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Idaho Fish and Game finds new techniques for elk depredation

Elk depredation has been an issue in the magic valley for years, and this year Idaho Fish and...
Elk depredation has been an issue in the magic valley for years, and this year Idaho Fish and Game tells KMVT they will be using new techniques to deal with it. (Source: Idaho Fish and Game) (KMVT)
Published: Jun. 17, 2020 at 5:19 PM MDT
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Elk depredation has been an issue in the Magic Valley for years, and this year Idaho Fish and Game tells KMVT they will be using new techniques to deal with it.

Elk depredation is when elk causes damage to someone's property, including livestock and crops.

"I’ve thought about this and every law in there for years, I think about this before I go to bed every single night. I want to see a change," said an upset hunter at a meeting in February regarding elk depredation.

Upset hunters have caused Fish and Game to make some changes this year when it comes to elk depredation, which has been taking place in the Magic Valley for years.

"What has changed in the last 5 years is that our elk populations have increased, and so have our issues on private property and so have our elk coming onto private property causing damage," said Mike McDonald, a regional wildlife manager for Fish and Game.

Last year Fish and Game killed 208 elk through a research study.

Sportsmen were upset asking why couldn’t Fish and Game let hunters who already have tags go in and kill them?

McDonald says elk have gotten smarter and have begun to change their behavior.

"It’s not unusual for elk to go nocturnal almost immediately, and under those situations when elk are only available at night," McDonald said. "We can’t hunt them at night."

Fish and Game will continue elk depredation this year using nonlethal hazing and loud noises to scare the elk away from people’s crops. They will also try new techniques.

"The first one is to try to work with some of the neighboring land owners to secure some access in the event elk make themselves available during the daytime, so we can get sportsmen in there to try to help change elk behavior or reduce elk numbers," McDonald said. "Number two, we are going to this fall and early next spring, we are going to trap and trans-locate some of these elk."

Fish and Game also says it will communicate with the Magic Valley region about the depredations.