Too Many Elk

BuzzH

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I hold a completely opposite view of what you think would happen on all four of your points. So much so, that i will not even argue them with you.

So in review the land between the two largest cities in the state has a significant overpopulation of elk, is more than half privately owned couldnt benefit from more tags going to people who live and work on those very same properties...ok :unsure:
Unit 6 is already open to general tags and has been for a few years.

Talk to the biologists, they'll tell you they aren't killing any more elk now than when it was LQ. Unless you can get access on Samuelson's to get at those harbored elk, 8 million tags aren't going to change a thing.

Same thing in the rest of the Laramie Range, several large ranches allow very little if any access.

In contrast, the general areas in SE Wyoming, that have high amounts of public land...they can reduce those herds quickly by allowing cow elk hunting on general tags and/or issuing additional type-6 tags.

In the general area I hunt, the herd was at 12K elk and it took about 3 years of expanded opportunity to decrease it to 8K.

Its all about the access, good access and you can control elk. Limited access, throw all the tags you want at it, nothing changes.
 

ccc23454

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Correct. Access to tags is not an issue in the Laramie Range, its access to the harbored elk that is the problem. That, and keeping those elk on places that are accessible.

Going general is, at best, not going to improve a thing...and most likely make it worse.
My point is there is a lot of people who if they didnt have to apply for tag would take a elk there on private. There use to be leftovers but the system is in such over demand that people with actual access cant buy tags OTC, they have to apply by 31 May and may not even draw. If they could buy a general or a -6 license OTC it wouldnt solve it but would surely help. Could they issue a general (any elk)under those units that has a stipulation that is only valid on private lands and keep -1 unit wide? Just seems like a lot of ranch hands and buddy from work types could get a tag and access some of that private 50+%. I understand some ranches will keep gate locked but maybe some of the others could atleast contribute this way.
 

Carl 9.3x62

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My point is there is a lot of people who if they didnt have to apply for tag would take a elk there on private. There use to be leftovers but the system is in such over demand that people with actual access cant buy tags OTC, they have to apply by 31 May and may not even draw. If they could buy a general or a -6 license OTC it wouldnt solve it but would surely help. Could they issue a general (any elk)under those units that has a stipulation that is only valid on private lands and keep -1 unit wide? Just seems like a lot of ranch hands and buddy from work types could get a tag and access some of that private 50+%. I understand some ranches will keep gate locked but maybe some of the others could atleast contribute this way.
Applying for an elk tag is not difficult in general, and drawing an area 7-6 is not difficult either. Access to private land is what is difficult. I have a hard time believing there are a lot of people who could access private land and kill elk if only they could just buy a license and not have to apply.
 

Carl 9.3x62

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I don't think I'd be opposed if landowners were somehow issued extra cow permits. Let them and their ranch hands kill a bunch of cows and then donate them or something. This being only allowed if the landowner allows reasonable public access congruently.
 

thomas89

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Unit 6 is already open to general tags and has been for a few years.

Talk to the biologists, they'll tell you they aren't killing any more elk now than when it was LQ. Unless you can get access on Samuelson's to get at those harbored elk, 8 million tags aren't going to change a thing.

Same thing in the rest of the Laramie Range, several large ranches allow very little if any access.

In contrast, the general areas in SE Wyoming, that have high amounts of public land...they can reduce those herds quickly by allowing cow elk hunting on general tags and/or issuing additional type-6 tags.

In the general area I hunt, the herd was at 12K elk and it took about 3 years of expanded opportunity to decrease it to 8K.

Its all about the access, good access and you can control elk. Limited access, throw all the tags you want at it, nothing changes.
@BuzzH what happened to the Iron Mountain HMA? If memory serves wasn’t that hunt pretty successful at knocking down population in that area? Always seemed very cutthroat to get on, and very orchestrated to get as many elk killed as possible.
 

