I’ve spent a lot of time talking about elk hunting in Idaho, but most of it has been in regard to rifle hunting. It’s time we give the archery hunts a look, especially before we totally switch gears to look at deer hunting for the next issue. So, here you go, bow and arrows…
#3 – The Beaverhead Zone
Great efforts were taken to establish what was once a relatively non-existent elk herd in the Beaverhead Zone at the beginning of the 20th Century. Elk were translocated from Yellowstone in 1918, and the herd was managed in such a way as to promote its growth. In the decades that followed, the elk herd grew and expanded, and peaked in the 1990’s. More liberal hunting opportunities ensued until the 2004 population survey showed that the herd was under objective again. Since then, IF&G tightened the ropes again on the liberal hunts in order to get the herd back to objective. The most recent population surveys were conducted in 2004 and 2005, and at that time the elk herd was within objective zone-wide. However, in 2010, the IF&G reported that calf production and bull to cow ratios were showing signs of decline in the Beaverhead Zone. As far as predators go, black bears and mountain lions are at low populations. In 2010, IF&G did not mention wolves when talking about predation issues in the Beaverhead Zone. I would consider it possible that you could run into grizzlies in this zone, but if they are present, I don’t see any evidence that they are significantly affecting the elk herd.
The Bottom Line average stats for the last five years:
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