I was just wondering after the changes the WDFW changes this year if you are planning to go somewhere else, or switch to muzzleloader or modern rifle???
WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
May 24, 2004
Contact: Lee Stream, 509-457-9313
Population decline brings change in Colockum elk hunting
YAKIMA - New elk population data indicating a decline in the elk population in the Colockum area will translate into changes for hunters this year, the Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) reported today.
Antlerless elk will not be legal game in the Colockum area for archery-only elk hunting seasons. Only spike bulls will be legal during general archery seasons in Game Management Units (GMU) 328-335.
Antlerless elk hunting by special permit for both modern firearm and muzzleloader hunters has also been eliminated in all but one Colockum area GMU. Antlerless elk special permits were reduced in three West Bar hunts by 50 percent to five permits each. A limited number of permits for branch-antlered bulls will still be available.
The changes were made because elk population estimates for the past three years have indicated a decline, says WDFW regional wildlife program manager Lee Stream.
Stream explained that in 2001 surveys indicated approximately 4,500 elk on Colockum winter range - within WDFW's desired herd level of 4,275 to 4,725 elk. Late winter surveys in 2002 and 2003 totaled fewer and fewer elk on winter range. The last count in February 2004 showed only 3,400 elk.
"Harvest of antlerless elk increased dramatically in 2002," Stream said, "even exceeding the bull harvest. And our preliminary estimates for the 2003 season suggest antlerless harvest was again high, probably higher than the number of calves coming into the population. We essentially eliminated all of the antlerless special permit opportunity for modern firearm and muzzleloader, but that still wasn't going to be enough of a reduction in antlerless harvest to get us back to our objective."
Stream said one reason for the high antlerless harvest was increased harvest in damage areas around Wenatchee and Ellensburg.
"Many landowners in the area have become intolerant of the number of elk seasonally present on their lands," Stream explained. "They really wanted to see more of those damage-causing elk removed."
The only option to stem the decline was to eliminate most non-damage-related antlerless elk hunting, Stream said. With February's data in hand, Stream and other WDFW managers proposed the change to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission at its April 2-3 meeting.
Now the only antlerless harvest of elk allowed outside damage areas are 35 permits in elk area 3028, which are designed to collect needed biological information, and 15 permits spread over three hunts in the West Bar unit, which are damage-related and also designed to keep elk from swimming the Columbia River when pressured during the hunting season.
"The management of Colockum elk is a complicated issue that deserves more public input," Stream said. "We're drafting a Colockum Elk Herd Plan that should be available for public review by this fall. We plan to hold public meetings and post the draft plan on our web site to gather input before finalizing it."
Hunters should consult the WDFW 2004-2005 Big Game Hunting Seasons and Rules pamphlet.
[:'(] trapper T , We've been saying that for years in our M.R. camp up there! And we're not alone. We also believe as of late there is most likely a poaching problem especially on the Wenatchee side. If you can't read the signs.......................
I see there have been a few hits on this topic, but only trappers reply. If any of you archery hunt that area normally- how have you changed your plans?? Will you relocate, or change hunting method??? Just curious!!
Blue Ribbon Coalition
Snowmobile Alliance of Western States
I agree I think the state is doing this(Spikeonly) for alterior motives. I truly beleive that they aren't managing those herds for the herds benefit but for
1) money, at five buck a whack they get a lot of revenue from permit entries.
2) The state wants permit only hunting...period. One it will bring a greater revenue(they think) and two it will help them abolish hunting period down the road. When the put out a scare tactic story of how bad a herd is doing they can just close it off for good.
3) I've been in some "watchdog groups who through public documents found that the WDFW and the RMEF teamed up to get some of these restricitons and land closures.But if you are a RMEF sponsored guide guess what you get a key to get in behind the locked gates that we all have to walk through[:'(]
I acutally rifle hunt(not in the Clockum) and actually this year I'm going Smoke pole
I don't ever put in for permits, I don't beleive in them.MY HUNTING RIGHT IS NOT A GAMBLE! And I also don't believe in hunting leases ie: the PLWMA's I think that is wrong but this sport is going to the highest bidder and our state is helping it. I think you understand, with all that you do to battle the lefties from closing down the woods, you know hoe these Bafoons in the State work.
I see a day when I'll quit buying a license because of the resrtictions they' keep putting on but I won't ever quit hunting
They think they're generating revenue by doing this but how many do you know that live here, head to ID. or MT. or even OR. evry year to hunt? I went to MT last year, probably spent close to $2000 there too, $2000 grand a person is a lot of revenue I could've spent here...don't you think? They just don't get it and probably never will.
Sorry for the long rant but man this thread conjured up some hatred I have for the WDFW.
Like how they have got us splintered,achery/rifle/ muzzies and so on.I sit at these game reg meetings all the time and those three groups argue between themselves about who gets to hunt when. The state knows they got us by the jimmys Actually they got all outdoor enthusiast splinterd, like you and what you do for the land use stuff, a lot of hunters, heck don't even know what the hunters are fighting for let alone the other user groups. ANd I'm not putting the bicycle ridin' Seattlite/starbucks/yuppie/Lefty/ anti everything/ groups into the outdoor user class either. They're just tree huggers that think the National forrest should be in a museum somewhere[:@]
Boy I better quit, I'm going off on a Hippy tangent[:'(] Sorry
Our camp has archery hunted in the Colockum for the past four or five years both for the early and late hunts. Even with the changes to the regs, we will archery hunt there again this year. It is beautiful country that we know well.
Although I don't have the greatest confidence in WDFW, I have noticed a trend of seeing fewer elk each year so I am giving them the benefit of the doubt as to their reasoning behind the new restictions.
BTW, the WDFW also changed the deer season regs. Last year they opened it up for does and this year it is back to three point or better (if I remember correctly).
HuntingNet Member since Spring 2001
Although I don't have the greatest confidence in WDFW, I have noticed a trend of seeing fewer elk each year so I am giving them the benefit of the doubt as to their reasoning behind the new restictions
But part of the herd decline is their"manage for money" theory. IF they would cut out all together cow permits or any cow hunting at all in an area for a few years...BIG difference in the way the herd would spring back.With Elk you have to remember that the majority of cows are bred by the time most the seasons come around whereas deer aren't.
So they can do it differently...I was here in the '70s when they had what they called "Doe day" you couldn't find a deer anywhere...We the people abolished Doe day and the deer sprang back rather quickly....now thery're on decline again, and why becuase we're killing too many Does.
I am unaware of why they wanted to decline the herd in the first place. I beleive they do use it to decline a herd but I think they fail at closing off a perticular hunting method until it has went past their objective. Their main goal is money not the animal. IF they can fiddle around and keep Elk declining in this state they will call for an "emergency" regulation to make this a permit only type of State.That is their goal. HOw can Elk be on the increase in the country yet in this state for the past twenty years, they're always declining? THe way they speak, Elk should be extinct here by now...
Remember they're a bunch of college guys who for the most part I don't think they hunt too much?I could be wrong but some of their assessments just ain't right. Awhile back the Okanogan Mulies were coming back greater thatn expected because of the antler restrictions, to get their buck to doe ratio where they wanted the proposed taking of any buck.They just built the herd back up now to get thier "numbers" they wanted to kill off more? Stupid if you ask me, I told if you want to do that why don't we get rid of doe tags up there for awhile? LEt's do it by growing the herd, if the land can sustain it it will.THese guys think they're smarter than mother nature and I haven't seen her lose to them yet. Sorry man I get started on the WDFW and it drives me nut[:'(][:@]