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Extra Elk! Very Good News.... Well, Maybe

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Extra Elk! Very Good News.... Well, Maybe

Old 08-29-2007, 12:55 PM
  #1  
EKM
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Default Extra Elk! Very Good News.... Well, Maybe

From The Denver Post:

"A northwest Colorado elk herd is two to three times larger than originally believed, state wildlife officials say.

The Bears Ears herd is now estimated at 23,000 to 45,000, state Division of Wildlife officials said. Previous estimates put the herd at 11,000 to 15,000 animals."
12,000 to 30,000 Extra Elk!
Thank God for wolf free zones.... I wonder when the last time there was aheadline declaring a major elk managment herd size being two or three times larger than what they had originally thoughtup in Idaho/Montana/NW Wyoming? [:@]

[Note: Bears Ears Herd is adjacent to the WhiteRiver/Flat Tops Herd (the largest in the world), but just a bit north (In the area I hunt.)]

Iam hoping CDOW will offeradditional late issuetags in order to make an "adjustment" to the population to get it more in line with game management objectives. I'm always looking to do my part to help CDOW manage the game populations.

I've got two elk tags now (1st Special Rifle Season: 1 bull/cow from the first draw & 1 cow from the leftover draw) and then getting a late issue tag would make three. Three elk would be a tall, but fun order to try to fill.... might need an extra horse. Multiple elk tags mean I will want the tracking jobs to be short, real short, as in non-existent.... especially if I can get into aherd that are confused by the ambush. Probably go with the 375 H&H or 416 Rigby.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:45 AM
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Default RE: Extra Elk! Very Good News

That sounds sweet! My brother and I are thinking about buying a leftover cow tag for that area if we can get one. He is going to miss my bowhunting trip to S.E. Idaho next month and he has never shot an Elk. I think that a trip loaded with Elk would be a good experience for him! BTW: Wolves are not the reason that Colorado has more Elk than the Northern Rocky Mountain States. Habitat and management practices make the difference. Go to Yellowstone and see how many Elk you see even with all the wolves and Grizzlies that people love to hate.
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:49 AM
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EKM
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Default RE: Extra Elk! Very Good News

True that Colorado has had more elk than up north for some time now; however....

Just research the northern mountains states though and see what has happened to their elk populationssince the wolf re-introductionsstarted1995.A classic example isthe at-one-time-practically- world-famousGardiner elkhunt that is now essentially shut down. (Located just outside of Yellowstone, the grey wolf epicenter).
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:54 PM
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Default RE: Extra Elk! Very Good News

BUT wolves do not take a significant toll on elk numbers. The DNR say so.. They would now, Right.
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:40 PM
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Default RE: Extra Elk! Very Good News

EKM,

Watch out for the wolf lovers & your Colorado Game & Fish department. I suspect they will "team-up" & re-introducethe wolf to Colorado???
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:21 AM
  #6  
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Default RE: Extra Elk! Very Good News

According to everything that I read we have yet to see the impact on the yellowstone herd, it seems that the Wolves/bears and cats are taking most of the fawns and juvenile elk so there will be a decline in population soon.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:51 AM
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Default RE: Extra Elk! Very Good News

Wolfes are already in CO, they have been killed and seen several times in the northern half of the state for last 2 years. They will move naturally in the areas rich with their favorite food, but will not bereintroduced by man, no matter how green or red they may be.
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:39 PM
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Default RE: Extra Elk! Very Good News

EKM, what units are you talkin about specifically? I didn't mean to hijack the thread with the wolf commentary but I, like others, feel passionately about it. I appreciate the info. I was looking at the CDOW website today for leftover tags and I wasn't trying to guess about what units you were talkin about but I couldn't be for sure.

Brandon
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Old 09-01-2007, 12:22 AM
  #9  
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Default RE: Extra Elk! Very Good News

In answer to your question:
I would guess the Bears Ears Herd covers GMUs: 2, 3, 301, 4, 5, 214 and perhaps some others.
Most of the leftover tags on public land disappeared pretty quick after August 7th. I was counting on a third issue based upon the "underestimation" of a game population that should warrant a change in management actions given the apparent mistake.
================================================== =

I was hard after getting the inside track on that third tag, so after bouncing around the CDOW from phone number to phone number, I ended up talking to the game biologistinvolved in the statistical survey to determine the game population and inquired about their plans to "manage" the "oversized" herd. His upshot wasNO increase in tags. "The number of elk on the ground is the number of elk on the ground." They instituted a new statistical system and came up with the higher numbers but the number of elk is really the same (however many it is that there really are).

Now isn't that handy? "I'm a Ph. D. and/or I'm a biologist and I can make the numbers do whatever I want." Big populations? I can do that. Small populations? I can do that too!
================================================== =

Switching subjects, I asked him point blank.... "So what would happen to these elk if we "dropped" a Yellowstone type wolf population into the Bears Ears herd. He laughed and said, well our calf survival would drop from around 50 calves per 100 cows down to 20 or maybe even as low as 15per 100 cows, so populations would decrease. You would also see a re-distribution of elk out of places you always see them into places you never see them as the elk try to"thin themselves" to avoid contact with the wolf packs.

Boy don't that sound like an improvement! Who was the brain trust that reintroduced these suckers out of Canada in the first place?The old rancher up in Hinton, Alberta must still be just busting a gut. IMHO, theGreatest Generationhad the right idea and had the whole place cleaned up for us, and all we had to do was take care of it.

I was surprised bythis fellow'sstraight forwardopenness, both on the statistics discussion andthe Yellowstone wolf scenario, but at the same time amazed by his notable lack of concern for our elk populations....

Let's see, take a breeding population of elkand reduce their replacement rate by 2/3 (50 down to 15).... average life span of say 8-10 years.... any rancher or someone with a lick of sense can tell you thatwill equate toa severely reduced population in a fairly short period of time, and a severely reduced need for hunters.... hellooooo

IMHO, the result of the wolf plague is bad news for anyonewho likes to hunt including all the out-of-staters that use Colorado as a "safety valve" because they can always just "go to Colorado and buy an Over The Counter bull tag on the spot".... that don't happen without an strong abundance of elk; try getting that same tag in a state with a dinky elk population.

It is amazing how some of the wolf folks that can put a real good spin onthe wolf thing--- kinda like listening to Bill Clinton talk. I didn't like Clinton, but when talking he sure could make you feel good as long as you didn't think about it too much or ask too many questions. Just don't get down to the fundamentals of what is going to happen next. IMO, same way with the wolf folks.... a very romantic idea with a sucky end result.

One upside is thatit sure does get the biologists/game management folks set up with allsorts of grant money to studywolves and to managewolves thus keeping those wildlife professionals gainfully employed to create evenmore authoratative Ph D. papers showing that the whole thing is okay "just trust us" --- you know, the ones with the "highly reliable statistical proof" that they hold out as the professional "staff of life" and equateas being "proof-of-truth" on one hand and then turn around and admit, eh it don't rrrealllly matter, "there are however many there are." [Trust me.]
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