Elk NetworkMountain Lions, Wolves Take Toll on Idaho Elk

General | September 16, 2019

A study published in the Journal of Wildlife Management indicates mountain lions kill slightly more elk than wolves. The numbers show wolves were responsible for 32 percent of identified female elk mortalities compared to 35 percent for mountain lion. Regarding elk calf survival, mountain lions accounted for 45 percent of identified deaths compared to 28 percent for wolves.

“The one variable that mattered the most for calf survival was how big it was,” Joe Horne, study lead author and Idaho Department of Fish and Game senior wildlife research biologist, told the Spokesman Review.

The bottom line is the numbers highlight the measurable impact a full menu of predators has on individual elk as well as the elk population as a whole.

While some zones in Idaho are at or above elk population objectives, others are below or well below objective due to predation, habitat loss and other issues.

(Photo source: NPS)

The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Operation Game Thief received nearly 1,100 reports which led to 76 citations for wildlife violations in 2017.

“Poachers are thieves. They do not represent the hunting community, and the majority of the reports come from hunters and anglers who are out in the field and witness suspicious activity,” said Scott Fischer, program manager for Operation Game Thief. “The hunting community does a great job of policing itself. If you see something, say something.

In 2017, wildlife violators were assessed $74,500 in civil fines, and that money goes directly into the department’s Wildlife Theft Prevention Fund, which pays for the rewards as well as promotion of Operation Game Thief. In addition, 51 individuals had their hunting and/or fishing license revoked by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission as part of their penalty, one of which was a lifetime revocation. The department receives no general fund money from the state of Arizona.

It’s also important to note that mistakes and accidents happen, and the department will work with hunters and anglers who immediately self-report their actions to the Operation Game Thief hotline.

“Mistakes happen in any endeavor, and the amazing thing about hunters is they frequently report themselves,” Fischer said. “Hunters respect wildlife and because of that respect they’re willing to risk penalties in order to ensure meat from the wildlife they take is not wasted.”

(Photo source: Arizona Game and Fish Department)