charging people and pets in recent years.

“Most of the elk that can be readily viewed on the north Oregon coast are around Gearhart, although some viewable populations exist in and around Cannon Beach and Warrenton, as well,” Biederbeck said. “However, the best and most reliable elk viewing is at our Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area, located in central Clatsop County, north of Elsie.”

Biederbeck said elk are like most wildlife: driven by foraging needs. They graze on grass. Ironically, some of their favorite food sources tend to be areas around people because of lawns, golf courses and pastures. The fertilized grasses, or those managed for livestock there, are richer in nutrients and simply yummier to the elk.

It turns out winter may increase your chances of seeing them.

“Some herds only hang out in the valleys and lowlands in the winter months, and spend the summers primarily in the forest, though,” Biederbeck said.

However, they don’t forage in one area too long. Biederbeck said these local elk tend to be in herds that are only as large as the local food sources can sustain.

“In order to make this herd concept work, they move around a lot to take advantage of replenished (since they were there the last time) forage resources,” Biederbeck said. “If they stayed in one area for a long time, they would soon deplete, and likely decimate, those forage resources.”

More and more these creatures on the north Oregon coast are winding up in the news for charging humans or getting aggressive. Whether this is simply a factor of the information age – and more incidents are reported – or a consequence of increased proximity to humans is unclear, however.

It does create a cause for caution. Trying to get a selfie with such an animal is a really bad idea, but other things are more likely to set them off, and some times of the year are more problematic than others.

“Yes, people should enjoy elk from a distance, and if they have a dog with them, at an even farther distance from them,” Biederbeck said. “Elk should not be fed by people – it creates lots of problems and it usually ends badly for the elk. There are times when elk are more sensitive (negatively) to people. In June-July the cow elk often have young calves at heel, and they’re very protective. In September-October the bull elk are in the breeding season or ‘rut’ and they can become very intolerant of people as well.”

This link from ODFW has some good, common sense tips for when you’re around elk: www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/living_with/deer_elk.asp. - Where to stay in these areas - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

Oregon Coast Lodging



Photo below courtesy Seaside Aquarium.



More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

 

Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss

 



Coastal Spotlight


LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Pacific City, Oregon's Best: Hotels, Lodgings, Rental Surprises of the Coast
These contain a few serious surprises, with amenities and fun features you can't find anywhere else
Three Capes Lodging - Oceanside, Tierra Del Mar, Bay City, Neskowin, Lincoln ...
Then there are the lodging wonders of Neskowin, Pacific City, Tierra Del Mar, Oceanside and Netarts
One Oregon Coast Fireworks Display Features Something Extra
One of the largest fireworks displays happens in Newport, bringing some ten thousand to a wide array of geographic spots. Newport events
Running and Yoga Events Enliven N. Oregon Coast Towns
Two events in Cannon Beach and Manzanita create some unique recreational happenin's. Cannon Beach events, Manzanita events
Hawaii Lava Flows are Look at Oregon Coast Millions of Years Ago
Heated masses explode upon contact with the sea water, which then in turn cool to become something you see here. Geology. Science
How Unusual is that Dolphin Stranding on Oregon Coast?
A look back at the only other documentation in 2008. Science, Seaside Aquarium
Oregon Coast Rarity: Stranded Dolphin Only Seen Four Times in 23 Years
A northern right whale dolphin (Lissodelphis borealis) found on June 9. Science, Seaside Aquarium
Latest Oregon Coast: Star Party, Lighthouse Closure, Scenic Bikeways
An astronomy party in two parts of Oregon; a lighthouse near Florence under repair

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted

Oregon Coast Lodging
Rentals
Specials

Dining

Events Calendar

Oregon Coast Weather

Travel News

Search for Oregon Coast Subjects, Articles

Virtual Tours, Maps
Deep Details