The Jackson elk herd is not wintering in locations that the Wyoming Game and Fish Department say can support such high numbers. While the overall population of 11,000 is healthy, several locations have more elk than they can support.
The National Elk Refuge and the Snake River Corridor areas are both bursting at the seams with elk this winter. Game and Fish Spokesman Mark Gocke says two issues are to blame animals are migrating down from better range to the north and they have unusually high birth rates this year. He says hunting could help the problem.
"We will continue to hunt the national elk refuge late season," says Gocke. "And also try and work with private land owners in the area along the Snake River corridor. There are some ranches there that are allowing some hunting and we’ll continue to work with those areas to try and manage those particular segments."
Gocke also says so many elk grazing there could damage habitat and also lead to more human-elk conflicts.