The elk is one of the largest species within the deer family in the world, and except for moose, the largest land mammal in North America. In spite of their size, elk are sprightly animals and can easily jump a six foot fence. Elk range in forest and forest-edge habitat, feeding on grasses, plants, leaves and bark. In the southwestern United States they are generally restricted to higher elevation areas. Only the males have antlers, which start growing in the spring and are shed each winter.