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KEN BARNES: Surveying the tule elk reserve near Buttonwillow

Many of my readers may not be aware that Kern County is home to one of California's tule elk natural reserves.

This species of elk is only found in California and is named after the tule, which is a species of sedge native to freshwater marshes here in the state. A few hundred years ago when Europeans first arrived, there was an estimated 500,000 tule elk roaming these regions, but by 1870 they were thought to be extinct, or near so.

Ken Barnes is a record setting shooter and longtime outdoorsman from Kern County. Email him at with comments or column ideas.

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