The ODFW Visitors' Guide
Frequently Asked Questions
What does ODFW feed the deer and elk at Elkhorn?
ODFW uses second or third cut alfalfa and the same high-quality hay as adjacent private landowners use, to encourage elk to remain on the wildlife area. Feed is almost always purchased from local businesses in the North Powder area through a competitive bidding process.
How much does ODFW feed deer and elk per day?
That depends on the number of animals on the feed sites and the weather conditions, but the average is 10-12 pounds of hay per elk per day and three pounds of pellets or hay per deer per day. During an average winter, Elkhorn uses 650 to 700 tons of alfalfa hay and 35 tons of pellets.
Does ODFW feed all the deer and elk in the area?
No, ODFW only feeds the animals that show up at our established feed sites. This is only a small portion of the deer and elk that live in the area. The other animals use natural winter ranges.
How long does ODFW feed deer and elk?
ODFW usually begins feeding in early December and continues until the winter weather breaks in the spring, when natural forage becomes available. This generally occurs at the end of March but can sometimes happen as late as mid-April.
How many feed sites does ODFW operate?
ODFW manages 10 feed sites—four in Union County and six in Baker County. Staff make a 145-mile round trip every day during the winter months to replenish nine feed sites, often using a cat and road grader to remove snow on the feed sites.
When do the deer and elk shed their antlers?
Deer normally begin to shed antlers the end of January and elk will start the end of February. The animals than re-grow a new set in just about four months, by August and in time for breeding season. Antlers can grow up to seven or nine points and weigh 15 pounds each.
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