Recent snow pushes some elk into ranchland

Don't we look like horses to you? (WGFD)

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – A mild winter this far has helped keep elk and other wildlife out of trouble with urban interface problems like road collisions and haystack poaching.

Recent snowstorms, however, have a few herds heading to lowland areas and seeking out nourishment. One group of elk made their way to private land in the Bryan Flat area of the Hoback Canyon to take advantage of some horse hay. The elk bed down by day and late in the afternoon or early evening will creep out to the horse pastures to see what’s left of the hay they were thrown that day.

Other elk movements into areas of conflict, such as private lands and highways have been reported. This has prompted the initiation of supplemental feeding on some area elk feedgrounds, albeit much later in the season than normal. It has also prompted regional game wardens to begin a variety of tactics to prevent elk from causing damage on area private lands.

Wyoming Game and Fish has hit on one fairly effective tactic: the use of inflatable windsocks, which have proven fairly effective at scaring elk away. At least more effective at that than selling used cars.

Elk in horse's hay. (WGFD)more
Making a getaway after being spotted. (WGFD)more
Wapiti herd headed for the hills to bed down. (WGFD)more
Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man scares away elk and potential used car buyers.more