small (250x250 max)
medium (500x500 max)
large ( > 500x500)
p # "' ■ y, f. The Conservation of the Elk of Jackson Hole, W yom ing / / / f J I />> ^ A Report to H o n . D w i g h t I7 . D a v i s , The Secretary of War. Chairman of the President's Committee on Outdoor Recreation A N D H o n . F r a n k C . E m e r s o n , Governor of Wyoming. In this country the science of game administration should be more clearly understood by the public. It is not the mere exercise of police power for the protection of numbers of game. Unhappily A merican game today is still largely in the era of mere protection and dependent for existence upon inelastic statutes which do not conform to changing conditions and customs. Indeed, not infrequently, these statutes violate fundamental principles of biology. Game administration includes rational protection of wild life adjusted to changing conditions, and excludes unnecessary and unmerciful waste. Over-protection, paradoxical as it m ay seem, defeats its end, and under its stimulus certain types of game anim als multiply beyond their means of subsistence and cruel starvation ensues. The case of the elk of Jackson Hole, Wyom ing, is a striking example. N a t i o n a l C o n f e r e n c e o n O u t d o o r R e c r e a t i o n W a s h i n g t o n , D . C . J u l y , 1927. Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. T H E P R E S ID E N T ’S C O M M IT T E E ON O U T D O O R R E C R E A T IO N H o n . D w i g h t F . D a v i s , Secretary of W ar, Chairman H o n . H u b e r t W o r k , Secretary of the Interior H o n . W . M. J a r d in e , Secretary of Agriculture H o n . H e r b e r t H o o v e r , Secretary of Commerce H o n . J a m e s J . D a v i s , Secretary of Labor H o n . H a n f o r d M a c N id e r , Assistant Secretary of W ar, Executive Secretary N A T IO N A L C O N F E R E N C E ON O U TD O O R R E C R E A T IO N Chairman, C i t a u n c e y J . H a m l i n Vice-Chairman, V e r n o n K e l l o g g Vice-Chairman, J o h n C . M e r r i a m Honorary Vice-Chairman, G e o r g e B i r d G r i n n e l l Honorary Vice-Chairman, T h e o d o r e R o o s e v e l t Treasurer, G e o r g e S h i r a s , 3d Secretary, A r t h u r R i n g l a n d C O M M ISSIO N ON T H E C O N S E R V A T IO N O F T H E JA C K S O N H O L E E L K C h a r l e s S h e l d o n , Boone and Crockett Club, Chairman W. C. D e l o n e y , of Jackson, Wyoming, representing the Governor of Wyoming R o b e r t E. M i l l e r , of Jackson, Wyoming I r v i n g H. L a r o m , of Valley, Wyoming £ . A. G o l d m a n , U. S. Biological Survey i l l C. B a r n e s , U. S. Forest Service H o r a c e M. A l b r i g h t , National P ark Service F. S. H e r b e r t , General Land Office S k i 11 E. G o r d o n , Izaak W alton League of America O . I I . \ a n N o r d e n , Camp Fire Club of America K e r m i t R o o s e v e l t , American Game Protective Association T. S. P a l m e r , American Society of Mammalogists A r t h u r R i n g l a n d , National Conference 011 Outdoor Recreation Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. Ju ly 15. 1927. Hon. D wight F. Davis. T h e Secretary of W ar, C hairm an, I lie President s Com mittee on O u td o o r Recreation, Hon. F ra n k ( \ Kmerson, T he G overnor of W yom ing. ( jENTI.k m e n : I have the honor to tran sm it for vour consideration the report of the m eeting of the commission appointed to consider the conservation of the elk herds in the vicinity of Jackson Hole. W yom ing, held in W ashington. 1). C , F eb ru ary 28 to March 4. 1927. Very respectfully, C h a r l e s S h e l d o n , C h a irm a n . 2 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. C o n t e n t s PAGE F o rew ord ..................................................................................... 5 Resolutions .............. 7 F acts .................................................................................................................................. 11 Size of herd based on w inter food supply............................................... 11 M eeting of the feed requirem ents fo r a herd of 20,000..................... 13 Jackson H ole V alley.................................................................................... 13 G ros V entre and outlying a re a s.............................................................. 15 Control of annual increase............................................................................... 17 R esearch .................................................................................................................... 18 A dm inistrative responsibility and cooperation.......................................... 22 P rincipal legislative action............................................................................... 23 G eneral m easures.......................................................................................... 