Contributors to this thread:
When will it ever happen? All the other states are getting it done. I tried to talk them into it 15 years ago before W.V. Tenn. Virginia, missouri. Kentucky was just starting. Thought the arguments against it were lame. Soon there will be elk everywhere in the east but not Ohio. Someone might hit one. Someone on here would have drawn a tag and shot one with a bow by now if they had started a herd. Doug S
There's not enough public land in Ohio to support an elk herd.
I tend to agree with Ned. I definitely think any elk herd established here (I don't think it will ever happen though) should NOT be to the detriment of farmers and private landowners.
West Virginia = <2 million residents.
Kentucky = just under 4.5 million residents.
Missouri = 6 million residents.
Ohio = nearly 12 million residents.
When population is figured into available land mass in each state, that makes Ohio one of the more densely populated states with precious few areas in which elk could roam without eventually heading onto private land and into existing agricultural areas. I just don't ever see it happening without fences in Ohio.
In agreement with Ned, and Kevin.
Ohio is way to populated for a viable Elk Herd. Just not enough wilderness area.
It's hard to look or see more than a mile or so in any direction in Ohio, and not see a house light or a barn light after dark.
Kevin Dill's Link
Seems to me where there is a will there is a way.
This may answer questions.
Thanks for the link. Informative of where ODNR, is regarding an Elk, introduction into Ohio.
Enjoyed sub link of poacher being fined and licence being suspended.
Not a chance, could you imagine the price of car insurance!
I guess my questions would be....
Aside from (how many?) hunters, are there other Ohioans wanting to see wild free-range elk in Ohio?
Where could a wild elk herd be successfully maintained (and hunted) in Ohio? I'm not saying it can't be done. I'm asking for specific public hunting areas large enough to sustain an elk herd without fencing.
What would or could be done to protect farmers, property owners and motorists from losses due to elk?
With a premium on whitetail deer hunting here, what effect would elk have on deer in a specific public hunting area?
Presuming that budgets for existing wildlife management programs are fairly tight, how would the state pay for an elk introduction and management program? Would the benefits justify the costs?
I'm obviously doubtful but open to logical discussion.
I am really glad to see a study done. Thanks for link. I guess now Ohio is feeling left out compared to these other states. So they are considering I have no skin now that I don't live there but. The application fees for say 2 or 3 tags at first would bring in lots of revenue. I stopped to see the Missouri elk this summer. And was surprised to learn they haven't moved from the original release areas. Kentucky had a good plan for elk that wandered with a tag they could be taken while deer hunting. I don't know where they could go but 400 elk can stay out of trouble in the right areas. If I suggest an area I know some will start with all the reasons it won't work. So I'll let the studiers figure it out Thanks for the link. Btw Crazy to me it took this long. I hope they make it happen. Southern Ohio They rarely are hit by cars in this other places with similar population densities. Bring em in!!! Can you imagine your in a tree stand in Ohio and hearing a bull elk screaming on the ridge above you. Like his grand pappy did in 1800. Should be so... Doug
20.00. X. 200,000 applicants 4,000,000.
"Where could a wild Elk herd be successfully maintained and hunted in Ohio"
Best chance IMO would be the counties of Morgan and Noble..A few adjacent counties too maybe.
Elk are grazers, not browsers, they eat several pounds of grass a day. Hence, the competition between the cattle ranchers and the elk out west. It's nothing for an elk to cover 3 to 5 miles between feeding and bedding, not to mention they have a low tolerance for human presence. There just is not enough free roaming habitat left in Ohio to support a herd. I haven't read the study posted on here and don't need to, it's common sense.
"In any event, says Kohler, an elk restoration project would require that enough ground exist and that such territory be secure enough to protect the animals as well as motorists and farmers."
I believe this is mandate #1 in Ohio if elk are ever wild here again. ODNR will be challenged to find such a safe location for ideal management.
"RMEF has not been approached by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife requesting our assistance in funding feasibility studies or elk restoration.”
".... the concept of an elk restoration project has not exactly lit a fire under most of Ohio’s hunters, either, at least not yet, says Kohler."
I could be mistaken but the overall tone of the article goes something like..."We're open to the idea but not anytime soon and not until we're satisfied with deer management in the state." I also suspect a majority of Ohio hunters aren't concerned with seeing elk here. I live 45 minutes from Kentucky and only a few more hours to their elk herd. I hunt pretty hard but I've never once had an interest in hunting elk there or in other eastern states. That might make me an anomaly but I tend to doubt it.
