ELK FEEDING HALTED TO IMPROVE CWD IN WYOMING – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department intends to discontinue feeding wintering elk on the Alkali Creek bench. This historic feeding area resides on Bridger-Teton National Forest. These changes come on the heels of legislation designed to restrict and hopefully prevent the spread of CWD into human-fed elk.
“It’s just a flake of hay every 50, 100 feet — enough to keep them interested. The herd will gradually work their way along the trail of hay to get from point A to point B… It’s a very effective way to move elk, if they’re hungry.” – Brad Hovinga, WY G&F Regional Supervisor
- This is one step in a proactive approach to curb the spread of CWD in Wyoming.
- Point A – Alkali Creek bench. A historic elk feeding ground on Bridger-Teton NF. Legislation ultimately prevents ongoing feeding at this location.
- Point B – Patrol Cabin feedground. The ultimate goal of feeding elk is cessation. Moving the elk to Patrol Cabin is part of achieving that goal.
- The Path – Five miles of Gros Ventre Road. Elk will cross the Goosewing bridge over the Gros Ventre River.
Why Change Feeding Routines
- Earlier in 2019, State and Federal agencies announced plans to limit elk feeding programs in Wyoming.
- eHuntr has already reported on the known spread of CWD in Wyoming.
- State officials also enlisted a team of 31 residents to help create CWD prevention strategies.
- CWD has already been confirmed in wild elk near Yellowstone.
Risks of Human-Administered Elk Feeding
CWD probably cannot be stopped. Effective courses of action will slow and mitigate the spread as best as possible. Feeding grounds cause elk to bunch up in large numbers. This causes concern for rapid spread.
Risks of Not Feeding Elk
“The grandfather of Guy and Ike Eastman used to tell of a time before the Elk Refuge feeding program when by the end of winter a man could walk for 25 miles around Jackson and never run out of elk carcasses piled up due to starvation.”
Jackson Hole News & Guide thoroughly reported on the litigation proceedings. For exhaustive information regarding the legal situation, read: G&F: No more Alkali feeding.
Tell us what you think about CWD and the elk feeding programs.