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  1. #1
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    Elk and Cattle on BLM.

    While scouting for elk this month. I found an alfalfa field with public land right next to it. One day there was over 200 head of elk in that field. I hiked into this area and found out that there were a good amount of cattle on public land. I did not see a lot of elk sign in the area. I have not had any luck hunting or finding elk any on public with cattle, private seems to be almost the complete opposite. What is your hunting experience with cattle on public land? Do elk avoid water the cattle heavily use?

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    It will be tougher this year. a lot of public land gets leased out to ranchers for summer pasture. On most years elk will tolerate cattle but with the drought all the cattle and elk seem to be going for the same grass that is in valleys, draws and next to creeks. Cows have no problem craping in water holes and creeks and elk aren't likely to use the same area if the water is tainted. A lot of crp grass in the low lands are being used by ranchers for cattle grazing due to the emergency relief the goverment granted because of the drought This has totally screwed up the deer movement because of the safe haven the deer had bedding in the tall grasses. No cover for deer cover and none for making stalks. It ought to get interesting.

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    In my experinces, elk have no problem tolerating cattle. Just this past weekend archery bull opened up and we were seeing one group of 60-80 elk throughout the hills along side cattle. We spooked cattle and elk out of the same draws. A few years back I even saw two cattle amongst a herd, I mean right in the heart of them following the elks every move. Soon enough, the ranchers should be rounding up their cattle and getting back to the ranch. Well at least here in NV I know they have deadlines on when the cattle have to be off BLM land, which I believe is the first part of October.

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    I have not had much luck at finding elk with cattle. But having the cattle on BLM land irritates me. If they can free-range then the ranchers should allow hunting on 50% of their land.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crumy View Post
    If they can free-range then the ranchers should allow hunting on 50% of their land.
    Agreed 100%, its funny though, some of the ranchers try to tell the public that where they are grazing on public land is there property and they put up no trespassing signs. Luckily with today's technology, you can get landowner maps put right on your GPS. Not a fan of cattle in the hills either.

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    I have had that happen to me once. Rancher telling me it is his land. Turns out he was also an outfitter and had people with me. I had setup glassing this field and he came up on horses telling me I couldn't be there and he wouldn't call the gamewarden if I left. I had my gps and was well inside the BLM block. (Thanks to my gps as I walked past at least 4 private property signs on blm land.) I told him that luckily I had a satellite phone and would be happy to call. He just mumbled and rode off. Glad he didn't call the bluff on the phone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crumy View Post
    I have not had much luck at finding elk with cattle. But having the cattle on BLM land irritates me. If they can free-range then the ranchers should allow hunting on 50% of their land.
    BLM, Forest Service, State, etc. act just like any other land owner and establish contracts for the resources (grass, timber) on the land to interested parties (ranchers, logging companies, etc.). If you're so worried about it, you should probably purchase the grazing lease. I've never had trouble finding elk with cattle. The only issue I've run into is annual fall round ups in October interfering with the elk because of all the activity. And actually the last and biggest bull I shot, I spotted while on horseback, driving cattle; spotted the elk the day before the opener, went in the next day and shot a nice bull (was planning on going somewhere else too, but couldn't pass up a fairly sure thing).
    Last edited by MSUcat61; 08-27-2012 at 11:37 PM.
    Can't spell scum without U&M... Go 'Cats!

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    this topic has allways had it two sided facts. i use to believe cattle and elk dont use same areas but after this last two years i threw that theory out the back door. im finding most elk and biggest bulls right in the middle of the cattle. i guess over the years they learn where they are safe at. and as far as that blm with no trespassing sign go.... i just purchased that sd card for my gps and good god!!! i couldnt believ all the blm thats posted. im going to make the most of it come thursday

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdub24 View Post
    Agreed 100%, its funny though, some of the ranchers try to tell the public that where they are grazing on public land is there property and they put up no trespassing signs. Luckily with today's technology, you can get landowner maps put right on your GPS. Not a fan of cattle in the hills either.
    lol i hear ya guys but us ranchers have been hit hard with the drought, kinda need a break every were we can get it , i can only speak for oklahoma but the drought assistance programs and access to new grazing ground has really kept us in bussiness.

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    very true dying to kill, there is allways more than one way to look at things. thanks for your post. we are all praying for that drought in the midwest comes to an end. its just sickning.

 

 

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