First, as I understand it, in the states that have them here in the east, there is a limited draw for hunters, it is not an open season like deer hunting. It has taken how long for these states to get a hunt able herd of elk. As mentioned Elk need A LOT of ground to live on, so it would take a lot private land owner cooperation to make this even feasible over a number of years/decades for a huntable herd, then it would be by drawing only. Insurance companies and farmers have issues now with deer now, Elk are a lot bigger animal and would do a lot more damage in a corn or bean field than deer would if they got into it. Southeaster Ohio would be the only feasible area to start with because of lower human population. Forestry habits would have to change also to give the right habitat for the herd to flourish. Also you have to look at the freeway/road system here in Ohio. Where are there tracks of land large enough to contain Elk without a paved road way/highway of some sort passing through it. Yeah it would be neat to have Elk here but I don't think you could get a sustainable huntable herd. DANNY
Well if we can always just drive over to a state that has elk and has done the work to restore the elk to their original lands then we don't need Ohio to bring back any elk. Great plan. I wonder how many Ohio sportsman would like to see elk and how many don't care or don't want to see elk. BTW There are farms and highways and insurance company's in every state that chose to have elk. If Ohio moves forward There would be an elk hit by a car for sure. There is in every other state that has elk. A very bad reason to not have elk IMO. Getting private landowners on board takes some work for sure. I'm really glad to see they are considering it and I am thankful I now live where I can see and hunt elk. Danny in Kentucky if elk leave the restored area they are fair game. So can be taken in addition to the draw tags. Most of the west is draw tags too.
Saphead, So could the Elk be taken if they leave "the area" before they are considered restored? There wouldn't be an Elk season until the herd reaches a set number to considered restore for a hunting season. I would think they would be considered protected until they did. Like Bear, there is not Bear season, so if one is seen it is considered protected. Much like all species that have been introduced. DANNY
Agree too populated a state and not enough wilderness area,,, and yeah auto insurance is another factor,,, unless they want to reestablish them to Kevin's place...8^)))
No chance of that Gary. The deer would eat them out of house and home here.
Hey Gary, Danny in Kentucky after 2 years any elk outside the zone was able to be taken by a deer hunter. This was prior to draw hunts. Surprisingly there have been very few taken this way. 5 I think. Which shows if they have food they really don't move to much. Why does Ohio protect the Black bear but loath the elk.? I think you would need 4 counties on board to make it work. Tell Landowners and Insurance TOUGH. They were here first. All the deer are way worse on vehicles than 400 elk would be anyway. Jumpy,spooky bastards. Im guessing Ohio will try it, somewhere between Shawnee state forest and Athens, I see the insurance companies have all you guys trained tho. is there a discount to be spokesman for them? Elk are alot smarter than deer BTW and they have had very few collisions with them in Kentucky according to K wildlife. Elk dont act like deer in the rut either, running brainless for miles. Didnt ask Missouri when i was there but imagine its the same. We drive right by a herd, sometimes through, everyday, State highway. We know they are there so are watchful. Doesn't take long for people to get trained. Winter Summer these elk move maybe 10 to 15 miles max. Hope I don't hit one now that i said that. Now big Horn sheep would be a huge mistake. They end up living in the road ditches. You guys may be right but I hope it happens. Doug S
Saphead they don't loath the elk. The Black Bears have crossed over from PA, KY, or WV. According to ODNR we don't have any resident bears (some believe though in southern OH there are some resident bears but nor real proof), supposedly the ones sighted are transient juveniles looking for a place to live. It is different in stocking an animal (cost) and making sure there is enough habitat for the stocking, and those that show up naturally. In either case there are not enough bears to have a hunt able population thus protected (not hunt able). DANNY -
It's not like the state of Ohio (ODNR) actually has to say TOUGH to the insurance industry, landowners, residents and motorists. The state can do what it chooses. Of course, the state (as in the legislature, executive branch and down the line) will then deal with what comes of their decision. Given the political power of the insurance industry here, plus the biggest revenue-producing industry in Ohio which is agriculture, it's (elk restoration) not going to happen without input from those political forces and you can be SURE they have the ability to affect wildlife management at the level of the statehouse. If anyone cares to read the ODNR management plan for Ohio deer they will see it written very plainly that ODNR manages deer first to have minimal impact on agriculture....and then every other interest comes after that, including hunting. Elk would be 100% the same philosophy. And by the way....I doubt if any of us here are lovers of insurance, insurance premiums, the insurance industry in general. Necessary evil.
