NESKOWIN: “Wild Boys” Tillamook County Elk Tour 2019

By Laura Swanson
Now in Neskowin, for your viewing pleasure, we are proud to present Tillamook County’s Fab Five, the Wild Boys 2019 Elk Tour. And my have their antlers grown … The Tillamook County Pioneer’s “Wild Boys”, the Fab Five bachelor elk have been enjoying our southern beaches in Neskowin with multiple sightings this last week. Before these images, the last documented sighting that the Pioneer was aware of was a video on Sunday evening, June 16th, south of Hebo at MP 94 … South County. Since this odyssey began, we’ve been investigating, where did these boys originate from? Because of their unusual comfort level with traffic and people, a theory is that these five elk may have come from the Alder Creek Farm/Nehalem Bay State Park/Bayside Gardens herd (yes, these elk have traversed the length of Tillamook County.) An Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife biologist commented, “Maybe they are headed to Chinook Winds for the salad bar.” Hmmmm … it seems they’ve taken liking to the old golf course in Neskowin, and have been taking somewhat regular strolls on the beach in South Tillamook County.

Photos from the Wild Boys in Neskowin:

The caption with this image from June 30th, Neskowin and Friends Facebook page was “Anyone ever seen elk on the beach?” Photo by Chip Kitzmiller

The answer was “YES” as many more folks shared images of the Fab Five throughout Neskowin. June 30th – Photo by Madge Dory

Neskowin beach July 2nd, photo by David Vogt

According to Christopher Lore, the elk are early for the July 4th barbecue. Neskowin Beach, July 3rd Photo by Christopher Lore

Neskowin Beach, July 3rd. Photo by Christopher Lore

Here’s a recap of the “Wild Boys” Tillamook County Elk Tour – see links below for all the photos, videos, etc.
It all started in late May with photos of five bull elk talking a walk on a North Rockaway Beach. And then during the ensuing weeks, we’ve been able to record their journey from Rockaway, exploring the port of Garibaldi, a swim across the Bay, wandering the streets of Bay City, and then, a week went by and they turn up checking out Pacific City. Sounds like the typical tourists itinerary, but this has been the journey of five bachelor elk, we dubbed the “Wild Boys.” We live in a wild place – and with more cameras, there are often more opportunities to capture the wildlife in “unusual” places, like elk on the beach. One of the most dramatic and amazing photos of the wild boys on June 5th emerging from Tillamook Bay near Hobsonville Point and Highway 101, and June 6th touring through Bay City and taking a rest from their “hike”. More photos and videos from their adventures in Barview, then they trekked up the hill to Terwilliger Heights to get a nice view of Three Graces, and … The boys probably knew that a weekend was coming up so they headed for the hills (or deep into Kilchis Point.) Or so we thought …
They’re still here … and they seem to be occasionally using Hwy. 101 for their “game trail.”
The Wild Boys that were touring around Rockaway Beach, Garibaldi and Bay City are in South Tillamook County. It is the same group that wandered through the Port of Garibaldi, swam Tillamook Bay, and stopped traffic in Bay City. A photo from the morning of Saturday June 15th in SOUTH TILLAMOOK COUNTY, near Winema Viewpoint/Camp Winema, and now strolling the beaches of Neskowin. Let’s see if they join the Neskowin Community 4th of July parade.
If you’ve seen the Fab Five in South County, please send your photos to or tag the Tillamook County Pioneer on Facebook. This continues to be an amazing opportunity to document the movements of this group of elk.
Keep an eye out … especially since these boys seem to be using Hwy. 101 as their “game trail.” And photos or videos – just send to This is an amazing collection of a journey by a “bachelor” group of elk through our county and a lesson for everyone that “they were here first.” Whenever you travel our rural country roads – which includes major highways — 101, 6, 26, 22 — criss-cross “their” range. Always drive aware and give wildlife their space, enjoying the view from a distance. We are so lucky to live in this wild place …
Here are the other photo essays:
“Wild Boys” Tillamook County Elk Tour 2019
Wild Boys Tillamook County Elk Tour 2019 – Take 2
WILD BOYS: Tillamook County Elk 3 – South County Tour – June 15 & 16