Here’s a lone bull photographed in the same area as those above on another trip. Hard to say if he’s in the other photos, but could be. Although these bulls were all living near private ranches, they primarily live on SFWD properties near San Antonio Reservoir. No matter, there is no season for hunting the animals on either private or public lands.
These bulls were hanging out on private property when I spotted them while guiding pig hunters. Note that it was late spring and their antlers were in velvet, but nearly full size.
Here’s a trio of bulls photographed on private property more than ten years ago. For many years these bulls have been left to die of old age for lack of a hunting season in the area.
Near the center of this photograph, along with cattle, two tule elk are feeding on the open hillside. These elk prefer open hillsides where they can spot trouble from far away.
Here’s another bull that frequented private property where he could have been hunted if there had been a season in the area. But it’s not too late to make a change. The California Department of Fish and Game has the ability to open this area to hunting and it may consider just that. The area south of highway 152 has a season on tule elk and at the present time there are tule elk scattered all the way from Highway 152 to Del Valle Reservior (just south of Livermore). Elk have been living on Crane Ridge and Corral Hollow for many years.
Ranches in Hospital Canyon have a number of elk and tags are available for tule elk on private ranches in the San Antonio Valley and Corral Hollow because a few ranches have entered the PLM program allowing them to harvest a limited number of tule elk. In the San Antonio Valley, the State has purchased land. Is it possible it could be hunted in the future?
A friend of mine has observed tule elk on Mission Peak on the northern edge of Fremont and one of my golfing friends talks about the tule elk that live near “The Ranch” golf course in San Jose. Creation of a elk hunting unit in the area could open the door for better monitoring and managment of the elk of Alameda, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Santa Clara Counties. And, a few lucky elk hunters might get a chance to hunt for and maybe take one of these great animals home.