August, 1947, Russell Grater
Elk were responsible for three breaks in the Shriner Peak Lookout
September, 1947, Russell Grater
Elk tracks have been observed around Snow Lake, Bench Lake, and Lake
Louise, an extension of the known range to the westward up Stevens
September, 1951, Merlin Potts
A herd of approximately 30-35 elk was observed in the Shriner Peak
area throughout the greater part of September. On September 17, a party
of rangers released a bull elk trapped in the old telephone line to the
Shriner Peak Lookout. Ranger Del Armstrong's account of the incident is
On the evening of the sixteenth, Bob Albrecht, the lookout on Shriner
Peak, spotted a large bull elk that had entangled his antlers in the old
telephone line and had then wrapped it around some small cedars in such
a way that he was completely secured with little freedom of movement.
It was too late to do anything that night, but the next day District
Ranger Bill Heckman, Albrecht, and myself were able to reach the animal
and cut the wire right at the antlers. Although there was still a short
piece of wire running from one antler to the other, the animal was freed
unharmed and in good condition. Animal was a five-pointer approximately
4-5 years old.
January, 1952, Merlin Potts
District Ranger Patterson's January report states that three elk,
a bull, a cow, and a calf, are wintering in the White River District.
This is the first known observation of elk wintering in this section of
the park. However, Mr. Patterson's further comments are
The Joker in this story is that the Elk's cousins may have carried
the news. For years the State Road Crew has been feeding the deer at
the Snow Camp at Crystal Creek. This winter the deer are seen regularly
at the Camp. Well, the State Crew are now feeding the elk at a site 1/4
mile below the old Fountain on U.S. # 410 and up the slope about 200
feet from the highway.
July, 1952, Merlin Potts
Elk were observed on the East Side Highway, cows and calves are
feeding on the cedar flat near the Ohanapecosh Ranger Station, and a
herd of 25 individuals was observed near the Shriner Peak
November, 1952, Merlin Potts
Ten elk were observed in Cedar Flat on November 19, and tracks
were abundant in the Nickel Creek area.
January, 1954, Merlin Potts
District Ranger Patterson reports several elk wintering along the
Mather Memorial Parkway, both inside and outside the northern park
On January 30, Supervisory Park Ranger Butler observed five bull elk
along the highway between the Ohanapecosh boundary and the White Pass
June, 1954, Merlin Potts
District Ranger William Heckman reported disposing of a cow elk
with broken back on the roadway near Cayuse Pass. The animal had
apparently been injured in jumping from the twelve-foot snowbank
bordering the road.
August, 1954, Merlin Potts
District Park Ranger Heckman reports 37 elk observed near the
Shriner Peak Lookout, and that deer are unusually abundant in the
Stevens Canyon area.
January, 1955, Merlin Potts
On January 3, school bus passengers observed a band of five elk
just outside the park boundary in the Cowlitz Valley.
March, 1955, Merlin Potts
(at Ohanapecosh Hot Springs Lodge)
Tracks of a single elk are frequently seen in the area.
Biologist Coleman Newman visited the park from May 16-19,
inclusive, for the purpose of investigating conditions of deer and elk,
as well as observing the extent of browsing in areas of population
November, 1955, Merlin Potts
Ranger Rogers also reports numerous observations of elk along the
road both inside and outside the park boundary near Ohanapecosh, as well
as "numerous tracks" north of the entrance.
April, 1956, Merlin Potts
Mr. Coleman Newman, Biologist assigned to Olympic National Park,
visited the park from April 16 to 19, for the purpose of studying
utilization of browse by deer and elk in the vicinities of Nisqually and
July, 1957, Vernon Bender
Elk activity in Summerland and on Goat Island Mountain. Ranger
Naturalist John Lamb reported seeing a cow with calf on Goat Island
October, 1957, Vernon Bender
On October 15, Messrs. Newman and Doudna investigated the
southern area of the park for possible elk populations. The following
day Messrs. Bender and Newman investigated the eastern portion of the
park for elk population. Some very old tracks and droppings were
discovered but nothing indicative of increased use in the areas
investigated. Outside the park in the Cowlitz River Drainage, tracks
representing a herd of about 12 animals were discovered.
March, 1958, Vernon Bender
Ten elk were reported above the Stevens Canyon-East Side Road
junction by John Didio.
June, 1958, Vernon Bender
Twelve elk were observed in the upper Valley of the Cowlitz by
Messrs. Fiske and Hopson.
July, 1958, Vernon Bender
An elk herd of seven cows and five calves were seen 1/2 mile
southeast of Seymour Peak in the 17th of July by Geologist Dick
September, 1958, John Tyers
A bull elk with two cows and a yearling calf were seen on
September 11 by Park Naturalists Bender and Tyers and Supervisory Park
Ranger Jones on the Rainier Fork of the American River below Chinook
Pass. The bull bugled several times.
October, 1958, Vernon Bender
Several elk tracks were observed at the Box Canyon October 29
crossing over the top of the tunnel.
June, 1959, Vernon Bender
. . . a cow elk was observed on the road shoulder at the Stevens
Several elk were observed on the slopes of Stevens Peak by
Ranger-naturalist O'Brien, June 30.
Heavy elk activity was observed along the East Side Trail where the
red elder foliage has been stripped of food. Several wallows were
observed on the shores of beaver dams recently used by this
July, 1959, Vernon Bender
On the island in the Ohanapecosh area containing the Big Trees,
heavy elk feeding activity was observed. Several elk wallows were also
August, 1959, Vernon Bender
Ranger-naturalist Lemon reported two herds of elk of twelve to
fourteen animals in the Cowlitz Chimney area.
