Co. elk herd

The rut pressure is high these days for sure. If a person takes a drive on the Uncompahgre during the tail end of archery/muzzle loading season, there isn’t a wide spot on the road without a camp. There seem to be fewer camps during rifle.

My cousin took a bull this 3rd rifle season that was a satellite to a herd. The herd bull was still gathering cows and angling for a fight (missed him). In November.

I grew up in that area. I think I saw 2-3 black bears in 23 years. Now we see at least one every year and sign every day. Lots of cat tracks and coyotes are everywhere. It’s become taboo to mention predator control since folks don’t eat them and all.

Lots of stuff going on in CO...weird weather, year around ATV riding and bicycling...“man - bun outdoor athletes” looking for their GMO free protein, Federal range managers who manage from their computer screen in the office while the cowboys graze down to the dirt clods...

I’d hate to be a wildlife biologist. Everyone would know the job better than those that do it. Tough duty.
I am reluctant to respond here as I know there will be those who feel I am commenting on something I know nothing about, having never been to Colorado. But then again I agree with Earle, that no matter what I comment about, some here are not going to like it---

Be very very careful that this does not get turned into another way of taking away hunting and guns.

Up this way, our concern is the woodland Caribou and the decisions made here, especially in Quebec, and those trying to be made currently in B.C. . Quebec has stated that " It would be too expensive to save them" and "forestry and mining jobs are more important" There was a time when they wanted to discontinue hunting or reduce it to save them--and did! Now that they got rid of the hunters, they dont care about the animals. Say that, three times fast!!!

I mentioned B.C.---Gil and his relatives are working hard to protect them ( caribou ) and are doing a very good job, by the way. But as recent as last week "they" ( B.C. Bureaucrats ) have demanded to be a part of any decision that reduces jobs ( mining specifically ) just to save the caribou. They have stated "we can not lose jobs just to save the caribou in that area" -- this battle is happening in B.C.--right now! Dont forget this is the same place ( B.C. ) that banned grizzly hunting.

GBFLYER, makes a good point. ATV riding, bicycling, sounds innocent enough, but they create trails, tear up the terrain, disturb wildlife, as does, logging, mining, road building, and the disregard for the land and animals. I am actually shocked at how some people leave their camps when they are done--but I digress

GBFLYER--your last statement. We sometimes say amongst ourselves. "It really doesn't matter what we tell them, they are going to say whatever fits their agenda at any given time"

Just for the record we do have Elk up this way, and the herds are increasing in numbers and if we are left alone in the management of these herds, they will continue to increase just like the Caribou will in D.C., if the D.C. bureaucrats leaves Gill and his relatives alone.
I heard the other day that there is an article out by an Alberta biologist stating that the reduction in wolves via the wolf culling program is having a positive effecton the growth of our caribou herds here in nebc, and that it is also responsible for a slight increase in our moose population as well. Will try to find article.
A good message for Colorado. Manage your predators and you will be better in the management of your game herds. But you also need to properly manage your public too.

As a kid, we were taught that nature has a way of managing its game populations through natural cycles (weather and seasonal swings; ie bad winters/heavier snowfalls, cold/wet summers; predator/prey populations). The great example is the rise and fall of rabbit/hare and grouse populations. Every 7 years, their populations swing through highs and lows. predator populations also swing in conjunction with this, as seen in the lynx numbers. Left alone, naturehas a way of establishing a balance that the habitats and ecosystems can sustain. My question is when are the people that are in charge of setting government controls, going to take their direction from natural science instead of emotion and science learned from books written by those who have never spent time out in nature observing what naturally occurs over time?