Mallardsx2

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A lot of people take advice from a guy who lives on a 1/4 acre lot in Laramie and thinks he’s got the answer to the worlds problems of elk….and apparently everything else for that matter…lol

And PS Buzz I’m not jealous of anything you have or ever will have…lol

Keep trying to brainwash people with your ridiculous ramblings all you want but 90% of the people see right through your BS.
 

JLS

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A lot of people take advice from a guy who lives on a 1/4 acre lot in Laramie and thinks he’s got the answer to the worlds problems of elk….and apparently everything else for that matter…lol

And PS Buzz I’m not jealous of anything you have or ever will have…lol

Keep trying to brainwash people with your ridiculous ramblings all you want but 90% of the people see right through your BS.
You never answered the questions @SnowyMountaineer asked you.
 

BuzzH

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A lot of people take advice from a guy who lives on a 1/4 acre lot in Laramie and thinks he’s got the answer to the worlds problems of elk….and apparently everything else for that matter…lol

And PS Buzz I’m not jealous of anything you have or ever will have…lol

Keep trying to brainwash people with your ridiculous ramblings all you want but 90% of the people see right through your BS.
You sure seem jealous and butthurt over 90-10 as much as you cry and whine about it.
 

Mallardsx2

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There are huge numbers of cow tags already available in these units.

Please explain:
A)How passing out transferable bull tags will markedly reduce the population.
B)How passing out transferable bull tags will incentivize landowners to reduce elk populations.


I never said anything about recommending the WYGF issuing bull tags to landowners….so I’m not sure where your going with this? The root of the entire issue is landowner access.

But to answer your ?’s


A- It wont, but that’s what the landowners are pushing for and it will line the landowners pockets with tresspass hunt fees. And you wait and see, it will happen. At 10k a pop.

B- Same answer as A…


To that end, If the ranchers won’t let people hunt cow elk on their property to keep them in check then I say let the elk destroy their properties and dont pay them a nickel for anything damages. Landowners are not wanting cow elk hunters on their properties during the season because they want to hold those big bulls for paying clients…..then once the season closes it’s “oh the elk are destroying my land! Booo hoo hooo” , then, they receive damage checks.

It’s quite the card they are playing and it is Landowner welfare at its finest.

The answer to the problem is VERY SIMPLE. Stop paying landowners for damages and only pay them for access. PERIOD.

Force them to allow access or suffer natures wrath.
 

wytex

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I hold a completely opposite view of what you think would happen on all four of your points. So much so, that i will not even argue them with you.

So in review the land between the two largest cities in the state has a significant overpopulation of elk, is more than half privately owned couldnt benefit from more tags going to people who live and work on those very same properties...ok :unsure:
So have you hunted in area 6 since it went form LQ to general? What Buzz describes has happened in 6 and would in 7 I bet. I might be in favor of going general but it would certainly affect access.
We have access to 8,500 acres in area 6 and I can tell you the elk herd up and go to the ranches that used to be their sanctuaries in years past by second week in Oct.
Now those same ranchers are complaining about too m
I never said anything about recommending the WYGF issuing bull tags to landowners….so I’m not sure where your going with this? The root of the entire issue is landowner access.

But to answer your ?’s


A- It wont, but that’s what the landowners are pushing for and it will line the landowners pockets with tresspass hunt fees. And you wait and see, it will happen. At 10k a pop.

B- Same answer as A…


To that end, If the ranchers won’t let people hunt cow elk on their property to keep them in check then I say let the elk destroy their properties and dont pay them a nickel for anything damages. Landowners are not wanting cow elk hunters on their properties during the season because they want to hold those big bulls for paying clients…..then once the season closes it’s “oh the elk are destroying my land! Booo hoo hooo” , then, they receive damage checks.

It’s quite the card they are playing and it is Landowner welfare at its finest.

The answer to the problem is VERY SIMPLE. Stop paying landowners for damages and only pay them for access. PERIOD.

