Contributors to this thread:
Elk Introduction to NE Minnesota
The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the U of MN have done a feasibility study and survey to introduce elk into the Cloquet Valley State Forest. I will be publicly speaking on this topic as Director of the St. Louis County Hunting Shack Leaseholders Association.
I'd like to hear comments from fellow hunters of pros and cons of introducing elk to the area. Indicate your experience with such endeavors and if you hunt or otherwise recreate in the Cloquet Valley. Please keep it civil. Thanks.
Here is a link to the U of M reports. At the bottom of the page is the report and survey. http://elk.umn.edu/research/final-reports
Would wolves hinder any sort of recovery?
Been watching this for quit some time. I'm in favor of expanding the elk herd in the NW and I'm in favor of introducing elk to the NE. Unfortunately the DNR is not taking the lead in this instead they are letting somebody else do the leg work. Just like they are doing with the moose studies, sad! Some day I hope our DNR starts taking the lead in some of these issues. Put some pants on people!
From a biological perspective, similar reintroductions have occurred across the country. (Pennsylvania, Kentucky, etc) A fundamental component (In my humble and amateur opinion) is deer are fundamentally browsers and elk are fundamentally grazers. Yes sometime there is overlap. (EX Alfalfa) but I don't see much competition between ungulates.
Good opportunity for the band , I see no benefit for any one else. The elk herd in the nw is a joke and I don’t see this being any different
Good Wolf Food, as in Wisconsin.
Should feed the wolves for a few weeks anyway.
I think it's a great idea as long as they make sure there is appropriate control of the wolf and black bear populations. Otherwise it's pointless.
Where exactly are the Elk coming from? No doubt a high fence situation. Elk CWD live test is only 70% accurate. Are they being tested at all and if so there would still be a 30% chance of introducing CWD into the wild in NE MN. Why would we support that gamble?
They would be trapped from a wild population I’m sure. That being said, what a waste of money if they don’t start actually taking wolf populations down
Elk hot lunch program. Hope the kill a couple elk and plant them so the wolves will know what to feed on like they did with the moose and transplanted wolves on isles royale
I am under the understanding the last 3 elk intros in the wild came from high fence
Doomed to fail.Mn will never have the political will to 'control' wolves.Hopefully it's all 'band' money.
Deerplotter needs to take a statistics class and do more research on elk reintroduction. They come from wild herds in other states.
WI has finally gotten an elk season going after many years. Our project was hindered when CWD was discovered and transliteration had to be halted. Wolf depredation also had a dramatic impact on the elk herd. Probably even more were killed by vehicles, especially near homes that were feeding wildlife.
There are a lot of considerations to weigh for sure.
I know nothing of the area, but elk intros anywhere feasible I will support. I only wish NY would put them in the Dacks and Skills.
I would not be too concerned with it. The elk numbers will likely not get large and their range will stay fairly limited as in Wisconsin and Michigan. Other than being a waste of federal and tribal money (at least in my conservative eyes) the elk impact will be low on the overall agriculture and hunting community. Wolves, and many other predators need some better management in most areas they reside, their ranges are expanding.
The state of Mn already wastes enough money on the nw herds, no need to add more
Cleverly (not really) disquised as the Fond Du Lac looking for the state to foot the bill to help fill their freezers if you ask me..
Furthermore, until our wolf problem is managed with some common sense I'm not for spending one dime introducing more food for them either!
I don't understand why the state of Minnesota wouldn't want to try and bring their moose populations back to where they used to be instead of introducing elk into this region.
Kannuck, DON'T EVER try and figure out what our DNR thinks or does. I've lived here most my life and I'd be further ahead to beat my brains with a rock than do that! I'll give you a hint, though...it's all politics and never common sense here. Never..
Yup, ring the dinner bell for the wolves.
Well stated Kannuck. Moose are THRIVING across all of ND right now, yet MN struggles. We all know wolves are the bulk of the problem. and I don't know why the DNR wouldn't be on the feds to open that back up?!>?
The first elk introduced came from a mix of Yellowstone elk and a private herd. If you read the parameters for the introduction they’re severely limited.
No Mercy, ya don't suppose politics has something to do with it, do ya? Nah, I'm sure all the libs in the metro area play no role in the moose/wolf problem not being taken on. No way! Haha
Complete sarcasm above-- I totally agree with you guys.
