Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Elk Hunting => Topic started by: Landowner on May 12, 2021, 05:43:14 PM

Title: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Landowner on May 12, 2021, 05:43:14 PM
I'm on the committee giving input on this important issue.  Committee is 1 County Commissioner from each of  Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield and Asotin counties, 1 landowner from each of the 4 counties who have seen firsthand the substantial elk decline and live in the middle of the many predators, and a handful of WDFW staff with some horsepower.  I'm a pessimist by nature, but satisfied so far that WDFW is taking this seriously.  Elk count is down by close to a couple thousand over past few years.  Slow process to get there, and slow process to get action in place to address it.  But gotta have the science to back up the next steps---including potentially dealing with the well funded predator advocates.   We have  a major problem--but you already knew that.  Stay tuned. 

https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/wdfw-begins-blue-mountains-elk-calf-monitoring-project
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Magnum_Willys on May 12, 2021, 05:45:29 PM
Great!   5 packs hunting em 24/7/365 canít be helping!
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: trophyhunt on May 12, 2021, 06:02:31 PM
Itís good to hear there will be some landowners to give input, at least you anyway. Iím not sure how the rest feel.  The blues elk problem is the biggest let down this state has let happen!!
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: dvolmer on May 12, 2021, 10:00:24 PM
Our hunting party had 5 rifle bull tags for Dayton back in 2006 and one in 2007.  We had a wonderful experience hunting those years and shot some real nice bulls and saw lots of elk.  In 2019 I drew Dayton again after 13 years.  I talked to the Biologist before my hunt and he said numbers were down due to two bad winters.  This was an understatement to say the least.  I hunted hard for two weeks and the last weekend of the extended season I shot a small 5X5 bull off of Chase Mountain and was lucky to get it.  I only saw one big bull my entire hunt and it was in a group over on Newby ridge and way to far away.  The interesting thing that I noticed over my two weeks hunting was the lack of calves with cows.  I probably saw 60 or so different cows during my hunt and not even one of them had a calf.  The cows themselves looked fat and healthy.  This is probably due to them not having to care or nurse calves. So the main problem in the blues is the lack of calves or calf survival.  I saw one lone wolf over on Page Ridge while hunting and some of the guys camping over on Chase mountain saw a pack of wolves along with another hunter who drew the Watershed who saw 5 wolves.  So if you are seeing wolves while you hunt, you know there is a lot more than what you are seeing.  Its like seeing a mouse run across your garage floor.  If you are seeing them then you know you have a serious problem.  So the wolves, cats, and bears are having a heyday on the newborns would be my best bet.  In 2019 when I hunted for my quality bull, I talked to lots of hunters and visited about every camp in the Dayton area.  In the National Forest area within the Dayton area, I believe only one spike was shot in the entire rifle season and it was over on Newby ridge.  I cant account for the private land areas in the unit.  Another issue in these units is out of control native hunting.  Year around seasons, no reporting obligations, and a limit of one elk a day per native hunter is decimating the big bull numbers.  20 years ago the natives were hunting for sustenance reasons and I'm sure some still are.  But now that a trophy set of horns is worth so much money, the big bulls are being targeted.  The game biologist that I talked with in 2019 said he hadn't been in the unit in the last couple of months so I know they have no clue as to how much of this hunting is going on and to what is being taken by the natives.  I have seen some private photos of native harvest in Dayton, Wenaha, and Tucannan in the last few years and they were very impressive.  They can hunt the rut with a rifle and shoot a bull a day each!  Doesn't take a math degree to see where that will take ya!  Good luck on your meetings.  Like you mentioned in your post above, not to sure anything will or can be done.  There are still some nice bulls in these units if you are willing to kill yourself looking and your a lucky devil, but its nothing like it used to be.  The libs/tree-huggers will never let us hunt wolves in this state or bait cougars and bears, and the courts will never stop the natives from doing whatever they want to do, so good luck!
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: huntnnw on May 12, 2021, 10:15:56 PM
so are they radio collaring last years calves? most calves dont hit the ground till early June. I cant imagine flying and collaring a newborn calf is very good for its survival. If calves are not surviving its predators! pretty simple
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Caseyd on May 12, 2021, 11:37:10 PM
Who else is on the committee?
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: HntnFsh on May 13, 2021, 05:47:06 AM
Thank you for putting your time and effort into this and trying to be a part of change!
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Pathfinder101 on May 13, 2021, 07:03:22 AM
Dvolmer pretty much summed up the problem.  Better predator control and a permit system that sets more realistic limits on Native Hunting (including adding someone that has the ability to enforce that) would fix the problem within a few years.  Our hands are tied regarding baiting and hounds.  Moving the bear season a month earlier was a step in the right direction.  Anything done within the tribe will have to be something that the tribes do.  Not sure how it works, but some reservations have managed their game populations for quality hunting that brings the tribe revenue.  Might be something there that could be proposed.   :dunno:
It is not a "normal" game management problem.  Can't just cut tags, feed 'em in the winter for a couple of years and solve it. 
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Fishmaker57 on May 13, 2021, 08:32:33 AM
I made a comment on the other thread about this. Suffice to say that this study was done in the mid 90's, for several years, and well documented. Why are they doing it again? Giant waste of time and money...apparently the new biologists tossed everything already one on this? Yes, predators killed most of the calves. At that time they thought it was bears, but it turned out that cats were doing most of the killing, and bears chased them off the kills. At the end of the day, does it really matter what predator is doing the killing? I am sure wolves are in the mix, and they won't / can't kill them, but bear and cat numbers can be controlled......just bring back hound hunting!

