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Eat Me, Bobby D.

from The Edmonton Journal

Older female elk ‘virtually bulletproof’ as they learn to avoid hunters

MICHELLE LEPAGE

After seven years of studying the movements and behaviours of female elk, University of Alberta researchers discovered they become “virtually bulletproof” as they age.

“Elk learn to become shy as they get older,” said University of Alberta biologist Mark Boyce. “They hunker down in the deep forest and stay in rugged terrain. Those types of behaviours were very effective (for survival) in heavily hunted areas.”

Boyce and two former post-doctoral fellows used radio collars fitted with GPS technology to track elk in southwestern Alberta and southeastern British Columbia between 2007 and 2012.

In their study, published Wednesday, they found female elk learned behaviours that helped them better avoid hunters with each hunting season.

“The bold elk move the most, are the most aggressive and will bolt out into the open. Those elk died at a high rate.” said Boyce. “As they age, they tend to become shy, more savvy, learn to avoid roads.”

While some elk started out shy, most learned to adopt the shy behaviours.

“The magic number is 10,” said Boyce. “After this age threshold, female elk become almost bulletproof, virtually invulnerable to hunting.”

[ click to continue reading at EdmontonJournal.com ]

Posted on June 14, 2017 by Editor

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