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- Main article: Elk
Cow Elk are the female members of an elk herd encountered in any elk territories. Their scent trail is magenta. They can easily be identified visually due to their lack of antlers.
When hunted, they are more noticeably more skittish than the male, choosing to flee even when provoked. They are extremely wary of the player, their mate and their pack, trotting around nervously or running away when approached.
They generally stay close to their herd, rarely venturing away from the bull elk unless chased far enough away.
When a cow has been drastically weakened, she will begin to fight back against her attacker until she has been killed.
Approximately 6-8 female elk will spawn in every elk hunting grounds. When killed, another cow elk will spawn in the herd when the elk hunting grounds are revisited.
Scattered throughout the map, players will find numerous elk carcasses. These provide an excellent source of quick health recovery. They may be scavenged and eaten autonomously by Grizzlies, wolves and coyotes.
Multiple carcasses will spawn throughout the map when the game begins to ensure the survival of the player and their pack. Those which spawn naturally are always cow carcasses. Bull carcasses are never generated naturally, only ever appearing when the player or a group of players have successfully hunted and killed a bull elk. Elk carcasses have varying stages to determine how fresh or old the carcass is.
There are two plume types: large plumes and small plumes. Larger plumes indicate the location of an elk carcass. They will always be shown over any dead elk, including those that were killed by the player / a group of players / the player and their mate.
Smaller plumes indicate the trail of the herd; following it has a chance of leading you directly to it though there's the small chance of the trail being false and taking you through elk territory and out the other side. Entering elk territory does not always guarantee you'll be following the correct trail 100% of the time.
- Cow elk do not normally stray far from elk hunting grounds unless they have been chased far enough away from the herd.