 :bash: :bash: :bash:
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: steeleywhopper on May 13, 2021, 08:35:55 AM
They did the same deal back in the 90's and ended up finding over half the collars on the ground not long after being collared. This was long before the wolves were eating them, so now you add wolves and no wonder you have no calf recruitment. You have a predator buffet with perfect predator habitat. I lived and hunted in Dayton during the beginning of the Spike only and got to see the awesome bulls that grew those first years. After Miller Shingle sold to Bonneville and that land ended up being given to the Umatilla Tribe things changed big time on our old hunting grounds. Sad to see what it is not anymore and such great memories of Big bulls and great hunting camps...OH the good ole days..

I hope some good change can come of this and good luck to all those involved. Thank you for trying.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: elkchaser54 on May 13, 2021, 09:15:28 AM
The umatilla natives aren't the only tribe that has rights to slaughter the herd with no accountability either. The Nez Perce  come from Idaho and shoot from trucks and shine bulls . I've seen it first hand
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: timberfaller on May 13, 2021, 09:48:34 AM
Sad to say BUT if the government is involved, common sense will not be tolerated! :bash:   See: Olympia, home of tree hugger's and wolf lovers who answer to higher ups located in Portland! :yike:
 
Good luck to the group, but I don't see any thing of value for wildlife being decided by them. :sry: Seen it unfold during the Salmon listing, don't think government has improved much!
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: pianoman9701 on May 13, 2021, 01:23:04 PM
Itís good to hear there will be some landowners to give input, at least you anyway. Iím not sure how the rest feel.  The blues elk problem is the biggest let down this state has let happen!!
\
I would argue that hoof disease, ignored by the WDFW for 20 years, is the biggest but they're both huge disappointments.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: trophyhunt on May 13, 2021, 01:31:06 PM
Itís good to hear there will be some landowners to give input, at least you anyway. Iím not sure how the rest feel.  The blues elk problem is the biggest let down this state has let happen!!
\
I would argue that hoof disease, ignored by the WDFW for 20 years, is the biggest but they're both huge disappointments.
pretty much agree, but hoof rot isnít only in Wa, Iíve read somewhere there are some cases in Europe. But I could be mistaking that for the Europeans are also working hard for a cure.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: TriggerMike on May 13, 2021, 01:57:26 PM
Not enough wolves yet to kill as many elk calves in the Blues that have been killed lately. Bears and cats are the primary culprits, I would bet the farm on that. Bears are absolute assassins in the spring time when the calves and fawns start dropping. They sniff them out like bloodhounds.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Pathfinder101 on May 13, 2021, 03:05:50 PM
Not enough wolves yet to kill as many elk calves in the Blues that have been killed lately. Bears and cats are the primary culprits, I would bet the farm on that. Bears are absolute assassins in the spring time when the calves and fawns start dropping. They sniff them out like bloodhounds.

