Elk Group Recommends Changes, Quota

Wyoming wildlife officials are considering suggestions about elk management following input from a working group that must submit final recommendations by Tuesday.

The population of elk in an eight-district area of northwestern Wyoming is about 7,500 animals. State officials prefer it to be about 5,600. The area spans from Yellowstone National Park into the Thorofare Wilderness, and east into Big Horn Basin on the Greybull River.

In this report from The Billings Gazette, some members of the working group have said that wolves are impacting the elk population. But with more than 1,900 animals above its preferred number, state officials can’t pinpoint the big predators as having that much of an overall impact.

Group member Curt Bales said the group may consider splitting the unit.

“You look at the overall herd unit and we’re way over objective, yet we have areas like districts 60 and 55 — areas surrounding the park in the backcountry — that are being hurt worse by the wolves, seeing more impact from the wolves,” Bales said. “That would be the reason we’d change that into two herd units.”

Read the full report here.