The government and local government had a bunch of meeting scheduled to discuss the caribou topic in our region, but were suddenly all cancelled without explanation this week.
Talk about intrusion by recreational Man Bun heros are a problem and there are also women involved in my area .
The city water shed which has been a open public hunting area for as long as I have been alive and then some has some of the poorest hunting in the county where record number of deer kills for the state are set every year. One reason is back in the late 1990's a Bicycle recreation group lobbied for a got permission to construct mountain bike trails threw the water shed. They are stupid enough to ride their bikes in the open hunting area during all seasons including rifle and most of them don't wear blaze orange. Why someone hasn't been shot I don't know but one thing I do know is the deer population or number of deer kills are down. This is the first season I haven't seen a deer of either sex and city employees who are installing a gate to close a road that has been open for ever hadn't seen a deer all season in the area.
The reason for closing the road is that the reservoir is filling up with silt and since a stream that crosses the road has to be forded vehicle usage is causing the silting problem so they say.
This problem didn't occur over night and the road sees light use by motor vehicles but every where you look you see damage to banks and trails cut threw the water shed by the mountain bike riders and the silt from this damage washes into the reservoir. So a road that the city spent millions of tax dollars on to up grade and repair is being closed to fix a problem that isn't the cause because the mountain bike riders aren't the problem.
Here again bureaucrats sitting in an office looking at Google earth maps and not going out looking at the real problem.
Sorry for the rant no ones fault just something that has been eating at me.
Very good observation Rodger and very well said

Gil, I was hoping you and Dr Mike would contribute to this thread as you are both far more tactful and softer spoken than I, thank you for your post and "link"

In Gil's link toward the end it states "Caribou are threatened across Canada, with years of habitat loss and human caused disruption as key reasons for their decline"

This is after a much longer statement about the importance of wolf culling.

The caribou herds, muskox herds, elk herds, and buffalo herds were all pretty large before the 1900's--this is probably because there were no wolves then.

Make no mistake, we cull wolves in the Territories also and protect Caribou, moose and muskox birthing areas, if possible, but if everyone will reread Gil's first post about being taught that nature has a way of managing game populations, is a very well said and strong statement. Thank you Gil
I know a lot of times game management is not the priority . I have to read Gil's link . thanks for replying .
Cheyenne thanks and I hope everyone didn't think I was picking on Cyclist and was just using them as an example how we disrupt and destroy habitat just for the sake of because we can.
jimbires":3q1cw4mi said:
I know a lot of times game management is not the priority . I have to read Gil's link . thanks for replying .

I believe in Colorado’s case, the $40-some-odd million out of state hunters generate for CPW is what drives the bus. $7-some-odd million through residents.
Thankful Otter said:
The caribou herds, muskox herds, elk herds, and buffalo herds were all pretty large before the 1900's--this is probably because there were no wolves then.

I know there are some here who do not like Thankfull otters straightforwardness. but I think in this day and age of out of control political correctness, it is refreshing.

In reading the article Blkram posted, I would have read it, focusing on the wolf being the culprit, without possibly picking up on the one sentence about years of abuse of the land by the populace , which of course is what the author wanted.
Yes, the opening up of long line of sight right aways along roads, pipelines and powerlines, siesmic lines, and recreational atv/snowmobile/cycling trails, or vast logging areas as seen in the pine beetle kill harvesting by forestry companies allows the wolves to spot and run down game such as moose and caribou over longer distances and improving their successful hunting rates, and impacting numbers on both sides respectively. Industry and public use has a significant impact on the environment and its flora and fauna.

Siltation has been mentioned previously. It is readily apparent to those that look in our area. Our rivers are quite a bit muddier as rainfall and spring freshet events wash dirt and debris down off the mountains and slopes that have been harvested, into our streams and rivers. This silt clogs gravel spawning beds for the fish and other aquatic wildlife and had negative impacts. Our lakes are building silt beds at their ends with outflow streams and rivers.

Our own Moberly Lake, where I live, has a silt bench of almost 400 yards out into the lake atthe east end, where the water is only 4' deep. The rest of the 13 mile ling lake is very deep and cold, with rocky bottom.
The WAC Bennet Dam just north of us by Hudson's Hope, built in the late 60's/early 70's has a similar silt bottom built up at the dam, that is easily seen from the air.Most of the sloping shoreline has eroded so that it is mostly steep banks now, where animals can not get down to the waters edge to drink, or out of it when trying to migrate. This really has been the most significant impact to our local caribou herds over the past 50 years; the destruction of the migration trails in their home ranges. Along with the change in the microclimate brought about by the new, large body of water. Our winters are no where as cold, nor do we see the same amount of snowfall that we used to have, as our local weather is much milder and much more humid.

At one point, the local government wanted to eliminate use of horses in the backcountry, as the horse trails cut into the soil. Yet they did not want to limit the use of motorized vehicles such as dirtbikes, atv'sand side-by-sides, which actually create wider, deeper trails and mudholes than the horses did; which were generally used following existing gametrails when not on pipeline and power line right of ways or siesmic lines.