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Out-Of-Stater Asks What Elevation Wyoming Deer Turn Into Elk?

Sean Gallup, Getty Images
Sean Gallup, Getty Images

“At what elevation do Wyoming deer turn into elk?” I got that question from an out of stater. I looked him right in the eye and said, “Have you tried our great seafood?”

I told him that most Wyomingites will tell you deer transform into elk around the elevation of 8000 feet. It’s at about this point the doe-zone layer has been depleted enough to start the process. If you ever want to catch this, you can venture into the “Snowy Range” as early as September.

Once the conversion begins, it can take a few months for a deer to fully change into an elk. As this begins, you can hear them bugle out in agony. I’m told it’s a painful process, but necessary to survive.

One amazing fact most don’t know is that the deer born with spots turn into Santa’s reindeer. After birth, they’re magically transported to the North Pole to begin their flight training.
(By the way, a co-worker told me that in Rock Springs, some tourists asked the chamber of commerce how they “Trained those deer to pose for pictures for visitors.” The “deer” were antelope. True story.)

Of course, I don’t have to tell anyone in the Cowboy State that the above photo is a deer. Now in this video is an elk.

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And about that “doe zone layer,” it’s like I keep saying – people on reddit are more fun than people on any other social network.

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