23 W in te r feeding m easures.................................................................................... 25 R efuges ......................................... 28 R elation betw een the sum m er and w in ter elk ran g es........................... 31 E stim ates of the num ber of e lk .................................................................... 32 S um m ary of elk counts........................ .*................................................... 33 Losses from causes oth er than sta rv a tio n ................................................... 35 G eneral economic conditions in relation to the elk h e rd .................... 35 3 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. Y E L L O w S T f O N t N A T O N A L p a r k |ACKSO» ■ ■— TETON NATfOMAL FOKCST 60v«OAff> '• - 1 gov cw * mcwt cl* nctvge. CD :2 KAK WALTON LEAGUE LANOS STATE GAME NCfuOC 90<JK0A»> C :': k u< W IN T ld RAN6E L 7/ / 1CLW SUMMED *A*CE e lk o k if t . fa ll m ’CKa t io n » E D s n c c k r a n g e 4 RANGER 3 TAT»ON __________I - " ' ‘ :__________ * RANGE OF JACKSON HOLE ELK 4 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. F o r e w o r d I he c o n s e rv a tio n o f th e elk in J a c k s o n H o le' h a s beco m e a p ro b le m d ire c tly as a re su lt of th e d e v e lo p m e n t of th a t section of th e S ta te of W y o m in g . F o r m e r l y h e rd s of elk fr o m th e so u th e rn p a r t of th e Y e llo w sto n e N a tio n a l P a r k a n d from the h ig h re g io n s a lo n g th e C o n tin e n ta l D iv id e im m e d ia te ly s o u th of th e P a r k p assed J a c k s o n on th e ir a u tu m n m ig r a tio n a n d w in tered in th e G reen R i v e r B asin. \ he settle m e n t of th e c o u n tr y a n d th e in tro d u c tio n of d o m estic stock d e p riv e d th e elk of th is w in te r in g g r o u n d . A s a resu lt th e m i g r a t i n g h e rd s n o w w in te r in J a c k s o n H o le a n d vicinity, a re g io n of scan t s u m m e r r a in fall and h e a v y w in te r sn o w s in w h ic h the elk a re u n a b le to g e t sufficient fo rag e. T h e r a n c h e s of se ttle rs n a t u r a l l y a ttr a c t th e elk a n d th e h a y s ta c k s suffer. T h e c o n g e s tio n of th e elk h e rd s a n d th e lack of feed h a s re su lte d in s ta r v a tio n a n d losses on a la rg e scale d u r i n g severe w in te rs— one of th e m o st tr a g ic s itu a tions in th e a n n a ls of w ild life co n se rv a tio n . A l t h o u g h th o u s a n d s of elk in th e h e rd h a v e died in p a s t / y e a rs th e J a c k s o n H o le elk h e rd t o d a y is one of th e la rg e s t g ro u p s of b ig g a m e a n im a ls w ith in th e U n ite d S tates. I t is an unique, eco n o m ic a n d re c re atio n a l asset of n a tio n a l im p o rta n c e . a n d is also of g r e a t p o te n tia l value to J a c k s o n H o le valley a n d th e S ta te of W y o m i n g as a p e r m a n e n t so u rc e of income. 1 he w e lfa re of th is h e rd h a s f o r y e a rs been th e su b je c t of serious co n ferences, in v e s tig a tio n s an d re p o rts. Y e t th e c o n d itio n s w h ic h cause r e c u r r e n t s ta r v a tio n still exist. F o r th e p u r pose of w o r k in g out a p la n a n d d e c id in g on a definite c o u rse of action fo r th e p e r m a n e n t c o n s e rv a tio n of th e elk of J a c k s o n H o le th e N a tio n a l C o n feren ce on O u t d o o r R e c re a tio n re q u ested the P re s id e n t s C o m m itte e 011 O u t d o o r R e c re a tio n to a p p o in t a co m m issio n r e p r e s e n tin g all a g en cies d ire c tly e n g a g e d in h a n d lin g th e elk as well as all o r g a n iz a tio n s h ith e r to a c tiv e ly inte rested in th e ir w elfare. T h e H o n . D w i g h t F. D avis, S e c re t a r y of W a r a n d C h a ir m a n of th e P r e s id e n t’s C o m m ittee, d e s ig nated such a c o m m issio n , in c lu d in g a re p r e s e n ta tiv e a p p o in te d b y H o n . b r a n k C. E m e rs o n . G o v e r n o r of W y o m in g . T h e c o m m issio n m et in W a s h in g to n , D. C., F e b r u a r y 28 a n d co n tin u e d in session u n til M a rc h 4. A t th e sam e tim e local JT h a t p a r t of T e t o n C o u n t y e x t e n d i n g fr om th e s o u t h e r n b o u n d a r y of th e Yel- Jowsto ne N atio n a l P a r k s o u th to th e c a n y o n of S n a k e R iv e r and from th e T e to n M o u n t a i n s on th e w e s t to th e foothills on th e e a s t is c o m m o n ly k n o w n a s Tackso n Hole. Die va lle y is said to h a v e b e e n n a m e d in 1831 in h o n o r of C a p t a i n D a vid J a c k s o n , one of th e p a r t n e r s of th e firm o p e r a t i n g th e A m e r i c a n F u r C o m p a n y . 