Kentucky to trade 150 elk to Wisconsin to get grouse habitat for Eastern Kentucky

Discussion in 'Small Game Hunting' started by gregcincy, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. BigPete

    BigPete 10 pointer

    Sep 7, 2007
    Whitesburg, KY
    I'd trade every single Elk in Letcher and Knott county for some gray squirrels and quail/grouse!

    Maybe my car insurance would go down and I've never saw a squirrel or a quail turn over a tombstone!
  2. grouseguy

    grouseguy Cyber-Hunter

    That's all this is for KY ... "FEEL GOOD" politics. It won't amount to a pitcher of spit for grouse in KY.

    However, with that said, I don't have a problem with it ... they can give ALL the damn elk away for all I care. This was a corrupt program from the very beginning brought about by a few corrupt commissioners and the damn RMEF. KY has lost nearly 20 years of game management, while concentrating on the damn elk, so 1,000 +/- hunters per year could hunt them, while the rest of the species have been largely ignored.

    I spend a good amount of time in WI, and they don't give a damn about the elk. They have a strong tradition of deer hunting and are pissed at how the wolf reintroduction has affected their deer numbers. They are tickled to death to have an alternative food source for the wolves, especially one's that are 2-3 times the size of a whitetail deer. The elk will feed a lot of wolves over the winter.

    In fact, the good ole boy elk zone hunters in KY and wolf zone hunters in WI have a lot in common. It appears to me that both groups are fed up with their respective game management departments and are taking matters into their own hands by thinning the problem animals out of their areas when the opportunity arises.
  3. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    I can vouch for that. Every Wisconsin local that we told about our wolf sightings said, "Why didn't you kill it?" Wolves are a SSS proposition up there, regardless of protected status or season.
  4. EdLongshanks

    EdLongshanks 12 pointer

    Nov 16, 2013
    Northern Kentucky
    Hello grouse guy.

    Just curious as as to why the program was corrupt? Do you mean the states motives, implementation of policy, or just that the people were corrupt? I'm kinda ignorant to the elk restoration project in general.
  5. KY Grouse Hunter

    KY Grouse Hunter 6 pointer

    Nov 2, 2007
    Southeastern Kentucky
    I hear the same up north about wolves; "see em, kill em". And let me tell you something, the northerners live it. A trade for grouse will be useless in our case, might as well take the money IMO. At least there is a chance it might go to habitat improvement. We forget as well, most of KY is privately owned and I would venture to say, most grouse hunters hunt private property. How can the department go in and improve grouse numbers as a whole if they can't improve habitat on a GRAND scale on mainly private property? Which is what grouse needs; lots and lots of acreage. Improving a WMA here and there might hold some birds in the end... but won't they ultimately be stomped to death like a Walmart parking lot? Every truck with a dog box in KY will be lined up and waiting for their turn. Sounds like one of those pheasant "put and take" hunts just on a larger scale. You know they won't make it, but its fun to put them out and pretend like its real hunting... for a while at least.

    The northwoods works because TIMBERING is alive and well. The timber is managed in sections to allow for the growth the bird needs in a time-frame. When the cover matures, the birds move, and the timber is re-harvested, restarting the cycle. And mainly, birds have hundreds of thousands of right-age habitat. In KY, we just don't have that anymore on the grand scale as our friends up north. Between so much private land, creeping land development, and statewide logging at a very minimal level.... this doesn't ruffle my feathers. Just my opinion.
  6. grouseguy

    grouseguy Cyber-Hunter

    It's really all water under the bridge now. The elk are here and the self-serving KDFWR Commissioners and District Commissioners involved have all either resigned / been removed (mostly) in disgrace. There were dozens of threads discussing all the players and behind the scenes deals at the time ... possibly someone has some of them saved or knows how to search for them if you're really interested.

    Personally, I consider the elk reintroduction the greatest scam and worst program ever shoved down the KY sportsmen's throats in my lifetime, because it took resources and focus away from so many other species and sportsmen, all for the benefit of one species and a handful of self-serving individuals. Sure, there has been some benefit to outdoor related businesses in the area, and some regular sportsmen have benefitted from the experience, but IMHO that all pales in comparison to the amount of $$$ and focus spent on this one species and the overall credibility hit to the KDFWR's reputation.

    Edit to add: Check out this current thread in the Elk Section ... ... especially buckfever's post on page 4.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  7. keith meador

    keith meador Got the Spotted Fever

    I'm not a quitter! :eagerness:
  8. uplandchessies

    uplandchessies 10 pointer

    Mar 20, 2002
    Florence, Ky, USA.
    I'm still annoyed with the Clay farm being taken away from the sportsman, and when you add the elk program and the obvious direction of the KDFWR my faith in them has become nonexistent. This deal is nothing more than a political feel good smoke screen so they can return to the status quo.
  9. hitch

    hitch 10 pointer

    Jan 16, 2008
    You need to get out a little more if you really believe there isn't thousands upon thousands of timbered land in Eastern KY. Like I said I'm all for as much habitat as possible for grouse and the elk can burn in hell as far as I'm concerned. But stating there's no timbering being done is naive
  10. hitch

    hitch 10 pointer

    Jan 16, 2008
    I feel your pain on DBNF, the DC liberal idiots forced the hand of usfs to stop timber harvests.
  11. Feedman

    Feedman Cyber-Hunter

    May 28, 2003
    In the basement
    I wonder how many elk calves area being eaten by bears?
  12. Side-by-side

    Side-by-side Fawn

    Dec 18, 2011
    Support the ky grouse hunters. Ronnie and his group have done more for small game such as grouse/quail in the state of ky than any other. Habitat is the key and they are in the process of doing that but we need it on a larger scale. I think we might be headed in the right direction.
  13. elkaholic

    elkaholic 12 pointer

    Jan 12, 2012
    Pendleton County
    Bring some of them elk up here to my farm and I will catch you some squirrels.
  14. elkaholic

    elkaholic 12 pointer

    Jan 12, 2012
    Pendleton County
    I would say not many but coyotes are probably doing a number on them.
  15. Sialia67

    Sialia67 6 pointer

    Sep 4, 2008
    Rowan County
    According to the University of Kentucky's Forestry Extension staff, approximately 1-2% of east Kentucky's forest is cut each year. However it was his opinion that just 20% of that 1-2% is cut hard enough to create habitat conditions favorable to grouse. One percent of the land base in the 53 counties in the grouse hunting zone is 112,616 acres. Twenty percent of that total is 22,523 acres. On an annual basis then, Kentucky's grouse zone is potentially gaining 20,000(1%) to 40,000(2%) acres of quality grouse habitat. These are just ballpark figures.

    The loss of young forest habitat due to forest succession (growth) is outpacing the creation. Based upon results from Kentucky's Forest Inventory and Analysis program, we lost 1,000,000 acres of young forest cover in the 15-year period between 1988 and 2003, or about 67,000 acres annually. At the landscape level, there is a substantial net loss in grouse cover each year and it has been happening for decades.

    The Ruffed Grouse Conservation Plan recommends the creation (net gain) of 26,300 acres of new grouse cover each year to return Ky's grouse population to 1980 levels ( See page 78.

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