Kannuck, moose will not come back in this elk reintroduction area. There are too many deer. Moose cannot survive in areas with high populations of deer, due to brainworm. Elk at least have a chance. MN hunters will not stand for the deer slaughter that would need to take place to give moose a chance.
I'm honestly surprised so many are against this. You can't compare reintroduction to this area with the elk populations in the NW part of the state. This is not an agricultural area. I am very familiar with the Cloquet Valley area and it could sustain a healthy elk population with very little human conflict.
If this is going to happen, it needs to be sooner rather than later. The elk would need to come from an area thus far free of CWD. That basically leaves us with Kentucky. Once CWD is found there (and it will be eventually) the doors will shut rather quickly.
I have spoken extensively with a biologist for the Fond Du Lac tribe. He is a good guy and was very helpful when I drew my moose tag in MN. I offered for him to have a booth at our RMEF Chapter banquet and he enthusiastically accepted it. Talking to him was very informative and he truly thinks that elk could have a shot at reestablishing themselves in the area. There is zero reason the band and state cannot work together to restore a native species. To say there is no benefit to residents of the state is ridiculous and selfish. Sure, you may not be able to hunt them in your lifetime, but how great would it be for your grandchildren to have the opportunity to chase wild elk in MN? Those who spearheaded the reintroduction to Kentucky and Pennsylvania sure weren't doing it because they personally would have a chance to hunt them. Would anyone call their efforts a waste of time and money?
Jim, good points and retort. For the record I'm not against reintroduction. I am very against the ridiculous way the state has handled the wolf/moose issue, however. Importantly, the two issues don't need tho be handled in a mutually exclusive way.
Politics drives the asinine way they refuse to address the wolf deal, and that leads a lot of people (like me) to lose faith in their motives and/or intelligence. Of course this is just another example of the state's ineptitude-- deer management, fisheries, bears, and on and on. They can hardly win at this point because of their very proven track record of idiocy. Sadly, they have more than earned their reputation.
Scoot, I actually typed up my response while you were writing yours, so my post wasn't aimed at you (or anyone in particular).
It just plain sucks that MN can't manage the wolf population. But, to be fair, that has nothing to do with the state. It's a federal issue. The DNR wants to have the ability to control wolf numbers but it's out of their hands. I have spoken with a few from the DNR that would love to see wolf and deer numbers cut in the moose range to give them a chance. To cut wolf numbers is simply not possible due to the ESA. To cut deer numbers would face massive opposition from hunters. Add to that a governor who put a halt to their moose study and their hands are completely tied at this point.
The MN DNR is not perfect (especially as you get higher in their ranks), but I do think they try. I say let's at least give them a chance to do something right with elk. Even if it fails, I guarantee my tax dollars in this state are wasted every day on much more obnoxious things than this. If it succeeds it would be one of the great conservation successes in the history of the state.
I have seen the Mn dnr manage the life right out of enough different things that I doubt I will ever give them the benefit of the doubt again.
I'm with ya Grubby. PROVE you can manage the taxpayers money and maybe, maybe, we'll give you a chance. Doesn't matter anyway what any of us want...they'll do what they want, witnessed countless times by attending their public input meetings and hearing overwhelming support for against something, only to have the DNR do the EXACT OPPOSITE. Some of you guys are too damn trusting, but hell, throw in the caveat that it's for the "children" and only a cynical blowhard such as myself could publically stand against the idea..
Funny, too, how there's plenty moose in this state for the various tribes to hunt, but when it comes to the rest of us there's not! DNR's way of thinking, not mine. Read it every year in the Outdoor News when they announce how many bulls they're going to kill and some fool from our DNR says taking "X" amount of bulls won't hurt a thing. If it won't hurt a thing how come the state discontinued the hunt?!?!? Different rules for different fools, and the very mention that Fond Du Lac is for the introduction of elk tells me all I need to know that I'm against it.
South farm, let me buy you a beer!
It really won't affect me one way or another, but if it comes down to it, I'd rather see my tax dollars going towards something like this versus all of the other BS liberal programs that get funded and shoved down our throats here in the Metro area.
The DNR has zero control over whether or not the Fond Du Lac band hunts moose. In fact, they publicly objected to it. But, I suppose it's convenient to use them as the scapegoat. When all else fails...blame the DNR.
Can I ask you why, exactly, you object to elk reintroduction? Is it only because the tribe is for it or are their other specific reasons? Maybe call up the tribe biologist. He's a hell of a nice guy and is more than willing to discuss this issue with anyone interested. Not everything in life needs to be "us vs them." I disagree with a whole lot of what the tribe does, but it doesn't mean I can't support them when we do see eye to eye.
