What Is The Difference Of Deer And Elk?

What Is The Difference Of Deer And Elk? Elk vs. Deer Comparison

Hunters may distinguish between elk and deer by observing a few distinguishing traits, despite the fact that they are closely related and belong to the same Cervidae family.

Even worse, elk and deer meat are frequently grouped together as “venison” by consumers. Elk and deer, however, taste very different from one another in addition to being different species.

First, let’s examine how each species compares to the others by examining differences in each one’s appearance, habitat, diet, and methods of hunting.

What Is The Difference Of Deer And Elk? 

Overview of Elk


Elk are the middle-sized family members, weighing an average of 710–800 pounds, as compared to deer and moose. They are a far more physically imposing animal than the deer and can reach heights of up to five feet at the shoulder.

Elk can be found in areas up to 500 square miles. They continuously feed on grasses and weeds, consuming three pounds for every 100 pounds of the animal. That is a ton of grazing.

Elks tend to be considerably harder to hunt than deer because of their natural habits. The typical habitats of elk include rocky mountain meadows, coastal forests, and open woodlands.

You’ll need to travel a lot when elk hunting.

Elk meat is frequently regarded as having a better flavor and being less gamey than venison. Because ranchers only give their elk stuff that adds to good-tasting meat, elk meat loses its gamey flavor when produced on farms by high-quality ranchers and farmers. You’ll find that elk meat has a mildly flavorful and sweet flavor.

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Overview of Deer


Elk’s more common, smaller, more nimble cousin is the deer. They are the ones you see when you are driving, dashing around and possibly darting in front of your vehicle.

They rarely exceed 300 pounds in weight, and when fully grown, their antlers resemble those of an elk but are sharper and firmer to the touch.

Adult deer, unlike elk, only occupy an area of approximately two square miles each, and they spend their days searching for more nutrient-dense foods like the tips of shrubs and trees. Instead of simply filling their tummies with grass like elk do, they prefer a particular diet.

Deer inhabit a wider range of habitats, such as tundra, grasslands, deserts, and plains.

Elk meat is often preferred, however venison has a gamier flavor and is seen to be less appetizing. Due to its higher fat content, venison has a flavor that is strong, earthy, and profound.

Most hunters prefer the flavor of elk to that of deer because of deer’s high fat content, which isn’t always a good thing.

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Final Thoughts: What Is The Difference Of Deer And Elk?

Let’s face it, many of us haven’t merely questioned how they differ. Many of us have occasionally questioned whose animal we are looking at, particularly if it is a female without the unmistakable antlers of her species.

But at this point, we hope you have a decent understanding of the distinctions between elk and deer, including where they live, what they consume, and finally how they taste.