skip to main content
caption: Elk gather at Peter Nilsson’s farm outside of La Grande, Oregon. He says he loves watching the bald eagles and moose that show up on his farm by the river. And he thinks elk are cool too. But not when an entire herd parties all winter at his spread, eating his hay. 
    Slideshow Icon 3 slides
Enlarge Icon
Elk gather at Peter Nilsson’s farm outside of La Grande, Oregon. He says he loves watching the bald eagles and moose that show up on his farm by the river. And he thinks elk are cool too. But not when an entire herd parties all winter at his spread, eating his hay.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Peter Nilsson.

How local farmers and elk are doing this winter

This winter has been tough; areas across the Northwest have seen record-breaking snowfall. That snowfall shut down mountain passes, brought down roofs, destroyed infrastructure, and impacted supply chains between eastern and western Washington.

You’ve probably already heard about those problems. But one you may not have heard about: Roving gangs of elk.

Heavy snow this winter has left elk without their usual food sources. So they’re heading to somewhere they can catch a meal — or more specifically, steal one. The haystacks of Washington farmers.

Libby Denkmann spoke to Northwest News Network and KUOW correspondent Anna King about this issue.

She also spoke to Peter Nilsson, the owner of Nilsson farming incorporated in the northeast corner of Oregon.