The RC Ranch elk farm is located between Seneca and Gays Mills WI, in the rolling hills of southwest Wisconsin. We bought the farm in 2003. This was an existing elk farm, of which the owner had passed, and we wanted to continue the tradition and improve the elk raised on this land. Since we acquired the farm, our focus has always been on making improvements, while growing and raising quality elk for the health conscious diet. The elk are raised and grazed on lush non-sprayed pastures, always handled humanely and never administered growth hormones. In recent years we have decided to expand what the farm has to offer by making some products for you, your home and your dog.
Thank you for your interest in RC Ranch!
– Rich and Corky
Fun Facts about Elk
An elk belongs to the deer family known as cervidae. Another name for an elk is “Wapiti.” “Wapiti” is the Indian name given to elk by the Shawnee Indians which means “white rump.” There are many other members of the deer family – moose, caribou, red deer and white-tailed deer. All of these species have the common trait of an even number of toes.
Elk males are called bulls and weigh as much as 1000 pounds. Elk females are called cows and weigh an average of 500 pounds. Elk babies are called calves – bull (male) or heifer (female) calves.
Only bulls grow antlers. Bulls grow a new set of antlers each year. In March, new antlers begin to grow. The new antlers push the old antlers off. As the antler grows, it is covered with a soft hair called velvet. Antlers can grow from 1 to 1½ inches each day. In just 90 to 120 days, the bulls can grow an entire set of antlers. When the antlers stop growing, the bulls will rub off the velvet exposing the hard antler. Antlers are shed every year in the spring.
About Elk Bulls:
In the summer and spring bulls are calm and solitary, and usually not aggressive. In the fall bulls enter the breeding season called the “rut”. During “rut” the bulls become very aggressive. When a bull is in “rut,” it makes a sound called a “bugle”. Bulls begin growing antlers the very first year. A bull that is only one year old is called a “spiker”.
About Elk Cows:
A heifer calf can breed at 18 months of age. Cows will breed up to 15-20 years of age. Cows pregnancy will last about 250 days. Cows will have one calf each year. Twins are extremely rare. During the first days, a mother will feed her newborn every 2 hours. Cows are extremely protective of their young. Cows isolate their calves from the herd for the first few days. Cows call their calves with a chirping sound. The most dominant cow among all of the cows is the “Lead” cow.
About Elk Calves:
Calves are usually born between May 15th and June 15th. Twins are extremely rare. Calves are born with white spots and tan rump. Calves weigh approximately 35 lbs. at birth. Calves will nurse from their mother for the first 9 months or so. In the first year of life, a calf can gain over 350 lbs.