Force them to allow access or suffer natures wrath.
Damage is only paid if access is granted to hunters.

ccc, there are hundreds of left over cow licenses in area 6 every year for OTC sales, just no access to fill them. Heck we have access and some years can not fill cow licenses because the elk have moved to sanctuary ranches, or what user to be sanctuary ranches.
 

appaloosa

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Upper Green River, WY
I honestly just don't think hunters are going to kill their way out of some of these problems. These herds are literally 1000s of elk over objective, and producing 1000s more every year. It is going to take more than a handful of a few skilled hunters to make any quantifiable difference. I support any effort to get more people in front of elk, but it will take an army to solve these problems.
Call me pessimistic, but some catastrophic die off, or all out warfare (sharpshooters, night hunting, whatever...) will solve this problem before hunters do.
 

JLS

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Interesting topic. Aside from extraneous snark, there are some really good points made.

I live on an 1/8 acre lot, and I can say with 100% certainty Buzz is correct about damage hunts being limited to residents in order to be effective. That said, you can also make it part of the stipulations you’ll be available on 24 hours notice. In the end, NR vs R opportunity shouldn’t be a major driving factor in this issue. It’s difficult enough as is.

Hunter proficiency is a very real issue. I used to hunt a large ranch in central MT that would have large numbers of elk on it. It always amazed me how hunters would spend two days out there, see thousands of elk, and come away with unfilled tags.

I don’t know how you solve hunter selection though. I won’t detract from this thread with my thoughts on Master Hunter programs. Suffice to say I don’t view them as a panacea.

Units like 7 are such a simple solution with no real answer how to get there UNLESS you have landowners willing to work towards a common goal.

HD445 in MT used to be a prime example of this. Now, landowners have changed and the results are trending towards a Unit 7 situation. G&F has limited ability to solve this issue. Access Yes can help, but it won’t solve it. Tag structure is a dangerous thing to play with, because it’s difficult to put toothpaste back in the tube, and there is a real danger of unintended consequences.

I feel for the family ranches who are paying the price. The impacts are real. Sportsmen and local communities don’t benefit when then landowners throw in the towel and sell out to mega ranches owned by out of state interests.
 
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BuzzH

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I never said anything about recommending the WYGF issuing bull tags to landowners….so I’m not sure where your going with this? The root of the entire issue is landowner access.

But to answer your ?’s


A- It wont, but that’s what the landowners are pushing for and it will line the landowners pockets with tresspass hunt fees. And you wait and see, it will happen. At 10k a pop.

B- Same answer as A…


To that end, If the ranchers won’t let people hunt cow elk on their property to keep them in check then I say let the elk destroy their properties and dont pay them a nickel for anything damages. Landowners are not wanting cow elk hunters on their properties during the season because they want to hold those big bulls for paying clients…..then once the season closes it’s “oh the elk are destroying my land! Booo hoo hooo” , then, they receive damage checks.

It’s quite the card they are playing and it is Landowner welfare at its finest.

The answer to the problem is VERY SIMPLE. Stop paying landowners for damages and only pay them for access. PERIOD.

Force them to allow access or suffer natures wrath.
You're so far out in left field you've left the ballpark, out across the parking lot, and staggering through the rhubarb.

The landowners here are not making a significant run at increasing landowner tags. You should pay attention and listen to the Task Force meetings, read some local news, and find a clue if you can. The outfitters would like to see it happen, but most landowners here like the way the landowner tag program is structured, I do as well. Its a small price to pay as sportsmen to increase landowner tolerance of wildlife as well as giving wildlife more available habitat to live on. Plus, if you had the first clue, you would understand that there are many landowners who receive these tags, that are allowing public access in the Laramie Range and other places via the HMA/Walk in programs. Most landowners are also very much against transferable LO tags here.

Your lack of knowledge is blaring when it comes to damage claims in Wyoming. I attended TRW meeting on Monday, and the question of damage claims was brought up. Statewide, elk damage over the past 10 years has ranged between $150,000-$356,000. Most all of it in the form of replacing fencing, providing fencing to keep elk out of hay, etc. Very little in reimbursement of forage damage.

