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Biologists Monitor West Virginia Elk

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Gathering scientific data about elk is not an easy task. Just ask biologists in West Virginia who are trying to learn all they can about their relatively new wild elk herd. That’s because getting their hands on elk is quite a process in itself. Wildlife officials with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) set up bait in remote locations and then sit in a blind with a tranquilizer gun to wait and wait. …

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Elk Thriving on Strip-Mined Land

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Strip mining is an ugly process. In essence, it shaves off the upper layers of hills and mountains leaving an ugly landscape behind. However, when restored and reseeded with native vegetation, it becomes prime habitat for a myriad of bird and animal life. “We started making more open areas that had a lot of autumn olive and locust, and seeding them with orchard grasses and clovers,” Leon Boyd, chair of the Southwestern Virginia Coalfields Chapter …

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Popular Road to Remain Accessible in Montana

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A popular U.S. Forest Service road in southwest Montana will be open when sportsmen and women head into the backcountry in search of antler sheds. East Fork Blacktail Road, about 25 miles southeast of Dillon, usually opens May 15 annually to shed antler hunters but there was a chance it would be permanently closed. Instead, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation is purchasing an easement. “The road is a big deal,” Eric Hull, …

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Washington Tries to Ease Elk Concerns

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It appears landowners in northwest Washington state have a new way to deal with elk pressure on their land. According to the Capital Press, farmers can now choose who comes onto their land to shoot elk. That’s a deal worked out by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and officials in Skagit County. “The county and state are moving collaboratively to resolve this situation,” Amy Windrope, WDFE regional director told the Capital Press. Elk …

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Washington Elk Hunt Application Deadline Approaches

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Hunters can submit special hunt applications between April 22 to May 22, 2019 for fall deer, elk, mountain goat, moose, bighorn sheep, and turkey seasons in Washington. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will conduct a random drawing to select permit winners, in June. Hunters who receive special permits qualify to hunt beyond the times and places authorized by a general hunting license. To apply for a deer or elk special permit, hunters …

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Pink is the New Orange for Washington Hunters

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On April 10, 2019, the Washington state House of Representatives passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill (ESSB) 5148, a bill expanding orange clothing requirements for hunters to include fluorescent pink. The state Senate already passed the bill Feb. 20 and Governor Jay Inslee signed it into law two months later. “Orange will always be the classic safety color, but I think our state’s hunters can appreciate something new and different – and because fluorescent pink doesn’t …

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24-Year-Old Wisconsin Cow “13” Dies

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Cow 13 was the orneriest cow elk I ever met, and I’ve met several hundred cow elk. She tried to kill me all four times I trapped her. There was a recent passing in northern Wisconsin. It happened quietly and in a remote location. The fallen was not a human but an elk, a cow elk. Cow 13 (see above photo), as referred to by biologists, was not only a key player in the restoration …

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Help Wyoming Annual Deer Mortality Surveys

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Wildlife managers with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department need your help with its 26th annual deer mortality surveys. The annual surveys are conducted on mule deer winter ranges to assess overall mortality for mule deer herds in the Wyoming Range and Uinta of western Wyoming, and to evaluate which age classes have been impacted the most. Organizers are hoping for a good volunteer turnout in order to cover a lot of ground. Go here …

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Wyoming Releases 2018 Wolf Count

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According to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD), there are a minimum number of 286 wolves in 46 packs in Wyoming as of December 31, 2018. That total marks the 17th consecutive year Wyoming exceeded delisting criteria spelled out by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. WGFD, USDA Wildlife Services, Grand Teton National Park, Wind River Reservation and Yellowstone National Park spent more than $1.5 million on wolf monitoring and management activities in 2018. …

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Wyoming Hosts State Hunting Championships

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Perhaps no high school state championship embodies more of the spirit of the West than the Wyoming State Youth Hunter Education Challenge. The 12th annual event will be held June 8 at the Upton Gun Club. All Wyoming youth 18 and under, and young hunters from neighboring states, who passed hunter education are eligible to showcase their hunting skills, while having a lot of fun. Enrollment is open until June 1. “The youth hunter education …

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Montana Releases 2018 CWD Surveillance Report

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According to the 2018 Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance Report issued by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP), biologists detected 26 new cases of CWD in 2018. Twenty-one of those happened along the state’s northern border in every county from Liberty County east to the North Dakota border, and 5 cases within the CWD-positive area south of Billings. To date, biologists detected CWD in Carbon, Liberty, Hill, Blaine, Phillips, Valley, Daniels, and Sheridan Counties. The current …

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Colorado Ramps Up Mountain Lion Research

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Mountain lion management in Colorado gets more challenging as the state’s human population continues to grow, but ground-breaking studies by Colorado Parks and Wildlife researchers generated new science that may help balance that growth with wildlife habitat needs. “The magnitude and scale of the research that we are conducting on mountain lions, and the data we have gathered from our efforts, has led to interesting results that enhance our understanding of mountain lion ecology to …

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Elk Pregnancy Rates Ailing in Pennsylvania

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Pregnancy rates of cow elk in Pennsylvania are lower than usual and researchers are trying to determine why that is. “We collected blood samples during our hunting season for elk, which happens in the first full week of November, and we’ve been testing for pregnancy, and it’s been suspiciously low. Around 55 to 60 percent,” said Jeremy Banfield, Pennsylvania Game Commission elk biologist, who also noted the pregnancy rates in November would ideally be at …

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Help Find Elk Calves in Wisconsin

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Nothing against hunting for Easter eggs but do you want to hunt for something way more fun? From May 18 through June 21, 2019, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is looking for volunteers to work alongside staff to search for calves so biologists can collar them and take measurements. Biologists use the collars to follow growing calves over the course of their lives, learning important information that will affect elk management in the …

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Inflatable ‘Tube Guy’ Doesn’t Stop Wolf Predation

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You’ve probably seen them, especially at automobile dealerships. They’re tall, inflatable tube guys. The air pumped into them at ground level surges through their bodies causing them shake, shimmy and seemingly dance back and forth. A rancher in southeast Oregon received two of the “tube guys” from an environmental group after a string of wolf attacks. He hoped the new additions would deter wolves from harassing or attacking his livestock. It didn’t work. He recently …