Grouse in exchange for Elk

1/15/15 @ 3:08 PM
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JMTieds
JMTieds
USER since 3/28/11
SO...I read an interesting article today about a wildlife exchange program between WI and Kentucky. The gest of the article is, Kentucky apparently has a booming elk population since their re-introduction from 1997 to 2001, there were 1500 elk introduced to Kentucky during that time and today there are estimated numbers between 9,000 and 10,000. Well WI biologist are saying that the grouse population is back on its up swing to peak numbers again estimated in the fall of 2018. So WI and Kentucky are partnering to do a wildlife exchange trial, starting this winter (2015) and spanning over the next few year. WI will receive 150 head of elk out of Kentucky's state herd to the badger state and in return WI will be catching releasing over 2,000 wild ruffed grouse to Kentucky. Sounds interesting, I'm interested to see how they each adapt. Just thought it was a interesting read. Whats your thoughts?
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Displaying 1 to 10 of 18 Posts
1/28/15 @ 9:03 AM
lakeshiner
lakeshiner
USER since 7/20/09
I'm not a fan of it myself. This current attempt is going so slow/is stagnant that it seems like a waste. I didn't even know this was tried before until I read about it in the Lakeland Times, which made me look it up. So today's herd is not growing, read what they say about the older herd in the first paragraph below (it did not grow fast either). I assume wolves were not as much of an issue at that time.

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In Wisconsin, the first attempt occurred in 1913. The Wisconsin Conservation Commission brought in a traincar load of elk that had been starving in Yellowstone National Park. Only two elk from that first load survived and a second carload of 32 elk was shipped in 1917. These animals were placed in a 300-acre enclosure at Trout Lake some 10 miles north of Minocqua. Pneumonia killed half the group that first winter. According to accounts in a 1988 centennial edition of the Lakeland Times newspaper, the herd barely held on. By December 1928, only 19 bulls, 17 cows and nine calves survived. Sustaining a herd that was not growing appreciably was deemed too costly by the Conservation Commission, and in 1931 some of the animals were sent to parks and zoos or given to private individuals. The remaining 15 or so elk were unpenned and set free. They soon drifted down to the Arbor Vitae and Woodruff area.

Newspaper reports note the elk became a bit of a nuisance – eating haystacks and garden produce, running through barbed wire fences and, during the rut, challenging humans. Art Oehmcke, a retired DNR District director was then supervisor at Woodruff. He remembered the phone call he received from a distressed woman that a bull elk had her husband cornered and corralled in a barn. Oehmcke went to the farm with a shotgun, fired two shots in the air and the bull ran off.

One by one, the released elk were shot as nuisances or mistaken for deer. One of the last, a 600-pound bull, was shot south of the village of Sayner during the 1943 deer season. When contacted, Oehmcke sent two men out with a Caterpillar tractor to drag the animal out of the woods. They loaded it on a truck, took it to the Woodruff Ranger Station and hung it in a tree.

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1/26/15 @ 11:29 PM
Greenheads4Ever
Greenheads4Ever
USER since 2/9/03
Have you noticed the difference in stocked elk herd numbers from Kentucky's original herd vs. Wisconsin's original herd? I'm no biologist (just like the rest of you), but it seems like Kentucky set themselves up for success by going big. Same goes for Michigan. We planted what? 10 elk? Michigan I believe started with 150 and Kentucky 1500. Based on the numbers our population flatlined and theirs flourished. Reading the biology reports from all three states, Kentucky and Michigan held their elk to the same areas then later allowed them to disperse for a successful gene pool, while Wisconsin kept rounding ours up like cattle. In fact, according to Wisconsin's report, it took the wolves several years to realize elk equal dinner. It sounds as though the new plan is set up for more success. I hope we are. It would be great to not have to travel to harvest an elk.

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1/26/15 @ 2:22 PM
Pwerfred
Pwerfred
USER since 9/10/14
There's wolves in the area that will be stocked as well. There's a wolf pack near Black River Falls and one near Fort McCoy and some near Warrens as well.

Without adequate predator control, we're just adding another dinner item to the buffet for the wolves. Angry

I wonder how much they will cause problems with agriculture in that area or with traffic on the roads. Lots more cars in Jackson and Monroe counties

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1/22/15 @ 8:23 AM
1cast-away
1cast-away
USER since 2/2/09
As cool as it would be to have (more) elk here...I think it's a futile game. Unless a different strategy is used, clearly the one in place now is not working.

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1/22/15 @ 8:20 AM
fishmunkee
fishmunkee
USER since 3/20/02
"At least this time they plan to try some south of the 'wolf line'. We'll see how that works out."

Sounds like a dinner bell.

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1/22/15 @ 5:09 AM
muskrat30
muskrat30
USER since 10/14/01
Just compare the MI elk herd to that of WI. MI has a season every year, main difference, no wolves near the MI herd.

At least this time they plan to try some south of the 'wolf line'. We'll see how that works out.

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1/21/15 @ 7:23 PM
hogbuster
hogbuster
USER since 3/16/10
Grouse for elk???? How about Grouse for some Whiskey, the wolves wont get that Wink

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1/19/15 @ 7:49 PM
river_chaser
river_chaser
USER since 10/3/12
As you probably know, wisocnsin does have a few moose in the northern counties and its no coincidence that theyve been able to survive while whitetails are at near record lows. Deer carry a parasite that is fatal to moose which limits the compatability of the 2 species.

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1/19/15 @ 6:36 PM
NorthwoodsLabs
NorthwoodsLabs
USER since 1/7/13
yea i'd second that idea that the area they are putting elk in is better suited for moose. however not all the money spent on elk is wdnr money, i think the rmef is contributing a lot

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1/19/15 @ 6:24 AM
lawdog616
lawdog616
MEMBER since 1/20/04
Well I hope they put these elk down south and all the folks down there can see the waste of money this process has been. Elk predation by wolves, bear,coyote and cat. Death by vehicles. NO numbers on poaching. But they spend a pile of cash ot round them up and tag and collar them. And then they put them back into the middle of a lakes and swamp area. Heck they would have been better off in the Forest County area where there are actually some hills.

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Displaying 1 to 10 of 18 Posts