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Tue June 10, 2008
Game department to track migrating elk
By Peter O'Dowd
Laramie, Wyo – Biologists will begin a project this summer to investigate elk migration from Yellowstone National Park to the National Elk refuge.
Wyoming Game and Fish Biologist Doug Brimeyer says the department will use G-P-S collars to track elk movements from the southern end of the park to their winter feeding grounds near Jackson.
He says the number of animals migrating along that path has been greatly reduced over the years because of heavy hunting seasons in the late 1990s.
"And that in conjunction with re-colonizing carnivores both wolves and grizzly bears is likely affecting this population," Brimeyer says.
"And so we need to adjust our hunting season structure and monitor what is happening with these elk as they move south to the refuge."
Hunters have received far fewer licenses because of the reduced migration from Yellowstone.
Brimeyer says hunters want to ensure the migration isn't reduced even further.
Data from the study could change opening and closing dates for the hunting season.