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Author Topic: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause  (Read 25904 times)

Offline Rainier10

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Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
« Reply #105 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.
Pain is temporary, achieving the goal is worth it.

I didn't say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it.

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The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HuntWa or the site owner.

Offline Special T

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Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
« Reply #106 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.
In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself. 

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Offline meatwhack

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Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
« Reply #107 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.

Online Mtnwalker

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Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
« Reply #108 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?

Offline Rainier10

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Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
« Reply #109 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.
Pain is temporary, achieving the goal is worth it.

I didn't say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it.

Every father should remember that one day his children will follow his example instead of his advice.


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HuntWa or the site owner.

Online Mtnwalker

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Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
« Reply #110 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

Offline Rainier10

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Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
« Reply #111 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?
Pain is temporary, achieving the goal is worth it.

I didn't say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it.

Every father should remember that one day his children will follow his example instead of his advice.


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HuntWa or the site owner.

Offline trophyhunt

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Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
« Reply #112 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
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Online Mtnwalker

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Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
« Reply #113 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
« Last Edit: November 05, 2021, 08:54:28 PM by Mtnwalker »

Offline Tbar

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Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
« Reply #114 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)"

Offline Rainier10

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Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
« Reply #115 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.
Pain is temporary, achieving the goal is worth it.

I didn't say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it.

Every father should remember that one day his children will follow his example instead of his advice.


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HuntWa or the site owner.

Offline Tbar

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Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
« Reply #116 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

Offline nwhunter

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Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
« Reply #117 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..

Offline trophyhunt

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Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
« Reply #118 on: November 06, 2021, 08:58:11 AM »
Good ideas!
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Re: Blues Elk Substantial Decline and the Root Cause
« Reply #119 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.

 


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