Available by appointment only, Bugle Valley Elk Farm Tours in Roachdale, Indiana isn’t your typical destination.
With a population of under 950 people, and way out in the country, it sure counts as off the beaten path.
I kept our destination a secret from our boys. I knew they would be thrilled and I couldn’t wait to see their faces when we got there. Who expects to see an elk farm in Indiana?
Indiana Elk Farm
It began as a typical farm. Four generations had farmed the land and made improvements over the years. Now, it was Gene Clodfelter’s turn.
After more than a decade of typical farming, and the typical problems associated with it, Gene decided to go in a new direction in 2000–and raise elk.
He shared that not only do elk take up less space than cattle, but the elk are generally easy to handle (unless it is mating season). Occurring in September through November, it is the time to hear their unique bugling mating call! And now you know where the name Bugle Valley came from.
Still, elk are no small critters. On average, an adult male elk, known as a bull, weights anywhere from 700-900 pounds! Let that sink in for a minute. Females, called cows (that’s not confusing or anything) can weight between 500-600 pounds. Babies?
Baby elk, also called calves, weight an average of 35 pounds at birth.
Bugle Valley Farm Tours
I’m the first to admit that I am hopeless at navigation. Since the boys and I were on our own, I relied heavily on the mapping function on my iPad. Just the same, it wasn’t easy. Make sure to pay close attention to road signs–and look for the sign pointing the way to the elk farm.
When we pulled up to the modest white farmhouse, Kid #2 thought he was seeing reindeer. I kind of expected that. Even after he learned that they are actually elk, he was so in awe of the size of these animals.
The antlers were in various stages of falling off. Yes, the giant, insanely large antlers are from only a season of growth! I can’t imagine. They can be incredibly heavy. He’s got a few at the house and in the barn that you can take a look at and even lift up. We got a super cute photo opp out of it.
Hop into Gene’s truck and away you will go! The tour will take you around the property will Gene lets you know what you are looking at and what it means. It’s very interesting! They have one big run that connects this farm with a family member’s farm nearby.
It’s an easy way to get the elk to where they need them to be. When they need to treat them medically, there is a unique way to handle that too. As a non-farmer ALL of this counts as unique to me.
Why Have an Indiana Elk Farm?
Elk are an easier animal to take care of. They typically have easy births that don’t require human help and make good moms. Before birthing, the pregnant female will start walking the fence to find a private place to have her baby. Baby elk are born spotted but get their brown coat in six months.
These animals are also efficient. They don’t get the same diseases as cows and eat way less–three female elks (cows) eat the same amount as just one beef cow. Wow!
Meat from elk is lean, low in cholesterol, and low in fat. Best of all: it’s good. You may purchase elk products right here at Bugle Valley Farm.
And people say there is nothing to do in Indiana. Look at the neat things hiding in your own backyard. Take the scenic route to Bugle Valley Elk Farm in Roachdale, Indiana for an experience you aren’t soon to forget!
Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus. I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is Little Indiana.
Just don’t forget to tell ’em that little Indiana sent you!
Bugle Valley Elk Farm Tours BY APPOINTMENT
4205 W County Road 1000 North
Roachdale, Indiana 46172