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Illegal to feed big game animals??

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I think we should make it illegal to feed big game animals in the state of Washington except in state approved feeding areas. The state could also approve some private feeding in bad winters in designated areas. I thought it would be interesting to get everyones input on this. In most western states it is already illegal to feed big game.
Some of my concerns are;

1) Feeding deer and elk interupts their natural migration. It has an effect of over impacting areas around the feeding and under impacting traditional wintering ground.

2) It creates sanctuaries where animals move to small pieces of private property (where no hunting is allowed) as soon as hunting season starts. This makes it hard for the state to manage or harvest "problem" elk that are doing a lot of damage to private property.

3) It encourages these animals to live in and around housing developments where they are much more likely to get poached or hit by a car.

4) Folks feeding these animals have good intentions but often times they are not feeding enough to sustain the animals and because the animals stopped short of their natural wintering ground there is not enough available forage. The end result is that they are feeding enough to hold the animals but not enough to get them through winter in good shape.

5) I have also noticed that folks will feed the animals to get their sheds and then stop feeding once they have dropped. Now the animal is stuck in a snowed in area that it would not have chosen to winter if it wasn't for the supplemental feed.

 Some folks will argue that without feeding we would have a higher winter kill. This could be the case. I guess I feel that they should be able to fend for themselves and that they would do better if they were on their natural wintering ground instead of in someones back yard eating out of a bucket.

The reason I posted this is that I am considering writing to the state to recommend making it illegal to feed big game and I want to hear from both sides of this issue before I move forward.

 :) I dont know what I think about it. BUT

Try to find an elk around the oak creek feed station in other than late winter... they are few and FAR between.

Many friends feed turkeys thru the winter in Stevens county, the Turkeys scatter come spring.??


The animals don't stand in the exact spot, but many deffinately do change their home range based on feeding.

Don't forget the danger of spreading disease through close contact feeding.

 :bdid: If you ban all feeding you will never get bear baiting back. If it is legal then leave it.


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