In a state of nearly 40 million, with majestic landscapes and an abundance of plants to eat, it's no wonder why deer and elk are choosing to call California home. Here are the top regional areas in California with elk sightings (courtesy of the SF Chronicle):
Greater Bay Area: Point Reyes National Seashore, at Pierce Ranch and Muddy Hollow; Grizzly Island Wildlife Area (reopens to public access in February) near Suisun City; Calaveras watershed near Sunol Regional Wilderness; flank of Mount Hamilton.
Mendocino/Sonoma: Cache Creek Wildlife Area, along Highway 20 east of Clear Lake; Lake Pillsbury, north of the lake in Mendocino National Forest; Potter Valley region, Mendocino National Forest.
Monterey/Central Coast: Fremont Peak, often a long road to summit; Camp Roberts, near Salinas River; Fort Hunter Liggett, southern Monterey/San Luis Obispo counties; La Panza, Carrizo Plain National Monument.
Sacramento Valley: East Park Reservoir, at Bear valley just south of the lake and into Cache Creek watershed.
North Coast: Prairie Creek Redwood State Park, at Elk Meadow, along Davison Road, Orick; Lake Earl, just east of the lake, Crescent City.
North state: Marble Mountain Wilderness, in Ukonom Basin and Monument Lake area out of Haypress Meadow; Devil’s Garden, west of Adin in Modoc National Forest; northern Shasta Valley, east of Yreka, Shasta Valley Wildlife area, east of Yreka; Butte Valley, in the vicinity of Meiss Lake and Juanita Lake, west of Dorris.
Eastern Sierra: Owens Valley, in Round Valley near Bishop.
San Joaquin Valley: San Luis Reservoir, the road below dam to visitor center San Luis; San Emigdio Mountain, southern Kern County.
The lesson for California homeowners? Get a garden fence for agriculture protection against deer and elk.