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Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
The Collection: Species Details Lewis and Clark as Naturalists
Mammal    Species Name:
Cervus elaphus
Original name is Cervus elaphus Linnaeus, 1758; Cervus roosevelti is a synonym; Cervus elaphus roosevelti is a subspecies.

Common Name:


Astoria, Oregon
Tongue Point on the Columbia river is the location for the first Roosevelt's elk encountered.
  December 2, 1805

Winter's fare

On the plains, bison, elk, pronghorn, and deer provided great quantities of meat for the Corps, but it was the elk that sustained the group through the winter at Fort Clatsop, Oregon.  Between December 1, 1805 and March 20, 1806, hunters killed 131 of these large deer, on average more than one per day.  Male elk average 728 pounds and females 530 pounds, so the hunters would have processed around 80,000 pounds of elk that winter.  And yet we are told 16 men ate all but eight pounds of a large, mature buck at one sitting!

For more information about this North American mammal, click here.

Journal Entries:

Lewis and Clark encountered Elk or signs of Elk at numerous places throughout their journey, beginning at Independence Creek in Missouri where signs of ...  more>>

Sound    elk bugling (0:00, 55 kb)
Credit: Wind Cave National Park
References Linné, Carl von, Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, Secundum Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, Cum Characteribus, Differentiis, Synonymis, Locis, ed. 10, 2 vols, Holmiae: impensis direct. Laurentii Salvii, 1758

see following caption

See following caption
female elk with calves

See following caption
male elk in velvet

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