Cattle ranching does make things very difficult for elk hunting. Where you find cows, you dont find elk. Cows foul the land and streams pretty badly. I have seen areas that were full of elk one week and then when the cows are moved in the elk disappear. It makes planning hunts very difficult. Here's another twist. Ranchers get big bucks for elk hunts
. They can graze their cattle on their private land and before hunting season move their cattle to leased public land. The elk move from the public land to the private land. I have seen this happen.
Yellowstone is a unique case. The Park is prime elk country with no hunting allowed and populations grow until things come to a head. Then usually a hard winter will kill thousands through disease and starvation. It's insanity. Let them die from disease and starvation but don't hunt them.