Facts regarding Elk Populations before and after reintroduction


The correct information about Elk after wolves reintroduced

We grow weary from hearing the fairytales spread by hunters and Ranchers about elk herd decimation, this article will help set them straight with REAL numbers 😉

Dennis Smith (Jan. 1) offered much of the misinformation I heard before wolves were returned to the northern Rocky Mountains. After studying forestry and wildlife management at CSU, and beginning a 36-year career with the National Park Service at Rocky Mountain National Park, I had the privilege of serving on the Yellowstone Center for Resources team that restored wolves to the park. I helped put together two reports for Congress titled, “Wolves for Yellowstone” and the Gray Wolf EIS of 1994.

Here are elk harvest figures since wolf restoration.

Wyoming: 1995 elk population = 103,448; 1995 elk harvest = 17,695.
Wyoming: 2017 elk population = 104, 800 (31% over objective);  2017 elk harvest = 24,535; average hunter success rate = 35%.

Montana: 1995 elk population = 109,500; no harvest data for 1995.
Montana: 2018 elk population = 138,470 (27% over upper objective); 2017 elk harvest = 30,348.

Idaho: 1995 elk population = 112,333; 1995 elk harvest = 22,400.
Idaho: 2017 elk population = 116,800 (18 elk units at or above objective, 10 units below for a variety of reasons); 2017 elk harvest = 22,751.

There were about 6 million cattle in the northern Rocky Mountains in 2014. The 140 cattle taken by wolves made up 1 in 43,000, or 0.000023% of cattle in the states. There were about 825,000 sheep in the northern Rocky Mountains in 2014. The 172 sheep taken by wolves made up 1 in 4,800, or 0.000208% of sheep in the states.

From 1995 to 2018, Yellowstone hosted 101,070,722 visitors, none of whom was injured by a wolf. Among 2.7 million tent campers in Yellowstone from 1995 to 2018, no camper was injured by a wolf.

The effects of wolves on the park over 20 years are detailed in Yellowstone Science 24(1). You can get it at Yell_Science@nps.gov. A great book, “Wolves on the Hunt” (2015) rebuts many of Smith’s assertions.

Norman Bishop

Bozeman, Mont.

Source: Letters: Trump; wolves – Loveland Reporter-Herald https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/denaliwolfeye-2-300×200-2-300×200-1-300×200-300×200-2-300×200-1-300×200-2-300×200-2-300×200-1-300×200-1-300×200-300×200-300×200.jpg #EndangeredSpeciesList #GrayWolves #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves

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