Landowners that do not provide access for hunting are not compensated via game damage claims. Also, the ranches that harbor most of the elk, are not interested in damage claims, and because they allow no public hunting, they don't receive them. Kroenke, Gordy, Samuelson, True, Nicholas, etc. don't give two chits about damage from elk. They also don't mind large numbers of elk utilizing their lands because they don't need to make money on them to survive. They also don't provide public access, so they get no damage claims, and honestly, with the kind of money they have, damage claims wouldn't even be a rounding error on monthly expense reports. You aren't going to entice them into HMA programs either, literally chump change.

The surrounding smaller ranches do allow access suffer from these large, mostly inaccessible herds. They allow hunting, get damage claims, and do all they can to survive financially.

Your answer is to slap the chit out of them, strip their damage claims, and further mock them.

You also seem to think that the only time of year these elk elk grass is during hunting season. What about the rest of the year? Those landowners providing access often times have hundreds to thousands of elk on their places when there is very little, if anything, they can do to move them off.

I believe the solution is to for sportsmen/landowners/WYGF to sit down and come up with a way to build trust on the places that harbor these herds and allow ethical, responsible, and good elk hunters to gain access to those elk. I think it can be done without flinging the gates open to hunters that haven't the know-how to get elk killed.

I also believe corner crossing is another way to increase elk harvest and also keep them moving onto places where they are more readily accessible.

This boils down to access, keeping elk on places that allow hunting, and having smart hunters who know what they're doing when it comes to killing elk.

You know none of these things sitting behind your computer...but feel free to continue to show everyone how much you "know" about elk hunting, and elk issues in Wyoming. Funny.
 
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BuzzH

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I honestly just don't think hunters are going to kill their way out of some of these problems. These herds are literally 1000s of elk over objective, and producing 1000s more every year. It is going to take more than a handful of a few skilled hunters to make any quantifiable difference. I support any effort to get more people in front of elk, but it will take an army to solve these problems.
Call me pessimistic, but some catastrophic die off, or all out warfare (sharpshooters, night hunting, whatever...) will solve this problem before hunters do.
Don't totally agree, or disagree either.

I think you would be surprised what 50-60 guys with 3 tags a piece that know what they're doing can accomplish.

I've filled 3 elk tags per year for I don't know how many consecutive years now.
 
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JLS

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Very little in reimbursement of forage damage.
Is this because of law, policy? This is one aspect of damage I find interesting. It’s a very real impact to the carrying capacity of a ranch.

What is the threshold for public access? Is it based on hunter days?

The Devils Kitchen working group in HD445 in MT came up with a five week season as follows:

Weeks 1 and 2: general season elk, primarily focused on outfitter clients, family, etc

Weeks 3-5: limited entry bull hunting with access through block mgmt, general season cow with access through block mgmt.

It worked until it didn’t. Now a new absentee landowner has made life difficult because he doesn’t care.
 

S-3 Ranch

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You're so far out in left field you've left the ballpark, out across the parking lot, and staggering through the rhubarb.

The landowners here are not making a significant run at increasing landowner tags. You should pay attention and listen to the Task Force meetings, read some local news, and find a clue if you can. The outfitters would like to see it happen, but most landowners here like the way the landowner tag program is structured, I do as well. Its a small price to pay as sportsmen to increase landowner tolerance of wildlife as well as giving wildlife more available habitat to live on. Plus, if you had the first clue, you would understand that there are many landowners who receive these tags, that are allowing public access in the Laramie Range and other places via the HMA/Walk in programs. Most landowners are also very much against transferable LO tags here.

You're lack of knowledge is blaring when it comes to damage claims in Wyoming. I attended TRW meeting on Monday, and the question of damage claims was brought up. Statewide, elk damage over the past 10 years has ranged between $150,000-$356,000. Most all of it in the form of replacing fencing, providing fencing to keep elk out of hay, etc. Very little in reimbursement of forage damage.

