Yesterday morning I went out to release the chickens from the coop, and I was startled to see what looked like fresh elk poop right by the coop. Elk poop is disc-shaped with a depression in the middle, and this looked like a classic case. Wow, it's not too often we have elk passing through! I was thrilled.
Hoofprints in the snow confirmed it was indeed an ungulate...though the prints seemed a bit small for a full-grown elk.
Nonetheless I started building a little elk fantasy in my mind until I went into the haybarn and saw...
...Smokey, who obviously had jumped a fence during the night and parked herself where there was the most food.
-- Thus proving that Occam's razor (often misquoted as "the simplest explanation is more likely the correct one") applies here.