Elk decline? Anyone see this?

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by RLWEBB, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. RiverDog21

    RiverDog21 Fawn

    Oct 21, 2014
    Seems to me this interview is very one sided and the opinion of Mr. Henley and nothing but claims from him. A follow up story from Fish and Game would be interesting. When I had my tag a few years ago it was obvious that the elk knew what was up and they didn't stand there and let me shoot one. It was much harder of a hunt than what i expected.
  2. luvtohunt

    luvtohunt 10 pointer

    Sep 1, 2011
    Eubank, Ky
    I no longer live in Eastern Ky but did in my youth and go back often and have a few observations. To begin, when I was a freshman I saw the first seven or eight let loose. I can't remember if it was 7 or 8 but do remember the cow that hug itself and broke its neck in the trailer on their way from wherever they came from as I could see her hanging in there. Anyway, as a teen ager all the way through college, I could take you back on several areas that weren't heavily pressured at the time (granted hunting wasn't happening then) and see elk every time. Last year my mother drew a cow tag and I put 100 miles on my truck in Knott County looking for elk on some of those same roads and never found the first elk. Not a single one. Plenty of deer but not the first elk. You cannot tell me that the population is as healthy and abundant in those areas as it was as the sign is simply not there any longer and neither or the elk. She was successful eventually, with the help of a gentleman from Leslie Co. To touch on a post earlier, they came up on a small group of 9 adult cows with no young ones. I found that to be the most odd thing ever. Not a single cow of that group had a calf. Anyway, that's my experience on the subject and that's boots on the ground first hand experience. I scouted for 3 different weekends too in preparation for her hunt with not a single sighting until the first day of gun season when we found two cows trapped in a deep holler by probably 4-5 different groups of hunters decked out in orange standing at the top looking into the woods. We had a much higher vantage point than them from a mile away.
  3. mcdenney

    mcdenney 12 pointer

    Dec 16, 2002
    Wildcat Country, USA.
    No comparison now to the number of elk in the counties which I used to see lots of elk. I mean large areas were you could see 25 to 50 elk if you looked now have zero elk and hardly any sign. You can hunt those same large areas that were once plentiful with the same habitat and if your lucky you might, just might see an elk or two, maybe. Personally I think it is a combination of several things. (1) trapping and transporting X number of elk to other states (2) illegal harvest of elk to what impact, no clue (3) over harvest of elk in certain areas by a certain few.
    Gooch likes this.
  4. Dark Cloud

    Dark Cloud 12 pointer

    Aug 14, 2009
    Lawrence Co.
    Seen on channel three news this morning ,West Virginia getting ready to pick some up anytime now.

    WVHUNTER1 Fawn

    Nov 9, 2016
    The elk West Virginia are getting aren't coming from the Eastern Kentucky Elk Zone, at least not for this stocking. They are coming from Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area.
    West Virginia is certainly hoping to get some Eastern Kentucky Elk for future stockings.
  6. tnbrownfish

    tnbrownfish Fawn

    Apr 3, 2017
    East TN
  7. tnbrownfish

    tnbrownfish Fawn

    Apr 3, 2017
    East TN
    Just wanted to let people know that when the elk were stocked in NC they had a very rough time. It seems that black bear take a real liking to elk calf. The bears were killing 80%-90% of the elk being born and if you look also
    at the coyotes that is a real take on the deer and elk. In the Smokies they would trap the bear and they would just about beat them back yep they like the elk meat larger meals and also confined to a smaller area. Also the elk have learned to eat acorns and also the sound of a 4 wheeler means someone is after them so they move a lot - to us a long way but not to them 5 miles are just a skip. Back in 2015 the Lord blessed me with a cow bow tag I did see some elk but missed 2 shots and had my bow freeze up on the last day I could hunt in Jan 2016 standing broadside
    at 30 yd. But I did have a great time and met many fantastic people. While I was camping I heard a lot of coyotes howling and saw a LOT of bear SCAT and tracks to some BIG ones. If you will try and kill as many coyotes in April,May and June it would help also take up bear hunting. Also I noticed the need for some burns to beat back the trees and brush that had taken over the grass areas. If you get blessed with a bow tag make sure and get a rangefinder with angle adjustment this cost me a good shot and practice out to 70-80 yards only if you can group inside 8" at that distance. Also look on maps on internet for spots where you think they might be then go look but make sure and look for old sign and make a note on note pad. Talk to the elk biologist they are GREAT and want you to get a elk and very helpful. This is just my opinion and not saying anyone doesn't know what they are saying
    because I agree with what all have said it is something to be checked very close and do what it takes
    . Remember that a dead coyote is a good one.
  8. KYBOY

    KYBOY 12 pointer

    Apr 21, 2005
    I don't doubt there is less elk but Im still seeing "about" the same amount in the areas were I see elk.I saw about 30 last week. Im not surprised though. Hunting, gawkers and 4/wheelers chasing them. Drving them deeper in..Some poaching too. I remember seeing them standing all over strip jobs like beef.. I also remember distinctly telling a buddy "look while you can, they wont act like this forever. Sooner or later they will start acting like elk and not cattle"
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  9. ld7009

    ld7009 Fawn

    May 18, 2016
    I got drawn for Elk Tag this year (Cow ) The person That was my guide was born and raised in this area .He stated that Elk herds were down. That morning we saw two Cow herds one herd of 6 one herd of 7 and only one cow had a calf of the two herds. He said that herds were normally 18 to 20 cows , You won't see that anymore. Also cows had calfs you don't see that any more either
  10. bgkyarcher

    bgkyarcher 12 pointer

    Aug 23, 2011
    Numbers are down, there is no doubt about that. Killing too many, and trapping too many. What's left may be smarter, but the herd is way down from where it was in 2012.
    rockhousehunter likes this.
  11. elkaholic

    elkaholic 12 pointer

    Jan 12, 2012
    Pendleton County
    They are also taking a lot to start populations in other states.
  12. snood

    snood 6 pointer

    Apr 11, 2005
    Springfield, KY
    I have been a part of 4 elk hunts in Kentucky (not as hunter). My wife took a beautiful 6x6 back in 2005. I have a week 2 firearm bull tag this year. Yesterday a friend of mine and I spent nearly 10 hours in the Blue Diamond South Voucher area scouting. There was very little elk sign and what we did find was quite old. That is the 3rd area that I have scouted this August/September. From what I'm finding compared to the past times I've helped with hunts, numbers seem down to me.
  13. reivertom

    reivertom 12 pointer

    Dec 17, 2007
    Greenup Co.
    The state started milking their "prize cow" to death. Limit the out of state hunters and lower the limits and things will rebound. They saw money signs and the herd is responding.
  14. Born to Hunt

    Born to Hunt 8 pointer

    Oct 20, 2005
    Edmonton, KY
    My 14 year old cousin drew a bull rifle tag last year. His dad couldn't afford a guide. They went out and did the best they could- saw no elk. They aren't experienced elk hunters so that means nothing. However, they did speak to two CO's and both told them elk are smarter than they were but the numbers are also drastically down.
  15. cfd266

    cfd266 8 pointer

    Nov 29, 2003
    Evans Family Farm
    During a few scouting trips, we talked to some locals. Those statements are all true, except for the end where they claim to be taking from private lands where the elk cause damage or the public to gain access. Had several locals say they watched the state trap and haul out elk in the area we were scouting and trust me it is very easy access for the public. A good friend of mine is from the area we were hunting and says that the elk sign, like rubs and tracks has declined over the past few years. Having said all that, it is pretty awesome to have elk in your home state and the opportunity to hunt them!!!

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