View Full Version : Texas Elk

November 6, 2009, 12:50 PM
In the late 70s I was traveling south of San Antonio and saw a lone elk near the highway. I was surprised to see that. Should I have been?

November 6, 2009, 02:22 PM
Yes, I have never seen a wild elk in the state of TX outside of a zoo or ranch stocked with exotic game. Elk are not listed in the latest Hunting Seasons brochure by the state. If you saw one, I suspect it was an escapee from privately stocked ranch. Some ranches also stock red stags from Europe which look very much like our elk. Axis deer antlers can resemble elk horns although the axis deer typically have multiple white spots on the body.

November 6, 2009, 04:57 PM
There used to be a season in the Chisos/Guadelupe Co., but that is the only area you may see a truely wild elk in TX. Down south they would be exotic. You will see some Mulies west and north of the Pecos River.

November 6, 2009, 08:02 PM
That's what I thought. I had stopped on the side of the road for a rest and started wandering around. Soon I was running and jumping over cacti when suddenly I was within spitting distance of a large elk's rear end which was as high as my face. I stopped frozen with my arms out and legs spread. It seemed like slow motion that he raised his head which carried a large rack and looked me in the eye and squeaked. Knowing absolutely nothing about elk, I expected to be kicked into the next county or killed in some other way. I spun around and took maybe two steps in retreat and looked back and he was gone. My heart was pounding and I was shaking from the adrenalin rush but I made a cursory search of the area to no avail.
It was about 5 ft tall at the hips and gray in color. It was duskish so the color cold have been light brown but it looked gray. It was on the loose but I guess it must have escaped from someone.

Double Naught Spy
November 6, 2009, 09:19 PM
There used to be a season in the Chisos/Guadelupe Co., but that is the only area you may see a truely wild elk in TX.

The "truly wild" elk are re-introduced as the original native Texas elk were hunted out by the early 1900s.

Art Eatman
November 6, 2009, 09:41 PM
Two kinds of elk in Texas: Feral, with hunting controlled by the landowner. The other is "livestock" if it has an ear tag--and it's very expensive livestock if you shoot one.

Double Naught Spy
November 6, 2009, 11:42 PM
The "antlers" are different looking on the latter group, yes?

November 7, 2009, 01:29 AM
A friend of my dads had a large ranch in West Texas in the Glass Mountains. This is around the Marathon area. He had quite a few native elk on his ranch. In fact, I still have a few pictures framed on my wall that we took of some large elk. The owner got a permit from the state one year and shot a 6x10 elk. I have no idea what it scored, but it was a big one with palmated horns on one side. Pretty much anywhere else in the state, the elk are going to be exotic. I live south of San Antonio and we have several game ranches in the area with elk. About 5 yrs ago, I worked a car crash where a car hit a 5x5 elk on IH37. A ranch hand left the gate open to one of the game ranches.

Art Eatman
November 7, 2009, 10:04 AM
trooper, a few years back I was on US 67 near the Pecos/Brewster county line. About a mile ahead I spotted a horse in the bar ditch. A little closer and the horse's proportions didn't look right. Even closer and, hey! It's an elk? What's an elk doing out here in these greasewood flats? Aw, just doing elk things, I figured.

He was a relatively young-looking, gangly critter. IIRC, a 5x5, but his antlers weren't very long.

I stopped for conversation, but after a moment's hesitation he hopped over the fence and trotted off eastward toward the Glass Mountains.

The population is growing. There are a few in the Davis, up around the observatory, and some south of Alpine as well as in the Glass.

November 7, 2009, 04:24 PM
There are some wild Elk in the NW panhandle. Few shot every Year in area. Areal applacators see them during the summer. I though that is was B.S. untill I kicked a small bull out of a field running with some Mule deer Two weeks ago.

August 3, 2010, 02:03 PM
Sportsmen and Women of Texas,

Help support the restoration of a huntable population of free-ranging elk in West Texas:


Double Naught Spy
August 3, 2010, 03:52 PM
Yes, elk WERE native to Texas. I don't know that the issue has ever been in doubt. I appreciate the fact that the web site cites and actually displays one of my somewhate obscure articles. Probably only a few folks would know of it, LOL.

August 3, 2010, 04:22 PM
I lived in the extreme NW corner of the TX panhandle during my high school years. There were a few elk there sometimes. I saw a few along the Punta de Agua ravine next to our ranch on occasion. Locals speculated that they migrated along the Canadian River from New Mexico. Most ranchers that had a few on their lands would kind of keep it secret. They thought they were kinda cool and didn't want some idiot to come poach them.

It's been quite awhile since I lived in Dalhart, but I doubt if the population has grown enough to be hunted.