collapse

Advertisement


Author Topic: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings  (Read 2968 times)

Online cougforester

  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 913
  • Location: Spokane
  • Groups: DU, RMEF
Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« on: September 20, 2020, 04:38:21 PM »
I just sent off an email to the biologists for the NE.

Quote
1. Pursuant to the first bullet point on page vii of the Management Plan, has any formal survey protocol actually been developed or implemented? The 2020 hunting prospects document states quite clearly that these have not, and instead use surrogates. It would seem that as more eyes come onto the NE in all facets, including wolves, mountain caribou extinction, CWD and other diseases, more formal data collection of true elk population numbers should be pursued.

2. The Selkirk Herd has been supplemented with 8 past releases of elk in the past, with the most being in 2000. The stated goal of the department for this sub-herd is to grow the population to an upper limit of 2,500 elk. Are any more releases/supplementations being considered?

We saw some incredible country, throughout both private timberlands and public ownership, that was either devoid of elk or was used solely as transitional habitat. Everything weíve heard about the elk up north prior to hunting them was theyíre highly nomadic, move often and frequently, and are in small bands. To my amateur eye, there could be significantly more elk than 2,500. Between the 3 counties, there is 6,081 sq miles of land, of which the GMUs make up 4,629 sq miles. Using the 2500 mark, that would be 1 elk per 1.85  sq mi (1 elk/ 1185 acres). Yes, there are cities, roads, developed areas to take out of these acres, but that sure still seems like low densities.


The areas I hunted in Montana last year, while slightly over objective, had roughly 2,000 elk in 630 square miles, which equates to 1 elk per 0.32 square miles or 1 elk per 202 acres.

This rolls into another issue of relating this OTC opportunity to declining bull tags in the Yakima/ Blues herd. If this herd could be augmented and increase populations, theoretically less hunters would be chasing spikes during general season in the 300 series GMUs and could hunt in the NE with a reasonable chance of harvesting a mature bull, or any elk for that matter and not chase true spike unicorns. That would allow more bulls to reach mature age, and should increase tag allocations generating more revenue to the department for application fees. Elk from areas that consistently cause crop damage could be relocated to the north and help resolve two issues with one action. Could the Selkirk herd be used to help improve herd conditions for the other major populations in the state?

3. The five year average for all weapon categories for elk harvest, regardless of sex or species, from the 2020 Hunting Prospects is 230. The table in the Selkirk Management Plan from 2001-2010 for the Pend Oreille sub-herd shows an average of 212. Current population estimates for the Pend Oreille Sub-herd shows estimates 1,500 animals, which would leave about 1,300 animals post hunting season. Iíve attached a table showing where elk mortality would come from and animals theoretically left on the landscape post-hunting season. Itís not 100% accurate, as Iíve reduced wolf kills from 17 elk per wolf per year to 10, since Iím assuming they would eat other prey (deer/moose) and not just elk (page 18 of Selkirk Elk Plan).I also used the minimum confirmed population levels, so odds are these numbers and wolf kills are even higher. I also assumed reasonable levels for bear/cougar/poaching based on other data in the elk plan. Are elk numbers in the Selkirk herd being considered to help benefit the growing predator populations in the NE?


As wolf populations should continue to grow, they will need more prey to feed on. The recent move to start black bear season on August 1 statewide and allow 2 bears statewide should help mitigate some of those kills by bears as more hunters harvest more black bears. However wolf populations are going to continue to expand for the foreseeable future and could shift their attention to already vulnerable moose populations for larger prey if elk begin to decline. It would appear that supplementing this herd could further decrease livestock predations, as there are wild sources of prey that wolves could chase and reduce the number of wolves the department would have to lethally remove.


4. Only 1.5 claims of ag damage by the Selkirk herd were recorded during 2001-2010. There is good logic in the Selkirk plan on page 24 regarding ag damage that shows how these costs can be mitigated, and how additional hunters in the area pursuing big game could contribute to fund additional damage claims that may occur with increased elk populations.

5. On page 29, the second question stated on the research needs section seems like a great way to collect data easily and efficiently related to body condition and nutrition and how that relates to overall herd health. I would like to see more of that pushed.

6. New research shows that closed roads are great for security, but actually offer little benefit to elk  if there is no habitat to utilize behind the closed roads and in the secured areas. As there will come a push for more intensive management of federal lands in the Selkirk herd area (hopefully state as well) due to our recent fire season and smoke issues, wildlife managers should use this as an opportunity to further expand habitat improvement projects. What other planned work does the department have to improve habitat for the Selkirk herd in the coming years?


In summary, I believe this herd has an excellent opportunity for growth and improvement based on visual observation of habitat quality, current low density of elk, and stated goals from the department wanting to grow this herd.


Any information you could share on plans to follow through on the management plan, or ways that volunteers could help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

I knew going into this season that elk numbers were low, but my partner and I just could not wrap our heads around why this herd is being neglected.

More documentation can be found here:
https://wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/02167/district_1_hunting_prospects_2020.pdf
wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/01350/wdfw01350.pdf

I'd suggest giving these a read. There's some really good information in there, and I think there's tremendous opportunity to improve hunting here that would in turn benefit a number of other goals that WDFW has.

I'd love more input on this as I'm new to that herd and region, but these were just some of our initial thoughts while stomping through an absurd amount of country that didn't have elk in it.

Online Buckhunter24

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Dec 2009
  • Posts: 1496
  • Location: Spokane
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2020, 05:19:29 PM »
From the federal side, the stewardship sale prescriptions often aim for increasing aspen stocking. I believe one of the purposes of that is for increased elk habitat. I can't find that in writing anywhere in the 10 year forest plan though. There sure is a lot of ground up there for them. Nice work on the bull :tup:


Offline buckfvr

  • Washington For Wildlife
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 3538
  • Location: PREDATOR PIT UNIT 121
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2020, 05:37:38 PM »
To believe them would be gullible.  It was any elk up here for years as they managed the herds in the interest of the timber companies who dont like them.  The fix was when they changed from any elk to bulls only, modern and muzzleloader, and no more cows late archery, as their (wdfw) attempt at "increasing the herds for more opportunity", which in its timing coincided nicely with the proliferation of the wolf packs.

Some of the guys took them for their word initially, but soon all/most recognized they took cows from hunters and gave them to the wolves.

N.E. Wa. could hold many more elk if they were managed differently, along with the forests.  I am of the opinion wdfw can not be believed under any circumstances as they are thumb screwed by special interests groups and politics.

Online cougforester

  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 913
  • Location: Spokane
  • Groups: DU, RMEF
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2020, 06:02:13 PM »
I don't know if I'm quite ready to believe completely the timber industry being responsible for a lack of elk in the NE. If that was the case, why aren't all the west side units any elk that are primarily industrial forest? Many harvest designs in the NE don't need to be reforested, which is primarily where the cost of elk hits timber companies.

I definitely am cautious of what WDFW publicly states as their reasoning for things when their actions point to other things.

I'm curious to see what, if any, response from them I get on this and I'm looking forward to learning more about this herd and it's history.

Offline buckfvr

  • Washington For Wildlife
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 3538
  • Location: PREDATOR PIT UNIT 121
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2020, 06:08:12 PM »
Timber companies are large and powerful players, not solely to blame for sure, but certainly in the mix.  Wed all love to see elk in numbers usually associated with 1.1 million acres of national forest (Colville NF), and surrounding areas, but the entire focus on n.e.wa. is whitetail free for all.  High yield of young bucks.  Enough folks turn out for that so wdfw seems disinterested in newa becoming an elk destination as well.

Offline Alan K

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Posts: 2652
  • Location: Lewis County, WA
  • University of Idaho Alumni
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2020, 06:08:32 PM »
What makes you say/think timber companies do not like elk?  Admittedly I'm only involved in timber management on the west side, but ungulate browse damage is rarely significant enough to have a meaningful impact on a stand. Cedar is about the only crop species that get hammered over here.  :twocents:

If there are agricultural lands, especially on winter range, that's be a more likely reason. That or competition for winter range forage with other more desired species?  :dunno:

Online cougforester

  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 913
  • Location: Spokane
  • Groups: DU, RMEF
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2020, 06:23:09 PM »
What makes you say/think timber companies do not like elk?  Admittedly I'm only involved in timber management on the west side, but ungulate browse damage is rarely significant enough to have a meaningful impact on a stand. Cedar is about the only crop species that get hammered over here.  :twocents:

If there are agricultural lands, especially on winter range, that's be a more likely reason. That or competition for winter range forage with other more desired species?  :dunno:
Here's what the Selkirk Elk Plan has to say about competing species. Take from it what you will....

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk


Offline buckfvr

  • Washington For Wildlife
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 3538
  • Location: PREDATOR PIT UNIT 121
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2020, 06:30:04 PM »
My bad, but I believed what I was told at one of the meetings from someone who we should all be able to believe.  That being said, elk were blamed for killing many seedlings each spring that were planted the year before and were one of the first early spring browse targets of elk.  Not stating as fact, just what I was told.

Also, over the years, there have been plenty of at times free flowing depredation elk tags for wintering elk getting in to hay barns and such....again this I was told by insider and farmer who was a habitual depredation tag recipient.

Offline Ridgeratt

  • Washington For Wildlife
  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Posts: 3984
  • IBEW 73 (Retired)
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2020, 06:37:47 PM »
If you research the trend reports from the wdfw back in the early 2000. Dana Base wrote that the position of the wdfw was to not encourage the expansion of the elk herd west of the Columbia River. Some place in all my files I have the report. But it still should be public information.

Online cougforester

  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 913
  • Location: Spokane
  • Groups: DU, RMEF
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2020, 06:48:54 PM »
If you research the trend reports from the wdfw back in the early 2000. Dana Base wrote that the position of the wdfw was to not encourage the expansion of the elk herd west of the Columbia River. Some place in all my files I have the report. But it still should be public information.

The Selkirk Elk Plan that was written in 2014 clearly states that they have a desire to INCREASE the Selkirk herd by roughly 1,000 elk.

EDIT: Did you mean east of the river?

Offline buckfvr

  • Washington For Wildlife
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 3538
  • Location: PREDATOR PIT UNIT 121
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2020, 06:54:35 PM »
So, 6 years later, how do the herds of then and now compare ?   How have they been impacted by predators and is there tribal hunting ?

Offline Bango skank

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (+9)
  • Old Salt
  • ******
  • Join Date: May 2014
  • Posts: 5892
  • Location: colville
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2020, 07:02:49 PM »
So, 6 years later, how do the herds of then and now compare ?   

Oh huge improvement!  :chuckle:

Online cougforester

  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 913
  • Location: Spokane
  • Groups: DU, RMEF
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2020, 07:05:54 PM »
So, 6 years later, how do the herds of then and now compare ?   How have they been impacted by predators and is there tribal hunting ?

Reported harvest has gone up slightly. But any herd gains have likely been negated by wolf predation. I'm not saying they're meeting their stated goals, but that it's at least on paper. I think their goal of 2500 is still ridiculously low and should be at least more in the 3500 level or more. The habitat is there, so they should be taking off.

They say tribal hunting is pretty negligible since it seems the tribes up north don't have off-reservation hunting rights and have to abide by state laws when hunting off reservation. Some elk for sure get whacked on reservation, but I don't think it's the same impact as other areas in the state.

Again, all this is being pulled from their 2020 Hunting Prospects and 2014 Selkirk Elk Herd Management Plan. This is where my skepticism of WDFW comes play with what they say they want to do and what they actually do. On paper it sounds acceptable, but could be better. In practice it's pretty pathetic.

Offline WapitiTalk1

  • Past Sponsor
  • Trade Count: (+9)
  • Old Salt
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2011
  • Posts: 5572
  • Location: The Evergreen State
  • Groups: RMEF, NRA, US Army (R)
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2020, 07:23:37 PM »
Pre wolf introduction elk herd or 17K down to a bit over 2K now. I talked to an old boy a few years ago who was present when they initially released the first breeding pairs. The idiots were whooping and hollering as they watched/released into the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness, the evil that would decimate the elk herd and pretty much reduce the moose herd to unimaginable low numbers.  Great times were living in. Shoot, stomp every one of those *censored*s you/we can (Iím talking about the wolves BTW  :rolleyes:). Would love to ďintroduceĒ a few starving wolves into the homes of some of the fools who support/have supported dropping a new apex predator into established eco systems.
Darton Archery Maverick II
Traditions Vortek StrikeFire Smoke Pole
Weatherby VG-2 Boomstick
"Poking at a campfire with a stick is one of life's great satisfactions." Patrick F. McManus

Offline Ridgeratt

  • Washington For Wildlife
  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Posts: 3984
  • IBEW 73 (Retired)
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2020, 07:27:46 PM »
If you research the trend reports from the wdfw back in the early 2000. Dana Base wrote that the position of the wdfw was to not encourage the expansion of the elk herd west of the Columbia River. Some place in all my files I have the report. But it still should be public information.

The Selkirk Elk Plan that was written in 2014 clearly states that they have a desire to INCREASE the Selkirk herd by roughly 1,000 elk.

EDIT: Did you mean east of the river?


They were talking about units 101,105

Online cougforester

  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 913
  • Location: Spokane
  • Groups: DU, RMEF
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2020, 07:43:47 PM »
If you research the trend reports from the wdfw back in the early 2000. Dana Base wrote that the position of the wdfw was to not encourage the expansion of the elk herd west of the Columbia River. Some place in all my files I have the report. But it still should be public information.

The Selkirk Elk Plan that was written in 2014 clearly states that they have a desire to INCREASE the Selkirk herd by roughly 1,000 elk.

EDIT: Did you mean east of the river?


They were talking about units 101,105

Gotcha. Hm. I've not seen that but if it's out there, it's out there!

Pre wolf introduction elk herd or 17K down to a bit over 2K now.

The herd used to be 17k?!?

Offline WapitiTalk1

  • Past Sponsor
  • Trade Count: (+9)
  • Old Salt
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2011
  • Posts: 5572
  • Location: The Evergreen State
  • Groups: RMEF, NRA, US Army (R)
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2020, 07:57:06 PM »
If you research the trend reports from the wdfw back in the early 2000. Dana Base wrote that the position of the wdfw was to not encourage the expansion of the elk herd west of the Columbia River. Some place in all my files I have the report. But it still should be public information.

The Selkirk Elk Plan that was written in 2014 clearly states that they have a desire to INCREASE the Selkirk herd by roughly 1,000 elk.

EDIT: Did you mean east of the river?


They were talking about units 101,105

Gotcha. Hm. I've not seen that but if it's out there, it's out there!

Pre wolf introduction elk herd or 17K down to a bit over 2K now.

The herd used to be 17k?!?

Thatís what the old codger from Elk City told me a few years ago. I also talked to a local outfitter (checking his planned hunting spots as I had scouted a few close areas) and he mimicked very similar numbers.
Darton Archery Maverick II
Traditions Vortek StrikeFire Smoke Pole
Weatherby VG-2 Boomstick
"Poking at a campfire with a stick is one of life's great satisfactions." Patrick F. McManus

Online Buckhunter24

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Dec 2009
  • Posts: 1496
  • Location: Spokane
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2020, 08:14:36 PM »
Easy to mix up Selway and selkirk..

Offline WapitiTalk1

  • Past Sponsor
  • Trade Count: (+9)
  • Old Salt
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2011
  • Posts: 5572
  • Location: The Evergreen State
  • Groups: RMEF, NRA, US Army (R)
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2020, 08:20:47 PM »
Geezus, sorry CF. Iím out of bounds on this one (had Selway in the brain as I hunted that elk less hole a few years ago). RJ
Darton Archery Maverick II
Traditions Vortek StrikeFire Smoke Pole
Weatherby VG-2 Boomstick
"Poking at a campfire with a stick is one of life's great satisfactions." Patrick F. McManus

Online cougforester

  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 913
  • Location: Spokane
  • Groups: DU, RMEF
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2020, 08:55:21 PM »
I was very very confused for a bit. I knew that the Selway had been demolished too, but I  was thrown for a loop with hearing the SELKIRK herd was over 17k! No problem  :tup:

Offline bearpaw

  • Family, Friends, Outdoors
  • Administrator
  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Apr 2009
  • Posts: 33810
  • Location: Colville
  • "Rather Be Cougar Huntin"
    • http://www.facebook.com/DaleDenney
    • Bearpaw Outfitters
  • Groups: NRA, SCI, F4WM, IOGA, MOGA, CCOC, BBB, RMEF, WSTA, WSB
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2020, 04:50:36 AM »
Some History
When I was a kid there were almost no elk in NE WA, they were only found in a few small areas of the NE, mainly in GMU 113. For many years the WDFW's top priority was to maintain NE WA as primary whitetail habitat. The first unit that was managed for elk was GMU 113. There was open season on any elk you saw in other GMU's, anyone could shoot bulls, cows, or calves. Miraculously the elk ever so slowly increased, elk slowly moved in from Idaho and from B.C., most likely elk numbers increased only because of the heavy cover and many places to hide. Local hunters became more fond of elk hunting and put a lot of pressure on WDFW to stop the killing of cows and calves. After a good many years WDFW finally started managing more GMU's for elk and eventually eliminated the any elk season in other NE units. This took literally decades of complaining to get WDFW to finally allow the elk to increase!
Americans are systematically advocating, legislating, and voting away each others rights. Support all user groups & quit losing opportunity!

http://bearpawoutfitters.com Guided Hunts, Unguided, & Drop Camps in Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wash. Hunts with tags available (no draw) for spring bear, fall bear, buffalo, cougar, elk, mule deer, turkey, whitetail, wolf! http://trophymaps.com DIY Hunting Maps are also offered.

Offline Cougartail

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Posts: 1867
  • Location: Eastern Washington
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2020, 05:01:08 AM »
Some History
When I was a kid there were almost no elk in NE WA, they were only found in a few small areas of the NE, mainly in GMU 113. For many years the WDFW's top priority was to maintain NE WA as primary whitetail habitat. The first unit that was managed for elk was GMU 113. There was open season on any elk you saw in other GMU's, anyone could shoot bulls, cows, or calves. Miraculously the elk ever so slowly increased, elk slowly moved in from Idaho and from B.C., most likely elk numbers increased only because of the heavy cover and many places to hide. Local hunters became more fond of elk hunting and put a lot of pressure on WDFW to stop the killing of cows and calves. After a good many years WDFW finally started managing more GMU's for elk and eventually eliminated the any elk season in other NE units. This took literally decades of complaining to get WDFW to finally allow the elk to increase!

A whitetail hunter who worked at WDFW must of retired?
Don't even respond to the little provocateurs. Just smack them when they go to far.

Offline hunterofelk

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Mar 2007
  • Posts: 853
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2020, 05:48:15 AM »
It may be the threat of herds of elk feeding in the orchards during the winter that keeps population increase on the back burner. Poaching might be a factor, too.  I only know of one instance in the Sinlahekin where a bull was spotted and everyone was out to get him.  Season or license didn't matter.  That might lead one to think it happens often. 

Offline nwwanderer

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Sep 2010
  • Posts: 2567
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2020, 05:49:59 AM »
Any population estimates pre and post wolf, seems likely with increased bovine pressure the elk numbers would be down.  The managers on the Spokane and Colville may have a better handle on it.

Offline Ridgeratt

  • Washington For Wildlife
  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Posts: 3984
  • IBEW 73 (Retired)
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2020, 06:12:35 AM »
Lets see if this works!  The 2004 Trend report. Page 54.

https://wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/00440/wdfw00440.pdf


Population objectives and guidelines
Elk (Cervus elaphus) are managed in two zones
within the Colville District as divided by Game
Management Units (GMUs). Within GMUs 111, 113,
and 117, increasing the numbers of elk along with their
distribution is the goal. Here the elk hunter harvest
objective is to maintain the annual overall bull mortality
rate at less than 50% and a post hunting season bull-tocow ratio of 12 to 20 bulls:100 cows (WDFW 2003).
Antlerless hunting opportunity within these GMUs is by
permit only, except that bow hunters may hunt any elk.
Elk population growth is discouraged within the other
elk management zone, which includes GMUs 101, 105,
108, 121, and 124. Consequently ďany elkĒ seasons are
generally offered within these GMUs.

« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 06:18:44 AM by Ridgeratt »

Offline KFhunter

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Posts: 25055
  • Location: NE Corner
  • My posts do not reflect an official opinion of HW
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2020, 09:22:08 AM »
Very little bovine pressure, very few orchards, its predators thats drivibg herd reduction.

They managed to grow in population dispite an OTC free-for-all, now that most cow hunts are stopped they should by all rights grow even faster...but are in decline

They only factor that has changed (that would contribute to herd decline) is introducing wolves and limited cougar, bear hunting.

I've hunted selkirk many years, prior to wolves you'd literally trip over deer while chasing elk, the deer were the biggest noticeable decline, it was drastic.  It got to where I didn't bust a single deer in a weeks hunt in elk woods.

Started going down creek drainages and its dead elk after dead elk, having been run to water.

There's still some elk, they tend to be on well worn paths to ag lands, but hump in the higher country and its devastation.

The NE could easily compete with the blues, yaks and other central wa herds, the NE could easily take hunting pressure off those herds allowing them to come back to objectives.

If only it were managed.


I remember the selkirks prior to wolves, its sickening what's happened.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk


Online cougforester

  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 913
  • Location: Spokane
  • Groups: DU, RMEF
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2020, 09:35:48 AM »
A predator explosion with no end in sight  is the only thing that I see as well limiting herd growth. The habitat is beautiful and there's lots and lots of it. But if the elk keep getting eaten before they've got a chance to reproduce, there's nowhere to go but down regardless of the habitat availability.

Offline Ridgeratt

  • Washington For Wildlife
  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Posts: 3984
  • IBEW 73 (Retired)
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2020, 09:58:26 AM »
I believe that the change from any elk coincided with the interaction that the cattle ranchers started to have with the wolves.  Not that the wdfw would hope that would keep them fed. 

Places that usually hold elk have been void of them.  They usually head to them when they get pressured. 

Online whacker1

  • Trade Count: (+3)
  • Old Salt
  • ******
  • Join Date: Dec 2008
  • Posts: 5696
  • Location: Spokane
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2020, 10:24:48 AM »
following along

Online cougforester

  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 913
  • Location: Spokane
  • Groups: DU, RMEF
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2020, 10:32:14 AM »
Some History
When I was a kid there were almost no elk in NE WA, they were only found in a few small areas of the NE, mainly in GMU 113. For many years the WDFW's top priority was to maintain NE WA as primary whitetail habitat. The first unit that was managed for elk was GMU 113. There was open season on any elk you saw in other GMU's, anyone could shoot bulls, cows, or calves. Miraculously the elk ever so slowly increased, elk slowly moved in from Idaho and from B.C., most likely elk numbers increased only because of the heavy cover and many places to hide. Local hunters became more fond of elk hunting and put a lot of pressure on WDFW to stop the killing of cows and calves. After a good many years WDFW finally started managing more GMU's for elk and eventually eliminated the any elk season in other NE units. This took literally decades of complaining to get WDFW to finally allow the elk to increase!
I was hoping the head honcho would chime in! Good history lesson. I'm hoping that more pressure can start coming from hunters about this herd to start actually managing and growing it, rather than just complaining about it and accepting it at face value.

Offline KFhunter

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Posts: 25055
  • Location: NE Corner
  • My posts do not reflect an official opinion of HW
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #30 on: September 21, 2020, 10:42:24 AM »
I dunno how to apply more pressure than there already is for predator management ??

Vote Culp...with Inslee it won't change!

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk


Online cougforester

  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 913
  • Location: Spokane
  • Groups: DU, RMEF
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #31 on: September 21, 2020, 10:46:05 AM »
Me neither. But maybe if it's focused specifically on growing elk populations, and how it could benefit their beloved wolves, that could help rather than a non-stop general barrage on wild populations?

I really don't know, but I'd like to try and get more eyes and attention on it.

Offline mdbuck5x5

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2009
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Colbert
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2020, 02:24:39 PM »
Without getting a handle on the predator abundance I don't see how the herds are going to grow any more then they have. The wolves are one thing but the bears and cougars are out of control. I think the state proved what we already knew when last year without really saying a word unless I missed something opening all units starting Aug 1st and upping the bear limit to 2.

Online idaho guy

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2012
  • Posts: 1920
  • Location: hayden
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #33 on: September 21, 2020, 03:48:59 PM »
A predator explosion with no end in sight  is the only thing that I see as well limiting herd growth. The habitat is beautiful and there's lots and lots of it. But if the elk keep getting eaten before they've got a chance to reproduce, there's nowhere to go but down regardless of the habitat availability.
 

 :yeah: Elk numbers wonít improve without significant predator control especially wolves. Wolves are the X factor when it comes to elk populations. They have to control wolves first otherwise habitat, transplants, reducing hunting pressure wonít help at all. Control wolves first then the other things will help increase the elk populations.

Offline KFhunter

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Posts: 25055
  • Location: NE Corner
  • My posts do not reflect an official opinion of HW
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #34 on: September 21, 2020, 04:21:06 PM »
It is argued cats are the #1 elk predator, and while thay may be true by the numbers... cats don't tend to focus on the large mature breeding population, they get younger elk up to yearlings mostly.

Bears also kill many elk, but they're almost always calves.

Wolves kill breeders, and are the #1 killer of  pregger cows


So while bears and cats might be way over population the elk can still grow in numbers, some calves will slip through the gauntlet and grow to breeding age, hopefully enough to cover the dying elk that got too old, but with wolves killing the breeding pops they just can't

Of course there's exceptions

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

Offline 10thmountainarcher

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2010
  • Posts: 737
  • Location: Buckley
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #35 on: September 21, 2020, 04:27:29 PM »
It is argued cats are the #1 elk predator, and while thay may be true by the numbers... cats don't tend to focus on the large mature breeding population, they get younger elk up to yearlings mostly.

Bears also kill many elk, but they're almost always calves.

Wolves kill breeders, and are the #1 killer of  pregger cows


So while bears and cats might be way over population the elk can still grow in numbers, some calves will slip through the gauntlet and grow to breeding age, hopefully enough to cover the dying elk that got too old, but with wolves killing the breeding pops they just can't

Of course there's exceptions

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

 :yeah: :yeah:

While all predators play a role in the demise of our elk herds, there is no way itís just a coincidence that the numbers have went way down since the wolf population exploded.

Offline bearpaw

  • Family, Friends, Outdoors
  • Administrator
  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Apr 2009
  • Posts: 33810
  • Location: Colville
  • "Rather Be Cougar Huntin"
    • http://www.facebook.com/DaleDenney
    • Bearpaw Outfitters
  • Groups: NRA, SCI, F4WM, IOGA, MOGA, CCOC, BBB, RMEF, WSTA, WSB
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #36 on: September 21, 2020, 04:37:45 PM »
I'm not convinced elk numbers have dropped in the northeast but herd growth seems to have stagnated. We are still seeing quite a few elk and seeing them in places there were no elk 10 years ago. But it does seem like the expansion of the herd has stagnated the last 5-6 years. Where I see the biggest predator impacts are on moose, wolves and ticks combined have devastated moose herds, I don't think we have even 30% of the moose we used to have. Deer herds are also pretty stagnate but I do some some deer herd increases in lowland areas, mostly around human inhabited lands. The deer recovery from the last bad winter is painfully slow due to high predation levels.
Americans are systematically advocating, legislating, and voting away each others rights. Support all user groups & quit losing opportunity!

http://bearpawoutfitters.com Guided Hunts, Unguided, & Drop Camps in Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wash. Hunts with tags available (no draw) for spring bear, fall bear, buffalo, cougar, elk, mule deer, turkey, whitetail, wolf! http://trophymaps.com DIY Hunting Maps are also offered.

Offline callturner

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Hunter
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jun 2020
  • Posts: 237
  • Location: nine mile falls Washington
    • n/a
  • Groups: nra
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #37 on: September 21, 2020, 04:51:32 PM »
I think the blue tongue did a number on the whitetail here in Stevens co. As far as the increased seasons on bears, I knew that was coming when we lost our hound seasons. Uninformed liberal hippies voting a management tool out of the woods. Now they cry when a lion kills their pets or hangs around their house. But personally as far as elk are concerned, the increase in the bear and lion population along with the addition of wolves defiantly has an impact on the herds . 

Offline bearpaw

  • Family, Friends, Outdoors
  • Administrator
  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Apr 2009
  • Posts: 33810
  • Location: Colville
  • "Rather Be Cougar Huntin"
    • http://www.facebook.com/DaleDenney
    • Bearpaw Outfitters
  • Groups: NRA, SCI, F4WM, IOGA, MOGA, CCOC, BBB, RMEF, WSTA, WSB
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #38 on: September 21, 2020, 04:53:25 PM »
Yeah agreed, blue tongue and then a hard winter on top of that.  :tup:
Americans are systematically advocating, legislating, and voting away each others rights. Support all user groups & quit losing opportunity!

http://bearpawoutfitters.com Guided Hunts, Unguided, & Drop Camps in Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wash. Hunts with tags available (no draw) for spring bear, fall bear, buffalo, cougar, elk, mule deer, turkey, whitetail, wolf! http://trophymaps.com DIY Hunting Maps are also offered.

Offline Machias

  • Trapper
  • Trade Count: (+3)
  • Explorer
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2007
  • Posts: 17364
  • Location: Worley, ID
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #39 on: September 21, 2020, 04:55:15 PM »
It's also not X number of wolves eat X number of elk.  They have changed the way cow elk graze, thus resulting in more cows not making it to full term, which means less and less calves in the spring.
Fred Moyer


History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.

Offline mdbuck5x5

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2009
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Colbert
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #40 on: September 21, 2020, 05:05:56 PM »
I couldn't agree more. To me the elk have dispersed more if anything and with the country we have up there and the places they go to hide its easy to see why you don't see many. I've had my fair share of success over the years but I'm not immune to go days without seeing anything. About 5 years ago my dad and I ran into a WSU bio with his scat sniffing hound that was doing a study on predators and what they were eating. We chatted with him for a bit and he told us from what he was seeing wolves were having a profound effect on ungulates but that bears were having the biggest effect across the board. Wolves were the biggest killers of moose. So take that info how you will just thought I'd share. Theres no doubt in my mind that the deer and elk herd #'s have stagnated. I'm speaking only for the areas I hunt in the corner.

Offline KFhunter

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Posts: 25055
  • Location: NE Corner
  • My posts do not reflect an official opinion of HW
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #41 on: September 22, 2020, 10:22:46 AM »
I wish they'd disperse to my hay field :D


Elk that is, I got a few deer but nothing like years past, down at least 90% from peak deer pops of the 90's early 2000's

Offline KFhunter

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Posts: 25055
  • Location: NE Corner
  • My posts do not reflect an official opinion of HW
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #42 on: September 22, 2020, 10:28:05 AM »
Any suggestions on getting elk in my fields?

I care not about making hay, I'm turning them into giant food plots and bird hunting.

And maybe a little hay..

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk


Offline Ridgeratt

  • Washington For Wildlife
  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Posts: 3984
  • IBEW 73 (Retired)
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #43 on: September 22, 2020, 10:46:46 AM »
Any suggestions on getting elk in my fields?

I care not about making hay, I'm turning them into giant food plots and bird hunting.

And maybe a little hay..

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

Major predator control.

Offline nwwanderer

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Sep 2010
  • Posts: 2567
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #44 on: September 22, 2020, 05:05:54 PM »
Fallowing for a crop of winter canola will bring them, not an in season prospect but might start the process for a later year.  It will bloom by the first week of May and makes some of the best nesting habitat around.  Scatter a little sweet clover in it in the elk tracks in the spring and with a little cooperation from mother nature you will have a three year exceptional food plot.  The sweet clover year three, fallow, canola, sweet clover, is a bug factory and real good winter thermal cover.  Year four is spring grain, trit or butte 86 would be my pick, both tall and good cover and seed producers.  20% of each would give you full meal deal.  Build it, they will come

Offline Seabass

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Scout
  • ****
  • Join Date: Dec 2011
  • Posts: 343
  • Location: Spokane
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #45 on: September 22, 2020, 06:09:30 PM »
I think the blue tongue did a number on the whitetail here in Stevens co. As far as the increased seasons on bears, I knew that was coming when we lost our hound seasons. Uninformed liberal hippies voting a management tool out of the woods. Now they cry when a lion kills their pets or hangs around their house. But personally as far as elk are concerned, the increase in the bear and lion population along with the addition of wolves defiantly has an impact on the herds .

