My First Elk Sighting – Rock Creek, MT

Well, it seem many of the residents here in Trouthaven have seen Elk down here in Trouthaven. Most of the Elk are careful to stay high in the surrounding Sapphire (constitute the West side of Rock Creek canyon) and the John Long mountains (being the East side of Rock Creek) making the sighting of one (or more) quite an event.

I just saw my first elk (3 actually) on the West side of Rock Creek near the Giant’s Toe (a.k.a. the Big Rock). Sadly, they skedaddled up the mountain and were gone from sight before I could get my camera on ’em.

Anyway, Marty and Laurie took pictures of two elk in Harry’s Flat a few years ago. Over ten years ago, Don and Bonny took pictures of 3 elk in their yard. Just a few weeks ago, Andy and Jaycee had two young bull elk trot across their property and go up into the Sapphires. Shortly thereafter, Lynn, Gail, and I were saw a small herd way up in a meadow near Quigley.

So, they are around here but seem to avoid humans – much more so than bears and moose.  As a matter of fact, it seems that more people see mountain lions than elk down here on the river. The montana fish and game biologists cataloged a herd of about 600 elk in the Welcome Creek area of Rock Creek in the late 90s. Since then, most of the heard has moved South to the Stoney Creek drainage leaving about 60 to 100 up here between Trouthaven and Welcome Creek.

The Montana biologists note that a pack of Wolves have moved into the Sapphires and much of the Sapphire herd has left the high range to graze in and near Stevensville – just due West of us about 10 miles.


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