See The Surprising Difference Between Elk and Deer

All elk are deer, but not all deer are elk. If this sentence is difficult to grasp, don’t worry, we’re here to help clear up any confusion.

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Here are the 8 key differences between elk and deer.

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Elk and Deer: Size

On average, elk grow much larger than common deer species such as white-tailed deer, red deer, roe deer, and mule deer.

Elk and Deer: Habitat

Overall, elk prefer to live in forested, mountainous regions, although they tend to shun denser forests for more open wooded places. Meanwhile, deer live in more varied habitats, including deserts, plains, grasslands, woodlands, and the tundra.

Elk and Deer: Antlers

When considering elk and deer of the same age, elk antlers are larger. Mature elk antlers can weigh up to 20 pounds each, and reach up to 4 feet long. At all ages, deer antlers measure smaller than elk antlers.

Elk and Deer: Coat and Color

Generally, the coats of elk grow thicker and longer than deer. Meanwhile, deer come in a range of colors from brown to red to beige.


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