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The West Side Story, Elk Gangs in Idaho - Boone and Crockett Club

The West Side Story, Elk Gangs in Idaho - Boone and Crockett Club

The West Side Story, Elk Gangs in Idaho - Boone and Crockett

Elk gangs in Idaho By Jocelyn Aycrigg University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho A 1961 movie starring Rita Moreno depicted the lives and interactions between street gang members in the 1950s. At first glance, this may seem to have little to do with elk in Idaho, but there are parallels. The colloquial name for a group of elk is a “gang,” and Idaho lies within and along the western side of the Rocky Mountains. Most importantly, both elk gangs and street gangs are influenced by internal social dynamics as well as the environments in which their life drama plays out. ©TONY BYNUM A Look at Elk in Idaho Elk are one of the largest members of the deer family. These habitat generalists can be found in sage-dominated deserts as well as cedar-hemlock forests. Typically elk use higher elevations in summer and migrate to lower elevations during winter. They have a polygamous mating system, meaning a single mature bull will mate with several cows. Six subspecies (two of which are now considered extinct) range across North America with the Rocky Mountain elk subspecies (referred to as American elk for B&C records-keeping purposes) having the largest distribution, which includes most of Idaho. Historically, elk were thought to occur throughout Idaho. The 1860 discovery of gold in 30 n Fair Chase Fall 2010

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