The Express report about the euthanizing of an elk cow on Highway 75 brought up an interesting point: The meat could not be donated “because of the late-winter condition of the elk.”
Evidently, that kind of news did not reach Jerome headquarters, where “vigilant” is still the operative word. How much starvation needs to happen before “proactive” gets into their word dictionary? We have many pictures of the starving herd wintering north of Hailey, where most are no longer near the highway because a feeding station was set up on private property—with no help whatsoever from F&G. Approximately 125 are in that herd, each requiring about 10 pounds per day.
It is no easy task to pay for and spread out hay in an area big enough to avoid crowding or disease. If F&G headquarters had been proactive one-and-a-half months ago and implemented emergency feeding stations as in 2017, elk similar to that cow and to many in the herd near Deer Creek could have been saved from the food deprivation in an area still very deep in snowpack. Instead, their attitude seems to smack of arrogance—“We know more than those rich Wood River Valley folks … they’ll get over it in another month.” But, instead, the plan for this fall is to have a deprivation hunt and increased elk tag sales. A good way to get rid of those pesky elk so those people don’t keep calling all of the time.
Lynn Campion, Ted Waddell, Cally Galpin and Chuck Christopher, Blaine County