Most of all one discovers that the soil does not stay the same, but like anything alive, is always changing and telling its own story. - C. Williams
Monday, June 17, 2013
Starkey Elk Experiment Station Field Trip
It thought this was an eye-catching photo. My friend, Molly, took this of Josiah being silly with a cougar skull, one of several predators who prey on the elk at the Starkey Elk Experiment Station.
The 40,000 sq acre station is home to hundreds of elk. Its high fences keep the elk in, but don't keep the predators out. This is the only station of its kind.
Listening to our Forest Service wildlife biologist guide talk to us about the research they are doing. Did you know that when an antler gets disfigured or bummed up, when it grows back each year it will have the same defect? Even the researchers have know idea why this is.
Elk squeeze chute, where they take blood samples, check for pregnancy, etc, all for research purposes.
Most of the elk on this place are wild, but there are a few imprinted bottle babies they use for research, too. They can walk beside the elk and note what type of plants they are eating or what kinds they avoid.
Rachel is a researcher and has been taking care of these elk for 16 years now. They are obviously her "babies".
Some of the elk in this pasture were 23 years old. They were all losing their winter coats, so it was fun for the kids to see just how long their winter hair is.
The kids were thrilled to be able to actually pet an elk. Not many people have been able to do this!
So much fun! A big thanks to my friend, Becky, for organizing this wonderful field trip. Hope you've enjoyed the pictures and info. We're done with homeschooling for the summer. It has been so nice to have some time to relax as we continue to wait for our military orders.