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Pinedale Online > News > March 2007 > Jackson Elk Counted

Jackson Elk Count. Photo by Mark Gocke, WGFD.
Jackson Elk Count
Wyoming Game and Fish Game Warden, Bubba Haley, of Pinedale, counts elk as the feed wagon passes by them on the National Elk Refuge. Photo by Mark Gocke, WGFD
Jackson Elk Counted
Total number of elk similar to last year
by Wyoming Game & Fish
March 2, 2007

(Jackson) - The annual winter classification for Wyoming's largest elk herd, the Jackson Herd, was recently completed. The total number of elk counted was similar to the number counted last year at this time. This year there were 11,790 elk counted compared to last year's total of 11,850 elk.

"These numbers represent the elk actually counted on or near the feedgrounds and we estimate there are another 1000 or so animals that don't get counted," said Doug Brimeyer, Jackson Wildlife Biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. "We didn't see as many elk wintering out away from feedgrounds this year, which was surprising given the reduced snowpack in the Jackson area. We estimate the actual population of the Jackson herd is probably similar to last year at about 12,800 elk." With most elk attending feedgrounds, managers can count a high proportion of the animals in the herd unit.

The number of young per 100 cows is one piece of information managers collect to measure of the health of big game herds. Wildlife managers recorded 25 calves per 100 cows in the Jackson herd this year, which is higher than the 22 per 100 cows recorded last year. "It's encouraging to see the calf ratio bounce back up around the long-term average after the low number observed last year," said Brimeyer. "We'll continue to monitor the long term trend which is typically more important when dealing with a large wildlife population." The herd's calf to cow ratio has fluctuated from a low of 19 in 1995 and 2002, to a high of 34 in 1988. The 20-year average calf ratio for the Jackson herd is 26 calves per 100 cows.

"The annual count of elk on the National Elk Refuge totaled 7,279 elk. This is the eighth consecutive year wildlife managers have met the refuge population objective, agreed upon by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and National Elk Refuge, which is to have no more than 7,500 elk on feed. Elk that winter on and adjacent to the National Elk Refuge generally account for about 50-60 % of the entire Jackson elk herd.

To learn more about the proposed 2007 big game hunting seasons, plan to attend one of the upcoming season setting meetings scheduled in the region. There are two public workshops scheduled to be held:
March 26: Alpine Civic Center, 6:00-8:00 pm
April 2: Pinedale Library, 6:00-8:00 pm

The meetings will begin with a presentation at 6:00 PM, followed by one-on-one conversations with local Game and Fish personnel.

The formal season setting meeting will be held in Jackson at the Teton County Extension Building on Tuesday, April 3, from 7:00-9:00 pm.

For further information you may contact the Jackson Game and Fish Office at (307) 733-2321 and 1-800-423-4113.

The G&F supports the Americans with Disabilities Act. Anyone needing auxiliary aids to attend this meeting should call a number listed above. Every effort will be made for reasonable accommodations.

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