A few years ago I would have agreed with this statement.  Not sure now.  I think the wolves are reaching the point where they are affecting the populations.  Bears and cats have always been here.  The wolves are new.  The elk population has declined severely the last 5 years.  Can't be a coincidence...  Perhaps this study will shed some light on the real numbers.  :dunno:
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: bigmacc on May 13, 2021, 03:12:37 PM
Itís good to hear there will be some landowners to give input, at least you anyway. Iím not sure how the rest feel.  The blues elk problem is the biggest let down this state has let happen!!
\
I would argue that hoof disease, ignored by the WDFW for 20 years, is the biggest but they're both huge disappointments.

I would agree with both of you, the Blues elk herd, hoof rot AND the Methow mule deer herd, all huge disappointments as far as how they were handled. Bears, cats and wolves (IMHO, in that order, so far) are wiping out our herds overall, I think wolves will take the top spot soon, as they keep populating unchecked. We are finding lots of partially eaten fawns laying around along with fresh bear scat just full of bone and fawn hair about this time in the Methow. Like some have said, those bears wake up craving protein and are attracted to fawns AND elk calves like a magnet.

Good luck to you Landowner, its a start and I hope you and the others can make a difference, at least it seems as though they may lend an ear to folks who live in the area and spend time there and that is huge :tup:

Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Woodchuck on May 13, 2021, 03:28:28 PM
Not enough wolves yet to kill as many elk calves in the Blues that have been killed lately. Bears and cats are the primary culprits, I would bet the farm on that. Bears are absolute assassins in the spring time when the calves and fawns start dropping. They sniff them out like bloodhounds.

A few years ago I would have agreed with this statement.  Not sure now.  I think the wolves are reaching the point where they are affecting the populations.  Bears and cats have always been here.  The wolves are new.  The elk population has declined severely the last 5 years.  Can't be a coincidence...  Perhaps this study will shed some light on the real numbers.  :dunno:
:yeah: Nailed it.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: 3dvapor on May 13, 2021, 03:53:06 PM
I was there last year calling for a lucky tag holder and it sounded like a national geographic film with all the wolves howling.  BOTH in the Dayton and Wenaha.  I had them all around me near the sawtooth.  I saw a set of tracks that didn't look believable even for a wolf.  The rest of them looked normal dog size.  SCARY chit in the dark walking out.  Lol
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Snakeriver on May 13, 2021, 04:00:49 PM
Saw a pack of 18 near sawtooth last fall during elk season.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: bobdog86 on May 13, 2021, 06:08:14 PM
Unfortunately these grateful, well meaning, meetings, tracking collaring research efforts are all a waste of time unless everyone is willing to address the gorilla in the room. The group of people no one is willing to address or are able to change is the Tribal impact on the elk in the SE Blues...period. When the state purchases private land, leading us to believe they are helping the hunters and wild life, it just opens more available opportunities for hunters other than Washington Licensed hunters. No one is willing or able to address. Look at the grouse flats/4-0 acquisition...took a terrible beating last year. Sad, but nothing will happen
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: millerwheeler on May 13, 2021, 06:14:47 PM
Unfortunately these grateful, well meaning, meetings, tracking collaring research efforts are all a waste of time unless everyone is willing to address the gorilla in the room. The group of people no one is willing to address or are able to change is the Tribal impact on the elk in the SE Blues...period. When the state purchases private land, leading us to believe they are helping the hunters and wild life, it just opens more available opportunities for hunters other than Washington Licensed hunters. No one is willing or able to address. Look at the grouse flats/4-0 acquisition...took a terrible beating last year. Sad, but nothing will happen

Spot on , and to add Iím no predator lover  and they should be hunted all of them but the natives are #1 issue
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: JimmyHoffa on May 13, 2021, 08:30:16 PM
Unfortunately these grateful, well meaning, meetings, tracking collaring research efforts are all a waste of time unless everyone is willing to address the gorilla in the room. The group of people no one is willing to address or are able to change is the Tribal impact on the elk in the SE Blues...period. When the state purchases private land, leading us to believe they are helping the hunters and wild life, it just opens more available opportunities for hunters other than Washington Licensed hunters. No one is willing or able to address. Look at the grouse flats/4-0 acquisition...took a terrible beating last year. Sad, but nothing will happen

Spot on , and to add Iím no predator lover  and they should be hunted all of them but the natives are #1 issue
Don't Indians usually go for the biggest bulls, though?  I guess it is possible that bulls get harvested to such an extent that the bull/cow ratio is out of whack and causes the calf crop to fall short.  It kind of sounds like whatever the problem is likes to focus on calves.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: bobdog86 on May 13, 2021, 09:19:47 PM
Unfortunately these grateful, well meaning, meetings, tracking collaring research efforts are all a waste of time unless everyone is willing to address the gorilla in the room. The group of people no one is willing to address or are able to change is the Tribal impact on the elk in the SE Blues...period. When the state purchases private land, leading us to believe they are helping the hunters and wild life, it just opens more available opportunities for hunters other than Washington Licensed hunters. No one is willing or able to address. Look at the grouse flats/4-0 acquisition...took a terrible beating last year. Sad, but nothing will happen

Spot on , and to add Iím no predator lover  and they should be hunted all of them but the natives are #1 issue
Don't Indians usually go for the biggest bulls, though?  I guess it is possible that bulls get harvested to such an extent that the bull/cow ratio is out of whack and causes the calf crop to fall short.  It kind of sounds like whatever the problem is likes to focus on calves.
Well, good question....who really knows what they shoot? Thatís the point.....I would imagine if anyone does actually know what the harvest numbers are, sex calves cows bulls. That info will never be public, and doubtful if accurate. And do you think the stress of being chased, hunted, stressed from the time they are born......what does that do to the survival rate?
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: bornhunter on May 13, 2021, 09:35:27 PM
Unfortunately these grateful, well meaning, meetings, tracking collaring research efforts are all a waste of time unless everyone is willing to address the gorilla in the room. The group of people no one is willing to address or are able to change is the Tribal impact on the elk in the SE Blues...period. When the state purchases private land, leading us to believe they are helping the hunters and wild life, it just opens more available opportunities for hunters other than Washington Licensed hunters. No one is willing or able to address. Look at the grouse flats/4-0 acquisition...took a terrible beating last year. Sad, but nothing will happen

 :yeah:
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: millerwheeler on May 14, 2021, 06:02:47 AM
Unfortunately these grateful, well meaning, meetings, tracking collaring research efforts are all a waste of time unless everyone is willing to address the gorilla in the room. The group of people no one is willing to address or are able to change is the Tribal impact on the elk in the SE Blues...period. When the state purchases private land, leading us to believe they are helping the hunters and wild life, it just opens more available opportunities for hunters other than Washington Licensed hunters. No one is willing or able to address. Look at the grouse flats/4-0 acquisition...took a terrible beating last year. Sad, but nothing will happen

Spot on , and to add Iím no predator lover  and they should be hunted all of them but the natives are #1 issue
Don't Indians usually go for the biggest bulls, though?  I guess it is possible that bulls get harvested to such an extent that the bull/cow ratio is out of whack and causes the calf crop to fall short.  It kind of sounds like whatever the problem is likes to focus on calves.

Well have you seen what a large set of antlers sel
For nowadays?? Or the meat they sell
Off ?? To say itís out of wake is an understatement ,and think about it they donít have weapon restrictions or even have to worry about any enforcement for anything itís a free for all like a kid in a cookie jar
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: gee_unit360 on May 14, 2021, 06:06:55 AM
I was there last year calling for a lucky tag holder and it sounded like a national geographic film with all the wolves howling.  BOTH in the Dayton and Wenaha.  I had them all around me near the sawtooth.  I saw a set of tracks that didn't look believable even for a wolf.  The rest of them looked normal dog size.  SCARY chit in the dark walking out.  Lol

Did he get his bull?
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: 3dvapor on May 14, 2021, 07:56:28 AM
Yeah, really nice 6x8.  It was a great hunt but not easy. 
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Pathfinder101 on May 14, 2021, 08:32:34 AM
Yeah, really nice 6x8.  It was a great hunt but not easy.

Good to hear.  I'm a little nervous to draw a tag right now.  Been trying for 20 years...
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: idaho guy on May 14, 2021, 09:40:25 AM
Not enough wolves yet to kill as many elk calves in the Blues that have been killed lately. Bears and cats are the primary culprits, I would bet the farm on that. Bears are absolute assassins in the spring time when the calves and fawns start dropping. They sniff them out like bloodhounds.

A few years ago I would have agreed with this statement.  Not sure now.  I think the wolves are reaching the point where they are affecting the populations.  Bears and cats have always been here.  The wolves are new.  The elk population has declined severely the last 5 years.  Can't be a coincidence...  Perhaps this study will shed some light on the real numbers.  :dunno:
   

 :yeah: I dont know that much about the blues but Idahos elk population plummeted AFTER the wolves showed up in large numbers. I am long time hound hunter and my experience has been we have a lot LESS lions and bears than we had in the 90s but the elk started dissapearing in the 2000s after the wolf showed up in numbers. I have to blame the wolf as primary problem but they all eat elk. The native harvest has to be bad just based on hearsay (I dont know any personally)of a few tribal members that are not shooting calves they are shooting big bulls and I dont want to even guess how many. Not sure there is even a solution to that one but just adding my 2cents the wolf was the x-factor in our elk herds. We can argue is it just the addition of a new predator on top of the existing ones and other scenarios all day. All I know is when wolves show up in large numbers the elk disapear in Idaho   
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: idahohuntr on May 14, 2021, 10:24:41 AM
One of the few things the state might have some ability to manage is bears.  All other causes, not so much.  Given the extraordinary number of bears, the well documented effect of bears on calves, and the issue of low calf recruitment it's just mind numbing we dont have spring general seasons...with a 2 bear limit.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Pathfinder101 on May 14, 2021, 11:36:40 AM
 :yeah:  That seems like a useful solution. 
Does it "fix" the problem?
 No. 
Will it help?
 You bet. 
Every dead mature adult bear will = x number of elk calves that don't get eaten... :twocents:
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Caseyd on May 14, 2021, 12:44:15 PM
Yeah, really nice 6x8.  It was a great hunt but not easy.

Good to hear.  I'm a little nervous to draw a tag right now.  Been trying for 20 years...

I switched to points 3 years back. Couldnít stand the thought of actually drawing
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: trophyhunt on May 14, 2021, 12:49:51 PM
Yeah, really nice 6x8.  It was a great hunt but not easy.

Good to hear.  I'm a little nervous to draw a tag right now.  Been trying for 20 years...

I switched to points 3 years back. Couldnít stand the thought of actually drawing
I think I quit putting in about 3 years ago as well, a dream of drawing turned into a nigh mare of utter failure.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Gettin Birdie on May 14, 2021, 02:06:18 PM
My dad and I drew the muzzy deer hunt in Dayton area in 2017 I think.  Anyways, we camped at a popular place starts with a p I believe...only one other hunter stayed there, he was from Selah and we only saw one other hunter who was from the Westside (25 tags).  The point of that, is that there wasn't much pressure at all and I saw more elk than deer, but not by much, could have shot a blue mountain unicorn if the season was a week later.  Saw an ok amount of elk, which isn't saying much, but the deer were damn near nonexistent, ended up getting permission on a farm lower down and we shot our deer there.  Here is the big takeaway though, the guy in our camp saw two cougars after cow calling and killed one of them.  I was on a nearby piece of broughton land?  a big section of nice land, only saw a couple does and a small spike.  Anyways, I was going in and out over some fingers and crested this one, when I heard a doe sounding the alarm, barking, except she was running towards me, eventually she saw me and went uphill into the draw.  I thought damn, another hunter must be out here, but then shortly after saw a cougar that was following her, I only had my muzzy and it was about 200 yards away or I would have blasted it.  It saw me and slowly slunk away.  So, that's three cougars (verified by sight) within a square mile of land.  Cougars are a huge problem, along with bear and now wolf.  I have more to post later, but some of it involves the district bio in Clarkston, I won't name names, but dude is a sleezeball. 
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: trophyhunt on May 14, 2021, 02:24:09 PM
What baffles me is Iíve spring bear hunted the blues 5-6 times, plus helped people about the same amount. Glassed miles and miles of country and Iíve never seen a cat! Crap ton of bears and one wolf but no cougars!! I know they are a problem, but Iím just baffled why I havenít seen one yet!  Now that I say this, I bet I see one next week when I head down for a few days!! Lol
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: emac on May 14, 2021, 03:46:20 PM
Wik?? He is a public servant so you can name names

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Pathfinder101 on May 14, 2021, 03:50:57 PM
What baffles me is Iíve spring bear hunted the blues 5-6 times, plus helped people about the same amount. Glassed miles and miles of country and Iíve never seen a cat! Crap ton of bears and one wolf but no cougars!! I know they are a problem, but Iím just baffled why I havenít seen one yet!  Now that I say this, I bet I see one next week when I head down for a few days!! Lol

I haven't seen one in the flesh either, but anyone with a trail camera in the Blues will tell you that there are too many...
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Flaming Antler Outdoors on May 15, 2021, 09:10:43 AM
The umatilla natives aren't the only tribe that has rights to slaughter the herd with no accountability either. The Nez Perce  come from Idaho and shoot from trucks and shine bulls . I've seen it first hand

I was up there several years ago ran into a 2 Umatilla Tribal Members who were working on their 3rd bull tag.  The two bulls that were down were 320 type bulls. Sounded like they got to hunt "elders" tags for them.  This was just after the big bull Dan Agnew killed.  I mention this because outside of predator issue I would be curious as to how many actual tags were issued for Dayton area each year between tribes and non tribal plus poaching plus predator/wolves introduction and......uh never mind if figured out why there isn't any elk.  Oregon's Wenaha and Mt. Emily are turning into the same. 
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: nwwanderer on May 15, 2021, 12:42:09 PM
Have on several occasions, spotted more bears than deer in 154.  Please support OTC spring bear tags for the blue mountains.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Gettin Birdie on May 15, 2021, 01:22:43 PM
So, I moved to Clarkston a few years back and it was the year they created the new 'George Creek Hunt' for cow elk.  I did some research of the area and unit and it seemed like there was a decent harvest rate in the area, it's part of 181 I believe - Almota.  I used up three points and figured what the hell, was probably moving the next year anyways out of state.  I hit and got drawn on the muzzy only tag there, it was a new area there wasn't much info out on it yet.  Due to this and me being new to the area I asked Paul Wik if he could give me some information about the area, etc. etc.  He was so "busy" that I had to schedule a meeting with him, which I did for a week later, leaving me with an hour before work.  I showed up at the given time, walked by his office and stuck my head in, he was b.s.ing with someone and just acted like he didn't see me or recognize me, I indicated I'd just wait outside his office.  I sat out there for twenty minutes listening to them just b.s. and eventually figured it out that this guy was a *censored* and to just leave.  What they were discussing was interesting though.  It was right after there was a meeting about the elk management in the blues, in dayton I believe, with anyone from the public welcome to show up.  People as per expected showed up and voiced what they saw as the problems and asked what was going to be done about it... Cougar, bear and wolf wrecking the elk population there, as the locals and others had noticed.  Paul and his cohort were just badmouthing all of these individuals and acting as if their opinions didn't matter or were just stupid and that they were equally stupid.  Pissed me off to hear that crap, part of why I left.  On top of that, he said something along the lines of - These people just don't understand, our governor (Inslee) is a cougar/wolf lover and there are other oppositions from other wildlife groups, individuals, etc.  He was basically, kowtowing to all the other groups except the hunters and fisherman who he is supposed to represent.  If he had any balls, he'd manage things the way they are meant to be instead of just serving as a sychophant for inslee and crew and raise the quota, etc. in the blues for cougar.  Left me utterly disgusted, so I just left.  Saw the truth that day though.  Later on, the hunt descriptions finally come out and the hunt I chose was literally just to be used to push the elk out of the george creek area and into the private farms/ranches surrounding it so that they could kill them with landowner tags.  They essentially were trying to get rid of the elk entirely in that area for the landowners.  And, not one surrounding landowner would let me on, as they all had tags.  This was verified with other individuals as to why this hunt was made, I was livid, three points spent on a useless F****** tag, all to appease landowners and that's it, while exterminating a small elk population.  I had scouted quite a bit beforehand since I got no info from ol pauly boy.  Took a couple deer outta there, but elk was a waste.  So, in the end, the district bio there doesn't give two craps about any of us hunters.  Horn hunting seasons/areas got shut down around there as well, but guess what big horn hunter was out in a copter harassing the elk (counts?) knowing where they'd drop them horns and stressing them out, yep good ol pauly.  I worked out of that office, and was hoping to work there long term, peaced out of there after that, worked at other offices in the state as well, saw my fair share of crap, left me having no hope for WA.  Sad, these people don't represent what it is meant to, managing fish and game.  Literally worked with young people who were anti-gun and anti-hunting, these people will eventually be taking over management roles, young woke college morons.  You like butterflies, cool, go work for greenpeace or some enviro org.  The muley population there has been dwindling as well, terribly.  Anyways, good luck to all on this issue, just remember, don't trust the district bio, question everyone no matter how vested they seem and keep on him/others when pushing for change.  I peaced when I didn't even get an interview for a job I was well qualified for and a lower pay, the guy has a habit of hiring his buddies, I could have sued, have to interview due to agreements with permanents, but just said forget it.  Anyways, sorry for the long story, but working on the inside left me with different insight.       
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Gettin Birdie on May 15, 2021, 01:25:11 PM
Oh, and I've killed a bear outta there and seen plenty - it was at one point the highest density per square mile in the state around dayton/tucannon area.  Also, wolves howling on the eastside of the blues while hunting blue mountain unicorns, shut the elk up quick.  Trifecta of problems. 
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: jstone on May 15, 2021, 01:27:51 PM
Lots of people who work for this state are not qualified to do what they do. Either they lied their way in or they are buddies. I have the same at my job. They call it Talent. I call it BS. Inefficient.!!!
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: emac on May 15, 2021, 05:34:02 PM
The nez peirce are way worse than the umatilla tribe.  They slaughter the elk in the lick creek tucannon mountain view and wenha units.  No tags no limits.  The like to shoot cows hang em near the roads so there sent is there during the rut and shoot the bulls when they come in.  Dont take an ounce of meat of the cows just use them as bait.  I have witnessed this firsthand and have talked to numerous of them that have told me this is there tactic.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Timberstalker on May 15, 2021, 06:35:37 PM
Absolutely they do this. I watched them kill a bull and 5 cows in 2019.  I was a mile away and watched them jump out of their Toyota and open up.  I was waiting for the arrows to fly, but no dice.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: HntnFsh on May 15, 2021, 07:25:23 PM
Oh, and I've killed a bear outta there and seen plenty - it was at one point the highest density per square mile in the state around dayton/tucannon area.  Also, wolves howling on the eastside of the blues while hunting blue mountain unicorns, shut the elk up quick.  Trifecta of problems.

Of course Wik helps hunters. Isnt his brother one of the main scouts for tag hunters!
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: huntnnw on May 16, 2021, 10:05:46 PM
The nez peirce are way worse than the umatilla tribe.  They slaughter the elk in the lick creek tucannon mountain view and wenha units.  No tags no limits.  The like to shoot cows hang em near the roads so there sent is there during the rut and shoot the bulls when they come in.  Dont take an ounce of meat of the cows just use them as bait.  I have witnessed this firsthand and have talked to numerous of them that have told me this is there tactic.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

not as bad in Mt View as most of it is inaccessible by road and they dont get out of the rig
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Mr Mykiss on June 02, 2021, 09:28:16 PM
It is NOT good at all thatís for sure. I still hold to the fact that I know 8 of 8 dudes that kilt 320+ bulls in the blues 2018-2020.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Landowner on June 10, 2021, 05:31:35 PM
Update today:  Calves have been and are being collared.  But still a ways to go to get to 125 total collared calves.  A number of collared  calves have already been killed by predators.  Analysis  has been conducted and causes of mortality have been confirmed on a large portion of those kills.  Some mortality causes are in process of being analyzed with help of WSU veterinarians.  A little early to release any info yet IMO.  Suffice to say that predators are in the thick of it.  More to come. 
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: dvolmer on June 10, 2021, 08:05:04 PM
Update today:  Calves have been and are being collared.  But still a ways to go to get to 125 total collared calves.  A number of collared  calves have already been killed by predators.  Analysis  has been conducted and causes of mortality have been confirmed on a large portion of those kills.  Some mortality causes are in process of being analyzed with help of WSU veterinarians.  A little early to release any info yet IMO.  Suffice to say that predators are in the thick of it.  More to come.
I know that this is a huge predator problem but I am really interested to see which one is the biggest problem or if it is an equal problem between the wolves, bears, and cats. Lots of people have their guesses so it will be interesting to see.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: JimmyHoffa on June 10, 2021, 08:37:32 PM
Update today:  Calves have been and are being collared.  But still a ways to go to get to 125 total collared calves.  A number of collared  calves have already been killed by predators.  Analysis  has been conducted and causes of mortality have been confirmed on a large portion of those kills.  Some mortality causes are in process of being analyzed with help of WSU veterinarians.  A little early to release any info yet IMO.  Suffice to say that predators are in the thick of it.  More to come.
I know that this is a huge predator problem but I am really interested to see which one is the biggest problem or if it is an equal problem between the wolves, bears, and cats. Lots of people have their guesses so it will be interesting to see.
There was a study done a few years back on the coast, where blacktail fawns were collared and tracked to see which predators did most of the killing.  Bobcats ended up being the number one killer.  In second place and not close to first were bears.