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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

So what are we missing about Wolves decimating Wyoming Elk herds when Wyoming Fish & Game state: “Elk hunting in Wyoming is as good now and over the past five years [it’s as good] as it has ever been”...................“Hunters often talk about the good ol’ days when it comes to their favorite fall ritual, but for elk hunters the good ol’ days are now”..............Bottom line is that these past few years have been banner years for elk hunters statewide, where for the second year in a row the elk harvest surpassed 25,000 animals...............So why are we allowing the state to blow away wolves at every turn??????????????????

Elk hunt strong around Jackson Hole

More than 2,000 animals killed in two herds nearest valley, reports show.
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Sportsmen had great success killing elk around Jackson Hole last fall, data recently released by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department shows.
Harvest reports released this week show that hunters killed 1,437 animals from the Jackson Elk Herd, up more than 30 percent from the year before. The kill total was 726 animals in the separate Fall Creek Elk Herd, a number that is down about 15 percent from the 2012-2013 hunting season.

“Last year, we had particular snowfall that was just right to push animals down in drainages where they’re more visible,” Game and Fish Wildlife Management Coordinator Doug Brimeyer said Tuesday of the hunt.
The elks’ visibility boosted the harvest in places like the Gros Ventre, Brimeyer said.
“A harvest like last year in some of these forest areas isn’t sustainable,” he said.
The Fall Creek and Jackson herds are the two major elk herds that summer and winter near the valley. The harvest in the much-smaller Targhee Elk Herd, which roams the west slope of the Teton Range, was just 29.
It was also a banner year for elk hunters statewide, where for the second year in a row the elk harvest surpassed 25,000 animals. In the 2012-2013 hunt the harvest was 26,365 elk — an Equality State record.
“Hunters often talk about the good ol’ days when it comes to their favorite fall ritual, but for elk hunters the good ol’ days are now,” a Game and Fish statement said.
“[E]lk hunting in Wyoming is as good now and over the past five years [it’s as good] as it has ever been,” the state’s statement said. “During that time period hunter success was consistently greater than 40 percent. Elk hunters experienced 45 percent success in 2013 and enjoyed more than 461,000 recreation days afield.”

The success rate for hunters pursuing animals in the Jackson Herd was an even 50 percent, with the average person spending 13.6 days in the field. In total more than 19,500 “hunter days” were amassed by sportsmen after elk from the Jackson Herd.
Success rates for hunters after the Fall Creek Herd were comparatively lower, coming in at 34.2 percent. Sportsmen pursuing the valley’s more southern elk herd spent an average of 21 days in the field and totaled nearly 12,600 “hunter days” before the last of the seasons rolled to a close on private lands Jan. 31.
Measured by sheer numbers, area 84 was the most successful for hunters among the dozen elk areas Game and Fish manages near Jackson Hole. More than 500 elk were killed in the unit, which stretches south of the Cache Creek drainage.
That kill total figures to decline significantly this coming hunting season. Game and Fish has proposed to cut area 84’s limited “cow-calf” licenses by three quarters — from 400 to 100. Some 275 cow or calf elk were killed in area 84 this last hunt season, harvest reports show.
The proposed quota change in elk area 84 is by far the largest change in any unit used by either the Jackson or Fall Creek herds.
At a Game and Fish “season setting” meeting Tuesday, biologist Aly Courtemanch overviewed a smaller change in the regulations in elk area 78 — on private land between Grand Teton National Park and Wilson. A proposal of the department decreases rifle tags by 50 and provides 50 more licenses to muzzle-loading firearm hunters.
“This is to address some of the concerns in this area of long range weapons being used,” Courtemanch said. “We’d like to keep hunting pressure on these southern migrants.”
Nearly 140 elk were killed last year in area 78, harvest reports show, non of which were taken by muzzle loaders.

On the National Elk Refuge 174 elk were killed and in Grand Teton park 306 wapiti were reported downed by hunters, according to the Game and Fish report.
Both of those Game and Fish harvests totals — which are estimates — differ significantly from the hunt reports conducted by the park and refuge, however.
Refuge officials told the News&Guide in December that 133 elk were killed, and park officials reported a harvest of 202 elk.
Harvests for elk, deer and antelope in Wyoming are generated by voluntary hunter surveys, Game and Fish spokesman Al Langston said.
“It’s an estimate, but it’s the closest thing we have,” Langston said.
Langston expressed a high degree of certainty in the department’s harvest reports.
Registration after killing of less numerous game species such as moose, bighorn sheep or mountain goats is mandatory, making those harvest reports more absolute.
Game and Fish’s harvest reports show that elk hunting was much more difficult in the northern portions of Jackson Hole than it was to the south. The lack of success aligns with counts in recent years by department biologists.
In elk hunt areas 70, 71, 73 and 79 — the four northernmost area elk units — hunters killed an estimated 234 elk. That’s only about 16 percent of the total Jackson Elk Herd harvest.
“We’re seeing a switch where we are losing elk that are doing this long distance migration,” Courtemanch said at the Tuesday meeting. “We’d like to keep hunting pressure on these southern migrants.”
—Ben Graham contributed to this story.

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