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Montana FWP should improve elk management

Straight Arrow

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Jun 10, 2009
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Gallatin Gateway, MT
Colorado being a state seventy percent the size of Montana and including public land comprising only about seventy-five percent of that held by Montana, yet Colorado can sustain an elk population more than twice that of Montana … even before the proposed elk population reduction by shoulder seasons! Obviously Colorado elk “tolerance” is that much greater than that of Montana. Montana has potential to sustain more elk … not fewer!

Even though I recognize the ill-conceived mandate of FWP to meet elk population objectives, FWP needs to come up with creative plans to redistribute elk over the viable habitat in order to mitigate adverse impacts of “too many elk”, rather than continue a program to drastically extend hunting pressure and reduce elk herds across Montana to future levels which potentially could put them ‘back to the brink” … at least in certain areas and with respect to tourism and hunting opportunity.
 
Little early to be drinking and dreaming.

Do you rember what the good days were like? MT had exceptional elk hunting 30 years ago. The only place it's better now is some private land. Soon elk hinting will be like unlimited sheep hunting. Many areas are in the single digit sucess rates.

The elk management plan makes certain the elk numbers will never increase. FWP has to keep them down. Also with a half-assed population count and they can surpress the numbers even lower. Wish they still had those maps that showed all the over population of elk throughout the entire state.
 
Sportsmen never seem to learn that voting matters. The Elk Management Plan was developed under a Governor who appointed mainly ranchers to her commission which used "landowner tolerance" to set elk number objectives . Then there was a conservative legislator from Dillon area who pushed through a bill which forced FWP to get the elk numbers down to the objectives in the EMP. Virtually every bad wildlife bill comes from and is supported by one party. The new Governor has stacked the Commission with outfitters. The new Governor has picked a FWP director who is angling to give away elk to private landowners and outfitters. Yet I promise that sportsmen will continue to vote the same folks in the next time....until their resource is gone. Then they will cry "Someone should have done something".
 
Sportsmen never seem to learn that voting matters. The Elk Management Plan was developed under a Governor who appointed mainly ranchers to her commission which used "landowner tolerance" to set elk number objectives . Then there was a conservative legislator from Dillon area who pushed through a bill which forced FWP to get the elk numbers down to the objectives in the EMP. Virtually every bad wildlife bill comes from and is supported by one party. The new Governor has stacked the Commission with outfitters. The new Governor has picked a FWP director who is angling to give away elk to private landowners and outfitters. Yet I promise that sportsmen will continue to vote the same folks in the next time....until their resource is gone. Then they will cry "Someone should have done something".
Ala, West Dakota and East Idaho. All that remains of Montana is Butte, America! ;)
 
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30 years ago, even a decade ago, if you wanted you could park at most trailheads within an hours drive of town and expect to have a good chance to be into elk. Today, within 20-30 minutes drive, or even 10 minutes. you can plan to see more elk than you’d have seen in an entire season back in the day.

Some folks are real happy about that.
 
Today, within 20-30 minutes drive, or even 10 minutes. you can plan to see more elk than you’d have seen in an entire season back in the day.
If it's south of Gallatin Gateway, along HWY 191, there are more elk on that private ground than you've seen your entire life of hunting seasons. But you'd better practice defensive driving skills, as those elk are now habituated to cross the "Hwy 191 die-way" and collide with vehicles on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Reportedly, a rental car speeding through the die-way corridor recently took out three elk with one crash. (Likely speeding from Big Sky to meet a flight to somewhere where elk don't even exist.)
 
If it's south of Gallatin Gateway, along HWY 191, there are more elk on that private ground than you've seen your entire life of hunting seasons. But you'd better practice defensive driving skills, as those elk are now habituated to cross the "Hwy 191 die-way" and collide with vehicles on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Reportedly, a rental car speeding through the die-way corridor recently took out three elk with one crash. (Likely speeding from Big Sky to meet a flight to somewhere where elk don't even exist.)
Using the highway to reduce elk numbers to management plan numbers
 

Elk harvests are up. Have to make certain those numbers don't increase. It's mind boggling to me how many cow tags are still given on public land even though some biologists proposed getting rid of them...then again those biologists ended up leaving.
Every region and even district is different, but I'm not sure how we can redistribute elk in a meaningful way when there's so much pressure on public land for such a long amount of time.
 

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