Vermin elk

Old teacher

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May 21, 2012
Messages
152
Does anyone know how to keep elk from destroying your property? I live in Northwest WA along highway 20, and in the two mile stretch between the highway and the Skagit river are five herds of elk along about 20 miles of highway. The elk population in this area is around 2500, hundreds of big bulls, several Boone and Crockett size. They eat everything. They have done about $25,000 in damage to just my place, and everyone around here has the same problem. They kill livestock and pets. I have tried everything to get the game department to do something, but the most they will do is come out and put up beepers which are supposed to scare they away, and they do...for about five minutes. I have put up fences and they tear them down. I have sprayed my land scapeing with a mixture of junk that is supposed to taste bad, but it seems to just make a good dessert. The game department's answer to this problem...they issued 28 cow permits for black powder hunters. I never thought I would ever do anything like poison an animal, but if I knew something that would kill them, I would cover my whole place with it. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks.
 

bigngreen

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Nov 24, 2008
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8,336
Location
SW Montana
When I was just out of high school I helped Idaho Fish and Game "encourage" elk to leave fields alone, cannons really work for a couple days then they'll eat beside them. High fence works till they really want in then it's flat, this year we kept over 2000 head of the fields with high tensile electric fence till they end ran it.
Had good luck sneaking in on them in the dark, and lighting them up with 12 gauges with buzz bombs, this was fairly effective and done with FWP blessing. It's hard to change their minds in a permanent manner, it's possible but no fun and has to be done to the right elk in the herd.
 

North Idaho Hunter

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Nov 14, 2013
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2,056
Good friend of mine has tried everything, from powder that smells like blood, (worked for a few days) to the sensor fed cannon (lasted for 2 weeks)

the only way they have been able to keep the herd at bay is having a hired hand (usually single guy or young kid looking for easy money) is all night have them chase the elk out of the fields with an ATV.

Sad but true, same thing with IDF&G - only they will not offer a depredation tag! but they will to the unit 10 miles south!
 

Old teacher

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May 21, 2012
Messages
152
You guys are a lot of help! I appreciate that at least someone else has the same problem. I would use the .338 Lapua, but the local game department agent is watching me closely since I informed him that we were getting close to him getting a phone call to come and get about a dozen dead elk. He has refused to tell me what the fine would for shooting even one. I was thinking I might be better off financially by shooting three or four than replacing ornamental plants at up to $1000 a pop. He knows what I am thinking so he won't give me any info. I would like to try it just once and take it through the courts system and see if I could establish some landowner rights, but I am afraid they would jerk my hunting privileges.

Keep the ideas coming. Thanks.
 

Barrelnut

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Dec 16, 2013
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4,477
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End of the Oregon Trail
but I am afraid they would jerk my hunting privileges.

They undoubtedly will.

If I were as lucky as you to live in such a wildlife rich area, I would pull the $1K ornamental plants and plant a native environment. The elk then might be your friends by helping keep things naturally trimmed up for you and move one once done.

Wives love roses and such tough... and no solution is really as simple as it seems. :rolleyes:

Good luck.
 

rooster740

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Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
567
Location
Paradise Valley montana
Number 8 shot, improved cylinder! Legs and asses, not eyes. Get them moving and when they get about 50 yards, let them have it! Your proper authority should be able to provide you with cracker shells. They are propelled by corrosive black powder and won't cycle an action, so use an old 12 gauge pump action.
Turns a problem into a good time but can be hard on fences!
Elk will kill small livestock and dogs so fast that you can't believe it!
 

Elkhunter1983

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Joined
Nov 1, 2011
Messages
483
Location
Ranchester, WY
Had a herd of 75 coming in and working on my grain fields last august. Then when the snow got deep they started breaking into my stackyards. Once they get their mind on something there isnt much changing it. Some g and f agencies will pay damages, some will try to help out with temporary tactics. Shooting them during the season seems to be the only payback we can offer.
 

HARPERC

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Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
6,676
Location
Spokane, WA
I've heard this story before. My son in laws family, lives somewhere along there.

WDFW is useless at best, and usually counter productive. Legally bringing down the herd numbers given low tag count isn't achievable. Maybe contact some of the tribes, they seem to be able to do about what they want.

I heard they found a road killed wolf on the highway someplace on your side of the divide, so help is on the way! :rolleyes::Dgun)
 

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