Seen in the middle of a logged-over area, Tuber, the bull elk formerly known as Line Dancer, is back for another exciting fall season. (Submitted)

Seen in the middle of a logged-over area, Tuber, the bull elk formerly known as Line Dancer, is back for another exciting fall season. (Submitted)

Famous elk back with new headgear on Vancouver Island

He’s sporting a tarp, an innertube, and windchimes now but he’s the same frisky fellow from last year.

He’s sporting a tarp, an innertube, and windchimes now but he’s the same frisky fellow from last year.

Cowichan Lake’s famous bull elk, formerly known as Line Dancer for his amazing head gear, has returned with a new collection for fall 2017, according to Denis Martel of Wilderness Watch.

Now, he’s being called Tuber by folks who’ve seen him.

“We saw him yesterday [Sept. 20]. We were so fortunate to see him with his harem. He’s doing quite well. And he does have an adornment of articles on his antlers. He’s got what looks like an innertube up there, he’s also got a tarp that he’s run into, and he’s also got some windchimes at last count. He’s into everything. It’s amazing what they do,” he said. “My granddaughter videotaped another bull while they were out camping and that bull was flipping logs around because he was feeling his oats.”

Because the elk are in their rutting season right now, they are edgy and willing to fight to preserve their territory and harem of cows so don’t try to get close to a bull.

“They can move faster than you can. You’d have to get out of the bush, then get around your truck, and then get in. He’s got you before you even get there,” Martel said.

But Tuber, despite his new look, is apparently in good shape.

“He’s out there. When we saw him, he had four to six cows with him, that he’s gathered together as his harem.

“He’s not in any danger at all. He’s eating well. When we saw him, he’d just finished eating and was bedding down and was chewing his cud. He saw us and wasn’t panicked because we were no threat. I forgot my bugle so I had whacked a stump. Then he stood up. It is the same one we had last year.”

Tranquilizing this elk is not an option, according to Martel.

“This guy already had a yellow tag in him; he’s already been tranquilized once. He’s in no big danger; that stuff is not impeding his vision or his ability to eat or to walk, so those three things mean that he doesn’t have to be tranquilized.”

And at this time of year, that’s important.

“If you dart him now, with the stress that he’s under because of the rut, because he’s 24 hours a day on alert, fighting and whatever else he’s done, you may find yourself with a dead elk. He may not revive himself. If you give them a tranquilizing dart, sometimes they’re so down they just can’t come back.”

Martel said that years back he saw that happen when a conservation officer from Nanaimo had to dart a bull elk.

“He [the conservation officer] cupped his hands right over top of the elk’s nose and was giving him nose-to-mouth resuscitation. He tried and tried and tried but, no way, he was gone. It was so sad. We had to do it because he was all hooked up. He would have died from starvation had we not freed him. He had been tromping through people’s yards and whatever.”

Martel urged anyone living in an area where elk might pass by to clean up obstacles from your yard.

“If you’ve got garden meshes that are still up, or tennis or badminton nets, tubes on the beach or anything like that that they can run into at night, please put them away,” he said.

Martel said he’d seen one Youbou homeowner who had a tennis net across their driveway all summer to keep people from coming through.

“I mentioned it to [conservation officer Sgt.] Scott Norris and he said he’d talk to the people. I went by there this week and it was gone. That was so nice of those people. If there are people out there who have done this, I thank them from the bottom of my heart because it means one less elk that’s susceptible to having traumatic problems through the rut,” he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushes B.C. government to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

Work is progressing on the new student housing building at the University of Victoria. The building will be home to 398 students when complete in September 2022. (Photo courtesy of UVic)
VIDEO: Mass timber installation begins at UVic student housing project

Green technology plays key role in building that will be home to 398 University of Victoria students

Sharon McNeill (right) was among the first batch of residents to pick up free seeds and seedlings from Ali Rivers, Central Saanich’s climate action specialist, during Thursday’s Seed Giveaway. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Central Saanich plants seeds in the fight against climate change

Seed Giveaway promotes environmental stewardship

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The postponement of the event was put in place to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Jasmine Francoeur from Comox is an aviation technician for the Snowbirds air demonstration team. Photo by Canadian Forces/submitted
Island woman’s career comes full circle as she flies home with the Snowbirds

Jasmine Francoeur: “To fly out here, fly into my hometown, it’s very special and I feel very lucky”

Junior A team Coquitlam Express is offering all Tri-City residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19 a free ticket to one of their games. (Facebook/Coquitlam Express)
B.C. hockey team offering free tickets to hometown fans who get the COVID-19 vaccine

‘We know the only way to get fans back is people getting vaccinated,’ says Express’ general manager Tali Campbell

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s latest COVID-19 restrictions cost thousands of service jobs

Part-time workers set back again by spike in virus spread

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Leaked report shows detailed B.C. COVID-19 data not being released to public

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Most Read