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I worked in Missouri a few years ago and used to drive by an elk ranch. It has come to my attention that Missouri is starting to hear proposals to begin managed seasons for elk hunts. I looked around at other states with newer programs. Wisconsin had its first managed hunt in 2018 I believe. Some other eastern and southern states have relatively new and budding elk populations. As these populations continue to grow, what do you think that means elsewhere? As an Iowan, I would still have to travel. If you're a Westerner I would think that would mean less competition for the DIY guys. Would outfitter prices be driven down to compete? Do tag prices have to go up to account for lack of income if people went elsewhere? I suppose some of the top tier units in AZ, NM,UT would still demand big money but I'd think prices must go down in other areas. I'm not saying these elk recovery efforts are a bad thing or that there are populations high and stable enough to affect any change in the near future but it certainly will have an impact down the road I assume. What do you all think? The season's over here and the weather won't let me get to some of my best ice fishing spots.
Well, the numbers of tags won't be very high and the residents who will become willing elk hunters if they don't have to travel will shock you. Figure every deer hunter plus a few more. I really don't think eastern elk availability will reduce the pressure on western elk much if any.
Now a good recession; that's another story.
A lot of these "newer states" don`t have the carrying capacity the western states have. I don`t see the herds being allowed to grow to a significant enough size to effect the western states. I believe it will remain a boutique situation.
Wisconsin is not going to be competing with any western state or any state for ELK hunters. After something like 25 years of trying to build a herd to grand total of about 200, yes 200, there was for the first time in 2018 a grand total of 4 tags available to general public, 1 to RMEF and 5 to inhabitants of the REZ system. Don’t expect those numbers to climb anytime soon.
As the wolves and bears need a change up from their whitetail diet, car kills, mistaken identity kills and some REZ inhabitants declaring their own seasons, poor habitat and it is quite obvious after 25 plus years Wisconsin is not anywheres close to conditions for a growing sustainable elk population.
Short term / long term Eastern elk hunting is not going to have one iota of an impact on western draws, tag prices or outfitters business.
Interesting. All 3 of you basically say the same thing. I just figured with Missouri, Arkansas, and a few other states trying to reestablish herds that maybe it might make a difference. I realize not in the next 5 years but further on I didn't know. I suppose in the grand scheme of things if 500-1000 hunters stayed in the eastern US that wouldn't impact much at all.
the only state east of the river, that has it right is Ky, plus their refusal of wolf re introduction................ Wisconsins herd is a feel good story, where even RMEF, (whom I respect), has their head in the sand, not coming to reality, of what has already been stated in the above post
Yer talkin a few hundred tags if that.
I live in Pa. We have a healthy herd with monster bulls. Been hunting them for nearly 20 years. Getting a license is like hitting the Powerball. My Wyoming app is in before it’s even time to apply here which is March. Even if I did draw it wouldn’t change my plans to spend time in the Big beautiful mountains out west. Two elk hunts a year with one being at home would be fine with most hunters I’m sure.
It's not just the elk I love to hunt, it's the country they live in out west I love to hunt.
The plains could be a real player if given the chance. Nebraska gave out 119 bull tags and twice as many cow tags last year. Their herd seems to be doing extremely well and the residents/landowners seemingly have learned to live with them. South Dakota made available about half as many tags in their Prairie units. Kansas has seen a definite rise in elk sightings/harvest off Fort Riley, but the state decided they don’t want them here with a nearly six month over the counter season. Undoubtedly due to pressure from the livestock association. It will be interesting to follow in the coming years.
KB you could multiply that number by 10 and it would have no affect on western elk hunting. The number would still be less than the number of hunters who don’t draw tags!
I didn’t mean to imply that it would MP. “Player” probably wasn’t the right way to phrase my thoughts. Just suggesting some positive things seem to be going on in the low country. Would be great to see some real expansion/conservation work done in the grasslands. As much as I too enjoy hunting the country Midwest and Oake do, I’d love nothing more than to chase big bulls without a tree in sight, where many originally roamed.
I would love for some of the Elk in Kentucky to see green grass here in Illinois...specifically in the Alton/St. Louis side of Illinois. That would be an awesome dream...albeit a pipe dream.
I wouldn't mind seeing more elk in the great plains states, but honestly Elk back east just doesn't float my boat. I am not saying I would pass up a tag in the mail however its not high on my wish list
Illinois has considered reintroduction of elk into the Shawnee national forest in southern Illinois. Too much opposition from farming and other groups. Don’t think it will ever happen.
Haven’t read up on it lately but VA used to allow deer hunters to take elk with deer tags that crossed over from KY. I think they are now trying to let the herd build up for revenue but I will have to read to see if that is still the plan.
I think the only thing that it’d do is create more elk hunters and more pressure out west. Anything back east is gonna be a once in a lifetime opportunity. People will want to do it more often and travel west to do it.
It will drive up elk permit demand in the west. The availability of very small numbers of elk permits in plains and eastern states will prime the pump. Guys that were never interested in elk hunting will become interested but won't be able to get permits in their states because of limited availability. So they will head west to get their elk fix.