Visitor Counter

hitwebcounter web counter
Visitors Since Blog Created in March 2010

Click Below to:

Add Blog to Favorites

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

Subscribe via email to get updates

Enter your email address:

Receive New Posting Alerts

(A Maximum of One Alert Per Day)

Friday, September 23, 2016

While we hear from so many nimrods who continually demonize and call for "intense year long harvesting" of Pumas, Wolves and Bears, science and "old school" evidence on the ground back up the fact that the age old dance of predator and prey has never been responsible for extermination of the prey animals...........The "proof is in the pudding" as "Big Sky Country", Montana has demonstrated in its most recent Elk hunting season..............Hunters there had their single best year on record with 31,000 Elk killed in 2015..............And the two years prior to that were not too shabby either for these "sportsmen" with 25,700 in 2014 and 20,100 in 2013 removed from Montana's open space,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,And how about this fact-------"The region where more elk are consistently taken is Region 3 in southwestern Montana"........... "This seems a bit odd considering that Region 3 surrounds the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, an area rich with predators like wolves, grizzly bears and mountain lions".............And with an estimated 163,000 Elk statewide, annual hunter kill is only 19% of the population, barely denting Elk recruitment--same for the "take" of the carnivore suite living in Montana--minimal denting the health of the Elk...............As the name of this Blog states----COYOTES, WOLVES(BEARS, BOBCATS, LYNX, FISHERS, MARTENS) AND COUGARS FOREVER!!!!!.......Calling on all State Game Commissions to stop viewing Carnivores as vermin------------Let them thrive and no more demonizing of them------------They and the Elk, Deer and Moose they hunt will all endure if we provide them with land---room to roam!!!

Montana hunters killed record number of elk in 2015

More elk were killed last hunting season — almost 31,000 — than at any time since harvest surveys began 16 years ago, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks data.

“It was an excellent year last year, even during the general season,” said John Vore, FWP’s Game Management Bureau chief. “Conditions were just right, and possibly there were more landowners letting folks on.”
Last season’s harvest got a small boost when FWP extended the season in five hunting districts in Region 4 until Feb. 15. Now called shoulder seasons, the extended hunting dates were a controversial move that angered some who believe the late hunts stress female elk when they are pregnant and treat them more like pests than prized big game. The longer hunt in those areas resulted in the removal of more than 600 cow elk.
“With the 2015 pilot project we learned you can harvest a lot of elk if landowners cooperate,” Vore said.

He was referring to the hunting districts across the state where social tolerance has deemed the elk populations too high. The challenge for FWP has been to lower those elk numbers on private lands where public hunting access is limited or nonexistent.

The figures

That 2015 figure is up from a total elk harvest of more than 25,700 in 2014 and 20,100 in 2013. The previous record-high harvest was in 2003 when 29,000 elk were killed by hunters.
The majority of the elk shot in 2015, about 53 percent, were taken on private land. That’s a slight shift from the previous two years and may show a trend of landowners being more willing to allow hunter access, as well as more hunters being successful on state Block Management Areas — places where FWP pays landowners to allow controlled public access.

Or maybe it just means there are more elk on private land. Elk distribution on private land increased by 17 percent between 2004 and 2015, according to FWP.

Fun with numbers

One of the other unique items of information conveyed in the three years of elk harvest survey results is that the region where more elk are consistently taken is Region 3 in southwestern Montana. This seems a bit odd considering that Region 3 surrounds the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, an area rich with predators like wolves, grizzly bears and mountain lions.

Another statistic that shows up in the survey is that Region 6, in northeastern Montana, is the place with the highest amount of elk harvested on public land. That’s thanks to the large swaths of state and federal acreage in the area.
Image result for mountain lion pouncing on elk

“If you think about where elk are distributed in Region 6, on the BLM lands and (Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge), then it makes sense,” Kujala said.

According to the 2015 data, in most regions the cow elk and bull harvests are fairly equal, with the cow harvest typically a bit higher but not by much. The exception is Region 1 in northwest Montana where the bull harvest accounts for about 73 percent of the total elk killed.


Montana FWP has been under steadily increasing pressure from some legislators as well as landowners to reduce the number of elk in the state. The animals’ population has steadily grown as they have expanded eastward from what was once their Western Montana mountain stronghold to re-establish a presence in prairie terrain where they hadn’t lived in decades.
This year’s surveys estimate the elk population in Montana at more than 163,000. That’s more elk than the entire population of Billings, the state’s largest city, which is estimated at 109,000. That compares to an estimated elk population of 136,000 in 2008, or roughly a 20 percent increase in eight years.
With hunting the main means of controlling elk populations FWP has to contend with what’s been a reduction in the number of hunters statewide accompanied by more landowners denying public hunter access to elk herds.
With a closer tracking of harvest trends FWP is building a database that it could use to show legislators and landowners in finer detail what is happening on the landscape. With elk shoulder seasons the agency should be able to demonstrate whether allowing public hunting access to private lands is capable of reducing elk populations.
“It will be interesting how that body of data grows,” Kujala said. “Are harvest prescriptions being met (in shoulder hunt areas)?
“The harvest is up. On the surface that is a good thing, but does it represent an interruption of those growth trends?”

No comments: