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.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Landowner on October 27, 2021, 04:31:09 PM
We have another committee meeting on December 3.  Everyone has heard by now that 80 percent or so of the elk calves collared by WDFW in May/June are dead.  Cougars leading the predator kill numbers followed by bears.  It is bad.  Be sure to comment on the spring bear hunt on WDFW's page.  Gonna be a slow process, but the science supports action being taken against the predators.  The red tape will be the stumbling block slowing things down while the elk keep getting hammered.  Big surprise to all I'm sure. 
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: HntnFsh on October 27, 2021, 07:30:35 PM
Wow. That is absolutely insane to lose that many calves
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: MtnMuley on October 27, 2021, 07:46:38 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.

That may be true, but had these detrimental issues not be at hand, I bet it would have been 8 for 8 on 340+ bulls. :twocents:
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: meatwhack on October 27, 2021, 08:08:15 PM
The cat situation is extremely bad and will be very hard to get back to a manageable level without the use of hounds. For bears they should either substantially increase the spring tag allocation or make it OTC for several years.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: trophyhunt on October 27, 2021, 08:18:03 PM
Those cats are sneaky mo foís, I donít doubt you at all landowner, but Iíve been drawn and helped on many hunts in the wenaha unit, still have yet to see a cat. Back in Ď19 saw 20 bears in 17 days. I hate the thought of OTC spring bear, but, if it happens, the elk will be better off.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Elkpiss on October 28, 2021, 08:56:56 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...
Dont waste your points, i think the best chance to kill a bull in there is archery or muzzy, rifle would be there hardest, "calling them and locating them" My buddy had wenha west rifle last year hunted hard every day saw more wolves then bulls.  He ended up eating his tag, never saw a quality bull entire hunt..  5-8 years ago it was take your pick on a big bull if you put forth a little effort..
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: pianoman9701 on October 28, 2021, 09:26:04 AM
I hope everyone commented on the spring bear proposals. Mixed with a complete mismanagement of ungulate disease and introduced, additional and protected predators, the predator spiral in this state is now a cyclone in many parts. The Blues are a prime example.

An intelligent and scientifically-run DFW would:

Open cougar year round
Increase spring bear units and opportunities, possibly OTC in areas where ungulates have been decimated by predators
Start selling wolf tags for specific areas in E. WA where wolves are over-populated within the Northern Rockies Recovery Zone (where they've been delisted).
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Mtnwalker on October 28, 2021, 09:41:24 AM
We have another committee meeting on December 3.  Everyone has heard by now that 80 percent or so of the elk calves collared by WDFW in May/June are dead.  Cougars leading the predator kill numbers followed by bears.  It is bad.  Be sure to comment on the spring bear hunt on WDFW's page.  Gonna be a slow process, but the science supports action being taken against the predators.  The red tape will be the stumbling block slowing things down while the elk keep getting hammered.  Big surprise to all I'm sure.

Hopefully we get the results of this collar study in writing.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: msg on October 28, 2021, 10:44:45 AM
Bobdog86 hit a huge nail on the head with the 4.0 problem. What a bonus for the state, they buy the property. Then the natives rape and pillage the elk population. Put a couple of cameras on the Rattlesnake and then count the numbers coming up out of there headed north. Oregon must get its fair share also. My hunting partner lives right on that highway and claims the numbers are staggering. Add that to the major predator issues and what a disaster. IF&G mission statement is a refreshing read and should be a goal in this state!
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: pianoman9701 on October 28, 2021, 11:21:33 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

So, are you saying that the relatively recent decline in elk calf production is due to Native harvest, and if so, which tribe, The Yakima or the Nez Perce? This is a confusing statement to me because both tribes have had access rights to the Blues for decades, as far as I know. There would have had to be a large upward change in native harvesting quite recently for your statement to show causation. What I've read, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is that the population problems only started to appear within the last decade and have accelerated within the last 4-5 years. What's changed in that period of time regarding the tribes? What other changes have there been during that period of time - predators, Hoof disease?

I'm certainly not saying you're wrong, bobdog, but the patterns don't align with what you're claiming unless I'm missing a change in tribal harvest trends over the last ten years or less.  :dunno:
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Stein on October 28, 2021, 11:32:17 AM
I think that's the problem, nobody knows.  Does the tribe even know?

It could be that overharvest is 1% of the problem.  It could be 99% too.  If there is a modest overharvest, the numbers sometimes don't go down linearly, they crash at some point.  I can't remember the biological term, but there is a minimum number you need to maintain a population and once you go just a bit below that it crashes.

If elk were cute, there would be millions available to study and research.  Unfortunately that's the world we live in.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Limhangerslayer on October 28, 2021, 11:37:57 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

So, are you saying that the relatively recent decline in elk calf production is due to Native harvest, and if so, which tribe, The Yakima or the Nez Perce? This is a confusing statement to me because both tribes have had access rights to the Blues for decades, as far as I know. There would have had to be a large upward change in native harvesting quite recently for your statement to show causation. What I've read, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is that the population problems only started to appear within the last decade and have accelerated within the last 4-5 years. What's changed in that period of time regarding the tribes? What other changes have there been during that period of time - predators, Hoof disease?

I'm certainly not saying you're wrong, bobdog, but the patterns don't align with what you're claiming unless I'm missing a change in tribal harvest trends over the last ten years or less.  :dunno:
4-O is taking a beating again this year.  We saw 3 Idaho rigs going up and one coming down.  Iím about an hour while we were sitting at camp a few weeks ago.  The one coming down pulled in with a six point and not much meat.  He was wearing shorts and a t shirt.  And we talked to one of the Odems that lives there.  Nighttime/daytime it doesnít matter.  Predators hammering the young ones and tribal nailing bulls and bucks is a recipe for what we have going on in this state.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: pianoman9701 on October 28, 2021, 12:21:30 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

So, are you saying that the relatively recent decline in elk calf production is due to Native harvest, and if so, which tribe, The Yakima or the Nez Perce? This is a confusing statement to me because both tribes have had access rights to the Blues for decades, as far as I know. There would have had to be a large upward change in native harvesting quite recently for your statement to show causation. What I've read, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is that the population problems only started to appear within the last decade and have accelerated within the last 4-5 years. What's changed in that period of time regarding the tribes? What other changes have there been during that period of time - predators, Hoof disease?

I'm certainly not saying you're wrong, bobdog, but the patterns don't align with what you're claiming unless I'm missing a change in tribal harvest trends over the last ten years or less.  :dunno:
4-O is taking a beating again this year.  We saw 3 Idaho rigs going up and one coming down.  Iím about an hour while we were sitting at camp a few weeks ago.  The one coming down pulled in with a six point and not much meat.  He was wearing shorts and a t shirt.  And we talked to one of the Odems that lives there.  Nighttime/daytime it doesnít matter.  Predators hammering the young ones and tribal nailing bulls and bucks is a recipe for what we have going on in this state.

I understand you saw a 6x6 elk being driven out by a guy in shorts and talked to another guy about 24-hour hunting practices. This is hardly empirical evidence that the harvest practices of the tribes have changed in recent years, causing a huge decrease in elk mortality in that area. You go on to say that "...tribal(s) nailing bulls and bucks is a recipe for what we have going on in this state." This is a broad swipe of the brush, as there are many factors contributing to ungulate population declines in different parts of our state, many of them due to mismanagement of resources by non-tribal entities, like state and/or federal agencies.  In almost all of those areas, tribal harvest and the characteristics of that harvest are not a new phenomena. Although I'm open to evidence that shows tribal harvest as a mitigating factor in the decline of ungulate populations, I have seen little so far. To the contrary, many of the tribes in our state are conservation-minded and do their best to maintain healthy ungulate populations, through habitat improvement and predator control. If we are to find solutions to a very clear problem in the Blues (and I see it's a big problem), we'd better start with data and facts, instead of conjecture, or we're liable to miss the actual causal factors and not have the desired effect of stemming the trend. My  :twocents:
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: theleo on October 28, 2021, 12:52:44 PM
Is WDFW ever going to attempt to try and get a remotely accurate accurate number of mountain lions in this state? Maybe it's different management philosophies, but ODFW seemed to always try and keep an eye on the cat population even though they know there's nothing they can do about it, where WDFW seems to have shrugged its shoulders at monitoring that population because they know there's nothing they can do about it. I know bears are hard on calves in the spring, but the lions are hard on them till elk are fully grown.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: pianoman9701 on October 28, 2021, 01:08:56 PM
Is WDFW ever going to attempt to try and get a remotely accurate accurate number of mountain lions in this state? Maybe it's different management philosophies, but ODFW seemed to always try and keep an eye on the cat population even though they know there's nothing they can do about it, where WDFW seems to have shrugged its shoulders at monitoring that population because they know there's nothing they can do about it. I know bears are hard on calves in the spring, but the lions are hard on them till elk are fully grown.

As I stated before, we should have open season on cats. The limits placed on harvest numbers and dates are arbitrary and have little coincidence with actual predator numbers and impact. Without hounding, cougar numbers will always be higher than is good for healthy ungulate populations. Incidental kills are statistically rare.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: theleo on October 28, 2021, 03:05:34 PM
Is WDFW ever going to attempt to try and get a remotely accurate accurate number of mountain lions in this state? Maybe it's different management philosophies, but ODFW seemed to always try and keep an eye on the cat population even though they know there's nothing they can do about it, where WDFW seems to have shrugged its shoulders at monitoring that population because they know there's nothing they can do about it. I know bears are hard on calves in the spring, but the lions are hard on them till elk are fully grown.

As I stated before, we should have open season on cats. The limits placed on harvest numbers and dates are arbitrary and have little coincidence with actual predator numbers and impact. Without hounding, cougar numbers will always be higher than is good for healthy ungulate populations. Incidental kills are statistically rare.
The question wasn't directed specifically at you, just if anyone in the group knew if WDFW has bother to do a study on the population. The data out of Oregon does confirm your views though. Without hounds the population isn't manageable. Part of the ODFW "management plan" is that they use hounds to reduce mountain lion populations in units with critically low deer numbers. Cheap tags and a season that is essentially an overlap with every big game hunting season they have has done nothing to plateau the numbers. Originally the management plan had a goal of maintaining population at, or slightly above, what it was before the hound band (1,200-1,500 lions in 94' if I remember correctly). The last study/estimate they did a few years ago had the population at 3x-4x that. The highest densities there have always been in Union, Baker, Wallowa, and Umatilla counties...   
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: pianoman9701 on October 28, 2021, 03:12:50 PM
Is WDFW ever going to attempt to try and get a remotely accurate accurate number of mountain lions in this state? Maybe it's different management philosophies, but ODFW seemed to always try and keep an eye on the cat population even though they know there's nothing they can do about it, where WDFW seems to have shrugged its shoulders at monitoring that population because they know there's nothing they can do about it. I know bears are hard on calves in the spring, but the lions are hard on them till elk are fully grown.

As I stated before, we should have open season on cats. The limits placed on harvest numbers and dates are arbitrary and have little coincidence with actual predator numbers and impact. Without hounding, cougar numbers will always be higher than is good for healthy ungulate populations. Incidental kills are statistically rare.
The question wasn't directed specifically at you, just if anyone in the group knew if WDFW has bother to do a study on the population. The data out of Oregon does confirm your views though. Without hounds the population isn't manageable. Part of the ODFW "management plan" is that they use hounds to reduce mountain lion populations in units with critically low deer numbers. Cheap tags and a season that is essentially an overlap with every big game hunting season they have has done nothing to plateau the numbers. Originally the management plan had a goal of maintaining population at, or slightly above, what it was before the hound band (1,200-1,500 lions in 94' if I remember correctly). The last study/estimate they did a few years ago had the population at 3x-4x that. The highest densities there have always been in Union, Baker, Wallowa, and Umatilla counties...

1. How many cougars live in Washington?
Cougars are solitary, and are difficult to track and study. However,
WDFW has funded and partnered with local universities on 7 study
areas over 15 years in Washington. Based on this research WDFW
estimates the independent-aged (>18 months) cougar population size
is 1,900 to 2,100 animals.
https://wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2020-10/cougar_brochure.pdf

I don't believe there's been any comprehensive population study done in at least a decade.

Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: pianoman9701 on October 28, 2021, 03:15:44 PM
Then this:

"How many cougars are in WA state?
There are an estimated 3,500 to 4,000 cougars in Washington state and they are living close to people. ďMy own research showed that the average cougar in Western Washington spends about 16-percent of its time in areas with residential development,Ē said WDFW carnivore research scientist "Dr.Feb 18, 2021

https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/no-cougar-discovery-park-wdfw-says-big-cats-are-closer-than-you-might-think/XAD7ZYFOONGI7PRQKFQAAFRNHM/
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: emac on October 28, 2021, 03:47:19 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

So, are you saying that the relatively recent decline in elk calf production is due to Native harvest, and if so, which tribe, The Yakima or the Nez Perce? This is a confusing statement to me because both tribes have had access rights to the Blues for decades, as far as I know. There would have had to be a large upward change in native harvesting quite recently for your statement to show causation. What I've read, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is that the population problems only started to appear within the last decade and have accelerated within the last 4-5 years. What's changed in that period of time regarding the tribes? What other changes have there been during that period of time - predators, Hoof disease?

I'm certainly not saying you're wrong, bobdog, but the patterns don't align with what you're claiming unless I'm missing a change in tribal harvest trends over the last ten years or less.  :dunno:
The price of the head gear

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: pianoman9701 on October 28, 2021, 04:23:13 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

So, are you saying that the relatively recent decline in elk calf production is due to Native harvest, and if so, which tribe, The Yakima or the Nez Perce? This is a confusing statement to me because both tribes have had access rights to the Blues for decades, as far as I know. There would have had to be a large upward change in native harvesting quite recently for your statement to show causation. What I've read, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is that the population problems only started to appear within the last decade and have accelerated within the last 4-5 years. What's changed in that period of time regarding the tribes? What other changes have there been during that period of time - predators, Hoof disease?

I'm certainly not saying you're wrong, bobdog, but the patterns don't align with what you're claiming unless I'm missing a change in tribal harvest trends over the last ten years or less.  :dunno:
The price of the head gear

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

The antlers were valuable before. Look, until we're prepared to actually seek a reason for the decline outside of our own suspicions or preconceived notions, we risk overlooking or ignoring the actual cause(s) for the decline. Are we looking for the truth or for confirmation of our own biases? Scientific study can always confirm the results that we seek if we want it to.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Limhangerslayer on October 28, 2021, 06:23:16 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

So, are you saying that the relatively recent decline in elk calf production is due to Native harvest, and if so, which tribe, The Yakima or the Nez Perce? This is a confusing statement to me because both tribes have had access rights to the Blues for decades, as far as I know. There would have had to be a large upward change in native harvesting quite recently for your statement to show causation. What I've read, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is that the population problems only started to appear within the last decade and have accelerated within the last 4-5 years. What's changed in that period of time regarding the tribes? What other changes have there been during that period of time - predators, Hoof disease?

I'm certainly not saying you're wrong, bobdog, but the patterns don't align with what you're claiming unless I'm missing a change in tribal harvest trends over the last ten years or less.  :dunno:
4-O is taking a beating again this year.  We saw 3 Idaho rigs going up and one coming down.  Iím about an hour while we were sitting at camp a few weeks ago.  The one coming down pulled in with a six point and not much meat.  He was wearing shorts and a t shirt.  And we talked to one of the Odems that lives there.  Nighttime/daytime it doesnít matter.  Predators hammering the young ones and tribal nailing bulls and bucks is a recipe for what we have going on in this state.

I understand you saw a 6x6 elk being driven out by a guy in shorts and talked to another guy about 24-hour hunting practices. This is hardly empirical evidence that the harvest practices of the tribes have changed in recent years, causing a huge decrease in elk mortality in that area. You go on to say that "...tribal(s) nailing bulls and bucks is a recipe for what we have going on in this state." This is a broad swipe of the brush, as there are many factors contributing to ungulate population declines in different parts of our state, many of them due to mismanagement of resources by non-tribal entities, like state and/or federal agencies.  In almost all of those areas, tribal harvest and the characteristics of that harvest are not a new phenomena. Although I'm open to evidence that shows tribal harvest as a mitigating factor in the decline of ungulate populations, I have seen little so far. To the contrary, many of the tribes in our state are conservation-minded and do their best to maintain healthy ungulate populations, through habitat improvement and predator control. If we are to find solutions to a very clear problem in the Blues (and I see it's a big problem), we'd better start with data and facts, instead of conjecture, or we're liable to miss the actual causal factors and not have the desired effect of stemming the trend. My  :twocents:
you are very wrong that the Nez do anything for conservation in Washington, and there are serious problems in the Yakima area too.  You canít tell me unregulated harvest along with an over abundance of predators isnít a two fold problem?  I live in the Yakima area and see it first hand.  And spend a lot of time in the blues. 
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: dvolmer on October 28, 2021, 07:33:08 PM
I read this thread like many others and I wonder when will everyone realize the situation we are in and the simple fact that it is just going to get worse.  We have hashed all of this out in so many threads it makes me nauseous.  Take your time and money elsewhere because it is a lost cause and wont be fixed.  We can have committee's and study's but they are a waste of time (their intent is good but still a waste of time and recourses).  There are four facts that wont be changed in this state and never will.  The liberal courts and liberal voters will never allow it to happen.  just that plain and simple!  No need to talk or fret about it because it WILL NOT EVER CHANGE!  PERIOD END OF STORY!

Fact #1,  We will never be able to use hounds to hunt cougars.  it has already been voted on by our state population and wont happen.  Animal rights activists will never let it happen.  I have hunted buzillion hours in the mountains in cougar infested areas and seen all kinds of sign and kill sites but I have never seen an actual cougar in the wild.  They are elusive and sneaky and the average hunter will never see one in the wild.  You can give every hunter in the state 10 free cougar tags and it wont put a dent in the problem.  Only way to affectively hunt cougar is with dogs.

Fact # 2, We will never ever never be able to hunt for wolves in this state!  Never! Never! Never!  Wolves could be eating children on the way to schools in downtown Seattle and we still wont be able to hunt them.

Fact #3, We will never be able to use hounds or bait to hunt bears in this state.  Already been voted on by the state population and wont happen.  I could write more on this but I would just be copying information from above fact #1 so refer to that if you want any more information.

Fact #4, We will never be able to control native harvest, seasons, reporting, etc, etc, etc.  For those of you that think native harvest hasn't changed drastically in the last 10 years, you are living in a pipe-dream.  Just like trophy hunting has became a booming business for the normal hunter, it has sparked a great interest in a small population of the native hunters.  This has increased harvest and demand abundantly.  Technology has helped blow up the out of state/trophy hunting industry for the American hunter and has helped in the want and desire for more animals and trophy animals for natives also. The difference is that we are controlled by rules, quotas, and limits where the natives are not.  Before the internet a native could make jerky for his friends and locals.  Now he can sell it all over the world.  Before the boom of hunting TV a set of really nice 6 point bull antlers was worth a few hundred bucks.  Now they are worth over a thousand!  I don't want to go into any more native causes because they have been hashed out over and over again on this forum.  But for those who say, "you have no proof that all this happens", I say, "with no reporting or oversite, you have no proof that it doesn't".  But I have seen the web pages for jerky sales and the you-tube videos.  The simple fact is that nothing will change.  They hunt with the most modern equipment but show up in Seattle to court in native dress beating the drum and will get off every time.

So that's it folks in a nutshell.  What's more to say????  Let me help you, NOTHING!!! 

With these four simple facts, our Eastern Washington elk herds are simply doomed.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Tbar on October 28, 2021, 07:57:18 PM
*censored*. I represent with my reality in the woods, in court and when I  advocate for OUR mutual interest.  If you have a problem with drums or traditional practices, that's on you.  Those same drums are EVERYWHERE we are, period. You keep on with your racist rhetoric.  I  won't begin to try to change your mind but will always advocate for a SHARED  resource. 
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: dvolmer on October 28, 2021, 08:04:54 PM
*censored*. I represent with my reality in the woods, in court and when I  advocate for OUR mutual interest.  If you have a problem with drums or traditional practices, that's on you.  Those same drums are EVERYWHERE we are, period. You keep on with your racist rhetoric.  I  won't begin to try to change your mind but will always advocate for a SHARED  resource.
The definition of a racism is when a certain group gets advantages over other groups due to their race, skin color, or ethnic background.  The Washington hunter/sportsman isn't getting the advantage here.  They are flipping the total bill and taking it in the shorts.  In todays world when the liberal mind gets stumped or upset, it always calls out "RACIST!!!!"  When facts cant be stated, resolutions can never be made, and solutions will never be able to fix the actual problem.  Pure and simple logic.  Just more proof as I stated above, that the problem will never be solved or fixed.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Tbar on October 28, 2021, 08:18:12 PM
@dvolmer you can kiss my ass. I represent with my reality in the woods, in court and when I  advocate for OUR mutual interest.  If you have a problem with drums or traditional practices, that's on you.  Those same drums are EVERYWHERE we are, period. You keep on with your racist rhetoric.  I  won't begin to try to change your mind but will always advocate for a SHARED  resource.
The definition of a racism is when a certain group gets advantages over other groups due to their race, skin color, or ethnic background.  The Washington hunter/sportsman isn't getting the advantage here.  They are flipping the total bill and taking it in the shorts.  In todays world when the liberal mind gets stumped or upset, it always calls out "RACIST!!!!"  When facts cant be stated, resolutions can never be made, and solutions will never be able to fix the actual problem.  Pure and simple logic.
Well to start problem solving phase of this equation you must first understand the basis on which the treaties were negotiated. (Hint, it was not race based)
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: DeerSkin on October 28, 2021, 08:27:51 PM
 :yeah:
I read this thread like many others and I wonder when will everyone realize the situation we are in and the simple fact that it is just going to get worse.  We have hashed all of this out in so many threads it makes me nauseous.  Take your time and money elsewhere because it is a lost cause and wont be fixed.  We can have committee's and study's but they are a waste of time (their intent is good but still a waste of time and recourses).  There are four facts that wont be changed in this state and never will.  The liberal courts and liberal voters will never allow it to happen.  just that plain and simple!  No need to talk or fret about it because it WILL NOT EVER CHANGE!  PERIOD END OF STORY!

Fact #1,  We will never be able to use hounds to hunt cougars.  it has already been voted on by our state population and wont happen.  Animal rights activists will never let it happen.  I have hunted buzillion hours in the mountains in cougar infested areas and seen all kinds of sign and kill sites but I have never seen an actual cougar in the wild.  They are elusive and sneaky and the average hunter will never see one in the wild.  You can give every hunter in the state 10 free cougar tags and it wont put a dent in the problem.  Only way to affectively hunt cougar is with dogs.

Fact # 2, We will never ever never be able to hunt for wolves in this state!  Never! Never! Never!  Wolves could be eating children on the way to schools in downtown Seattle and we still wont be able to hunt them.

Fact #3, We will never be able to use hounds or bait to hunt bears in this state.  Already been voted on by the state population and wont happen.  I could write more on this but I would just be copying information from above fact #1 so refer to that if you want any more information.

Fact #4, We will never be able to control native harvest, seasons, reporting, etc, etc, etc.  For those of you that think native harvest hasn't changed drastically in the last 10 years, you are living in a pipe-dream.  Just like trophy hunting has became a booming business for the normal hunter, it has sparked a great interest in a small population of the native hunters.  This has increased harvest and demand abundantly.  Technology has helped blow up the out of state/trophy hunting industry for the American hunter and has helped in the want and desire for more animals and trophy animals for natives also. The difference is that we are controlled by rules, quotas, and limits where the natives are not.  Before the internet a native could make jerky for his friends and locals.  Now he can sell it all over the world.  Before the boom of hunting TV a set of really nice 6 point bull antlers was worth a few hundred bucks.  Now they are worth over a thousand!  I don't want to go into any more native causes because they have been hashed out over and over again on this forum.  But for those who say, "you have no proof that all this happens", I say, "with no reporting or oversite, you have no proof that it doesn't".  But I have seen the web pages for jerky sales and the you-tube videos.  The simple fact is that nothing will change.  They hunt with the most modern equipment but show up in Seattle to court in native dress beating the drum and will get off every time.

So that's it folks in a nutshell.  What's more to say????  Let me help you, NOTHING!!! 

With these four simple facts, our Eastern Washington elk herds are simply doomed.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: stickbuck on October 28, 2021, 08:29:57 PM
@dvolmer you can kiss my ass. I represent with my reality in the woods, in court and when I  advocate for OUR mutual interest.  If you have a problem with drums or traditional practices, that's on you.  Those same drums are EVERYWHERE we are, period. You keep on with your racist rhetoric.  I  won't begin to try to change your mind but will always advocate for a SHARED  resource.
Hey @Tbar, where is @dvolmer being racist or pushing a racist rhetoric? Heís just stating the facts and Iíd say he pretty much nailed it on the head. Traditional practices are one thing. However, it is well beyond traditional practices. Harvesting the resource and making a tremendous profit from it is completely unacceptable.


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Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Tbar on October 28, 2021, 08:39:21 PM
I'll offer a brief opinion of the op's initial topic. The root cause is looking us in the eye and solutions may lye in the realm of co-management with the tribes.  Population level declines in the absence of targeted cow harvest are often ecological and in this case predators.  Plain and simple. If you want to reference individual cohorts within a population (i.e. mature bulls)  I would likely take a different position and say human influence can and will change age structure within a population.  Management schemes can vary dramatically and do vary, even in this state, but as long as there is a gender bias towards male animals and you bull to cow ratio meets minimum biological needs you can reasonably expect stability or even increase within a herd. So is it painful for trophy hunters who heavily invested in either a lifetime of points or a bundle of cash to watch THE bull along with several others  loaded into an 80s era tan Toyota pickup? Absolutely!  Especially when it's in back to back years but again this is the result of management schemes to grow trophy quality animals. This can also be classified as an issue that, in this case,  is not management based. The problem lies in predator management or lack there of where partnering with the local tribes, who have more management tools in their toolbox, could prove mutually beneficial.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: stickbuck on October 28, 2021, 08:43:47 PM
I'll offer a brief opinion of the op's initial topic. The root cause is looking us in the eye and solutions may lye in the realm of co-management with the tribes.  Population level declines in the absence of targeted cow harvest are often ecological and in this case predators.  Plain and simple. If you want to reference individual cohorts within a population (i.e. mature bulls)  I would likely take a different position and say human influence can and will change age structure within a population.  Management schemes can vary dramatically and do vary, even in this state, but as long as there is a gender bias towards male animals and you bull to cow ratio meets minimum biological needs you can reasonably expect stability or even increase within a herd. So is it painful for trophy hunters who heavily invested in either a lifetime of points or a bundle of cash to watch THE bull along with several others  loaded into an 80s era tan Toyota pickup? Absolutely!  Especially when it's in back to back years but again this is the result of management schemes to grow trophy quality animals. This can also be classified as an issue that, in this case,  is not management based. The problem lies in predator management or lack there of where partnering with the local tribes, who have more management tools in their toolbox, could prove mutually beneficial.
I totally agree that predators are the main issue. A biologist in the Blues told us back in the mid 90ís that calf survival was already below 40% due to cats and bears. Crazy to think that they knew about this problem almost 30 years and they did nothing to attempt to fix it. Couple that with the damage the wolves are doing and we are in a world of hurt. Super sad when you remember what it used to be like.


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Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Tbar on October 28, 2021, 08:47:56 PM
@dvolmer you can kiss my ass. I represent with my reality in the woods, in court and when I  advocate for OUR mutual interest.  If you have a problem with drums or traditional practices, that's on you.  Those same drums are EVERYWHERE we are, period. You keep on with your racist rhetoric.  I  won't begin to try to change your mind but will always advocate for a SHARED  resource.
Hey @Tbar, where is @dvolmer being racist or pushing a racist rhetoric? Heís just stating the facts and Iíd say he pretty much nailed it on the head. Traditional practices are one thing. However, it is well beyond traditional practices. Harvesting the resource and making a tremendous profit from it is completely unacceptable.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Tremendous profit? Where do you get that?  There are avenues to tremendous profit, commerce of parts is not the first that comes to mind. Traditional practices? There is nothing at all that binds to traditional practices nor has that been a claim, even by the most conservative courts in the u.s.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Tbar on October 28, 2021, 08:53:22 PM
I'll offer a brief opinion of the op's initial topic. The root cause is looking us in the eye and solutions may lye in the realm of co-management with the tribes.  Population level declines in the absence of targeted cow harvest are often ecological and in this case predators.  Plain and simple. If you want to reference individual cohorts within a population (i.e. mature bulls)  I would likely take a different position and say human influence can and will change age structure within a population.  Management schemes can vary dramatically and do vary, even in this state, but as long as there is a gender bias towards male animals and you bull to cow ratio meets minimum biological needs you can reasonably expect stability or even increase within a herd. So is it painful for trophy hunters who heavily invested in either a lifetime of points or a bundle of cash to watch THE bull along with several others  loaded into an 80s era tan Toyota pickup? Absolutely!  Especially when it's in back to back years but again this is the result of management schemes to grow trophy quality animals. This can also be classified as an issue that, in this case,  is not management based. The problem lies in predator management or lack there of where partnering with the local tribes, who have more management tools in their toolbox, could prove mutually beneficial.
I totally agree that predators are the main issue. A biologist in the Blues told us back in the mid 90ís that calf survival was already below 40% due to cats and bears. Crazy to think that they knew about this problem almost 30 years and they did nothing to attempt to fix it. Couple that with the damage the wolves are doing and we are in a world of hurt. Super sad when you remember what it used to be like.


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There are several things that have changed since then.  All of the changes have been detrimental to elk. I know what Pat Fowler built but as he told you the ship began to sail towards the end of his career.  Couple that with serious habitat loss/constriction and a philosophical management change in regards to human/elk conflict and impacts and it doesn't promote growth. The giant bulls he grew were really cool but not drivers of the population.  The drivers are and always will be the factories(cows).
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: meatwhack on October 28, 2021, 08:58:21 PM
I have an idea. Get tribal members to start running hounds and killing cats. While theyíre at it they can run bears and kill some of them also. Then in their spare time they can whack some of the wolfs. Theyíre a user group that could actually have an effect that could help numbers in areas but I donít personally see that ever happening.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: rackattack on October 28, 2021, 09:07:28 PM
 :yeah:

What is preventing the natives from running hounds?
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Boss .300 winmag on October 29, 2021, 03:08:56 AM
🤔
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: pianoman9701 on October 29, 2021, 08:11:46 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

So, are you saying that the relatively recent decline in elk calf production is due to Native harvest, and if so, which tribe, The Yakima or the Nez Perce? This is a confusing statement to me because both tribes have had access rights to the Blues for decades, as far as I know. There would have had to be a large upward change in native harvesting quite recently for your statement to show causation. What I've read, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is that the population problems only started to appear within the last decade and have accelerated within the last 4-5 years. What's changed in that period of time regarding the tribes? What other changes have there been during that period of time - predators, Hoof disease?

I'm certainly not saying you're wrong, bobdog, but the patterns don't align with what you're claiming unless I'm missing a change in tribal harvest trends over the last ten years or less.  :dunno:
4-O is taking a beating again this year.  We saw 3 Idaho rigs going up and one coming down.  Iím about an hour while we were sitting at camp a few weeks ago.  The one coming down pulled in with a six point and not much meat.  He was wearing shorts and a t shirt.  And we talked to one of the Odems that lives there.  Nighttime/daytime it doesnít matter.  Predators hammering the young ones and tribal nailing bulls and bucks is a recipe for what we have going on in this state.

I understand you saw a 6x6 elk being driven out by a guy in shorts and talked to another guy about 24-hour hunting practices. This is hardly empirical evidence that the harvest practices of the tribes have changed in recent years, causing a huge decrease in elk mortality in that area. You go on to say that "...tribal(s) nailing bulls and bucks is a recipe for what we have going on in this state." This is a broad swipe of the brush, as there are many factors contributing to ungulate population declines in different parts of our state, many of them due to mismanagement of resources by non-tribal entities, like state and/or federal agencies.  In almost all of those areas, tribal harvest and the characteristics of that harvest are not a new phenomena. Although I'm open to evidence that shows tribal harvest as a mitigating factor in the decline of ungulate populations, I have seen little so far. To the contrary, many of the tribes in our state are conservation-minded and do their best to maintain healthy ungulate populations, through habitat improvement and predator control. If we are to find solutions to a very clear problem in the Blues (and I see it's a big problem), we'd better start with data and facts, instead of conjecture, or we're liable to miss the actual causal factors and not have the desired effect of stemming the trend. My  :twocents:
you are very wrong that the Nez do anything for conservation in Washington, and there are serious problems in the Yakima area too.  You canít tell me unregulated harvest along with an over abundance of predators isnít a two fold problem?  I live in the Yakima area and see it first hand.  And spend a lot of time in the blues.

I didn't say the Nez or the Yaks did anything. I said that many tribes do work on conservation. Re-read my statements. I'm quite clear. What I did say is I don't see evidence that the impact natives are having on ungulate populations has changed in the period of time that the herds in the Blues have changed. Look past your personal feelings for things that HAVE changed. Again, if you only want to point fingers at all the people you've been pointing fingers at as the cause for the decline, you're likely going to miss the real causes. That's on you.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: elkchaser54 on October 29, 2021, 08:34:37 AM
The 4-O ranch has only been public land since 2015 and there has been a giant reduction in population since this change occurred.   This land allows for road hunting, individuals that shoot rifles at all times of the year, day or night to easily harvest elk off farm fields with great road access.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Tbar on October 29, 2021, 08:41:47 AM
The 4-O ranch has only been public land since 2015 and there has been a giant reduction in population since this change occurred.   This land allows for road hunting, individuals that shoot rifles at all times of the year, day or night to easily harvest elk off farm fields with great road access.
Interesting.  There was zero claims of population decline when it went before the commission. There was considerable discussion around mature bull harvest.  And anger towards the same 80s era tan Toyota. The correct approach may have been road decommissioning? That seems to be a less political conservation based approach, but that rhetoric never made it to the commission.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: idaho guy on October 29, 2021, 09:03:03 AM
I'll offer a brief opinion of the op's initial topic. The root cause is looking us in the eye and solutions may lye in the realm of co-management with the tribes.  Population level declines in the absence of targeted cow harvest are often ecological and in this case predators.  Plain and simple. If you want to reference individual cohorts within a population (i.e. mature bulls)  I would likely take a different position and say human influence can and will change age structure within a population.  Management schemes can vary dramatically and do vary, even in this state, but as long as there is a gender bias towards male animals and you bull to cow ratio meets minimum biological needs you can reasonably expect stability or even increase within a herd. So is it painful for trophy hunters who heavily invested in either a lifetime of points or a bundle of cash to watch THE bull along with several others  loaded into an 80s era tan Toyota pickup? Absolutely!  Especially when it's in back to back years but again this is the result of management schemes to grow trophy quality animals. This can also be classified as an issue that, in this case,  is not management based. The problem lies in predator management or lack there of where partnering with the local tribes, who have more management tools in their toolbox, could prove mutually beneficial.
     

Why dont the tribes run hounds for cats and even kill wolves? That WOULD be mutually beneficial
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: idaho guy on October 29, 2021, 09:12:27 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

So, are you saying that the relatively recent decline in elk calf production is due to Native harvest, and if so, which tribe, The Yakima or the Nez Perce? This is a confusing statement to me because both tribes have had access rights to the Blues for decades, as far as I know. There would have had to be a large upward change in native harvesting quite recently for your statement to show causation. What I've read, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is that the population problems only started to appear within the last decade and have accelerated within the last 4-5 years. What's changed in that period of time regarding the tribes? What other changes have there been during that period of time - predators, Hoof disease?

I'm certainly not saying you're wrong, bobdog, but the patterns don't align with what you're claiming unless I'm missing a change in tribal harvest trends over the last ten years or less.  :dunno:
4-O is taking a beating again this year.  We saw 3 Idaho rigs going up and one coming down.  Iím about an hour while we were sitting at camp a few weeks ago.  The one coming down pulled in with a six point and not much meat.  He was wearing shorts and a t shirt.  And we talked to one of the Odems that lives there.  Nighttime/daytime it doesnít matter.  Predators hammering the young ones and tribal nailing bulls and bucks is a recipe for what we have going on in this state.

I understand you saw a 6x6 elk being driven out by a guy in shorts and talked to another guy about 24-hour hunting practices. This is hardly empirical evidence that the harvest practices of the tribes have changed in recent years, causing a huge decrease in elk mortality in that area. You go on to say that "...tribal(s) nailing bulls and bucks is a recipe for what we have going on in this state." This is a broad swipe of the brush, as there are many factors contributing to ungulate population declines in different parts of our state, many of them due to mismanagement of resources by non-tribal entities, like state and/or federal agencies.  In almost all of those areas, tribal harvest and the characteristics of that harvest are not a new phenomena. Although I'm open to evidence that shows tribal harvest as a mitigating factor in the decline of ungulate populations, I have seen little so far. To the contrary, many of the tribes in our state are conservation-minded and do their best to maintain healthy ungulate populations, through habitat improvement and predator control. If we are to find solutions to a very clear problem in the Blues (and I see it's a big problem), we'd better start with data and facts, instead of conjecture, or we're liable to miss the actual causal factors and not have the desired effect of stemming the trend. My  :twocents:
you are very wrong that the Nez do anything for conservation in Washington, and there are serious problems in the Yakima area too.  You canít tell me unregulated harvest along with an over abundance of predators isnít a two fold problem?  I live in the Yakima area and see it first hand.  And spend a lot of time in the blues.

I didn't say the Nez or the Yaks did anything. I said that many tribes do work on conservation. Re-read my statements. I'm quite clear. What I did say is I don't see evidence that the impact natives are having on ungulate populations has changed in the period of time that the herds in the Blues have changed. Look past your personal feelings for things that HAVE changed. Again, if you only want to point fingers at all the people you've been pointing fingers at as the cause for the decline, you're likely going to miss the real causes. That's on you.
 
 I would agree native harvest is not the only or not even the main problem. But native harvest IS a factor and should be pointed out.
The Nez Perce from Idaho hammer the elk in there and they do get more money for horns than they used too. My guess is their harvest has gone way up. I think the point is when you have a predator pit you need to consider all 4 predators-Tribes,cats,wolves and bears. Before wolves and out of control cats and bears the herd probably could sustain a higher native harvest. With all 4 beating on the elk they stand no chance. You can't consider just 3 issues you have to look at all 4 and how they inter relate. I don't think pointing the finger at the tribes only is fair or helpful but it needs to be pointed out which is what the op was doing.(i think)   
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Limhangerslayer on October 29, 2021, 09:26:35 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

So, are you saying that the relatively recent decline in elk calf production is due to Native harvest, and if so, which tribe, The Yakima or the Nez Perce? This is a confusing statement to me because both tribes have had access rights to the Blues for decades, as far as I know. There would have had to be a large upward change in native harvesting quite recently for your statement to show causation. What I've read, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is that the population problems only started to appear within the last decade and have accelerated within the last 4-5 years. What's changed in that period of time regarding the tribes? What other changes have there been during that period of time - predators, Hoof disease?

I'm certainly not saying you're wrong, bobdog, but the patterns don't align with what you're claiming unless I'm missing a change in tribal harvest trends over the last ten years or less.  :dunno:
4-O is taking a beating again this year.  We saw 3 Idaho rigs going up and one coming down.  Iím about an hour while we were sitting at camp a few weeks ago.  The one coming down pulled in with a six point and not much meat.  He was wearing shorts and a t shirt.  And we talked to one of the Odems that lives there.  Nighttime/daytime it doesnít matter.  Predators hammering the young ones and tribal nailing bulls and bucks is a recipe for what we have going on in this state.

I understand you saw a 6x6 elk being driven out by a guy in shorts and talked to another guy about 24-hour hunting practices. This is hardly empirical evidence that the harvest practices of the tribes have changed in recent years, causing a huge decrease in elk mortality in that area. You go on to say that "...tribal(s) nailing bulls and bucks is a recipe for what we have going on in this state." This is a broad swipe of the brush, as there are many factors contributing to ungulate population declines in different parts of our state, many of them due to mismanagement of resources by non-tribal entities, like state and/or federal agencies.  In almost all of those areas, tribal harvest and the characteristics of that harvest are not a new phenomena. Although I'm open to evidence that shows tribal harvest as a mitigating factor in the decline of ungulate populations, I have seen little so far. To the contrary, many of the tribes in our state are conservation-minded and do their best to maintain healthy ungulate populations, through habitat improvement and predator control. If we are to find solutions to a very clear problem in the Blues (and I see it's a big problem), we'd better start with data and facts, instead of conjecture, or we're liable to miss the actual causal factors and not have the desired effect of stemming the trend. My  :twocents:
you are very wrong that the Nez do anything for conservation in Washington, and there are serious problems in the Yakima area too.  You canít tell me unregulated harvest along with an over abundance of predators isnít a two fold problem?  I live in the Yakima area and see it first hand.  And spend a lot of time in the blues.

I didn't say the Nez or the Yaks did anything. I said that many tribes do work on conservation. Re-read my statements. I'm quite clear. What I did say is I don't see evidence that the impact natives are having on ungulate populations has changed in the period of time that the herds in the Blues have changed. Look past your personal feelings for things that HAVE changed. Again, if you only want to point fingers at all the people you've been pointing fingers at as the cause for the decline, you're likely going to miss the real causes. That's on you.
you should probably reread my statement.  It was the young are getting hammered by predators and tribal taking out bucks and bulls.  And a good look at actual management would be the Colvilles.  They manage predators and ungulates, and they are doing pretty good up there.  Our problem is three fold when you take in the 16í-17í winters that definitely hurt them. Then you take in the predation in every subsequent year between calves and fawns and then mature bulls and bucks.  And itís going to take forever to come back.  If ever
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: pianoman9701 on October 29, 2021, 09:42:05 AM
I read it. You said I was very wrong regarding something I never said.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Special T on October 29, 2021, 09:46:18 AM
I'll offer a brief opinion of the op's initial topic. The root cause is looking us in the eye and solutions may lye in the realm of co-management with the tribes.  Population level declines in the absence of targeted cow harvest are often ecological and in this case predators.  Plain and simple. If you want to reference individual cohorts within a population (i.e. mature bulls)  I would likely take a different position and say human influence can and will change age structure within a population.  Management schemes can vary dramatically and do vary, even in this state, but as long as there is a gender bias towards male animals and you bull to cow ratio meets minimum biological needs you can reasonably expect stability or even increase within a herd. So is it painful for trophy hunters who heavily invested in either a lifetime of points or a bundle of cash to watch THE bull along with several others  loaded into an 80s era tan Toyota pickup? Absolutely!  Especially when it's in back to back years but again this is the result of management schemes to grow trophy quality animals. This can also be classified as an issue that, in this case,  is not management based. The problem lies in predator management or lack there of where partnering with the local tribes, who have more management tools in their toolbox, could prove mutually beneficial.
     

Why dont the tribes run hounds for cats and even kill wolves? That WOULD be mutually beneficial

We know some  do, just not to the same extent as we would like. One of the things I have come to learn is that some actions individual tribes take they keep to themselfs. They dont announce it to the world in a press release. Why? Perhaps at odds with another tribe, perhaps dont want to alarm the general public, perhaps a series of other social or political reasons.

What we should ask is what can sportsmen do to promote either hound hunting and/or trapping for predators. Turn the per ieved weakness into a strength. Animal rights groups quake at the feet of tribes. They have no power over them.

Would you endorse, promote, donate to a tribal program that specifically targeted predators?

Could you imagine how quickly the Yakimanelk herd would bounce back if that Tribe was Trapping and running dogs on Cats? The Govenor could do almost nothing in regaurds to the fake quoatas we are required to meet. Imagine the whining, crying and nashing of teeth The Dark Side WDFW employees would engage in... with no recourse to prevent harvest or the taking of animals. The benifit which would help all elk hunters.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: idaho guy on October 29, 2021, 03:39:29 PM
I'll offer a brief opinion of the op's initial topic. The root cause is looking us in the eye and solutions may lye in the realm of co-management with the tribes.  Population level declines in the absence of targeted cow harvest are often ecological and in this case predators.  Plain and simple. If you want to reference individual cohorts within a population (i.e. mature bulls)  I would likely take a different position and say human influence can and will change age structure within a population.  Management schemes can vary dramatically and do vary, even in this state, but as long as there is a gender bias towards male animals and you bull to cow ratio meets minimum biological needs you can reasonably expect stability or even increase within a herd. So is it painful for trophy hunters who heavily invested in either a lifetime of points or a bundle of cash to watch THE bull along with several others  loaded into an 80s era tan Toyota pickup? Absolutely!  Especially when it's in back to back years but again this is the result of management schemes to grow trophy quality animals. This can also be classified as an issue that, in this case,  is not management based. The problem lies in predator management or lack there of where partnering with the local tribes, who have more management tools in their toolbox, could prove mutually beneficial.
     

Why dont the tribes run hounds for cats and even kill wolves? That WOULD be mutually beneficial

We know some  do, just not to the same extent as we would like. One of the things I have come to learn is that some actions individual tribes take they keep to themselfs. They dont announce it to the world in a press release. Why? Perhaps at odds with another tribe, perhaps dont want to alarm the general public, perhaps a series of other social or political reasons.

What we should ask is what can sportsmen do to promote either hound hunting and/or trapping for predators. Turn the per ieved weakness into a strength. Animal rights groups quake at the feet of tribes. They have no power over them.

Would you endorse, promote, donate to a tribal program that specifically targeted predators?

Could you imagine how quickly the Yakimanelk herd would bounce back if that Tribe was Trapping and running dogs on Cats? The Govenor could do almost nothing in regaurds to the fake quoatas we are required to meet. Imagine the whining, crying and nashing of teeth The Dark Side WDFW employees would engage in... with no recourse to prevent harvest or the taking of animals. The benifit which would help all elk hunters.
   

I agree with everything you just said!  :chuckle: That was my point. Yes I would 100% donate to and promote a tribal program targeting predators in Washington and I don't even live in the state. The best part is the greenies would be terrified to say anything about it for fear of being politically incorrect. Its a dream I have.  I am 100 percent behind natives controlling predators in states where the game departments are horribly mis managing them.  .     
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Special T on October 29, 2021, 04:25:32 PM
I'll offer a brief opinion of the op's initial topic. The root cause is looking us in the eye and solutions may lye in the realm of co-management with the tribes.  Population level declines in the absence of targeted cow harvest are often ecological and in this case predators.  Plain and simple. If you want to reference individual cohorts within a population (i.e. mature bulls)  I would likely take a different position and say human influence can and will change age structure within a population.  Management schemes can vary dramatically and do vary, even in this state, but as long as there is a gender bias towards male animals and you bull to cow ratio meets minimum biological needs you can reasonably expect stability or even increase within a herd. So is it painful for trophy hunters who heavily invested in either a lifetime of points or a bundle of cash to watch THE bull along with several others  loaded into an 80s era tan Toyota pickup? Absolutely!  Especially when it's in back to back years but again this is the result of management schemes to grow trophy quality animals. This can also be classified as an issue that, in this case,  is not management based. The problem lies in predator management or lack there of where partnering with the local tribes, who have more management tools in their toolbox, could prove mutually beneficial.
     

Why dont the tribes run hounds for cats and even kill wolves? That WOULD be mutually beneficial

We know some  do, just not to the same extent as we would like. One of the things I have come to learn is that some actions individual tribes take they keep to themselfs. They dont announce it to the world in a press release. Why? Perhaps at odds with another tribe, perhaps dont want to alarm the general public, perhaps a series of other social or political reasons.

What we should ask is what can sportsmen do to promote either hound hunting and/or trapping for predators. Turn the per ieved weakness into a strength. Animal rights groups quake at the feet of tribes. They have no power over them.

Would you endorse, promote, donate to a tribal program that specifically targeted predators?

Could you imagine how quickly the Yakimanelk herd would bounce back if that Tribe was Trapping and running dogs on Cats? The Govenor could do almost nothing in regaurds to the fake quoatas we are required to meet. Imagine the whining, crying and nashing of teeth The Dark Side WDFW employees would engage in... with no recourse to prevent harvest or the taking of animals. The benifit which would help all elk hunters.
   

I agree with everything you just said!  :chuckle: That was my point. Yes I would 100% donate to and promote a tribal program targeting predators in Washington and I don't even live in the state. The best part is the greenies would be terrified to say anything about it for fear of being politically incorrect. Its a dream I have.  I am 100 percent behind natives controlling predators in states where the game departments are horribly mis managing them.  .   

You might get your chance!  ;)
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: rosscrazyelk on November 05, 2021, 07:45:10 AM
I was lucky enough to be around during the glory years of the Blues.  It is sad what is happening. I had the same experience as some. The past 2 years I have not seen any calves. And with the report that just came out there will be no spikes to hunt next year and the herd is going to drop even more. No calves , means no bulls, no bulls means no future calves.  It will be interesting to see what actions the state will take. 
And I know this is and  will never be a favorable  topic but I cant imagine that keeping a general season open for the next few years would be a good idea.  Maybe just keep it open for the big bull draws. It's a tough pill  to swallow.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: trophyhunt on November 05, 2021, 08:18:35 AM
Again, I say instead of limiting non tribal hunters, letís all play by the same rules.  And when all the elk are gone, then maybe we can have an agreement between tribal and non tribal on management. This goes for the Yakima area as well. Some may think thatís a stupid idea, but I believe itís the ONLY way to get some (not all) tribes to the table.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Special T on November 05, 2021, 08:25:36 AM
Again, I say instead of limiting non tribal hunters, letís all play by the same rules.  And when all the elk are gone, then maybe we can have an agreement between tribal and non tribal on management. This goes for the Yakima area as well. Some may think thatís a stupid idea, but I believe itís the ONLY way to get some (not all) tribes to the table.

How do you do that? Specifically...
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: trophyhunt on November 05, 2021, 08:34:20 AM
Again, I say instead of limiting non tribal hunters, letís all play by the same rules.  And when all the elk are gone, then maybe we can have an agreement between tribal and non tribal on management. This goes for the Yakima area as well. Some may think thatís a stupid idea, but I believe itís the ONLY way to get some (not all) tribes to the table.

How do you do that? Specifically...
open up the season for non natives to align with the tribes, take the nez for example. If itís brown, itís down, just follow all their rules till all the animals are gone. No animals to hunt should bring the tribes to the table. Painful and ugly, but I donít see another solution that will get certain tribes to the table.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Special T on November 05, 2021, 09:01:01 AM
Quote from: trophyhunt link=topic=260750.ftmsg3602567#msg3602567 date=1636126460
Again, I say instead of limiting non tribal hunters, letís all play by the same rules.  And when all the elk are gone, then maybe we can have an agreement between tribal and non tribal on management. This goes for the Yakima area as well. Some may think thatís a stupid idea, but I believe itís the ONLY way to get some (not all) tribes to the table.

How do you do that? Specifically...
open up the season for non natives to align with the tribes, take the nez for example. If itís brown, itís down, just follow all their rules till all the animals are gone. No animals to hunt should bring the tribes to the table. Painful and ugly, but I donít see another solution that will get certain tribes to the table.

I'm sorry those are just platitudes, some of which I may have even repeated a time or 2 on here.
You have to get into the legal weeds to change anything on this issue. I am no expert, but since you have not cited any thing from a treaty or legal document,  you have stated a desire but not any kind of pathway.  If you were so inclined you could compare your wish with all the legal machinations  on the fish issue to try and find any similarities.  Right wrong or indifferent it isn't a very effective use of time and $, both in short supply... Let's also Add the the tribes have won all 13 lawsuits that have involved them.


Here is a realistic solution. Help some young tribal members gear up for trapping of running hounds. Donate funds to educate, buy traps, collars what have you. Turn them loose on ceded hunting grounds and provide some kind of incentive to kill lots of cats. More traps, dog food, veterinary credits whatever. Hunters like to focus on the negatives of native harvest. What if that pickup truck had a dog box and 3 cats strapped to it? Would you hate native harvest that much then?
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: trophyhunt on November 05, 2021, 09:17:16 AM
Well no, Iíd love to see tribes use their rights to do most anything in a good way towards fish and game. Iíd love to see tribes use the Collvile tribe as an example of how to manage. But some donít want anything to do with management. Not all tribes are poor, the mucks have enough money to make all the tribes in our state rich!  The tribes have plenty of resources to run cats, bears or kill wolves, but that isnít what sells or what gets under our skin.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: nwwanderer on November 05, 2021, 09:40:20 AM
The history of elk in the blues is just a touch over a 100 years.  In the scheme of things, barely a wink.  The population has hit levels so far above capacity they have starved to death, have been down and nearly out a time or two and now with predator worship the ship may sink.  That is too harsh, flounder beyond repair without outside input.  Most of the branch antler tags this year have been filled on crop fed elk, not federal/state land.  Many of those bulls, at least one over 390, may not have even touched a cow a month or two ago.  Pretty sure there was/is more harvest in 127 than 154 with 154 getting the gift of many hours of WDFW 'management and 127 any elk with little WDFW input. They were very proud a couple years back that they only paid on 5 crop damage claims for the whole of the blues elk herd.  I know of a dozen or more in one little corner of that habitat.  Until the state and feds get together with a real plan, graze, log, burn, reduce predators, what you see is what you get.  Mountain maple and ninebark will not get the job done.  Lobby early and often.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: rosscrazyelk on November 05, 2021, 11:01:55 AM
Another thing I noticed that could be a part of the problem with calves actually being born is stress. I witnessed  cows this week never even sit down. They were gathered and all stood for hours just looking in directions. Never moved their bodies just their heads. 2 hours and never even moving?
Something has them all on alert and stressed out and we all know what that is.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Special T on November 05, 2021, 11:06:31 AM
Well no, Iíd love to see tribes use their rights to do most anything in a good way towards fish and game. Iíd love to see tribes use the Collvile tribe as an example of how to manage. But some donít want anything to do with management. Not all tribes are poor, the mucks have enough money to make all the tribes in our state rich!  The tribes have plenty of resources to run cats, bears or kill wolves, but that isnít what sells or what gets under our skin.

You are correct not all tribes are the same. I have heard rumors that some tribes have been running dogs, and some have studies contradicting the WDFW Dark side crew. I remember a Colville tribal member who ran dogs and posted on here some time back. We don't hear from him but we need more like him on the N half.

I know this is about the blues so pardon the thread jack.  Imagine the benefits to the Yakima an Colockum elk herds if a dozen young tribal members were our running dogs and killing cats with the same vigor that we belive they are doing with elk. The Yakima have more ceded hunting grounds than anyone!

What is "fair" concerning tribal hunting has been discussed plenty, and nothing has happened. How about we all focus on something we could make happen? Perhaps if sportsmen could find a way to burry the hatchet we could all get more of what we want. Perhaps these rumored predator studies would be shared?  Perhaps Tribes would work with is more if we went constantly bad mouthing them? Do you think they want more anti hunting Comissioners like Smith and Points? We have 1 unfilled seat and possibly 2-3 more seats coming up for appointment. Isn't that important?
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Special T on November 05, 2021, 11:08:32 AM
Another thing I noticed that could be a part of the problem with calves actually being born is stress. I witnessed  cows this week never even sit down. They were gathered and all stood for hours just looking in directions. Never moved their bodies just their heads. 2 hours and never even moving?
Something has them all on alert and stressed out and we all know what that is.

I belive the long term ID study reviled that elk aborted may calls due to stress. Due to The combination of cats and wolves.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Rainier10 on November 05, 2021, 11:14:30 AM
I would bet if they closed the unit down to hunting for one or two years they would rebound pretty quickly if everyone used that two years to just focus on predators.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Special T on November 05, 2021, 11:18:53 AM
I would bet if they closed the unit down to hunting for one or two years they would rebound pretty quickly if everyone used that two years to just focus on predators.

If you look at the management plan that may happen if they keep declining.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: meatwhack on November 05, 2021, 05:47:21 PM
The tribes never hunted these areas to the extent they currently do back before fish and game started managing the areas for quality bulls. It actually took several years before the tribes really caught onto how big of bulls were in these units and when they caught on they really started pounding them.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Mtnwalker on November 05, 2021, 06:16:50 PM
I would bet if they closed the unit down to hunting for one or two years they would rebound pretty quickly if everyone used that two years to just focus on predators.

Are you talking about a specific unit or all of the blues in general?
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Rainier10 on November 05, 2021, 06:28:41 PM
I would bet if they closed the unit down to hunting for one or two years they would rebound pretty quickly if everyone used that two years to just focus on predators.

Are you talking about a specific unit or all of the blues in general?
I am not familiar enough with that herd to know if just one unit would do it or if you would need to limit hunting in multiple units.  My gut says multiple, if you close one it would just move the pressure to the surrounding units is how it typically works.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Mtnwalker on November 05, 2021, 06:58:53 PM
I would bet if they closed the unit down to hunting for one or two years they would rebound pretty quickly if everyone used that two years to just focus on predators.

Are you talking about a specific unit or all of the blues in general?
I am not familiar enough with that herd to know if just one unit would do it or if you would need to limit hunting in multiple units.  My gut says multiple, if you close one it would just move the pressure to the surrounding units is how it typically works.

I see. Harvest by recreational hunters is already pretty darn low in those units. Take Tucannon for example, 7 spikes, 5 branch bulls and 0 cows harvested last year by license holding hunters for a whopping 12 elk total. I have a hard time believing that taking those 12 elk out of the equation is going to help bring herds back within a matter of a few years. I also am extremely wary of advocating for complete closures unless you are dang certain that it is going to fix the problem, because once it's closed there's a good chance it doesn't open again. Especially when the numbers are still in the crapper despite said closures
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Rainier10 on November 05, 2021, 08:10:25 PM
I would bet if they closed the unit down to hunting for one or two years they would rebound pretty quickly if everyone used that two years to just focus on predators.

Are you talking about a specific unit or all of the blues in general?
I am not familiar enough with that herd to know if just one unit would do it or if you would need to limit hunting in multiple units.  My gut says multiple, if you close one it would just move the pressure to the surrounding units is how it typically works.

I see. Harvest by recreational hunters is already pretty darn low in those units. Take Tucannon for example, 7 spikes, 5 branch bulls and 0 cows harvested last year by license holding hunters for a whopping 12 elk total. I have a hard time believing that taking those 12 elk out of the equation is going to help bring herds back within a matter of a few years. I also am extremely wary of advocating for complete closures unless you are dang certain that it is going to fix the problem, because once it's closed there's a good chance it doesn't open again. Especially when the numbers are still in the crapper despite said closures
What I keep hearing is tribal harvest is an issue. That is a dead end, nothing is going to happen there.

Lots of comments about calf recruitment and predators.

Limit the pressure on cows by limiting elk hunting hopefully less stress helps recruitment.

Use that time off to aggressively hunt predators. Lower the predator numbers and increase calf recruitment.

I have seen reduced hunting pressure in the units I am familiar with, colockum herd, result in a population boom.  Nothing was done about native harvest either.

So what are your thoughts for improving calf recruitment and improving herd numbers?
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: trophyhunt on November 05, 2021, 08:29:39 PM
The tribes never hunted these areas to the extent they currently do back before fish and game started managing the areas for quality bulls. It actually took several years before the tribes really caught onto how big of bulls were in these units and when they caught on they really started pounding them.
same with the Yakima training center!! Damn shame
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Mtnwalker on November 05, 2021, 08:48:33 PM
I would bet if they closed the unit down to hunting for one or two years they would rebound pretty quickly if everyone used that two years to just focus on predators.

Are you talking about a specific unit or all of the blues in general?
I am not familiar enough with that herd to know if just one unit would do it or if you would need to limit hunting in multiple units.  My gut says multiple, if you close one it would just move the pressure to the surrounding units is how it typically works.

I see. Harvest by recreational hunters is already pretty darn low in those units. Take Tucannon for example, 7 spikes, 5 branch bulls and 0 cows harvested last year by license holding hunters for a whopping 12 elk total. I have a hard time believing that taking those 12 elk out of the equation is going to help bring herds back within a matter of a few years. I also am extremely wary of advocating for complete closures unless you are dang certain that it is going to fix the problem, because once it's closed there's a good chance it doesn't open again. Especially when the numbers are still in the crapper despite said closures
What I keep hearing is tribal harvest is an issue. That is a dead end, nothing is going to happen there.

Lots of comments about calf recruitment and predators.

Limit the pressure on cows by limiting elk hunting hopefully less stress helps recruitment.

Use that time off to aggressively hunt predators. Lower the predator numbers and increase calf recruitment.

I have seen reduced hunting pressure in the units I am familiar with, colockum herd, result in a population boom.  Nothing was done about native harvest either.

So what are your thoughts for improving calf recruitment and improving herd numbers?

I won't pretend to have the answers,  I think that everything you've listed above is a problem. I fully agree with hammering the predators. But I don't think that taking more opportunity away from us license holding hunters is the answer when harvest numbers are already down in the low double digits per unit and are likely negligible to overall herd size at this point. 200 elk total in 2020 for all 13 SE WA GMUs, Down 50% since 2013. Probably even less this year. That's an average year for a few big cats. I really think (licensed) hunters are a drop in the bucket at this point. Volunteering to give up more of our already slim opportunity, only for it to prove fruitless would just be hammering another nail in our own coffin imo
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Tbar on November 05, 2021, 09:13:27 PM
It cannot be cats according to Wdfws bear and cougar lead.

"Habitat destruction and persecution, the same forces that eradicated the cat from the East, continue to threaten the existing populations in the West. (Rich Beausoleil, WDFW)"
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Rainier10 on November 05, 2021, 09:27:46 PM
It cannot be cats according to Wdfws bear and cougar lead.

"Habitat destruction and persecution, the same forces that eradicated the cat from the East, continue to threaten the existing populations in the West. (Rich Beausoleil, WDFW)"
This is where we need that sarcasm emoji.

I have said this time and time again.

After going on a cat hunt with dogs in Idaho I learned a ton about cats. There are way more cats out there than most people think and the put a huge hurt on ungulates.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Tbar on November 06, 2021, 08:09:18 AM
Good post Rainier.  I believe the more we learn about the reclusive predators we realize the less we truly know.  I will also say the "experts" were behind I-655, and now say it was a mistake. The common denominator is it's against hunting. They refuse to be adaptive in terms of population estimates but speak freely about flawed metrics that don't match with reality (i.e. more cats have been removed than model shows exist and cats are still present). It's worthwhile to read as much literature as possible vs just critiquing management actions.  I realize it's an investment in time but if you listen to the testimony at the commission meetings, the ar reps are well read to say the least.  Many hunters and outdoorsmen can combat many desktop claims with ground truths. It's also valuable to track your representative agency to see if they are representing you adequately.  I'll post a PLOS link with a cast of well known scientists that are still influencing or creating policy in this state.

https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.0060040
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: nwhunter on November 06, 2021, 08:51:16 AM
WDFW needs to think outside the box. Predator hunting for cats isn't easy without dogs and bear hunting in august and September in the wilderness when there are many other things to hunt isn't real appealing either. So how do you get guys to put in the time and effort to hunt these predators to help get the numbers down? Bring back hounds is the best answer but I have no faith in our society to allow that to happen. I would double the spring bear tags atleast. The snow hangs in the Blues so late in the spring and access is so limited that unlimited spring tags on most years would not work in my opinion. Eliminate the cougar quota and wdfw could start a bounty program that either pays a dollar amount per lion brought in or better yet 5 bonus points per lion and you just created a free predator management program..!! Its not too late to save this once world class herd but its getting pretty grim....How long wdfw studies and drags their feet and allows themselves to get bullied by antis and predator lovers will determine its fate..
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: trophyhunt on November 06, 2021, 08:58:11 AM
Good ideas!
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Tbar on November 06, 2021, 10:20:27 AM
WDFW needs to think outside the box. Predator hunting for cats isn't easy without dogs and bear hunting in august and September in the wilderness when there are many other things to hunt isn't real appealing either. So how do you get guys to put in the time and effort to hunt these predators to help get the numbers down? Bring back hounds is the best answer but I have no faith in our society to allow that to happen. I would double the spring bear tags atleast. The snow hangs in the Blues so late in the spring and access is so limited that unlimited spring tags on most years would not work in my opinion. Eliminate the cougar quota and wdfw could start a bounty program that either pays a dollar amount per lion brought in or better yet 5 bonus points per lion and you just created a free predator management program..!! Its not too late to save this once world class herd but its getting pretty grim....How long wdfw studies and drags their feet and allows themselves to get bullied by antis and predator lovers will determine its fate..
Good ideas.  However, due largely to hunter complacency, the spring bear is really in doubt statewide. This may be one of the largest influences adversely affecting calf/fawn recruitment in the blues.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: OltHunter on November 06, 2021, 10:48:50 AM
Agreed.

A Yellowstone calf elk study in 2008 (Barber-Meyer) collared 151 calves, 98 were killed by predators. 33 by grizz, 21 by black bears, 13 by wolf, 9 coyote, 1 cougar.

54 by bears. I don't think the majority of hunters and for sure the public realize how much bears contirubte to killing fawns and calves.

Will be interesting to see what they publish from their study here and from the other predator prey project going on in the NE part of the state.

One can only assume bears are going to play a significant role in predation and recruitment.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Rainier10 on November 06, 2021, 11:07:09 AM
In Idaho Bearpaw had an area that we hunted. It was basically the size of a GMU here, I would guess the size of any one of the 300 series gmus, 328,329,342 in that range.

He hunts cougars there and shoots multiple cats a year. It is open to everyone so other independent hound hunters hunt it as well. I didnít dive into the reporting numbers but there is not a doubt in my mind 10-15 cats get taken each year out of that one small area and every year their are more to be taken.

The cats they are taking are big mature Toms.

In our state the quota is half that and most of the cats taken are by opportunity not targeted. Hunter is deer hunting sees a cat and shoots it. They are immature and dumb. Quota gets filled on immature cats and the big mature toms just get bigger and better at killing deer and elk. Plus they kill more because they need more to eat than the smaller immature cats.

Same thing is true for bears. Immature bears are getting taken by opportunity hunters and the big mature ones just get bigger and better at killing fawns and calves.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: idaho guy on November 15, 2021, 04:37:34 PM
In Idaho Bearpaw had an area that we hunted. It was basically the size of a GMU here, I would guess the size of any one of the 300 series gmus, 328,329,342 in that range.

He hunts cougars there and shoots multiple cats a year. It is open to everyone so other independent hound hunters hunt it as well. I didnít dive into the reporting numbers but there is not a doubt in my mind 10-15 cats get taken each year out of that one small area and every year their are more to be taken.

The cats they are taking are big mature Toms.

In our state the quota is half that and most of the cats taken are by opportunity not targeted. Hunter is deer hunting sees a cat and shoots it. They are immature and dumb. Quota gets filled on immature cats and the big mature toms just get bigger and better at killing deer and elk. Plus they kill more because they need more to eat than the smaller immature cats.

Same thing is true for bears. Immature bears are getting taken by opportunity hunters and the big mature ones just get bigger and better at killing fawns and calves.
 

I think you were hunting in 4 and last year 30 cats were taken out of there and I have seen recent years where more than 40 cats have been shot in that unit 
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: elkchaser54 on December 02, 2021, 09:55:30 AM
Preliminary results from the blue mountain elk calf study were released today.   


125 collared calfs, 2 capture mortality, 7 dropped collars

105 documented deaths. 77 attributed to predators , 26 are unknown possible predator and natural causes.

Cougars 54
Bear 9
Cougar or Bear 4
Coyote 3
Wolf 2
Bobcat 1
Unknown predator 4

Looks like we have a kitty cat problem in the blues.  I am so glad to finally see the data but saddened by how out of control the predators are and especially knowing that hunting cougars is so difficult .  Trying to control their population to help the elk will not be an easy task without dogs. 
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: BreezyBear on December 02, 2021, 10:29:10 AM
At the very least, cougar season should begin on August 1st to coincide with bear.   :twocents:
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: idahohuntr on December 02, 2021, 10:37:18 AM
Preliminary results from the blue mountain elk calf study were released today.   


125 collared calfs, 2 capture mortality, 7 dropped collars

105 documented deaths. 77 attributed to predators , 26 are unknown possible predator and natural causes.

Cougars 54
Bear 9
Cougar or Bear 4
Coyote 3
Wolf 2
Bobcat 1
Unknown predator 4

Looks like we have a kitty cat problem in the blues.  I am so glad to finally see the data but saddened by how out of control the predators are and especially knowing that hunting cougars is so difficult .  Trying to control their population to help the elk will not be an easy task without dogs.
Thanks for posting.  Very interesting...I would have guessed bears to be a bigger culprit...as both bears and cougars are at extraordinarily high numbers in the blues.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: meatwhack on December 02, 2021, 10:53:44 AM
That definitely shows an unsustainable fatality rate.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Mtnwalker on December 02, 2021, 11:22:40 AM
Preliminary results from the blue mountain elk calf study were released today.   


125 collared calfs, 2 capture mortality, 7 dropped collars

105 documented deaths. 77 attributed to predators , 26 are unknown possible predator and natural causes.

Cougars 54
Bear 9
Cougar or Bear 4
Coyote 3
Wolf 2
Bobcat 1
Unknown predator 4

Looks like we have a kitty cat problem in the blues.  I am so glad to finally see the data but saddened by how out of control the predators are and especially knowing that hunting cougars is so difficult .  Trying to control their population to help the elk will not be an easy task without dogs.

Is there a viewable document somewhere?
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Pathfinder101 on December 02, 2021, 11:24:52 AM
The problem of course is what to do about it.  Can't hunt them with dogs.  Calling, tracking/still-hunting them is a highly specialized skill that only a handful of people can do effectively (mostly retired guys with a combination of skills, access and time).  An earlier/longer/later season with higher quotas will help a little, but hard to put much of a dent in the population by basically arming bear hunters for incidental kills.   :dunno:
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Rainier10 on December 02, 2021, 11:28:38 AM
Preliminary results from the blue mountain elk calf study were released today.   


125 collared calfs, 2 capture mortality, 7 dropped collars

105 documented deaths. 77 attributed to predators , 26 are unknown possible predator and natural causes.

Cougars 54
Bear 9
Cougar or Bear 4
Coyote 3
Wolf 2
Bobcat 1
Unknown predator 4

Looks like we have a kitty cat problem in the blues.  I am so glad to finally see the data but saddened by how out of control the predators are and especially knowing that hunting cougars is so difficult .  Trying to control their population to help the elk will not be an easy task without dogs.
:bash: :bash: :bash:
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: meatwhack on December 02, 2021, 11:39:15 AM
The cougar population could be controlled much easier if they were removed from being considered a big game animal so that they could be hunted at night like bobcats and also removing the ridiculous quota they have for them.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: NRA4LIFE on December 02, 2021, 11:49:05 AM
Quote
and also removing the ridiculous quota they have for them.

This.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Timberstalker on December 02, 2021, 11:50:58 AM
Time for some math.  Is it 10 years before the elk are gone?  15?

What I saw elk hunting this year in the Eastern Blues supports this.  Several (like 11 different herds) with most having 0 calves in them.  Only one spike, the rest bigger bulls.

Time for drastic changes to hunting of these elk, along with proper predator management.

No spring bear is another step towards elk extinction in the Blues.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: buckfvr on December 02, 2021, 11:54:14 AM
Move them all to the same category as coyotes. Bear, cat wolf, all of them.  Once their numbers peter out (if they ever do), people will lose interest.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: 270Flat on December 02, 2021, 11:56:08 AM
Quit hunting Blues 5 years ago. Was sad back then, shame as itís my back yard.
Close elk hunting for 4-6 years.
Open up hound hunting for cats and bear. Over the counter spring bear for 5 years
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Timberstalker on December 02, 2021, 11:57:33 AM
Move them all to the same category as coyotes. Bear, cat wolf, all of them.  Once their numbers peter out (if they ever do), people will lose interest.

I'd argue that we couldn't kill enough cats unless we go to hounds. 
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Rainier10 on December 02, 2021, 12:01:18 PM
Move them all to the same category as coyotes. Bear, cat wolf, all of them.  Once their numbers peter out (if they ever do), people will lose interest.

I'd argue that we couldn't kill enough cats unless we go to hounds.
I think youíre right but year round no limit would help.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: KFhunter on December 02, 2021, 12:18:52 PM
Move them all to the same category as coyotes. Bear, cat wolf, all of them.  Once their numbers peter out (if they ever do), people will lose interest.

I'd argue that we couldn't kill enough cats unless we go to hounds.

I agree, talked to Bango Skank other day he hasn't gotten one yet and has been hitting it pretty hard, he's the most consistent and successful mt lion hunter on this forum to my knowledge in the last 5 years or so.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: saylean on December 02, 2021, 12:32:56 PM
If you listened to the wdfw commission meeting the wdfw stated only 11% of elk calves in the blues make it their first winterÖ
Cougar kill 70% of them.


Smithís response: itís hunters and pesticides


Every one of us need to get loud and pay serous attention to all this.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: gramps on December 02, 2021, 12:53:14 PM
A comment about cougar numbers in the Blues:

This is for the 2018-2019 season and the data is from the WDFW.  This was posted in a thread about cougar numbers on this forum in Dec. 2018.

If one adds up the total harvest quota for the 4 Cougar management units it is 10 to 12 Cougar for all of the Blues.
As of 26 Dec 2018 the harvest for all of the Blues was 28 cougars....2.5 times the quota.  (the cougar season ended on 30 Dec 2018)  According to an employee of the WDFW, only one of the 28 cats was taken by someone who was specifically hunting cougar.    The rest were taken by Deer and Elk hunters.   This, to me, speaks to the population of Cougar loud and clear.

Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: KFhunter on December 02, 2021, 12:53:19 PM
Move them all to the same category as coyotes. Bear, cat wolf, all of them.  Once their numbers peter out (if they ever do), people will lose interest.

I'd argue that we couldn't kill enough cats unless we go to hounds.
I think youíre right but year round no limit would help.

If you make it an exclusive draw, like spring bear, all the sudden everyone would want a tag. 

 :peep:
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: hunter399 on December 02, 2021, 01:08:48 PM
Move them all to the same category as coyotes. Bear, cat wolf, all of them.  Once their numbers peter out (if they ever do), people will lose interest.

I'd argue that we couldn't kill enough cats unless we go to hounds.

I agree, talked to Bango Skank other day he hasn't gotten one yet and has been hitting it pretty hard, he's the most consistent and successful mt lion hunter on this forum to my knowledge in the last 5 years or so.
You really talked to old bango huh.
I see some of his posts on other platforms.
But don't really see him post here much,unless he changed his name on here or something.
I would of thought that he would be up front in line to attack this spring bear issue.
Anyway I leave it at that....
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Pathfinder101 on December 02, 2021, 03:50:50 PM
I hate to bring this up, but I think in order to re-institute hound hunting, there needs to be a referendum and a vote to reverse the referendum and the vote that passed in 1996, doesn't there? WDFW tried to hold a draw-only hound hunt for a few years (about 10 years ago? I seem to remember putting in for that draw a couple of times...?) and the state said it was illegal and stopped it. 
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: elkchaser54 on December 02, 2021, 03:51:12 PM
https://nwsportsmanmag.com/blues-elk-in-crisis-but-not-for-some-fwc-members/

Inside this article they have the link to the WDFW presentation on the data I quoted.  Sorry for not posting this with my original post. I try to make sure my facts when quoted can be found.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Seabass on December 02, 2021, 06:46:10 PM
https://nwsportsmanmag.com/blues-elk-in-crisis-but-not-for-some-fwc-members/

Inside this article they have the link to the WDFW presentation on the data I quoted.  Sorry for not posting this with my original post. I try to make sure my facts when quoted can be found.

I read itÖitís disgusting! These are the most wretched kind of bureaucrats. They believe at a fundamental level that we should not be allowed to hunt.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: hunter399 on December 02, 2021, 06:51:06 PM
https://nwsportsmanmag.com/blues-elk-in-crisis-but-not-for-some-fwc-members/

Inside this article they have the link to the WDFW presentation on the data I quoted.  Sorry for not posting this with my original post. I try to make sure my facts when quoted can be found.

I read itÖitís disgusting! These are the most wretched kind of bureaucrats. They believe at a fundamental level that we should not be allowed to hunt.
I read it as well ,although I don't hunt there so.......
If they did predator hunting and reduced tags a bit more that would seem like a compromise.
I hate even reading this stuff ,cause they have to have five meeting about it before they do something. Can't they raise cat quotas now.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Seabass on December 02, 2021, 07:12:07 PM
I have never set foot in the blues, never applied for a tag, I donít even elk hunt but this is disturbing. There are clearly at least 2 members of that committee who are blatantly opposed to hunting.

They too spring bear hunting and they will eventually take whatever it is that youíre into.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: andersonjk4 on December 02, 2021, 07:57:08 PM
Another reason to comment at the commission meeting tomorrow. Tell the commission that in light of the recent elk calf study the cougar quotas in the Blue Mountain units should be raised.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: meatwhack on December 02, 2021, 07:59:33 PM
Another reason to comment at the commission meeting tomorrow. Tell the commission that in light of the recent elk calf study the cougar quotas in the Blue Mountain units should be raised.

Quotas in the blues should be removed all together.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: baldopepper on December 02, 2021, 08:31:37 PM
Are the quotas ever filled?  Honestly don't know, but without hound hunting it'd be tough. Maybe need to start a go fund me account to fund a private, very large bounty on lions even if  it only helped make sure the quotas are at least filled. $3-4,000 bounty might get more out chasing em. Not sure of the legality.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Seabass on December 02, 2021, 08:34:20 PM
Are the quotas ever filled?  Honestly don't know, but without hound hunting it'd be tough. Maybe need to start a go fund me account to fund a private, very large bounty on lions even if  it only helped make sure the quotas are at least filled. $3-4,000 bounty might get more out chasing em. Not sure of the legality.

Those catís wonít be the ultimate demise of huntingÖthose commissionerís will be.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: baldopepper on December 02, 2021, 08:46:35 PM
Quote from: baldopepper 5link=topic=260750.msg3614533#msg3614533 date=1638505897
Are the quotas ever filled?  Honestly don't know, but without hound hunting it'd be tough. Maybe need to start a go fund me account to fund a private, very large bounty on lions even if  it only helped make sure the quotas are at least filled. $3-4,000 bounty might get more out chasing em. Not sure of the legality.

Those catís wonít be the ultimate demise of huntingÖthose commissionerís will be.
not just a problem with the elk in the blues. Cat population is out of control all over the east side. Not that many years ago that seeing a lion was unusual, now it's very common around  me (except when I have rifle with me). Have nearly run over 2 since the start of the hunting season and seemed one of the kids saw one almost every day they were out(unfortunately not able to get a shot off)
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: meatwhack on December 02, 2021, 08:49:01 PM
Are the quotas ever filled?  Honestly don't know, but without hound hunting it'd be tough. Maybe need to start a go fund me account to fund a private, very large bounty on lions even if  it only helped make sure the quotas are at least filled. $3-4,000 bounty might get more out chasing em. Not sure of the legality.

Those catís wonít be the ultimate demise of huntingÖthose commissionerís will be.

A lot of times the quotas for the units in the blues have been reached before the late season starts so you canít even hunt them after the first of the year.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: idaho guy on December 02, 2021, 08:59:37 PM
Are the quotas ever filled?  Honestly don't know, but without hound hunting it'd be tough. Maybe need to start a go fund me account to fund a private, very large bounty on lions even if  it only helped make sure the quotas are at least filled. $3-4,000 bounty might get more out chasing em. Not sure of the legality.

Those catís wonít be the ultimate demise of huntingÖthose commissionerís will be.
 

 :yeah: I read the linked article. Pretty disgusting and hard to believe those 2 are commissioners
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Landowner on December 03, 2021, 05:35:12 PM
Latest twist by some wildlife activists and a couple of WDFW commissioners about the substantial collared elk calf mortality ó-the drop in elk population from 5600 to 3600 over 5 years  is perfectly normaló-because the Blues canít sustain an elk population of 5600. Even though the WDFW staff and the Blue Mountain Elk Management Plan solidly say otherwise.  Stay tuned.  This is significant.     
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: 85yota on December 07, 2021, 02:09:17 PM
Dori Monson had tom Nelson on to it was a good listen..the local tribes is saying this is another form of white supremecy
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Southpole on December 07, 2021, 05:25:48 PM
Dori Monson had tom Nelson on to it was a good listen..the local tribes is saying this is another form of white supremecy
I believe it was solely directed at koontz.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: nwwanderer on December 08, 2021, 09:52:02 AM
The root cause is not simple, bears, cats, wolves, lack of NF management, WDFW managing for bulls (forgot the cows have calves), crop damage management and I row in Seabass's boat (no pun intended), the commission and those who control it are the tap root.  Keep the pressure on for spring bear kill before calving season.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: X-Force on December 08, 2021, 09:57:15 AM
Dori Monson had tom Nelson on to it was a good listen..the local tribes is saying this is another form of white supremecy
I believe it was solely directed at koontz.

It was directed at Smith and Koontz
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: haus on December 26, 2021, 03:54:46 PM
Landowner thanks for your efforts and keeping us updated on here. What is the next step for the committee your on after receiving the study data?
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: dreamingbig on December 28, 2021, 10:32:23 PM
We have a crisis on our hands for sure.  The crisis is Smith and KoontzÖ they canít be more open with their mission to end all hunting.  They donít care about anything else.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: MR5x5 on December 29, 2021, 09:22:04 AM
Serious question.

Is there anything that prevents the tribes from going in a "managing" the various predators?
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: idahohuntr on December 29, 2021, 09:59:11 AM
Serious question.

Is there anything that prevents the tribes from going in a "managing" the various predators?
The simple answer is no.  While I'm always an advocate of cooperative management of a shared resource, it may be to everyone's interest for Tribes to take a leading role given WDFW is handicapped by state policies/politics/initiatives. 
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: MR5x5 on December 29, 2021, 11:03:48 AM
Serious question.

Is there anything that prevents the tribes from going in a "managing" the various predators?
The simple answer is no.  While I'm always an advocate of cooperative management of a shared resource, it may be to everyone's interest for Tribes to take a leading role given WDFW is handicapped by state policies/politics/initiatives.

Thanks.  Follow up.  Is there anything that prevent the tribes from "deputizing" non tribal members to help with such and effort?
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: MR5x5 on December 29, 2021, 11:04:26 AM
Serious question.

Is there anything that prevents the tribes from going in a "managing" the various predators?
The simple answer is no.  While I'm always an advocate of cooperative management of a shared resource, it may be to everyone's interest for Tribes to take a leading role given WDFW is handicapped by state policies/politics/initiatives.

Thanks.  Follow up.  Is there anything that prevents the tribes from "deputizing" non tribal members to help with such and effort?
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Rainier10 on December 29, 2021, 11:08:18 AM
Serious question.

Is there anything that prevents the tribes from going in a "managing" the various predators?
The simple answer is no.  While I'm always an advocate of cooperative management of a shared resource, it may be to everyone's interest for Tribes to take a leading role given WDFW is handicapped by state policies/politics/initiatives.

Thanks.  Follow up.  Is there anything that prevent the tribes from "deputizing" non tribal members to help with such and effort?
I'm not sure if it was in this thread or another one recently but I believe it was stated that it is possible on the reservation but not on ceded land/off the reservations.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: MR5x5 on December 29, 2021, 11:20:44 AM
Serious question.

Is there anything that prevents the tribes from going in a "managing" the various predators?
The simple answer is no.  While I'm always an advocate of cooperative management of a shared resource, it may be to everyone's interest for Tribes to take a leading role given WDFW is handicapped by state policies/politics/initiatives.

Thanks.  Follow up.  Is there anything that prevent the tribes from "deputizing" non tribal members to help with such and effort?
I'm not sure if it was in this thread or another one recently but I believe it was stated that it is possible on the reservation but not on ceded land/off the reservations.

That's too bad.  If  the tribes could define some sort to of limited "social membership" status it would be a great way to help each other out and end run politics.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: idahohuntr on December 29, 2021, 12:56:59 PM
Serious question.

Is there anything that prevents the tribes from going in a "managing" the various predators?
The simple answer is no.  While I'm always an advocate of cooperative management of a shared resource, it may be to everyone's interest for Tribes to take a leading role given WDFW is handicapped by state policies/politics/initiatives.

Thanks.  Follow up.  Is there anything that prevent the tribes from "deputizing" non tribal members to help with such and effort?
I'm not sure if it was in this thread or another one recently but I believe it was stated that it is possible on the reservation but not on ceded land/off the reservations.

That's too bad.  If  the tribes could define some sort to of limited "social membership" status it would be a great way to help each other out and end run politics.
Correct...no 'deputuzing' or granting treaty rights to non tribal members.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: haus on December 29, 2021, 08:40:42 PM
Serious question.

Is there anything that prevents the tribes from going in a "managing" the various predators?
The simple answer is no.  While I'm always an advocate of cooperative management of a shared resource, it may be to everyone's interest for Tribes to take a leading role given WDFW is handicapped by state policies/politics/initiatives.
That looks to be the direction things are heading in slowly. Non-tribal and tribal hunters building a cooperative bridge towards sustainable wildlife management for harvest would certainly accelerate this process and possibly maybe force the state into a corner.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: idaho guy on December 29, 2021, 08:49:28 PM
Serious question.

Is there anything that prevents the tribes from going in a "managing" the various predators?
The simple answer is no.  While I'm always an advocate of cooperative management of a shared resource, it may be to everyone's interest for Tribes to take a leading role given WDFW is handicapped by state policies/politics/initiatives.
That looks to be the direction things are heading in slowly. Non-tribal and tribal hunters building a cooperative bridge towards sustainable wildlife management for harvest would certainly accelerate this process and possibly maybe force the state into a corner.
 

Native Americans could be a huge asset. Have to figure out a way to incentivize them to focus on predators for a few years. They could use hounds in the blues as long as they are tribal members I think?
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: dreamingbig on December 29, 2021, 10:28:40 PM
$500 per predatorÖ. Who is starting the fund?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: huntnnw on December 29, 2021, 10:43:22 PM
problem with wdfw cougar quota is its a joke! come Jan 1 there will be several units on the eastide closed due to the quota being met. One year unit 105 was 5 cats! thats a joke! there are places that 1 mountain has 5 cats
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: hunter399 on December 30, 2021, 03:41:03 AM
I hate to do this to the thread.

E-bikes
One word problem, you all love them .
Reap the rewards
Elk down there are no secret ,and now add easy access .
Bye Bye elk.
I know I'm a joy kill sometimes. :chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle:
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: elkchaser54 on December 31, 2021, 10:02:27 AM
E bikes in the blues ? You clearly have never been there.  There are very few spots a bike could get you anywhere near an elk in the blues.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: haus on December 31, 2021, 11:10:26 AM
$500 per predatorÖ. Who is starting the fund?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I don't see a need for a monetary incentive, they're motivated to hunt predators for the same reasons non tribal are.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Dan-o on December 31, 2021, 11:53:06 AM
I hate to do this to the thread.

E-bikes
One word problem, you all love them .
Reap the rewards
Elk down there are no secret ,and now add easy access .
Bye Bye elk.
I know I'm a joy kill sometimes. :chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle:

 :chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle:

I hope you don't do diagnostic work for a living.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: elkchaser54 on January 04, 2022, 01:43:17 PM
https://lmtribune.com/northwest/asotin-county-wants-cougar-season-extended/article_b143121f-a977-52c9-be87-899c1e2d6f5a.html
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Timberstalker on January 04, 2022, 02:12:55 PM
Let's hope they grant it!  Thanks for sharing, elkchaser.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: trophyhunt on January 04, 2022, 02:41:44 PM
How will it really help? Iíve personally spent many many days and hours glassing those mountains and yet to see a cat?? Years Iíve been all over the wenaha, hiked many miles and no cats, I just donít get it!!  I know, I should say, I believe all the info about cats being a huge problem, I believe they are most likely the biggest prob, mostly because a guide I know over there says so. But Iím not a horrible hunter and Iíve taken a bunch of bears and seen one wolf, but never had the opportunity to take a cat. If they opened up cougar hunting year round with NO limits, would it really make a dent? Or is this just an easy way for WDFW to show they are trying to help when itís not a drop in the bucket?  Just a thought here.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: hunter399 on January 04, 2022, 03:05:12 PM
E bikes in the blues ? You clearly have never been there.  There are very few spots a bike could get you anywhere near an elk in the blues.
Your right ,never been there.
I'm looking on onx though ,maybe I need to go there.👍
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Timberstalker on January 04, 2022, 05:40:36 PM
How will it really help? Iíve personally spent many many days and hours glassing those mountains and yet to see a cat?? Years Iíve been all over the wenaha, hiked many miles and no cats, I just donít get it!!  I know, I should say, I believe all the info about cats being a huge problem, I believe they are most likely the biggest prob, mostly because a guide I know over there says so. But Iím not a horrible hunter and Iíve taken a bunch of bears and seen one wolf, but never had the opportunity to take a cat. If they opened up cougar hunting year round with NO limits, would it really make a dent? Or is this just an easy way for WDFW to show they are trying to help when itís not a drop in the bucket?  Just a thought here.

Jerry, I hear you. But all I know is that we definitely canít kill the freaking cats if the season isnít open.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: JeepWrangler on January 04, 2022, 06:24:14 PM
01/04/2022
06:22pm

DFW Cougar Hunt Area Hotline  (866) 364-4868

Just listened to the recording on the hotline

 * Currently all cougar hunting areas are open *

I would like to recommend the book:

"Calling Cougars - The Ultimate Predator Hunt"
written by Tim Roberts

Good luck to everyone
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: meatwhack on January 04, 2022, 06:32:34 PM
If they opened cats up for hunting at night and removed the quota youíd see some cats hitting the dirt in a hurry.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: huntnnw on January 04, 2022, 10:12:06 PM
How will it really help? Iíve personally spent many many days and hours glassing those mountains and yet to see a cat?? Years Iíve been all over the wenaha, hiked many miles and no cats, I just donít get it!!  I know, I should say, I believe all the info about cats being a huge problem, I believe they are most likely the biggest prob, mostly because a guide I know over there says so. But Iím not a horrible hunter and Iíve taken a bunch of bears and seen one wolf, but never had the opportunity to take a cat. If they opened up cougar hunting year round with NO limits, would it really make a dent? Or is this just an easy way for WDFW to show they are trying to help when itís not a drop in the bucket?  Just a thought here.

last time I had a elk tag there I had a cam on a ridge and had 3 different cats walk by in the summer and early fall in the wide open in the daylight. They are there just low odds to get a shot. I am going to try in january as we are getting lots of snow and the elk and deer are going to be super concentrated.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: haus on January 05, 2022, 02:56:53 AM
The cougar population was way high in blues when I was hunting the region in the early 00's. I don't doubt the recent data obtained, but if this were consistent for the past 20 years the elk pop decline would be greater than it currently is, as that calf kill rate is completely insustainable. Guess what I'm getting at is if there has been a shift with the prey focus of the cougar pop in the region, what's the cause?
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: meatwhack on January 05, 2022, 07:39:20 AM
The cougar population in the blues is significantly higher now than it was in the early 2000ís.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: JakeLand on January 05, 2022, 09:08:10 AM
Advocate for if youíre a licensed trapper and have a cougar tag to be able to trap your cat ! Just being able to trap ( and a NO quota on cougar ) would help put a good dent in density populations
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: MtnMuley on January 10, 2022, 04:33:46 PM
The cougar population in the blues is significantly higher now than it was in the early 2000ís.
:yeah:
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Browndawg on January 11, 2022, 12:42:14 PM
https://www.fieldandstream.com/conservation/cougars-decimate-washington-elk-calves/
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Rainier10 on January 23, 2022, 08:59:26 AM
And cougar hunting is now closed in these units that are struggling with calf recruitment because of the cougar population. :bash: :bash: :bash:

Hunt Area  GMUs 149, 154, 157, 162, 163Late Hunting Season  January 1 - April 30, 2022Status  CLOSED (21 Jan 2022)
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: bearpaw on January 23, 2022, 11:06:39 AM
The cougar population was way high in blues when I was hunting the region in the early 00's. I don't doubt the recent data obtained, but if this were consistent for the past 20 years the elk pop decline would be greater than it currently is, as that calf kill rate is completely insustainable. Guess what I'm getting at is if there has been a shift with the prey focus of the cougar pop in the region, what's the cause?

I would suspect the following scenario: Deer are normally the number one prey for cougar, but in areas where there are more elk than deer cougar will focus on elk. Hunter accounts in this topic mention how the deer have disappeared in the blues (probably due to over predation by cats) now the cats have to shift to elk.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: jackelope on January 23, 2022, 11:45:20 AM
Deer havenít been plentiful in the Blues since at least 2010 and probably further back than that. At least not in the mountains. In the foothills and farm country there was always more deer,  but even that population is nosediving. In 2013 I had 5 different lions on one camera 100í off of a crp field in the farm country/foothills. One was collared as part of a study 5 ish years earlier and I canít remember how many miles away. More than a couple miles away.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: meatwhack on January 23, 2022, 12:22:11 PM
Iíd say the deer numbers in the blues have been declining since probably the 90ís and have gotten substantially worse the last 10 to 15 years.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Bob33 on January 23, 2022, 12:26:03 PM
It's raining cats, dogs and bears on our big game.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Pathfinder101 on January 24, 2022, 11:29:31 AM
The cougar population was way high in blues when I was hunting the region in the early 00's. I don't doubt the recent data obtained, but if this were consistent for the past 20 years the elk pop decline would be greater than it currently is, as that calf kill rate is completely insustainable. Guess what I'm getting at is if there has been a shift with the prey focus of the cougar pop in the region, what's the cause?

I would suspect the following scenario: Deer are normally the number one prey for cougar, but in areas where there are more elk than deer cougar will focus on elk. Hunter accounts in this topic mention how the deer have disappeared in the blues (probably due to over predation by cats) now the cats have to shift to elk.

This is spot on.   :yeah:  I don't even go to the mountains anymore for deer.  In fact, the only thing I have gone up there for the past few years is bear hunting. 
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Rainier10 on January 24, 2022, 12:00:25 PM
Calf elk are basically the same size as an adult deer.  It would make perfect sense that after the deer were depleted the cougars would shift to eating calf elk.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: nwwanderer on January 25, 2022, 12:40:44 PM
No shift needed, per WDFW study cats kill elk all the time and most of those areas have met quotas and are closed to further cougar take.  How worried about the elk is WDFW?
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: huntnnw on February 27, 2022, 10:47:04 PM
Anybody know the specifics in the calf mortality study they did? such as did they collar random calves in all of the Blue mountain units? Ive been in Mt view and the calves there are not hurting. Lots of calves, hundreds of deer, most whitetails Ive ever seen on the river. The deer in the breaks of that area have never been hurting.Quality is the only thing lacking in that country in the mule deer
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: elkchaser54 on February 28, 2022, 06:54:59 AM
Anybody know the specifics in the calf mortality study they did? such as did they collar random calves in all of the Blue mountain units? Ive been in Mt view and the calves there are not hurting. Lots of calves, hundreds of deer, most whitetails Ive ever seen on the river. The deer in the breaks of that area have never been hurting.Quality is the only thing lacking in that country in the mule deer

If you scroll back in this post you will find the link to the article, it showed nearly 80% of calf elk were killed by cats and the overall mortality was almost 90% of the collared calfs died .
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: nwhunter on February 28, 2022, 07:45:07 AM
Anybody know the specifics in the calf mortality study they did? such as did they collar random calves in all of the Blue mountain units? Ive been in Mt view and the calves there are not hurting. Lots of calves, hundreds of deer, most whitetails Ive ever seen on the river. The deer in the breaks of that area have never been hurting.Quality is the only thing lacking in that country in the mule deer

Majority of the calves captured were in Dayton area I believe
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Landowner on February 28, 2022, 01:01:42 PM
Quick update. WDFW staff on the elk calf mortality committee said last year  plan to help mitigate impact on elk mortality from predators would include going after and killing cougars, etc  with hounds.

But now staff with advice of AG says RCWs donít authorize killing predators with use of hounds to help protect other wildlife populations like elk and deer. See RCW 77.15.245

So, absent a legislative amendment, the cats and bears will run free unmolested to kill large numbers of  ungulates, except during authorized hunting seasons.  Too late this year for any attempt to get favorable legislation, not to mention the problems in getting any passed with the makeup of the legislature. 

Another mortality study on elk calves will be done in May-June. Not sure where this ends up. I can say the County Commissioners and stakeholders on the committee will try our best to make a difference.  No guarantees. The predator advocate groups are well funded and organized to fight for predators at every juncture.  Stay tuned. 
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Tbar on February 28, 2022, 01:19:22 PM
Quick update. WDFW staff on the elk calf mortality committee said last year  plan to help mitigate impact on elk mortality from predators would include going after and killing cougars, etc  with hounds.

But now staff with advice of AG says RCWs donít authorize killing predators with use of hounds to help protect other wildlife populations like elk and deer. See RCW 77.15.245

So, absent a legislative amendment, the cats and bears will run free unmolested to kill large numbers of  ungulates, except during authorized hunting seasons.  Too late this year for any attempt to get favorable legislation, not to mention the problems in getting any passed with the makeup of the legislature. 

Another mortality study on elk calves will be done in May-June. Not sure where this ends up. I can say the County Commissioners and stakeholders on the committee will try our best to make a difference.  No guarantees. The predator advocate groups are well funded and organized to fight for predators at every juncture.  Stay tuned.
:yeah:
@Saylean
This was info I referenced in pm that you said you knew about. Unfortunate but these are the cards in play.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: elkchaser54 on February 28, 2022, 03:27:46 PM
Yea I ran in to a couple of the locations where they collated the calfs and both location were in the Dayton unit. Having hunted mtn view and Dayton , I would definitely say Dayton has been hit harder in the recent years vs mtn view.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: huntnnw on February 28, 2022, 10:21:03 PM
Yea I ran in to a couple of the locations where they collated the calfs and both location were in the Dayton unit. Having hunted mtn view and Dayton , I would definitely say Dayton has been hit harder in the recent years vs mtn view.

from what I have heard dayton has been hit the hardest. There never seems to be a shortage elk when I m down fishing and glassing hills.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: sixgun_symphony on March 25, 2022, 04:41:05 AM
The reason why the urban Left was able to abolish bear baiting, trapping, and hunting with hounds is that most sportsmen and most gun owners don't vote. We get too many of the "leave me alone" personality types that will not participate in the political process. What they do not comprehend is that they allow others to rule over them by not voting.

Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: dvolmer on March 25, 2022, 02:22:46 PM
The reason why the urban Left was able to abolish bear baiting, trapping, and hunting with hounds is that most sportsmen and most gun owners don't vote. We get too many of the "leave me alone" personality types that will not participate in the political process. What they do not comprehend is that they allow others to rule over them by not voting.
I totally agree that we all need to vote!!!  But sadly, we just don't have enough votes in this Lib-Tard state to do any good.  This state is Baked! Done!! Doomed!!!  Only chance we have is to split off Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington and make our own state.  But that will never be allowed.  Washington isn't the only state going to Hell and a Handbasket.  Even a lot of the big boy states when it comes to hunting are in trouble in the near and distant future.  Colorado, Montana, Idaho etc etc are having Lib-Tards leave the states they have destroyed and moved in.  Sad part is they still vote the same (Liberalism is not a political stance, it is a mental disorder).  These states are behind us but in 20 years they will be where we are now.  I have seen Washington State going down hill for 50 years.  I just never dreamed it would accelerate at the rate it has in the last 2-4 years.  Unbelievable total destruction.
Title: Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
Post by: Jimmy33 on March 27, 2022, 06:39:01 AM
The reason why the urban Left was able to abolish bear baiting, trapping, and hunting with hounds is that most sportsmen and most gun owners don't vote. We get too many of the "leave me alone" personality types that will not participate in the political process. What they do not comprehend is that they allow others to rule over them by not voting.
I totally agree that we all need to vote!!!  But sadly, we just don't have enough votes in this Lib-Tard state to do any good.  This state is Baked! Done!! Doomed!!!  Only chance we have is to split off Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington and make our own state.  But that will never be allowed.  Washington isn't the only state going to Hell and a Handbasket.  Even a lot of the big boy states when it comes to hunting are in trouble in the near and distant future.  Colorado, Montana, Idaho etc etc are having Lib-Tards leave the states they have destroyed and moved in.  Sad part is they still vote the same (Liberalism is not a political stance, it is a mental disorder).  These states are behind us but in 20 years they will be where we are now.  I have seen Washington State going down hill for 50 years.  I just never dreamed it would accelerate at the rate it has in the last 2-4 years.  Unbelievable total destruction.

Agreed...not sure why an self respecting American who loves freedom votes Democrat these days
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