Increased number of bears or increased seasons? We lost hounds and baiting in 1999... itís taken 20 years to get any movement on increased bear seasons.

Offline Bango skank

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (+9)
  • Old Salt
  • ******
  • Join Date: May 2014
  • Posts: 5892
  • Location: colville
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #46 on: September 22, 2020, 06:10:21 PM »
I think the blue tongue did a number on the whitetail here in Stevens co. As far as the increased seasons on bears, I knew that was coming when we lost our hound seasons. Uninformed liberal hippies voting a management tool out of the woods. Now they cry when a lion kills their pets or hangs around their house. But personally as far as elk are concerned, the increase in the bear and lion population along with the addition of wolves defiantly has an impact on the herds .

Increased number of bears or increased seasons? We lost hounds and baiting in 1999... itís taken 20 years to get any movement on increased bear seasons.

96 i believe.  23 years.

Online idaho guy

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2012
  • Posts: 1920
  • Location: hayden
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #47 on: September 22, 2020, 08:48:47 PM »
It's also not X number of wolves eat X number of elk.  They have changed the way cow elk graze, thus resulting in more cows not making it to full term, which means less and less calves in the spring.
 

 :yeah: Think about wild dogs chasing your cattle herd 24/7 even if they never kill one they certainly wonít put on any weight and many cows would abort their calves. Wolves do a lot more to elk health besides just killing them. I see elk in places I never have before and they are ridiculous places for elk to live but I think they get pushed there from constant wolf pressure. I read the study on lions killing more elk than wolves that makes no sense to me because where I hunt in Idaho we had way more lions and bears in the 90ís and tons of elk. Once the wolves showed in significant numbers the elk went way down.Itís not my fight in the Selkirks but I will have lots of traps laid for wolves on the Idaho side this year 👍

Offline callturner

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Hunter
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jun 2020
  • Posts: 237
  • Location: nine mile falls Washington
    • n/a
  • Groups: nra
Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #48 on: September 22, 2020, 09:13:43 PM »
I think the blue tongue did a number on the whitetail here in Stevens co. As far as the increased seasons on bears, I knew that was coming when we lost our hound seasons. Uninformed liberal hippies voting a management tool out of the woods. Now they cry when a lion kills their pets or hangs around their house. But personally as far as elk are concerned, the increase in the bear and lion population along with the addition of wolves defiantly has an impact on the herds .

Increased number of bears or increased seasons? We lost hounds and baiting in 1999... itís taken 20 years to get any movement on increased bear seasons.
The bear and lions did not magically increase and start problems. The game commissioners who know everything followed the rule of law voted in by the uninformed public. No one who works for the WDFW stood up and said look guys were losing a valuable control tool. Many hounds men , myself included, were approached to do control work when there was a bad kitty or nuisance bear. Some did, I chose to tell them to pound sand. Every year it gets worse, not all at once. If my friends could not hunt them why should I? Every time a hippie gets bit or a pet gets eaten, I smile. Oh well! :chuckle:   

 


* Advertisement

* Recent Topics

Who was selling AR magazines on here?? by Dan-o
[Today at 04:06:35 PM]


NRA files bankruptcy by h20hunter
[Today at 04:05:54 PM]


Scopes for 2021 WA Muzzleloader season? by pd
[Today at 04:05:53 PM]


Norman89 2020/2021 by Norman89
[Today at 03:57:18 PM]


Idaho non resident tag quotas for 2021 by luvmystang67
[Today at 03:51:46 PM]


Binocular chest packs by Mtnwalker
[Today at 03:34:11 PM]


New Caliber BOYS by Magnum_Willys
[Today at 02:57:52 PM]


WTS, Two Quick Access Pistol Safes by scotsman
[Today at 02:56:08 PM]


WTT> A few ARs by Spuddieselwwu
[Today at 02:45:52 PM]


Mississippi pot roast by Stein
[Today at 02:40:23 PM]


410 Reloading Nontoxic by duckmen1
[Today at 01:44:43 PM]


WTB Benelli SBE 1 by Emptyhanded
[Today at 01:09:36 PM]


Need help identifying this mushroom by elkboy
[Today at 01:09:33 PM]


Otter job on Vashon Island if anyone is interested by Trapper John
[Today at 12:55:05 PM]


WTT Glock 26 gen 5 by farfrompar28
[Today at 12:40:37 PM]


Winchester WLR primers to trade by mphunts
[Today at 12:35:03 PM]


WTB Nosler Trophy grade 30.06 165 grain accubonds by gee_unit360
[Today at 12:25:41 PM]


Mentor Turkey hunts by Russ McDonald
[Today at 11:21:13 AM]


WTS: Range Brass by blacktailWA
[Today at 10:59:04 AM]


Wind indicator in front of camera? by nwwanderer
[Today at 10:24:22 AM]