5 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. representatives of State. Federal, and public agencies in J a c k son Hole undertook to obtain a complete count of the herd. T his report* of the commission, based for the most part on the voluminous record of its proceedings, is subm itted for the consideration of the ap propriate State and Federal authorities in the hope th at with public approval of the policies recommended the Federal Governm ent and the State of W yom ing will act jointly to conserve for all time, in a rem arkably beautiful section of the Rocky Mountains, one of the great tvpes of American big game, the finest of its genus in the world. 'A c k n o w l e d g m e n t is m a d e to A. C. McC ain a nd C. K. R ac hford of th e U . S. F o r e s t S e rvic e , for a s s i s t a n c e in th e p r e p a r a t i o n of th e rejMirt; to P a u l R e d i n g te n , Dr. K. W Nels on of th e C. S. Biological S u r v e y , I.. C. F.verard of th e L". S. F o r e s t S e rvic e , a nd S m i th Riley, for revie w . 0 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. R e s o l u t i o n s T h e C om m ission agrees th a t the solution of the problem of the elk of Jack so n H ole dem ands a complete plan of gam e a d m inistration. revised annually to meet the exigencies of the situation as they arise, to be jointly agreed upon and executed in com m on by the W y o m in g State Game and F ish Com mission and the U n ited S tates D e p artm en t of A g ric u ltu re (F o re st Service and Biological S u rv ey ) and th erefo re resolves th at this plan should include the follow ing m easu res: 1. T h e definite allocation of duties, auth o rity , and responsibility of the respective agencies; 2. T h e pooling of effort and resources by these agencies; 3. T h e creation of an A d visory B o ard to assist these agencies in the correlation of ad m in istrativ e plans w ith local and State economic welfare, and to prom ote public interest. Said B oard to consist of one m em ber designated by each of the following a g e n c ie s : T h e W y o m in g G am e and F ish Commission, the F o r est Service and the Biological S u rv ey of the U n ited S tates D ep artm en t of A griculture, the local stock interests of Jack so n Hole, the D ude R a n c h e rs ’ A ssociation, and interested sp o rtsm en ’s organizations. In addition to executive sessions it is su g gested th at the B oard hold an annual public session and h e a rings not later th an Ju ly 1 in Jackson, W yom ing, for the p u rpose of review ing the facts p erta in in g to the condition of the elk herd d u rin g the past season an d m ak in g recom m endations to the ap p ro p riate State and F ederal au th o rities for the ad m in istration of the herd for the en suing s e a s o n ; 4. T h e determ ination of the n u m b er of elk of g ra d u a te d age class and sex th at can and should be perm an en tly m aintained, considering the available or possible food supply and the need for avoiding undue sacrifice by local industries. It is recom mended th at this n u m b er be provisionally fixed at 20.000 head ; 5. A cooperative count annually if possible of the elk herd to determ ine the annual fluctuations— increase or decrease— from 20.000 head, and to afford a basis for revision of the plan of a d m in is tr a tio n ; 6. A sim ultaneous w inter count of the N o rth e rn ellow-stone, Shoshone. W in d River, and Green R iv er herds. T hese herds interm ingle m ore or less on the sum m er ran g e w ith the Jackson H ole herd alth o u g h they occupy widely separated areas d u rin g the w inter m onths. A count will afford essential d ata for their ad m in istratio n ; 7. T h e establishm ent of an experim ent station, and as soon 7 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. as p ra c tic a b le th e u n d e r t a k i n g by th e U. S. Biological S u rv e y in c o o p e ra tio n w ith o th e r F ed eral, S tate, a n d unofficial inter-ested ag encies of a c o m p re h e n siv e in v e stig a tio n of the life h isto ry of th e J a c k s o n H ole elk a n d th e facto rs affecting th e ir m a in te n a n c e in su ita b le n u m b e rs, a n d o f sim ilar In v e stig a tio n s of th e N o r th e r n \ ellow stone, S h o sh o n e , W in d River, Sun R iv e r a n d G reen R iv e r h e rd s a n d th e ir re la tio n to the J a c k s o n H o le h e r d ; S. The in tro d u c tio n in th e 70th C o n g re s s of legislation a p p r o p r ia tin g fu n d s to p u rc h a s e lands a n d p ro v id e for th e ir e q u ip m ent. m ain te n a n c e, an d o p e r a tio n : to buy h ay a n d to lease p a s tu ra g e . so th a t, w ith th e a d d itio n a l m e a su re s su p p lem en t in g y th e re so u rces affo rd ed by th e lan d s a lre a d y co n tro lled , ad e q u a te w in te r feed a n d p ro te c tio n m a y be p ro v id e d for 20.000 