All of the elk you could ever want to eat, and it isn't necessary to set 1 foot in the wilderness. I don’t know about you but I think elk is about the greatest eating you can find. I hear from lots of fellow sportsmen that elk are getting harder and harder to find due to the wolf population depredating our wild elk herd. So elk hunters aren’t bringing home the bacon as easily as they used to, excuse my metaphor. Enter Gerry Molenaar who ownsTimber Butte Elk Ranch in Horseshoe Bend Idaho. I caught up with him at a sportsmen’s show. ”We have a 120 acre elk ranch with 35 acres under eight-foot fence and then elk herd of about 45 head. Most of them are cows, our breeding stock. It is reminiscent of cattle ranching isn’t it? Yes you treat them very similar to cattle as far as vaccinations. We do not use any growth hormones or any additives at all. We treat them by warming them a couple of times a year and that’s all. We feed them with alfalfa and grass hay and supplement a little bit with grain. They breed pretty much similar to what cattle do. It is a nine-month gestation for the cows. We turn our bulls in the end of August and into September and then take them out in November. We calve in mid-May through June. It is an industry that is growing, still relatively new throughout the Northwest, but it is growing steadily. It is an item that is very healthy compared to other meats. We found our own niche and we are growing steadily. Less cholesterol than beef? Absolutely. Elk don’t marble like beef. All of the fat is external fat and it is removed once it is processed.