Dec. 12 Letters to the Editor
Lewiston Morning Tribune
Elk harvests declining
I would state a few comparisons in response to Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s woes as printed Nov. 13 in the Lewiston Tribune.
My wild game processing plant has a large five-rail cooler for elk and a large five-rail cooler for deer.
Hunting season 2008 started with a loaded elk cooler (40-60 elk) and 60-70 deer out back. Long hours of cutting did not empty the refilling rails for six weeks.
Hunting season 2009 yielded only 60 percent compared to 2008 and in 2010 the numbers dropped another 20 percent.
Hunting season 2011 did not fill two rails of elk and only two rails of deer. From 2008 through 2011, wild game carcass numbers have dropped more than 60 percent.
My son has guided hunters on the South Fork, Middle Fork and Main Salmon River. In the last 15 years, he has witnessed the disappearance of elk in Chamberlain Basin and very depleted elk numbers on all main forks of the Salmon River hunting areas.
Hunters coming into the plant from Elk River and the Clearwater Drainage are not finding elk and most hear wolves howling at night.
It would seem the reason license sales are down is because there is no game left to hunt. I feel that Fish and Game and government have nobody to blame but themselves.
I hope the Lewiston Tribune’s Nov. 28 front-page doesn’t prove to be Washington’s trophy elk demise before some young hunters get to harvest one.