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National Elk Refuge To Starve Elk

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Richard C, Oct 31, 2019.

  1. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

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    National Elk Refuge To Starve Elk
    Todd Helms October 30, 2019 Elk, General 8 Comments 8,374 Views


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    Photo By: Mike Eastman

    As I’m writing this it’s the day before Halloween and the temperature outside is hitting a high that is 23 degrees below the Fahrenheit freezing point. This is October, not January and winter’s early chokehold on Wyoming doesn’t set a welcome stage for our wildlife. With antelope and elk seeking recovery from their rut, deep snow and extreme temps are the last thing those worn down bucks and bulls need to contend with. Hopefully old man winter loosens his grip a tad but this is the West and extreme weather is just part of the deal.



    What’s also been part of the deal, for elk especially, are the winter feeding programs such as the one operated by the National Elk Refuge in Jackson, WY. However, this program is in danger and along with it the health of the elk herds in the northern Rocky Mountains. A plan to “wean” elk off of the feeding program at the refuge and eventually discontinue it altogether is in place.



    Pressure for this misguided and dangerous action plan is being placed on the federal government by environmental activist groups who are using CWD as a fear mongering tactic to eliminate the program. The groups claim that in order to avoid a possible population crash due to disease the program must be eliminated.



    So let me get this straight… in order to maybe avoid the hypothetical demise of one of the world’s greatest elk herds we will guarantee their elimination by starving them to death? There has been zero evidence that CWD infected mule deer in the region have transmitted the disease “across species” and into elk. Yet, these environmentalists, the same ones who clamoured for wolf reintroduction, want us to believe that a danger exists and we must mitigate an imagined elk population crash by disease through a guaranteed population crash brought on by starvation through the ending of the very successful National Elk Refuge Feeding Program.



    Wow! I don’t understand what these folks have against elk but make no mistake there is a war on elk in the West and if we as stewards of the resource are not vigilant, there will be no elk left on our landscape for our children’s children to enjoy, let alone hunt.



    Today is the final day for public comment and we here at Eastmans’ just found out about this today. It’s not too late! Making calls and sending emails to the National Elk Refuge voicing your unconditional disapproval of the termination of the feeding program will no doubt still have an impact. Please contact the Acting Refuge Manager by phone (307)201-5436 or email [email protected] to put a stop to the eradication plan for this elk herd.



    Gordon Eastman, the grandfather of Guy and Ike Eastman used to tell of a time before the Elk Refuge feeding program when by the end of winter a man could walk for 25 miles around Jackson and never run out of elk carcasses piled up due to starvation. “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

    Make sure you are signed up to receive the Eastmans’ E-News Newsletter so you may be kept up to date on this and other issues confronting our western wildlife and hunting heritage. If you’re already signed up, thank you! If not, you need to so you can be kept up to date on all the latest wildlife news from around the West.
     
  2. It's being running for over 100yrs ,that's crewel .What do the ASPCA think of this?
     
    swampfox2 likes this.

  3. swampfox2

    swampfox2 Well-Known Member

    If they are going to let them starve they should allow hunters to reduce the herd on a quota hunt basis. It would be a win for both hunters and elk. JMHO
     
    msestak and pir^2h like this.
  4. Dave York

    Dave York Well-Known Member

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    Another dumb idea by ending it.
    Out in Ca there is a group that wants to eliminate all wildlife water guzzlers in desert areas. They claim it’s not a natural water source. Well before LA sucked all the water out there used to be natural springs throughout desert mountains.
     
    msestak and joeym like this.
  5. Bill Dishman

    Bill Dishman Well-Known Member

    What do you think they did for thousands of years before we came along to feed them?
     
  6. HondaXR250

    HondaXR250 Well-Known Member

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    CWD has been around long before us. Just because we now discover it doesnt mean we have to blow it out of proportion. This boils down to money. Why feed the elk, when that money can go into big wigs pockets
     
    Ron B and msestak like this.
  7. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Remained scarce? Kept predators feed?
     
    Ron B, Micah Howards and msestak like this.
  8. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

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    i like this idea as it will also cut down on the number of illegal immigrants seeking water as they cross the desert.
     
  9. swampfox2

    swampfox2 Well-Known Member

    Have guides taking trophy hunters for a fee. Have a percentage put towards feeding them.
     
    magicmick and msestak like this.
  10. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    If the government had thought this out long in advance (at least earlier this year, like spring) and captured a bunch of these elk and relocated them where they could thrive and provide hunting opportunities. This is turn could have boosted the local economy of some small town areas which I am sure would welcome this. However, we are talking about the government here.
     
  11. HondaXR250

    HondaXR250 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah like southeast ohio ;)
     
    msestak likes this.
  12. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

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    Elk County, Pennsylvania :)
     
    HondaXR250 likes this.
  13. There was no infrastructure back then Bill,we have pushed animals into small pockets of land for the last 150yrs globally and this is the hangover from doing this.
     
    msestak and pir^2h like this.
  14. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

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    sad to say, but the human population growth needs to slow down too.
     
    magicmick and HondaXR250 like this.
  15. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Now I like the concept but, the gubment can't do the exact opposite of what the gubment is enforcing on us, can they? It is illegal to transport cervids or parts there of containing any brain, spinal or lymph tissues across state lines in most areas. Me thinks live critters contain all of those combined.
     
    msestak likes this.
  16. In the past when they transported them to other states they kept them in quarantine for a period of time. I don't know how long that was but couldn't they do the same? I see a lot of good meat going to waste. Although I don't agree with letting them starve (is this Darwin's survival of the fittest test?), as someone on this thread has already pointed out, open it up to hunting. At least there would be some good that comes from it. My opinion.
     
    msestak likes this.
  17. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Sam, as of now there hasn't been an accepted way to test live critters for CWD. There have been some advances on testing living elk tonsils, that is one area that CWD concentrates in elk , from what I've read. There is hope on that front. Even quarantined animals can spread the disease, because of the sometimes long time period before they show clinical symptoms, so in a sense quarantine doesn't work. The whole deal kind of stinks but when I first heard of the elk refuge and feeding of elk, I questioned the practice and the implications it has on the population as a whole. The elk in that part of the world have become dependent on feed practices to stay at an artificially elevated population level.
     
    jjennings.m and msestak like this.
  18. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

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    they could hold a lottery like they do here in PA. use the money from the hunts to help fund CWD research.
     
    pir^2h and 3bears like this.
  19. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Sad. This is 2019, not 1819. The amount of native foods they once thrived on during winter has been taken away by modern civilization. To stop feeding them is ridiculous.
     
    magicmick and msestak like this.
  20. I would contact the ASPCA and inform them of this BS,things only change with people power.
     
    msestak likes this.