Elk are members of the deer family.
While on a road trip around Arizona, we chanced upon this Bull Elk at the East Verde Estates. It is located six miles North of Payson.
Bull Elk is a male elk. Hunters use the presence or absence of antlers to determine whether the Elk is a male or a female one. Female elk are called cows.
We were traversing Chelsea Drive when we spotted him.
He was grazing grass initially. Other tourists like us have decided to stop and watched him.
It is common for the Elk, male or female, to go down from the wilderness. Thus, other homeowners have fence around their houses.
The elk was oblivious to the attention he was getting from the motorists like me.
Until he decided that he has had enough of the grass. Then he started eating the plants of the homeowner.
When he had his fill of the potted plant, the Bull Elk nonchalantly started to walk away.
He was going back to the wilderness.
I asked Bob, a seasoned hunter, why the people did not shoot the Elk. He was already there in open view. There is no need for the hunters to go to the mountain and scout for him anymore.Why not shoot him there?
Hunting for the elk usually starts September and ends by December every year. There are different schedules in hunting different kinds of animals in Arizona. The hunters need a hunting tag issued by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Hunters must be licensed too.
Generally, hunters do not shoot wild animals which go down to the communities, like the Bull Elk above. These may eat trash then the meat is no longer delicious. Or worse, they can consume poisonous stuff!
Another reason is for safety purposes. The bullet might go stray and hit people in the community.
It is also illegal to shoot one quarter mile of any building.