With the big fury that wolves are killing all the elk in Montana, I thought I would post some information that shows you what is NOT going to happen if every wolf in MT were to die tomorrow of some mysterious disease.
What is NOT going to happen is large increases in elk numbers.
Look at the map below and you will see why.
(click to for larger size)
The units in RED (62 units) are OVER objective in our elk plan. Those are will have the most aggressive season types allowed, including B tags in some units that allow hunters to kill a second cow elk. Or, other very aggressive harvest measures.
The units in GREEN (45 units) are AT objective. That means current season structures will stay in effect to keep numbers at or below current levels.
The units in YELLOW (27 units) are ones where we are BELOW objective and more restrictive seasons will be in place until populations increase and we can then color that unit green.
Look at how few YELLOW units there are and how many RED units there are. The Montana Elk Management Plan, along with the legislatively mandated affects of HB 42, show that we are going to lessen elk numbers in MT, not increase them, even if every wolf died of a mysterious disease tomorrow.
I hope hunters take a look at this and start to understand that even though wolves are a problem, they are not THE ONLY problem. In fact, if we want more elk, they ARE NOT the biggest problem.
Not sure how much more clear this can be painted. Any one wondering why elk numbers have been dropping since the enactment of HB 42 in the 2003 Legilsative session and adoption of the politically driven EMP in 2004, there is your answer.
If every wolf in MT packed and headed back to Canada tomorrow, we would still manage the state for fewer elk than we have today.
I am sure these facts mess up the opinions of some. Feel free to share with anyone, anywhere.
(From Randy Newberg from OYOA)