Too Many Elk

WYelker

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Feb 1, 2021
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150
There is a fix and it really should not be that hard. The fix, is to expand and increase funding to the access YES program.

All these issues could be fixed through Access YES. This could increase hunters on the lands, increase incentives for private access. Provide the ranchers with all sort of state and federal incentives etc.

Take Access YES to the next level. Increase funding, increase landowner benefits, increase patrolling etc.

The idea of transferable land owner tags will gut all access in the state and will lead to even larger issues of harboring and lower success and more crowding on public lands...
 

Dougfirtree

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I'm no expert on that problem, but it does seem like there should be workable solution to get more hunters onto private land for later season cow hunts, without messing up the bull hunting that is generating the money for the landowners. I would think it would be difficult for a program like Access YES to match the revenue some of these ranches are getting from outfitters and trespass fees.
 

SnowyMountaineer

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Dec 11, 2009
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WY
I like Access Yes a whole lot, and I would like to see it expand as well. I would be glad to see resident adult tag prices go up, and adult nr cow/calf doe/fawn tag prices go up in order to better fund G&F hunt coordinator positions that better serve both hunters and landowners. I have commented the same.

At the end of the day there are competing priorities, even excluding the DIY hunter perspective. Some landowners truly want to reduce the impact of elk to their forage resource. Some desperately want to further monetize and commercialize bull elk. Sy cries a river that he represents the former, but he is very obviously pushing the latter.

I don't see a future where the type-X license, as proposed, solves this issue. I'm open to being shown otherwise. I also hope the Taskforce does not push and vote on type-X without going wide with public comment, that would be full on BS and in opposition to their charge.
 

ccc23454

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Sep 22, 2010
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Wyoming
Step 1) Make it all general! (Any elk units)
Step 2) make all cow tag full price, use increase in revenue to apply extra funding towards access yes type programs.
Step 3) damage payments only if FULLY enrolled in access yes or allow hunting to public.
Step 4) fix landowner tag program
 

Treeshark

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Wisconsin
Elk are on private, hunters on public.

Need hunters to go to private, shoot elk or chase elk to public. Not that complicated.
 

Mustangs Rule

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I have seen "non feeding ground " elk mega herds in person in three states. Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.

In Utah every year I hunted a specific ranch, had the land owner tag for that ranch, I coulld not hunt anywhere else, even on the adjacent National Forest.

The last time I hunted there it was unseasonably warm and the elk did not come down. They stayed up high on a sister ranch, same extended family, but required a different land owner tag.

I looked at about 1,200 elk, all bunched together. I could not shoot one there. just about 75 miles to the east was the center of Utah's growing CWD crisis. It is only a matter of time. Mega herds are so vunerable to diseases like CDW and hoof rot too.

Utah's ideal elk population is about 67,000 elk. they have about 81,000. Mule deer are way down. There is only so much feed and there is a huge drought there. The math is the math.

In a narural suituation what breaks up mega herds are large preadtors, wolves especially.
 

BuzzH

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I think there are ways to consider gaining access to some of these places that have a lot of elk.

I was in a TRW meeting on Monday where this elk issue was discussed. Jim Magagna with the Wyoming Stock Growers was there complaining as per usual. He seemed to put all the onus on the WYGF and hunters to pressure those (mostly) absentee landowners to allow access on these harbored herds. I say, it should be a combined effort with some of the local hook and bullet crowds, along with the Stock Growers having sit down meetings with these landowners.

Realizing that it may be difficult to get folks like Stan Kroenke to ever allow access, there is a much higher probability if its a joint venture from the GF/Stockgrowers/hunters.

Another thing I brought up is that if hunters are able to gain access to normally hard to get access places, like say wagonhound, allow them to buy an additional license to fill.

I also talked with Ralph Brokaw my GF Commissioner about getting more elk killed. What we discussed is that there are a few hunters that are just flat killers, they know how to get elk killed. They're efficient and they can get it done without blowing the elk out of places that elk are accessible. We talked about a higher level hunters education type deal and/or partnering good hunters with good landowners. Many times its a trust issue, where landowners wouldn't mind the right people hunting, they just don't want to fling the gate open. We even thought about partnering good elk hunters and mentoring less experienced hunters (essentially guiding) them so that elk can again be killed without blowing them out of accessible country.

