Wyoming Addresses Declining Yellowstone Elk Herd
Calf production and bull counts have been declining in parts of eastern Yellowstone, in particular the Cody elk herd unit. The situation has become serious enough that hunter permits may be restricted. The Casper Star Tribune has a write up on the herd and what's being done to address the situation.
While the agency plans to study the issue and conduct elk counts before the 2011 hunting season, Nesvik said, it appears that elk numbers in portions of the Cody unit have fallen to levels not seen since the Yellowstone fires in the 1980s. “The thing that’s changed since then is that we have a much higher density of predators in those backcountry areas,” Nesvik said. “What we speculate is, the elk moving in and out of the park have lower calf ratios, which is potentially the reason we see fewer bulls.