Thursday, June 15, 2017

Elk learning

Elk learn not just hunting season, but what kinds of weapons they're being hunted with--and adjust accordingly.
During bow season, they used difficult terrain more – making things tricky for bow hunters, who need to get much closer to their prey than those who use rifles. And during rifle season, the elk stayed further away from roads, where hunters might spot them.

The article ends with a suggestion that this might be useful in land management--a little hunting close by farms might encourage elk to take their custom elsewhere.

I wonder if this works for deer.


Christopher B said...

It might be just coincidence but I grew up near a small National Wildlife Refuge in north Iowa, and the hunters around town always swore that the deer knew exactly where the boundaries of the no hunting zone were.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I'd like to see replication on this, and am curious what the mechanism is. There aren't a lot of repetitions for the elk to work with. It's not like a video game where the elk that gets shot gets another try, saying "okay, this time I won't go so close to the road." Perhaps wounded elk make sounds that other elk understand as "don't go here" sounds.

james said...

I figure there's some level of communication. It wouldn't have to be sophisticated. And perhaps I'm cynical but I also figure there are more elk winged than killed.