Landowners that do not provide access for hunting are not compensated via game damage claims. Also, the ranches that harbor most of the elk, are not interested in damage claims, and because they allow no public hunting, they don't receive them. Kroenke, Gordy, Samuelson, True, Nicholas, etc. don't give two chits about damage from elk. They also don't mind large numbers of elk utilizing their lands because they don't need to make money on them to survive. They also don't provide public access, so they get no damage claims, and honestly, with the kind of money they have, damage claims wouldn't even be a rounding error on monthly expense reports. You aren't going to entice them into HMA programs either, literally chump change.

The surrounding smaller ranches do allow access suffer from these large, mostly inaccessible herds. They allow hunting, get damage claims, and do all they can to survive financially.

Your answer is to slap the chit out of them, strip their damage claims, and further mock them.

You also seem to think that the only time of year these elk elk grass is during hunting season. What about the rest of the year? Those landowners providing access often times have hundreds to thousands of elk on their places when there is very little, if anything, they can do to move them off.

I believe the solution is to for sportsmen/landowners/WYGF to sit down and come up with a way to build trust on the places that harbor these herds and allow ethical, responsible, and good elk hunters to gain access to those elk. I think it can be done without flinging the gates open to hunters that haven't the know-how to get elk killed.

I also believe corner crossing is another way to increase elk harvest and also keep them moving onto places where they are more readily accessible.

This boils down to access, keeping elk on places that allow hunting, and having smart hunters who know what they're doing when it comes to killing elk.

You know none of these things sitting behind your computer...but feel free to continue to show everyone how much you "know".
As a NR, I don’t understand WY public land access, I see the court cases, but don’t understand how folks , can lock down checkerboard
patch’s of public for personal use
but that’s a different thread on here
 

SnowyMountaineer

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WYOGA is seriously muddying the water and throwing wrenches in for their own purpose, under the guise of caring about landowners. No surprise there.
 

BuzzH

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Is this because of law, policy? This is one aspect of damage I find interesting. It’s a very real impact to the carrying capacity of a ranch.

What is the threshold for public access? Is it based on hunter days?

The Devils Kitchen working group in HD445 in MT came up with a five week season as follows:

Weeks 1 and 2: general season elk, primarily focused on outfitter clients, family, etc

Weeks 3-5: limited entry bull hunting with access through block mgmt, general season cow with access through block mgmt.

It worked until it didn’t. Now a new absentee landowner has made life difficult because he doesn’t care.
The way the damage claims law work here is that a landowner must suffer "significant" forage loss to qualify. From what was said at the TRW meeting by Nesvik and Magagna...forage damage is pretty rare.

I agree, the fence damage is one thing, you can pay to fix that yearly. But not qualifying for forage loss, that can, and does, impact how much livestock you can raise now...and into the future. I'm in favor of taking another look at the specific laws/regulations on that.

The amount of public access you have to provide is enough hunters equal to the amount of yearly reproduction of the specific herd doing you damage. I would imagine there is quite a bit of wiggle room in that.
 
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JLS

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The way the damage claims law work here is that a landowner must suffer "significant" forage loss to qualify. From what was said at the TRW meeting by Nesvik and Magagna...forage damage is pretty rare.

I agree, the fence damage is one thing, you can pay to fix that yearly. But not qualifying for forage loss, that can, and does, impact how much livestock you can raise now...and into the future. I'm in favor of taking another look at the specific laws/regulations on that.

The amount of public access you have to provide is enough hunters equal to the amount of yearly reproduction of the specific herd doing you damage. I would imagine there is quite a bit of wiggle room in that.
So if it’s a herd of 400 elk, and calf recruitment is 50%, 200 hunters? Or 200 hunter days in total?

Any mention of what constitutes “significant forage loss”? A ten to twenty percent reduction in AUM capacity seems pretty significant to me.
 

BuzzH

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So if it’s a herd of 400 elk, and calf recruitment is 50%, 200 hunters? Or 200 hunter days in total?

Any mention of what constitutes “significant forage loss”? A ten to twenty percent reduction in AUM capacity seems pretty significant to me.
Question 1 I believe is correct.

Question 2 I believe that's the problem, I don't think there is a clear definition of forage loss thresholds for damage claims.
 
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