From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 3, Number 39 - December 24, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Elk leave North Piney

by Cat Urbigkit

Once again wolves are believed to be responsible for causing elk to leave an elk feedground in western Wyoming.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department Regional Supervisor Bernie Holz said Monday that groups of elk left the North Piney feedground recently, and at least one of the incidents is believed to be wolf-related.

"We've had wolves there fairly consistently all season," Holz said.

The first group of elk left North Piney a few weeks ago, Holz said, for unknown reasons. The second group, consisting of several hundred animals, flew the coop last week, Holz said, adding that his agency considered the event to be wolf-related. The elk left North Piney and came down to Bench Corral, he said. Just how many wolves are using the North Piney country isn't known.

Last year, the North Piney elk fled the feedground in mid-January in response to wolf depredations. Two weeks later, a similar event occurred on the Black Butte elk feedground north of Pinedale, also in response to wolves.

Holz said wolves have been reported on the Black Butte feedground again this year, and on the Jewett feedground as well. The Jewett has the largest bunch of elk it's had in recent memory, with about 750 head being fed there, Holz said.

While no real management conflicts have occurred with the wolves at this point, Holz said, "We're concerned that they're going to run some elk off the feedgrounds."

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