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Our summer home is in the middle of Arizona's best elk country. We have elk in our yard frequently, but mostly it's in the middle of the night and we only see their tracks and scat. So far, baiting to view wildlife is still legal in our county. (We can't hunt near the cabin.)

I've tried salt and mineral blocks and "deer blocks", but so far they have ignored my offerings. Any suggestions as to what I should put out for them? Has anyone had any luck with alfalfa pellets?

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Dunno about summer, but elk used to really like a potato patch a friend had on his 7-acre place in a Montana canyon.


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Here in Evergreen, Colorado I can't even get the dogs to chase them out of the yard anymore so I have to do it. Five minutes later they're back. Anything green attracts them. Native mountain plants, the herb garden, poppies, the vegetable garden. Big mountain rats they are...


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Just about any ornamental plant or vegetable that you really love will also be attractive to elk. I learned this the hard way when I lived up in Evergreen Meadows in Colorado twenty years ago...


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Alfalfa works, I have shot elk before sunrise, on their way back up the mountain, after they had spent the night in a alfalfa field.
Good meat that was.
Not much better than alfalfa fed deer and elk.
Easy to pack out too.


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+1 on a bale of alfalfa hay. Just ask any rancher who has elk in his winter pasture running his cows off their feed.


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+2 on the alfalfa hay. Throw a bale of hay out there if you want to see elk. Just be careful what you wish for though!

It might not be to long before your back on the campfire asking how to get rid of the filthy things.


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I'll just add that the potato patch pulled in more elk than the green alfalfa field next to it--though they liked both.

My bet (based on some experience) is that elk are more attracted to green lawns than baled alfalfa--or alfalfa pellets. The original post is about Bill's summer home in Arizona. Elk sure do hit haystacks in the winter in the northern Rockies, but that ain't what we're discussing here.


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Grow potatoes for elk in AZ?

Alfalfa hay got to taste better than cactus


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rose bushes


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I know in the past Idaho has issued winter depredation hunt tags for Elk that are eating up Ranchers stored alfafa.

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Thanks, all.

Alfalfa seems to get the majority of votes, and I intend to buy a couple of bales this week.

Problem is, we can expect to be deluged with rain during July, August and September here in Arizona's high country, some days as much as an inch in an hour.

Wouldn't that sour alfalfa quickly? Any suggestions on how to keep it dry?

As for rose bushes, our property is covered with wild rose plants, but the mule deer cropped them to ground level and are working on our aspens.

Early Arizonans grew lots of potatoes 80-100 years ago in our little valley so it could be done today, but someone else would have to do it. I'm a hunter/gatherer not a farmer.

Same applies to lawns, decorative plants and gardens. I prefer to simply watch our aspens, ponderosas and firs grow.

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Molasses and oats would be my vote, or alfalfa pellets.

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Molasses and oats would get my vote over baled alfalfa this time of year. You also don't have to grow the potatoes. I'd bet dumping a few pounds out on the ground for a few days might do the trick.


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We have so many Abert, red and fox squirrels and cottontails (my wife feeds them) here that I suspect they'd gobble up or pack off 100 pounds of potatoes before the elk found them.

The deer blocks I set out a couple of years ago were full of molasses and oats. The squirrels and bluejays picked out the goodies, and the rest of it washed into the ground. I never saw a track or other sign of a deer or elk touching those blocks. They also ignored the salt and mineral blocks I put out.

I think I'll try putting out a couple of bales of alfalfa first, because it has a strong scent, and try to switch to pellets if the elk find it.

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I'll be real interested in how everything works out.


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a farmer friend of mine found a dead moose in his potato field, said he choked on one!

the dairy farm i live by used to feed them to cows, said they had a few choke on them too, they dont feed them potato's anymore!

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You want to bait elk so you can view them correct? Well, get yourself a couple bales of alfalfa, honey and oates too. You open up the bales of alfalfa and flake them out some, then pour the oats over them and pour the honey over the top of the oats. Once they come in and taste this snack, you will have a hard time running them off later.


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Originally Posted by Tonk
You want to bait elk so you can view them correct? Well, get yourself a couple bales of alfalfa, honey and oates too. You open up the bales of alfalfa and flake them out some, then pour the oats over them and pour the honey over the top of the oats. Once they come in and taste this snack, you will have a hard time running them off later.


Thanks. I'll try it.

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Dead of summer your going to be a little more hit and miss on trying to keep elk around, they have places to go, things to do.

Really, everything is green now, lush and elk dig it.

Elk also like to be about as hi in elevation that gives them good graze. It's cooler and fewer flies. The hotter the higher, they also go more nocturnal.

An old Elk Guide showed me a place were just the tops of grasses were eaten off, he claimed that bulls need the proteins more, and cows need more carbs, grass leaf and stem to make milk, he may be on to something?

Dead of winter, elk can and will kill horses to eat there alfalfa.

Elk tend to like burned off areas as it releases more nutrients back into the soil.
Fertilized your place well, keep things watered and lush and you will see more elk.


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