Rocky Mountains Elk
Elk are generally grazers while the snow is not too deep. Herds near the Rocky Mountains, both before and during the rut, seek bluegrass, needlegrass, wheatgrass, and sedge in open pastures. Later in the year, as the drifts deepen, they move lower to browse on fir needles. They will also eat Rocky Mountain maple, sagebrush, bog birch, mountain mahogany, pine, aspen, willow, wild rose, berry bush and several other bushes and limbs.
Coastal elk eat redtop, sweet vernalgrass, orchardgrass, oatgrass, rye, etc. The elk tend to browse more than graze because of the rainforest. They browse on salal and other berry bushes, vine maple, devils-club, ferns, willow, alder, mosses and lichens, mountain ash, decaying logs, and conifers.
Elk's Eating Hours
Elk start actively feeding before dawn and continue through mid-morning. After that, they rest and chew their cud (much like a cow), feeding sporadically at times but staying mostly immobile until mid-afternoon. Sunny slopes and meadows near woods are frequent eating areas for elk early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
The habitat of elk are mountain meadows, valleys, forested areas, lakeshores, and grassland edges.