Elk and Quakies - Utah Wildlife Network

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Old 07-09-2009, 08:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Elk and Quakies

I hunt in a area that is primarily pines (95%). I have found a few small pockets of Quakies. There is some sign of elk. But does anyone know if elk traffic these areas frequently. I have read that they will eat the bark of the quakies. And have seen the knaw marks. But is this a winterering habit more than a normal feeding trend? If there is elk in the area will they walk by the Quakies on purpuse or do they even notice the difference in the trees? I would love to hear any thought on this.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Elk and Quakies

elk and quaking aspen - populous tremuloides.
elk love aspen and basically year round. where you have aspen you also have near surface water for at least some period of time which generally produces greater amounts of surface vegetation, grasses, forbes, etc. also under an aspen canopy, you get more light than a coniferous overstory allowing more vegetation. more grass, more food, more food, more elk. elk are grazers just like cows, deer are browsers, concentrating more on the brush species than the grasses. the barking of aspen trees occurs regularly thru the year as you will find trees at high elevations (where there are no elk in winter) that have been barked as well as in the wintering areas. it appears that this behaviour is just one of those needs elk have like a dog eating grass on occasion. they also eat the new shoots coming up and young branches off the tree. once they get too woody, they will consume these only as last resort. they certainly get some nutrition from barking, but typically very little. it may be more of a teeth cleaning or some such thing than it is for nutrition.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Elk and Quakies

Well normally in the high elevations where you find elk there are normally quakies, obviously some elk are in mostly pines, but most elk stay within quakies when not to heavily pressured. Lots more sunlight makes it to the ground letting grasses and forages grow in quakies that elk like, whereas in pines little grows because of the small amount of light that makes it to the grasses and forages that the elk like to eat.
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Elk and Quakies

Elk love young aspen. I have seen them put their mouths around the trunk of small aspen and then lift and strip all the small branches/leaves in one motion. I remember reading an article in Bugle magazine several years ago where the author, a biologist, believed that elk gnaw on mature aspen bark because it contains the same chemical as aspirin. The author believed elk gnaw on the bark when they have a headache or upset stomach. As was mentioned, dogs will eat grass when they have an upset stomach.

Finding elk in aspen groves when there is light pressure is common, but if there is much pressure they usually are less inclined to be in the more open aspen stands and prefer the deep pines or low country.



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Old 07-09-2009, 08:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Elk and Quakies

The quakie patches that are available to me are very small. I think that the elevation I am at doesn't allow for much quakie Growth. (almost 11,000 feet) I have found them at 10,200 feet and at the bottom of long draws. Do you think the elk feed there in the morning or at night? Where should I set up? I know a little about thermals. But am curious if they are working against me. The mountains that I hunt face west. I think I should beat the elk up the mountain. But the thermals are still going down while the elk move up, because the thermals don't change until the sun hits the hill. So it seems useless to try and get above them. And historically has not worked. We see more elk moving up with them then getting ahead of them.

How do I fix this? If the elk feed in the quakies in the morning and move up into the timber after feeding, I want to beat them to the spot. But if they smell me I have very little chance.
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Elk and Quakies

salicin, one of the components in acetylsalacic acid, (apsirin) can be found in moderate quantities in many of the willow species (salix) and to a much lesser extent in the populus species like aspen. without the processing/refining i would be a bit skeptical that it would have significant pain relieving properties. it might, but.... ah who knows if elk get headaches... maybe thats why they breed only once a year... cows always have headaches?
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Elk and Quakies

i saw a few cows in the aspens just the other day!
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Old 07-11-2009, 05:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Elk and Quakies

Whether elk will be in quakies depends on a lot of factors. As has been mentioned, more sunlight reaches the ground in quakies than in timber, particularly thick timber. This means more feed. Timber, however, provides more shade, and better cover. Generally, I have found elk to be in quakies early and late in the day but in the pines bedding down in the heat of the day (Cold weather can change this.) and as Pro pointed out when huntinig pressure gets high they will hold up in the timber and only come out at night. The time of year also makes a difference. In the summer when elk have a summer coat and the quakies have more leaves and there is very little hunting pressure, I think they spend more time in the quakies than in the fall.
My 2 cents.
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Elk and Quakies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riverlution
The quakie patches that are available to me are very small. I think that the elevation I am at doesn't allow for much quakie Growth. (almost 11,000 feet) I have found them at 10,200 feet and at the bottom of long draws. Do you think the elk feed there in the morning or at night? Where should I set up? I know a little about thermals. But am curious if they are working against me. The mountains that I hunt face west. I think I should beat the elk up the mountain. But the thermals are still going down while the elk move up, because the thermals don't change until the sun hits the hill. So it seems useless to try and get above them. And historically has not worked. We see more elk moving up with them then getting ahead of them.

How do I fix this? If the elk feed in the quakies in the morning and move up into the timber after feeding, I want to beat them to the spot. But if they smell me I have very little chance.
Side wind.



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