We do this all the time. Rather than trying to drive and get closer to large herds, shooting too far, shooting too much, or shooting into the large herds...we're selective and hunt the elk on the edges. That usually means those elk are less disturbed and you can do the same thing again and again, day after day if you do it right. Once elk are pushed hard from a shoot-out, or bumped too hard with a vehicle, etc...they take a lot longer to come back, if they ever do.

IMO/E if the goal is to get a lot of elk killed, the right people/hunters, need to do it the right way.
 

TheTone

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I have seen "non feeding ground " elk mega herds in person in three states. Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.

In Utah every year I hunted a specific ranch, had the land owner tag for that ranch, I coulld not hunt anywhere else, even on the adjacent National Forest.

The last time I hunted there it was unseasonably warm and the elk did not come down. They stayed up high on a sister ranch, same extended family, but required a different land owner tag.

I looked at about 1,200 elk, all bunched together. I could not shoot one there. just about 75 miles to the east was the center of Utah's growing CWD crisis. It is only a matter of time. Mega herds are so vunerable to diseases like CDW and hoof rot too.

Utah's ideal elk population is about 67,000 elk. they have about 81,000. Mule deer are way down. There is only so much feed and there is a huge drought there. The math is the math.

In a narural suituation what breaks up mega herds are large preadtors, wolves especially.
Utah could solve that elk problem in a year or two if they chose to. Increase tags substantially and end the cwmu program. Unfortunately it won’t happen is those darn elk are worth way too much to the outfitters, landowners and sfw who run the show. Hunters would also have a substantial gripe in my opinion with the huge number of years the regular guys have to wait for a tag
 

S-3 Ranch

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West Texas - Hesperus Colorado
The fouled up fish and game department in Montana & Wyoming need to issue thousands of prederation / nuisance animal permits to reduce their herds, if elk are requiring feeding stations and are also ruining the hay crops on ranch’s, stop paying ranchers for hay and get some motivation to reduce the elk
less elk = better winter mule deer habitat, less diseases , ect

I don’t see the humor that buzzH does about reducing the herd
 

Treeshark

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Montana & Wyoming need to issue thousands of prederation / nuisance animal permits to reduce their herds

Agreed. They should sell them (or issue them to landowners for them to fill or sell).

Eliminate payments for crop damage, ranchers can offer hunting on their land (for $ or for free) if there are truly to many elk and the crop damage is really that bad.

The end.
 
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BuzzH

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The fouled up fish and game department in Montana & Wyoming need to issue thousands of prederation / nuisance animal permits to reduce their herds, if elk are requiring feeding stations and are also ruining the hay crops on ranch’s, stop paying ranchers for hay and get some motivation to reduce the elk
less elk = better winter mule deer habitat, less diseases , ect

I don’t see the humor that buzzH does about reducing the herd
You don't understand the problem, let alone how to improve it...if only obviously.

There is a diminishing return on issuing tags and I can tell you for a fact, that issuing "thousands of tags" makes things worse. Elk move on and stay on areas they harbor with increased pressure from "thousands of tags". It plays out over and over and over again in CO, WY, MT, UT, OR, and anyplace elk exist.

Just throwing out more tags has the opposite effect, just the way it is.

Also, your assertion that the herds relevant to the article are NOT true about disease. As these herds have increased CWD prevalence in those herds have remained at around 3% for decades.

You haven't a clue about what you're talking about or what it takes to kill elk...that's pretty obvious.
 

BuzzH

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Laramie, WY
Agreed. They should sell them (or issue them to landowners for them to fill or sell).

Eliminate payments for crop damage, ranchers can offer hunting on their land (for $ or for free) if there are truly to many elk and the crop damage is really that bad.

The end.
Another dumb idea...truly dumb.

The places elk harbor don't receive "crop damage" now, the only folks you're hurting by cutting off damage payments, are their neighbors that ARE allowing hunting. To receive damage claims they have to allow hunting.

For the record, there is essentially no "crop damage" being paid out in Wyoming, its damages to fences, water tanks, and other infrastructure. Elk damage claims in Wyoming have ranged from $150-$350K per year, total. Last year was on the high end at $356,000 if I recall correctly from the TRW meeting on Monday.
 

MTLabrador

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Montana
The fouled up fish and game department in Montana & Wyoming need to issue thousands of prederation / nuisance animal permits to reduce their herds, if elk are requiring feeding stations and are also ruining the hay crops on ranch’s, stop paying ranchers for hay and get some motivation to reduce the elk
less elk = better winter mule deer habitat, less diseases , ect

I don’t see the humor that buzzH does about reducing the herd
How about no.
 
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