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DonBo

Public Invited: DNR Elk Mgmt. Meeting

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Minnesota’s elk management plan will be the focus of two upcoming

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) public meetings.

The plan will address population levels, crop depredation and hunting

season management of wild elk in northwestern Minnesota.

Meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, at the

Greenbush-Middle River School gymnasium, 401 Park Ave. in Greenbush, and

7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5, at DNR headquarters, 500 Lafayette Road, St.

Paul.

Elk are native to Minnesota but likely were nearly extinct from the

state in the early 20th century.

In 1935, the transport of rocky mountain elk, combined with natural

immigration from Manitoba

and possibly North Dakota, have resulted in small elk populations in

Kittson and Marshall counties.

DNR wildlife staff will present parts of the draft plan, facilitate

discussion of issues and answer questions. Comments received will help

complete the draft plan, which will be available for formal comment

before it is finalized.

Copies of the draft plan and comment forms are available online. Copies

also are available at:

DNR headquarters in St. Paul

DNR regional wildlife office, 2115 Birchmont Beach Road N., Bemidji,

218-308-2700

Thief Lake WMA, 42280 240th Ave NE, Middle River, 218-222-3747

Karlstad Area Wildlife Office, 202 Main St. N, Karlstad, 218-436-2427.

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I have a question I have been thinking about for awhile. With the thousands of acres of state and federal land in Northern MN why can't they look into tranplanting the herds to these lands? Or keep the herds small in the current areas and start new heards on the government land? Hunters pay alot of money to hunt Elk out west. And with the number of deer hunters in the state you would think there would be alot of interest in increasing the elk hunting opportunities, not to mention the increased revenue for the businesses in those areas and the DNR instead of having them in an area where they are considered a nuisance.

I'm sure there is no simple answer, but would like to know if there has ever been any thought about it?

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PostFrontal, I like your thinking. If the elk are a problem, solve it don't just change it. People pay a lot of money to hunt elk and I'm sure if Minnesota had a larger herd there could be quite a bit of money to be made. If the elk are a problem for farmers they should move the elk and expand the herd to allow for more hunting opportunities. Of course this might not be possible, but I like this idea more than removing the herds entirely.

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Folks, The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is involved and is lobbying to get the elk plan changed. They have granted a lot of money to habitat inporvement over the years in NW Minnesota.

If you would like to see the elk flourish, attend these meetings and make your feelings known. In addition consider joining the RMEF and attending a banquet.

Here is my testament to what kind of experiences can be had with Minnesota elk.

http://www.fishingminnesota.com/forum/ub...Min#Post1518925

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They've tried to relocate the Grygla Elk herd East into Beltrami state forest. The elk always move back to the farmer's fields north of Grygla. The thousands of acres of state land in northern minnesota isn't very good elk habitat. If you were an elk, would you pick tromping around in the swamp foraging for food over grazing in a sunflower field?

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Crappie Killer is correct - elk will go where they want to go. In addition, once cows have a bond with a particular area for calving, they tend to hang there.

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I've never hunted Elk, but it has always been something I have wanted to do. I've considered joining the RMEF but since I haven't hunted for them, I didn't really think I would have alot to contribute. So I'm new to the issues with it but read everything I can that I run across about it. So forgive me if my questions seem naive.

Ck-you live in the area, what is feeling of the community up there about the Elk heard? Is it something they want to find a way to make work to improve the hunting and viewing opportunities like Gissert is talking about? I'd assume there could be potentially a large influx of dollars to the area if it was done right. Or is the depradation too out of control that they just want the herd kept small?

If RMEF and the DNR changed the focus of their grant money to habitat management in the State Forests so they could support a new elk herd there would that be possible? And then keep the NW herd small if that is what the community wants?

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Well, it's dangerous to speak for other people, since I'm not a politician, but since I've lived here most of my life, I'll tell you what I think.

Some farmers in the elk range have adapted to the elk herd, and put some of their land in CRP or just hayland. But the ones that still plant crops...I think would like to see them disappear somehow. When 40 elk move through a soybean crop, they're more like cattle, not deer. They really can mess things up.

As far as the hunter/tourism thing...sure, come up here and spend a boatload of money! I think the motel's rate is like 35 bucks a night, and sometimes he'll make you breakfast in the morning!

Now, the elk spend a lot of their time on private land, so you'd have to get hooked up with a local. I think most of the property owners in the area would allow you to hunt on their land for elk hunting.

Oh, and the elk reside in the TB zone, just a few miles south of where most of the infected deer have been shot.

This post sounds negative, but I actually like having the elk here, and often take the family out for a drive to see if we can find them.

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For me being an outsider - I'll agree with what CK stated.

When I had my bull tag in 2005, they were hanging 2-3 miles east of where they typically rut. This was unusual, I was told. The key that year was beans. The cows were holed up in some public land (where the DNR would really like them to stay. This area was outside of the hunt boundary. Last September when we went camping, they were where they have traditionally been.

The cows (in 2005) would come out at night and feed in the beans. There were 30-40 acres in one corner that did not have much left. They holed back up well before light, and you just cant call bulls from over a mile away when they have that many cows.

I know there used to be reimbursment for depredation, I dont know how close it came to making things square with the farmers, or if the program exists anymore.

I now personally play the tourism game. We plan on going sometime every year to look at and watch elk. We eat in town, buy fuel, etc. I have really become attached to the area, and will also do grouse hunting trips, and maybe some late season muzzleloading. We dont spend a ton of money, but it is money that is a direct relation to the elk and my great experience. Grygla is a wonderful town.

As far as getting permission, not one landowner denied me. I think permission is a lot in how you ask. I made phone calls well in advance, and came up prior to the hunt to meet and thank them face to face. After the hunt was over, they all got thank you cards, wether I hunted their land or not. If someone shows up a day or two before season and trys to gain permission, then there might be some denials.

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