Bring out the Alfalfa..

The USFWS began its supplemental feeding program a little early this year. Heavy snow, cold temps, and a nasty ice layer in the snowpack were the justification. The NER gives the Elk about half of the forage they need per day which leaves time extra curricular activities like sparring. Many of the bull Elk seen on the refuge today were killing time by practicing their sparring skills with a partner. They are not very aggressive in the winter like you would see during the fall rut, instead they are just practicing the basics and conserving energy for the long road ahead. Todays tour included a ride on a sleigh which brought us up close and personal with some of the bigger bull Elk wintering on the refuge