Wildlife managers are forging into uncharted territory as they keep feeding elk in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem while knowing that concentrating thousands of animals on feed will likely exacerbate the spread of the fatal chronic wasting disease.
National Elk Refuge
National Elk Refuge manager anticipates strong turnout after shed-hunting opening last year had 280 vehicles lined up on the road to the refuge near Jackson, and the refuge is bringing in six extra law enforcement officers.
Claim that feeding alfalfa pellets to elk to help them survive harsh winter conditions causes them to concentrate in groups at the National Elk Refuge.
More than 5,000 elk had gathered on the refuge’s southern area.
No calves have been found dead on the refuge, and the death rates this year are among the lowest in decades.
Last year the auction netted $175,397, and the collection totaled 11,512 pounds of antlers, a few thousand pounds short of the record high of 13,698 pounds in 2014.
Washington, D.C., man gets $280 ticket after he launched the drone from a highway pullout and flew it over the resting elk herd.
The 6,000 elk on the property so far is well above the 15-year average.