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Oregon Wolf Population Increases 10 Percent

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State wildlife biologists counted 137 wolves in Oregon this past winter, marking a 10 percent increase over last year’s count of 124, although they concede the actual number of wolves is likely much higher. Sixteen packs were documented during the count, up from 12 packs in 2017. “The state’s wolf population continues to grow and expand its range, now into the central Oregon Cascade Mountains too,” said Roblyn Brown, ODFW wolf coordinator. The Rocky Mountain …

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Idaho’s 2019-20 Big Game Seasons and Rules Now Online

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The 2019-20 Idaho big game hunting brochure is now available online. It contains seasons and rules for deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear, mountain lion and gray wolf, will be available in print at license vendors and Fish and Game offices by May 1, 2019. Hunters should note that the Idaho Hunt Planner does not yet reflect the new seasons and rules, but will be updated by mid-April. Applications for controlled hunts for deer, elk, pronghorn …

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Mexican Wolf Population Increases

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Wildlife officials announced there are a minimum of 131 Mexican wolves in the southwest part of the United States. The numbers break down as 64 wolves in Arizona and 67 in New Mexico. The new count marks a 12 percent increase over 2018. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation maintains that Mexican wolves, like elk, bears, deer, mountain lions and all other wildlife, should be managed by state agencies. Find more information here. (Photo source: Wikipedia)

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Kentucky Remains CWD Free

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Six of the seven states that border Kentucky have animals that tested positive for chronic wasting disease, but thanks to the latest round of testing the Bluegrass State remains CWD free. CWD is caused by abnormal proteins called prions and it affects white-tailed deer, elk, moose, mule deer and caribou (cervids). There is no known cure or vaccine and it is always fatal in infected cervids. The disease has spread to more than half the …

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Wyoming Conducts Elk, Moose Surveys

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Wildlife biologists and game wardens with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department conducted moose and elk surveys in the Sheridan Region in January and February 2019. Generally speaking, biologists found increasing to robust elk populations across the Sheridan and Buffalo areas. They noted increased numbers in seven of the nine hunt areas. The surveys are conducted annually to gather information on current moose and elk numbers. The counts do not represent a definitive number of …

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RMEF, Partners Fund New Addition to Florida Archery Range

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Florida bowhunters now have a new course where they can challenge and improve their archery skills. The Triple N Ranch Shooting Range, managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, recently opened the doors to a new 3-dimensional and field archery target layout. The 10-station course features life-size 3D targets including deer, turkey, and elk. The shooting distances vary to accommodate different skill levels and mimic various hunting scenarios. The archery range also features …

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Tough Winter Takes Toll on Wildlife

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A long-time biologist watched a herd of 150 elk during a frigid March morning in southwest Washington. Then a mature 6 x 7 bull suddenly plopped down in the snow and died. It showed no sign of injuries and died within one minute. “I have never seen anything like that in 38 years,” Scott Rasley, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife conflict specialist, told Northwest Magazine. “The bull had the normal amount of lack of …

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Washington Wolf Population Continues to Grow

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For the 10th year in a row, the wolf population in the state of Washington continues to grow. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) reports there were a minimum of 126 wolves, 27 packs and 15 successful breeding pairs within the state’s borders in 2018. “Wolves routinely face threats to their survival – from humans, other animals, and nature itself,” said Ben Maletzke, WDFW statewide wolf specialist. “But despite each year’s ups and …

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Yellowstone Elk Numbers Trending Downward

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Wildlife officials counted a combined 5,800 elk inside and north of Yellowstone National Park during population survey flights that took place in March 2019. That total marks a 23 percent decrease from counts recorded in both 2018 and 2016. Of particular concern are the cow-calf ratios which are lower than recent surveys and long-term averages. The 2019 count marks the second consecutive year the ratio is below the threshold of 20 calves per 100 cows …

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RMEF-Funded Burn to Benefit North Carolina Elk Habitat

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The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provided funding for a prescribed burn in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 284-acre treatment takes place in the Little Cataloochee area. “One of the goals of the prescribed burn project is to improve elk forage and habitat,” Tom Edwards, burn specialist, told the Citizen Times. RMEF helped with the successful restoration of elk into the region in 2001. Specifically, the goal is to increase the production of native …

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Grizzly Bears are Out of Their Dens

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It’s a sure sign of spring when grizzly bears emerge from their dens on the Rocky Mountain Front. Mike Madel, bear management specialist with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks in Choteau, flew over the Front April 2, 2019, and located eight grizzlies with radio collars and saw five other non-collared bears. “The collars turn on April 1,” Madel said. “So, it’s a good time to fly on the Front and try to locate them.” Most …

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Kentucky Elk Arrive in Wisconsin

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Forty-eight Kentucky elk made the 14-hour overnight ride from Kentucky and arrived at their new home in the Flambeau River State Forest in Sawyer County. Once released into the wild, these animals will join more than 200 elk that make up Wisconsin’s northern elk herd that resides in Ashland, Bayfield, Price, Rusk and Sawyer counties. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provided funding and on-the-ground manpower to assist with the effort. According to the Milwaukee Journal …

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Deer Stuck in Fence, Rescued by Firefighters

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A woman who lives in central California was mortified when she saw a deer stuck in and dangling from a neighbor’s metal fence. It happened in Lodi, a small community about 35 miles south of Sacramento. “It was thrashing around so at this point I called 9-1-1,” Rhonda Perry Parker, nearby neighbor, told KOVR-TV. “I was scared it was going to lose its life,” she added. After two calls to 9-1-1, firefighters arrived, and received …

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Wyoming a Popular Place for Elk Hunters

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Hunters seeking a western adventure continue to choose Wyoming to pursue elk. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) saw an increase in non-resident elk applications for the 2019 season. Nonresidents submitted 23,750 applications, a 2.9 percent increase from 2018. “Anyone who hunts in Wyoming knows the experience is unlike anywhere else in the country because of the quality of wildlife, our hunting access programs, large tracts of public land and the spectacular views,” said …

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Utah DWR Announces Proposals for 2019 Big Game Hunts

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Utah Division of Wildlife Resources biologists released their recommendations for the 2019 big game hunts and are asking for the public’s feedback. DWR big game coordinator Covy Jones said that the recommended number of hunting permits each year is based on a few factors. “There is always an opportunity vs. quality debate when it comes to managing wildlife, but for us, biology and the health of the herd always come first. As a result, plans …