Hi Doug, how goes it, well I hope... Ironically just drove near your old place this afternoon while driving through Magnolia to Ponderosa in Carrolton, then Delroy on return...
I know that KY outside the elk zone law you mentioned... Years ago I actually took a little mini vacation and kinda scouted the neighboring counties outside the zone where they were fair game with a deer tag... I don't remember the exact counties now, but the folks down there didn't know what the heck I was taking about... I suppose since they were in the neighboring counties outside the zone, most likely they didn't know... Heck it was still like the Hatfields and McCoys down there... I suppose if any elk strayed outside that protected zone they wouldn't survived long regardless of time of year...8^)
We do have over 118 established bear in Ohio, 5 years ago I had DNR out because I had a black bear stroll within 35 yards of my stand. Jared Able Vinton county warden told me there are two Dems within 3 miles of my lease with one den on my lease.
He laughed when I told him exactly where it was.
We had a transient bear come by my house (kings island area) a few years back and went back to Kentucky.
As for elk there is not one place in Ohio I can think of that has enough free roaming wilderness(not farm land) but wilderness to support elk?
Brush creek is I believe 20k+ land but that's not enough for a elk herd. Rt 32 and rt 52 at 65 and 55mph wow bad news for motorists.
There is a reason Ohio does not allow high caliber necked down cartridge and that's because housing is way to close.
As buci313 said at night go anywhere in Ohio and you can spot a porch light.
FYI Ya'll I talked to an elk biologist the other day and ask him how many elk are hit by cars each year in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The answer shocked me, 10. Black Hills are roughly 70 miles by 30 miles. Towns and private homes scattered throughout. Roughly 200,000 people. I think, not exact number. There were 7200 elk pre calving last count. Maybe 8500 in Summer when a million visitors are driving in and around the Hills on State Highways that go thru the Hills, people drive 60 mph. Lots of Motorcycles for the Stugis Rally. I have not heard of a motorcycle elk crash but it probably has happened. 5 were hit on I-90 where a herd crosses back and forth. And 5 on all the State and County highways and back roads. 1 driver not paying attention hit 4 in 1 shot. In open country. I thought it would be under 100 but I didn't think it would be as low as 10. I dont think Elk need the huge wilderness areas some of us think they do. They don't tend to jump in front of cars like the thousands of deer did here last year. There are 70,000 deer and a couple thousand deer collisions. If they were like the elk it would be 100 collisions based on the numbers but its in the thousands. By the numbers 200 to 1 greater chance of hitting a deer. And that's with 8,000 elk! I think 500 would do fine somewhere Ohio where there is not an interstate. People really do get used to them. Start in Kevin's Backyard with 2, the will never leave.
Correction: 250,000 from Wiki In many ways, the Black Hills functions as a very spread-out urban area with a population (not counting tourists) of 250,000. BTW just in case, the 8500 elk don't go back and forth over the entire hills. Each herd might use 10-15 miles ave.
Elk are migratory and eat a lot of grass, they'll end up moving onto private land and then we'll have issues with hunting them and so forth. I'm sure the elk would be just fine with Ohio, it's the residents and farmers that might take issue with them.
What about the reclaimed strip mine areas.wonder if elk could live there.
I am not in favor of trying to start an elk herd in Ohio, but reclaimed strip mines in Pa. and Ky. have worked very well.
Ohio D N R does a poor job on its deer population. Cant imagine how they could ever keep a elk heard alive an healthy. Elk need room , too many people in Ohio .
Remember when our DOW said turkey needed large mature timber to survive.
I've scouted Powelson Wildlife area, and it's as nasty as anything I've seen in Southwest Colorado! These overgrown strip mines have 50 year old oaks and hickory trees that were felled, and ELK like this kind of cover! I think some of the AEP property that's in excess of 20,000 acres with some as large as 40,000 could support an elk herd.
IMO, the state is already out to kill the deer population. Why would they introduce elk?