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Author Topic: Trouble in Yakima herd????  (Read 2174 times)

Offline Dave Workman

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Trouble in Yakima herd????
« on: August 24, 2017, 06:21:11 AM »
http://www.yakimaherald.com/sports/outdoors/trouble-in-hunting-paradise-falling-elk-populations-mean-fewer-permits/article_802e2754-887d-11e7-9ecc-d72b6d756808.html#utm_campaign=blox&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

Trouble In Hunting Paradise: Falling elk populations mean fewer permits this fall


Read this and see if it makes sense:
"In the report set to be released next week, Bernatowicz said February surveys found “surprisingly low elk numbers” with the lowest numbers of calves ever seen. This could be bad news for general season spike hunters, although he noted mature bulls should remain in good supply.

"After 2015 saw the district’s highest antlerless harvest in recent history — more than 1,100 from the Yakima and Colockum herds — February 2016 surveys still found close to 11,000 elk roaming the Yakima herd’s 900,000 acres. That’s well above the objective of 9,500, and the Colockum Herd looked just as healthy in its March surveys with more than 5,000 elk.

"Last March showed a more modest decline for the Colockum to just under 4,700, within the margin for the objective of 4,500. Wildlife department biologist William Moore said the number of antlerless permits given out in the area shouldn’t change too much and it remains a great place to hunt, especially for hunters looking for a high density of elk.

“We’ve been trying to bring our herds from higher populations back down to our objective and I think we’ve been pretty successful with that,” Moore said."


 :dunno:


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Offline JKEEN33

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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2017, 06:50:00 AM »
I only watch a small area with cameras, but have seen my normal numbers of cows, more calves, a few less spikes and no bulls this year. I run the cameras from April to November. Never thought upping the cow tags to what they were the last few years was a great idea. My guess though is this is their retribution for not getting the funding they wanted this year, but just my guess.

Offline JKEEN33

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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2017, 06:54:33 AM »
I will add, I have found 3 predator killed elk already this year.

Offline pianoman9701

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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2017, 07:01:36 AM »
I'm confused. Is there trouble with the herds or are they within acceptable population numbers?
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Offline WSU

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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2017, 07:16:57 AM »
I'm confused. Is there trouble with the herds or are they within acceptable population numbers?

Wdfw, both may be true.

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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2017, 07:28:51 AM »
That is confusing, maybe the WDFW report "set to be released next week," will make more sense. I wonder if the newspaper edited the article to shorten it up, and in cutting out a paragraph or two, left out some important information.

Our first clue that elk numbers in the Yakima herd were down was a few months ago when special permit numbers for antlerless animals were drastically cut from what it had been the previous year.

Just from that reduction in antlerless permits I would tend to believe that the herd is below objective.

Offline pianoman9701

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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2017, 07:32:38 AM »
 :yeah: There definitely seems to be missing information. Or, "nothing to see here".  :dunno:
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Offline Mudman

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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2017, 07:47:48 AM »
I always wonder just how accurate are these game counts???
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Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2017, 07:57:30 AM »
WDFW will always make things look rosier than they are. It allows them to sell more permits, Lisc,& tags. i.e. Methow herd pop

Offline jdb

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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2017, 08:11:12 AM »
All I know is their were hundreds of damage tags givin last winter
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Offline NoBark

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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2017, 09:34:46 AM »
If I remember correctly, back in the 90's and early 2000's, the objective was like 12,000.  Now we are down to 9,500.  Not a good trend.  But, it is Washington.

Offline huntnphool

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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2017, 10:46:19 AM »
I always wonder just how accurate are these game counts???

 My guess is as accurate as the fish return forecasts, like this years Lake Washington sockeye forecast of 77k..........which turned out to be 132k+.
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Offline NoBark

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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2017, 12:12:55 PM »
The counts are usually done in winter when the herd is on the wintering grounds. However, winters vary and no two are the same.  Like most "educated guesses" there are  statistics involved and so it's best to focus more on the longer term trends and not a one year 'blip'.   At least with elk, they can see at least some of them unlike our fisheries. 

Online yakimanoob

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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2017, 02:37:59 PM »
Just from talking to the volunteers at the feeding stations (Oak Creek and Cowiche Mtn), the herd seems healthy. 

Honestly, the article sounds as typically over-dramatic as you can expect from modern news outlets.  I think the case is really that we've been over objective for awhile and the drought/winter reduced it (maybe faster than expected?) back down towards objective. 

But...  ::ahem:: yeah...  probably best that all you people look for other areas to hunt.  I'm sure hunting the Yakima herd isn't worth your time.  :chuckle:

Offline Oh Mah

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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2017, 06:37:07 PM »
when i visited the feeding station the people there told us the herd was looking better than ever and that they got some dandy pics of some giant bulls,they said the spike count was up more than previous years and that is why myself and a lot of other hunters over here were shocked at the drop in tags this year. ?  :dunno:
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Online yakimanoob

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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2017, 07:11:04 PM »
when i visited the feeding station the people there told us the herd was looking better than ever and that they got some dandy pics of some giant bulls,they said the spike count was up more than previous years and that is why myself and a lot of other hunters over here were shocked at the drop in tags this year. ?  :dunno:
Thankfully, WDFW measures more than just feeding station attendance.  That said, I heard the same things from the volunteers, which is why I think the news article is (predictably) over-dramatic.  If you judge by the mgmt plan, we've been over objective for awhile--hence the hundreds of cow tags.  Now that we're back down to target levels, no more hundreds of cow tags.  Seems to me to just be the system working the way it's designed to work  :dunno:

This situation is a great counter example for the jokers who think the WDFW guys "just want to sell tags" though ;).

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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2017, 07:14:13 PM »
Let's just say there are a lot of other herds in way worse danger than the Yakima elk herd
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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2017, 07:42:52 PM »
Let's just say there are a lot of other herds in way worse danger than the Yakima elk herd
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Offline winshooter88

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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2017, 08:47:04 PM »
We talked about this at the GMAC meeting last Saturday, The herds aren't in any kind of trouble at all, the large number cow tags the last couple of years and a moderate winter kill last year have brought the herd numbers down very close to the herd objective numbers that the elk plan wanted. The Colockum herd really didn't have many animals die off, a large number just moved out of their traditional area to an area where they are disturbed much, much less. The drop in the number of elk tags this year reflects the fact that the herds are basically at their population objectives.

Offline bowhunterforever

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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2017, 11:14:35 PM »
Let's just say there are a lot of other herds in way worse danger than the Yakima elk herd
Like what herd?
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Offline Oh Mah

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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2017, 11:34:30 PM »
I would think any herd that is suffering from hoof rot.  :yeah:
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Re: Trouble in Yakima herd????
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2017, 08:15:28 AM »
Let's just say there are a lot of other herds in way worse danger than the Yakima elk herd
Like what herd?


Every other herd in Washington state(compared to this one).  Give it time though.  The wolves haven't really taken a foothold here yet.   As soon as they discover the all night buffet, then you can get worried.
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