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Adirondack Elk

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  • Adirondack Elk

    I found this video on the Eastern Elk and it's presence in the Adirondacks interesting:

    Did you know that eastern elk once inhabited New York's Adirondack Mountains and surrounding areas? Here's a 30 minute talk by conservationist Todd Waldron a...
    “Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. They smelled of moss in your hand. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.”
    ― Cormac McCarthy

  • #2
    I know Elk were once released in the Adirondacks in the late 1800s/ early 1900s and guides helped many on a successful hunt. So many that they were said to be eliminated by 1930s.
    I have seen a post card of a huge elk that was taken near High Falls near Wanakena but dont remember the date on it.


    • #3
      I admittedly didn't watch the entire video but I did scan through it and I see that there is a mention of the reintroduction efforts at Debar Mountain.

      The old Debar Game Area, where the elk reintroduction efforts at the location were based, is kind of a neat spot and is worth checking out for an hour or two. It's mostly reforested now and there's no buildings left standing, but you can tell that it was once quite a complex. The fences for some of the old pens where the elk were kept in preparation for release are still standing. The area has a pretty cool- if also a bit creepy- vibe. There's also a nice designated tent site there, in a stand of Norway spruce, not far from where you can park. It's also a good spot for blueberry picking come late July/early August.

      Further south, there's a designated tent site on Skiff Pond, that is about a mile and a half's hike from the trailhead at the game area. The Skiff Pond tent site used to get a lot of use by the wilderness therapy program that operated in the northern ADKs, but since that program has shut down very few folks use it. Skiff Pond is a nice spot, it looks and feels remote despite being a relatively short and easy walk in, and has tons of solitude.


      • #4
        DeBar Meadows

        Debar Meadows and the area between there and Meacham Lake is one of my favorite places. Last time I hiked down to Skiff Pond there was a couple camped there. They were getting ready to do some fishing. I have run into folks fishing there at other times too, but usually it is pretty quiet. One can find some pretty large trees between Debar Meadows and Meacham Lake. I have found bear tracks and moose tracks, rubs, and bark stripping on the Meacham-Debar Trail too. Still hoping to see the moose.

        It would have been neat to have experienced the area when the elk were here.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Huginn og Muninn View Post
          Still hoping to see the moose.

          It would have been neat to have experienced the area when the elk were here.
          Agree - haven't seen a moose yet and would love to (followed some tracks up Shorey's Shortcut a few years ago though), and elk would be awesome.

          BTW - love the forum name...I have two ravens who visit my house each morning to see if I've left any treats for them, and I call them the same. (since I get mice in my basement, when I trap any I leave them out in the yard for the ravens, and they love them. They aren't so happy on days the traps go empty and sit out there and yell at me)
          “Death is the only wise advisor that we have. Whenever you feel, as you always do, that everything is going wrong and you're about to be annihilated, turn to your death and ask if that is so. Your death will tell you, 'I haven't touched you yet.” Carlos Castenada


          • #6
            Great video, but as Todd states, I doubt the Eastern Elk ever flourished in NY in any great numbers. The ADK Trapper, Nat Foster 1767 - 1840 , (Coopers Leatherstocking) recorded killing moose, wolves and eastern Mtn lions. But, to my knowledge, none of the books written about him or Nicholas Stoner , (another ADK trapper and Rev War Veteran)are there any stories of either of them killing Eastern Elk.

            In the movie ,”the last of the Mohicans,” it starts with Nathaniel, Uncas, and ,Chinchacgook , killing a Eastern Elk. Circa, French and Indian War.


            • #7
              I'm guessing they will filter in from PA. There are periodic elk sightings in southwest NY. Maybe they will eventually work their way to northern NY