In addition to population estimates, habitat management and conservation, a key component of wildlife management for most popular game animals includes regulated hunting. This holds true for elk hunting, too, but the recently-discovered record elk from Minnesota was not shot by a hunter at all. After learning about this lucky deer hunter that stumbled into a bull elk of record proportions, it seems you just never know when you are going to run into a wall hanger!
Whitetail hunter Ryan Muirhead had set out to fill his buck tag on December 12, the final day of Minnesota ’s muzzleloader season, but little did he know he would bump into a huge 9 x 10 bull elk with antlers that may rewrite the record books. The manner in which he found the bull was even more extraordinary…it was pinned flat on its back with its antlers stuck in the mud. Continue reading →
Population management is often a key part of wildlife management when it comes to large ungulates such as elk, which can negatively impact areas where they are found in large numbers. Elk overpopulation is a non-issue for the most part, but there are areas in North America where elk numbers, at least for short periods of time, can cause potential problems. One of the places that experiences healthy elk numbers in addition large numbers of humans in Estes National Park, Colorado. Continue reading →
Many hunters head to the mountains of the western states in late summer and early fall of each year looking for a giant bull elk. Hunting elk is challenging because of the terrain in which these animals inhabit. Although many hunters end their hunt empty handed, other elk hunters take home a nice bull or even a cow and some very good eating. However, the hunter in these photos got more than just a nice bull, he shot what looks to be the new World Record Elk!
The big elk was shot in Idaho and after looking at these photos I must say this animal is very, very impressive. I myself have never been elk hunting, but have been wanting to get up into Colorado or Wyoming sometime soon. Looks like Idaho is a pretty good option, too! Here is what I got in an email: Continue reading →
Habitat managment is the cornerstone of willdife restoration, but an important component of managing habitat can be simply preserving it. This has never been more true when it comes to managing Texas’s bighorn sheep herd. Recently, Texas Bighorn Society members David and Theresa Wetzel of Irving have received the Wild Sheep Foundation’s prestigious Gordon Eastman Grass Roots Award.
The late Gordon Eastman of Eastman’s Outdoor World created the award to be presented at the Wild Sheep Foundation’s (WSF) national annual convention, held this year in Reno, Nev. Eastman’s intention was to honor the hard-working members of the various WSF chapters and affiliates who get almost no recognition for their unending efforts to further the existence of North American bighorn sheep. Continue reading →
Elk, also known as wapiti, are the largest of Colorado’s native deer. Not only is elk hunting in Colorado a big deal, but elk are literally the biggest of the big game! Elk range from 7 to 9 feet long, with a 4 to 6 inch tail and can weigh anywhere from 450 to 900 pounds! The animals are brownish tan in color, with a yellowish rump and a dark mane on the shoulders. Mature males, or bulls as they are commonly called, have large antlers, typically with 6 tines branching from each beam.
Elk range throughout mountainous parts of Colorado, foraging in meadows and alpine tundra on grasses, forbs, and browse. They are herd animals, sometimes moving in herds of 200 to 300 individuals. Colorado is the elk capital of the world with more than 280,000 elk! And since the state of Colorado has more elk than anyone else, who better than to teach even more about this majestical creatures? Continue reading →
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is look at changing up the State’s hunting regulations. The white-tailed deer proposals are part of statewide proposed hunting and fishing regulation changes for the upcoming 2009-2010 season. One key proposed change involves further expansion of the department’s successful antler restriction regulations into 52 additional counties where biologists have identified a need to provide greater protection of younger buck deer. In these counties, data indicates more than 55 percent of the harvested bucks are two-and-a-half years of age or younger, which creates an imbalance in the deer herd age structure.
According to Clayton Wolf, TPWD big game program director, the antler restrictions have improved age structure while maintaining ample hunting opportunity, based on data to date in the 61 counties where the rule is currently in effect. The impacted counties are listed below: Continue reading →
When the snow begins to pile up again in Colorado, mule deer will show up at the feed sites established last winter by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. However, citizens should not provide any type of feed to deer or attempt to get close to them. Feeding big game is illegal unless authorized by the Colorado Department of Wildlife (DOW). The 2008 feeding operation was an extraordinary event because of the unusually deep snow and extremely cold temperatures. In an average winter, mule deer can be expected to find enough natural forage. But even average winters are tough on healthy mule deer. Deer usually lose about 20 percent of their body weight during winter and that decline in body mass means that weaker animals will not make it to the spring. Even during average winters, 15 to 20 percent of the deer herd may die. Survival depends greatly on the health of the deer going into the winter. Continue reading →