December 2, 1805, at the mouth of the Columbia River at Tongue Point, near present-day Astoria, Oregon.
A very large cervid, with thick neck and slender legs. Brown or tan above; underparts darker. Male has large, many-tined antlers. Height: 4.5-5 ft (1.4–1.5 m); length: 6.7–9.8 ft (2–3 m); tail: 3.1–8.4 in (8–21 cm).
In summer, chiefly high, open mountain pastures; in winter, lower wooded slopes, often dense woods.
From eastern British Columbia, central Alberta, central Saskatchewan, and southern Manitoba south to central New Mexico and Arizona, with great numbers in Washington, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado.
The second largest member of the deer family in North America, wapiti is a Shoshone word for "pale" or "white."