Why Wolves Are a Serious Threat to Our Elk
If you happen to live in any western state west of Colorado and you’re a hunter then there’s a 99% chance that you’ve heard about how the Canadian Gray Wolf is wiping out our elk herds in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming with sightings and killings in Northern Utah and soon to be Colorado and Nevada. If you actually look at how many wolves and wolf packs there are in those states and the amount of elk they kill every year the numbers would blow you away. Last year alone wolves wiped out between 300,000 and 400,000 elk, moose, deer and other big game animals.
The Montana State University did a study on the amount of damage the wolves have done and are doing to our big game herds. Here’s just a few statistics from Montana State University.
The elk herd in Yellowstone has gone from 17,000 to 19,000 down to 6,738 and 6,279. Not only are they getting slaughtered by the wolves but the wolves are causing serious lasting effects on the way elk eat and reproduce. Here’s a quote from MSU “”Essentially they (elk) are slowly starving to death.”” To sum it up in simple terms the elk are too afraid to wander out in the open to eat what they normally eat so they stay in the thick cover eating food that doesn’t provide enough nutrition or near the amount that they’re used to eating to stay alive. So when winter rolls around they’re not fattened up enough thus causing starvation.
One of the more serious problems the elk are having has to do with them not being able to stay pregnant or get pregnant due to low levels of progesterone, a hormone that cow elk need before the birth pulse (right before they’re about to give birth to a calf).
So to sum it up the elk are facing three major problems from wolves:
1. They’re slowly starving to death.2. They’re being slaughtered.3. They’re not reproducing.
As anyone can see this is a very serious problem. If the wolves are not stopped then our elk and big game herds here in the west along with our other big game animals will be wiped out left with only the wolves running around, killing anything that crosses their path.