From cock of the walk to horn free

British Columbian elk takes herd mentality to a whole new level

Carolyn Grant

What do you get when you cross an elk and beef cow? I don’t know but one persistent elk near 100 Mile House was pretty determined to find out.

Apparently, the elk (a six-point beauty) decided that rather than chase his own kind hither and yon through the mountains, he’d take over a herd of cows already helpfully rounded up by a local rancher.

The elk was “aggressively mounting cows” according to CBC News, and had driven the herd to an area near Highway 97. He was also big enough to take on all comers of the bovine variety, driving away any bull reckless enough to challenge him.

It was quite the attraction and was beginning to cause traffic jams on the highway near 100 Mile House as people stopped to watch the elk and his harem.

And apparently hunters were also stopping by, and watching the elk through their gun-sights.

Eventually, Conservation Officers were called and the overly-amorous elk was transplanted to an area free of cows.

And the elk’s punishment? They cut off his … antlers.

It’s like Samson having his locks shorn. How’s any self-respecting elk supposed to attract the ladies without his antlers? How can he persuade the lady elk that he’s the real deal when he can’t display his rack?

I imagine it’s buzzing through the elk grapevine all through the province.

“I hear Eddie went up north.”

“Yeah, last I heard he was trying to entertain too many ladies and he lost his rack.”

“Cows. You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them.”

But luckily for Eddie the Elk, a bull elk can live without antlers. They will apparently grow back next year and supposedly, Eddie was left with enough antlers to protect himself.

Maybe. But what about the humiliation? What about being the butt of jokes from other elk? Poor Eddie will have to suffer the indignation of trying to compete with four and five-point elk, even three-point elk for a mate.

“Look, I’m telling you, I’m a six-point. I had a herd of cows! I was king of the world!”

“Sure. Sure you were. Now excuse me, I have to wash my hair tonight.”

Yes, poor Eddie is in a bit of a pickle. He knows he’s got the goods, but he hasn’t got anyone to corroborate his story. He’s been taken away from the cows so he has no one to vouch for him.

And he’s in even worse trouble because elk aren’t particularly thick on the ground in the 100 Mile House area. They are not even hunted — there just aren’t enough of them. So now Eddie is wandering the woods looking for dates in a small population.

This gives the cow elk a real upper hand. They can reject a bull for all sorts of shallow reasons. They can say size does matter. They can take a look at Eddie’s hacked off antlers and laugh him out of the woods. And they don’t even know that Eddie has been dating out of his own genus.

Wait till they find out about that. You know what they say about a cow elk scorned.

Yes, Eddie’s philandering ways have pretty much doomed him to the singles bar for this year. And nobody likes that — it’s such a meat market.

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