September, 1959, Vernon Bender
Elk were bugling all of September along the east side of the
park. Geologist Dick Fiske reported several groups in the Shriner Peak
area. He observed one old bull polishing his antlers on a tree about
four inches in diameter, which he said was whipping like a small twig in
the wind. Several elk were seen around Seymour Peak by Mr.
January, 1960, Vernon Bender
Several elk have been reported wintering in the north park
boundary and Ohanapecosh areas. One four-point bull frequents the
Ohanapecosh campground area and has been seen from the dining room of
the Ohanapecosh Hot Springs Lodge several times.
March, 1960, Vernon Bender
Three bull elk with antlers in velvet were seen along Backbone
Ridge. Numerous tracks were seen crisscrossing the roadway on both
sides of the ridge.
August, 1960, Vernon Bender
August 7 a cow elk was observed feeding in Indian Henry's at
Mirror Lake by Cecil A. Perkins, Jr.
November, 1960, John Tyers
A spike elk was observed in Ipsut Creek Campground on November 20
by District Ranger Bright. Many elk tracks were seen in this area as
well as on the Mowich Lake Road.
February, 1961, Vernon Bender
Elk were reported by Park Ranger Jones along the East Side Road
near the Shriner lookout trail February 18. Three cows and one calf
March, 1961, Vernon Bender
Elk were observed bedded down beside the road in the flat area
below Shriner burn by Ranger Jones on March 2.
June, 1961, Vernon Bender
6/7 cow elk with "vivid" red calf, Bob Ensworth, one mile west of
Ohanapecosh entrance station.
6/19, Elk, East Side Road, Alto Albright.
September, 1961, Vernon Bender
9/12 Fresh tracks observed on Cowlitz Divide-Kotsuck area.
November, 1961, Vernon Bender
11/7 Four elk (1 bull, 3 cows, and 1 calf) seen on west side of
river at Ohanapecosh Campground.
(that adds up to five, not four)
January, 1962, Vernon Bender
1/19 Elk tracks were seen in the lower drainage of Olallie Creek,
probably only several animals.
April, 1962, Vernon Bender
A small herd of about a dozen elk are reported by District
Ranger, White River, which have wintered near the Ranger Creek
September, 1962, Earl Estes
9/24 Elk were heard to bugle, on the trail Tipsoo to Three Lakes.
October, 1962, Vernon Bender
Mr. John Larsen, Wildlife Biologist, United States Forestry
Service was in the Park October 22 to discuss the elk survey he
conducted September 18, 1962, with Mr. Bender. A special report was
made of this discussion. A cooperative project will be outlined at a
later date in an attempt to get a better population study underway. Mr.
Larsen indicated he would supply us with material concerning the use of
various drugs on the immobilization of larger mammals.
An aerial flight along the east boundary of the Park was made October
16 by Messrs. Bender, Estes and Parsegan to observe elk numbers.
Between 25-30 animals were seen on the southeast slope of Shriner Peak.
A special report was prepared on this flight for the files.
10/15/62 A bull elk and coyote were reported by Ashly, seen at
Stevens Creek during a night patrol.
10/24/62 Estes observed a cow and calf elk at Shriner Peak trail-road
10/30/62 Peters reported a bull elk near Backbone Ridge during a
November, 1962, Vernon Bender
Mr. John Larsen, Wildlife Biologist, Forest Service, suggested
that track and pellet counts for elk studies in the Ohanapecosh area be
made this winter. These will reveal population trends and a possible
beginning to obtaining information on elk wintering in the Park. He
also suggested vegetation exclosures to show the impact of elk on
vegetation. Materials have been ordered for an exclosure but it is
doubtful if it can be erected at this late date because the vegetation
is presently snow covered. For exclosure studies, it is necessary to
identify and record the vegetation within the exclosure.
It is proposed to erect three of these exclosures next year; one each
on Cedar Flats, Shriner Burn, and White River Valley near the north Park
April 1963, Vernon Bender
Seven reports of elk were received from Messrs. Burns and Towsley
during April. The largest number observed at any one time was four
along the Cedar Flat area. Most observations were of single animals or
May, 1963, Vernon Bender
Two areas were selected in the Ohanapecosh Valley for the elk
study plots, May 9. The elk exclosures were erected before the end of
the month with materials that were purchased last fall and on hand.
Elk were seen several times in the Ohanapecosh and White River
Valleys throughout May. Two animals being the largest number seen at
any one time.
June, 1963, Vernon Bender
The first spotted elk calf ever reported in Mount Rainier
National Park was observed June 25 by Chief Park Naturalist Bender,
Ranger-Naturalist Donald Dickinson, Steve Bender and three trainees from
WODC. This elk calf, about two days old, was seen on the trail to the
Big Trees, where the foot-log crosses the Ohanapecosh River. Heavy elk
activity was also noticed in this area, grazing primarily on devil's
club, elderberry, vine maple and the flowering nettle.
July, 1963, Vernon Bender
A plant inventory of the elk exclosures in the Ohanapecosh Valley
August, 1963, William Bullard
The elk study was continued.
Elk continue to be observed on the east side of the park.
November, 1963, William Bullard
A small band of elk were observed passing through the Longmire area.