I'd be a hell of a nice guy too if I could hunt Minnesota moose!
Nowiser, you come my your moniker quite honestly I must say, because clearly you have either missed (or don't care) how the state got fleeced by the tribes on Red. That was just one major example of how the state foots the majority of the bill and takes it in the shorts. Oh sure, we get our little piece of the lake, meanwhile while we paid to restock the lake (after the band commerical harvested the thing to death) the red lake band built a nice fancy fish-buying station where band-members can bring in all the fish they can catch and get paid $2/pound for 'em. That sound fair to you?? What makes you think it'll be different this time? Sorry, I'm not the most politically correct guy on the internet, but I'm sick and tired of the Minnesota DNR cowtowing to the indians while sticking it to the rest of us...and then they ain't smart enough to figure out why hunting and fishing interest in this state is waning! Give me a break. As much as I'd like to see an elk introducing them is just one more thing they'll screw up in their LONG LIST of expensive accomplishments.
He's a tribal biologist, not member. He's not moose hunting.
This has zero to do with Red Lake. Different situation, different tribe. I agree with you 100% on Red Lake. It was a huge hose job. If it was up to me, I'd have let the lake die after what they did. Truthfully, it was white men that killed every elk in MN, not the Indians. So really it's the exact opposite of Red Lake. You could say they are footing a big part of the bill to bring back elk after we killed them off, could you not?
My opinion is that this is a worthwhile effort. The fact that we'd need to work together with a tribe to make that happen does not change that. We'll have to agree to disagree on this, and that is fine. I'll assume that you will not apply for an elk tag should this be successful.
In case you haven’t noticed you already are able to apply for a Minnesota elk tag. You might want to look into all the Mn dnr has done for that herd over the years.
Can/does the Fond Du Lac tribe hunt wolves?
Grubby, the MN DNR cannot do anything about the NW elk herd. Rep. Dan Fabian passed a bill that put control of that herd into the hands of the Department of Agriculture. The DNR is NOT allowed to let the herd grow. I'll be the first to admit that the DNR is not perfect, but you guys are blaming things on them that are 100% out of their control. It's almost cringeworthy reading some of it.
Just an FYI, the elk that were re-introduced to Missouri came from the Kentucky herd. They trapped them and transported them here. Lost a few, but not very many. I would expect the same would be done with any introduced to MN. Kentucky's re-introduction has been pretty successful from what I can gather...
They are saying we might have the first elk hunt in a 100+ years here next year...only 5-10 tags though and if you draw one, that's it for something like 10 years or something like that...
Gentleman please, not asking for debate about tribal vs citizen rights. I'm asking for input i.e. pros and cons of introduction of elk into the Cloquet Valley State Forest. Also, please note that it is an introduction not a RE-introduction. ELk have NEVER existed in St. Louis County (i.e. CVSF). This is duly noted in the study in the link above.
I say reintroduce them wherever they stand a chance of surviving...eventually it may take some NR hunting pressure off of Colorado.
Just kidding....kinda. ;-)
Reintroduction of Woodland Caribou would be a better choice.
Brad, no they don't hunt wolves and are opposed to a hunt. They say the wolves are their brothers.
Ha! Introduce a non- native? Not going to happen.
I agree, bring back the caribou
I believe the elk brought in are from wild herds. But I know people who raise elk and there herds are monitored for CWD, and tested for TB, and other diseases they maybe cleaner than the wild. And they would probably donate animals with all the testing done.
If “they never existed in area “” there is your final answer. Nature said no for centuries, apparently was not feasible. What are they thinking or not. Clearly not any comparable current elk population living in similar habatat. Just because it’s a big block of public let’s give it a go. Wisconsin here struggles to exist. A puny 200 animals after 25 years . Far better to restore elk to the western and southwestern MN they would thrive if the farmers could tolerate 10,000 animals in ten years.
Another vote for the forgotten woodland caribou.
Please support the Mt lion introduction initiative.
Oddly moose seem to thrive in North Dakota with high whitetail populations
Rgiesey-we don't have wolves here......
Surprise! Surprise! A DNR bash fest!
20 years ago introducing a non native ungulate might have had a chance but in this day and age it’s not even worth discussing
"Surprise! Surprise! A DNR bash fest!"
They bring it on themselves. Might be some good guys at ground level but that's where it ends.
