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Author Topic: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings  (Read 2715 times)

Online cougforester

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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?!?

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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?!?

That’s 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.
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Offline Buckhunter24

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Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2020, 08:14:36 PM »
Easy to mix up Selway and selkirk..

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Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2020, 08:20:47 PM »
Geezus, sorry CF. I’m out of bounds on this one (had Selway in the brain as I hunted that elk less hole a few years ago). RJ
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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

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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!
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Offline Cougartail

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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?
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Offline hunterofelk

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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. 

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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.

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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 “any elk” seasons are
generally offered within these GMUs.

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

Offline KFhunter

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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.

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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

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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. 

Offline whacker1

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Re: Selkirk Elk Herd Ramblings
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2020, 10:24:48 AM »
following along

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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.

 


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