Anyway, winter's coming and the wolves will be getting hungry so hurry up and get those cattle trucks full of elk meat rolling!
You guys should be in the organization, you got it all figured out! Who would have thought that if you just went on Bowsite for your hiring, you'd have everything going rock steady as far as natural resource management is concerned.
I left N Minnesota almost 32 years ago. And even back then the DNR (Do Nothing Rangers) had the same level of intelligence
My dirty little secret 12yards...I was in the "organization"...worked for both the DNR and the USFS. Not just some angry internet dude. And for the record, "management" isn't our DNR's strongsuit. Every now and then they get something right and benefit the masses, but in most hot-button major events they'll leave you scratching your head more often than not. PM me sometime if you want some juicy details of ineptness.
Thanks for taking the time to do this, you may not be getting the responses you wanted but thanks for doing it.
Caribou could never be brought back to NE MN. They are even more susceptible to brain worm than moose. The reason the moose in western ND can survive among the deer is because there aren't the snails and slugs that are the vector for the brain worm. I'm all for a healthy moose population but it going to require sacrificing the deer population.
Regarding elk not being native to the area. That may be so, but neither are whitetails and they are thriving now. Man has changed the landscape to the benefit of some species and detriment of others. Just because it wasn't suitable for elk or deer 200 years ago doesn't mean it isn't now.
There has been a tremendous amount of logging in recent years in the area. Whitetail populations will rise, the last moose will all but vanish, and I think elk could have a chance. I support the efforts 100%.
Poor correlation NoWiser. Man didn't "introduce" whitetails...he merely logged the land and whitetails being ADAPTABLE moved in when they found the environment suitable. Not a penny was spent to make that happen.
Now, your elk on the other hand, they could, if they wanted to, move in likewise, without us spending a dime, but they don't. That should tell you that maybe they don't want to, nor should they.
Kind of ironic in a state that seems so concerned over every little invasive this and that that they would even consider the idea.
As far as your comment on "sacrificing" the deer population in NE Minnesota...do you hunt there?!? Other than the non-representational migraters along the north shore in winter tell me WHERE deer hunting in NE Minnesota is as good or better than it was 10 or more years ago. GOOD LUCK!
"The reason the moose in western ND can survive among the deer is because there aren't the snails and slugs that are the vector for the brain worm."
Jim, is that fact or speculation? When I think of the areas of ND with the most moose around, it seems like there are plenty of places for snails and slugs. Also, the way you say that makes it sound like you don't believe the lack of wolves plays a role in the much higher numbers of moose in ND vs. areas of MN that are full of wolves. I'm not arguing your points, just looking for clarification.
unless wolves are reduced, it will be futile with the elk I believe .... reintroduction of Elk was proposed years back here in Indiana, they looked at Hoosier Nat. Forest and the state forests, it was dismissed after a huge pushback from farmers/landowners and decided it really wasnt feasible ....
from the INDNR : "Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding a feasibility study for the reintroduction of elk to Indiana. As you might recall, the DFW considered this topic, at your request, in 2009-11 and included participation by wildlife faculty at Purdue University. At that time, a feasibility study was not recommended, regardless of funding source, because of concern that suitable contiguous wildlands were lacking and the potential for negative socioeconomic impacts to Indiana's agricultural interests. These same concerns were identified in an earlier feasibility study to reintroduce elk in southern Illinois conducted by the Illinois Natural History Survey. Although the forested landscape of southcentral Indiana may be similar to that in Illinois, ownership is fragmented and interspersed with farms and homes. Further, chronic wasting disease has now been confirmed in three neighboring states. This eminent threat wasn't a concern 8-10 years ago, and the DFW believes translocating a CWD-susceptible cervid, such as elk, to Indiana is not in the best interest of the state's white-tailed deer herd. Thank you again for your continued support and interest in Indiana's fish and wildlife resources" .... good luck with the attempt in MN ...
I say go for it only time will tell!!
South Farm-I agree 100%! Between the TB in the fringes in the last decade and the wolves, deer hunting is NOT in a good state in that area of MN.
I don't understand why you would introduce a non-native species before trying to help a native species. It just doesn't make any sense to me.
I live in Duluth and regularly hunt, hike and paddle in the Cloquet Valley. I’m all for this, even if I never get a chance to hunt an elk in MN. Seeing them back where they once thrived would put a smile on my face.
That’s the thing..... they didn’t thrive there, scroll back. Elk aren’t native to the Cloquet valley