h e a d of e l k ; y 9. T h e w ith d r a w a l from e n tr y of th e u n re s e rv e d u n a p p r o p ria te d p ublic land in isolated tra c ts s u rr o u n d e d by o r c o n tig u ous to th e lan d to be p u rc h a s e d o r to th e presen t L . S. Biological S u r v e y E lk \ \ in ter R e fu g e o r the Izaak W a lto n L eag u e R efu g e t now a u th o riz e d to be deeded to th e f ederal G o v e r n m ent as a p a r t of th e F e d eral R e fu g e ) ; 10. In o r d e r th a t th e elk of th e J a c k s o n H o le U n it m a y be m a in ta in e d at th e n u m b e r a g re e d u pon, an d th a t th e s u rp lu s a n im a ls m a y be p r o p e r ly d isp o sed of, o r th e h e rd p ro p e rly s a f e g u a r d e d in the event of a decrease, p ro v isio n in the W y o m in g law is re c o m m e n d e d to p e rm it th e e x ercise of w ide d isc r e tio n a r y p o w e r on the p a rt of th e S ta te G a m e an d F ish C o m m ission. mi th a t as u n fo re s e e n clim atic co n d itio n s o r o th e r e m e rg e n c ies arise th e C o m m issio n m ay ta k e p r o m p t a n d d ecisive a ctio n to p re c lu d e a n y wide v a r ia tio n in th e n u m b e r s of the herd. R ig id s ta tu te s u n c h a n g e a b le ex cept at sta te d biennial perio d s will p reclu d e this co n tro l. Specifically, it is su g g e ste d th a t th e S ta te sta tu te of 1 S(H) p o in ts th e w ay to th e effective exercise of th is n ece ssa ry a d m in is tr a tiv e p o w e r by th e G am e a n d F is h C o m m issio n . U n d e r th is s ta tu te th e k illin g of an y elk w as p ro h ib ite d th r o u g h o u t th e year. This sam e p ro v isio n m ig h t be re sto re d w ith th e a d d itio n of a q u a lif y in g clause to read in effect “ except u n d e r rules and re g u la tio n s of th e F ish a n d G a m e C o m m issio n ." S u c h leg islativ e a u th o r ity will p erm it th e S ta te G am e an d f ish C o m m issio n to d e te rm in e th e lim ita tions of th e h u n tin g seasons, th e n u m b e r a n d k in d of a n im a ls to be tak en , the a re a s to be d e s ig n a te d for h u n tin g , a n d the d isp o sitio n an d econom ic use of s u rp lu s stock : a n d to p ro v id e for c o o p e ra tio n w ith F ederal and o th e r agencies. T h e S tate a u th o r itie s can th e n c a r r y out in te llig e n tly th e policy of r e g u lated h u n t i n g so forcib ly sta te d bv P re sid e n t R oosevelt in The O utlo ok of M a rc h 21. 1912, p a g e 712; a policy w h ich th is C o m m ission e n d o rse s as a c a rd in a l point in g a m e a d m in is tr a tio n : Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. T h ere are all kinds of problem s connected w ith preserving w ild creatures, by the way, and one of the m ost im portant of them , of a to tally u n expected kind, has come to the front du rin g the last decade in connection w ith the W apiti, the elk of the Y ellow stone P a rk . 1 he Y ellow stone P a rk was alw ays a favorite sum m er range of the elk. U nder protection they have increased enorm ously in num bers. T hey sum m er w ithin the P a r k ; although some of them w inter w ithin it, especially near its n o rth ern border, the m ajo rity tend to get out, especially to the south. A ll w ild birds and anim als, of course, possess a fecundity such th at w hen n atu ral checks are rem oved they increase in geom etrical ratio. T h is is tru e of them ju s t as it is true of tam e a n im a ls; let any kind-hearted lover of anim als rem ove all checks on the increase of, say, the cats or rabbits on his place, and inside of a year he w ill find this tru th illu strated by practical experim ent. A lm ost any species, if free from n atu ral enemies, increase so fast as Speedily to encroach on the possible lim its of its food supply, and then either disease or starvation m ust come in to afifect the fecundity. In E u ropean gam e preserves the shooting tends to keep dow n any abnorm al increase—although even in these gam e refuges over-preservation often results in stunting the developm ent of the anim al or exposing it to diseases. In A m erica hith erto the success of the effort to preserve the different kinds of w ild creatu res has not been g re a t enough to cause us any alarm as to th eir over-increase, w ith the single exception of the elk in the Y ellow stone P ark . B ut this is a very serious exception. E lk are h ardy anim als and prolific. It is probable th a t a h erd under favorable conditions in its own habitat w ill double in num bers about every fo u r years. T h ere are now in the Y ellow stone P a rk probably th irty thousand elk. A very few m om ents th o u g h t ought to show anyone th at under these circum stances, if nothing in terfered to check the increase elk w ould be as plentiful as cattle thro u g h o u t the w hole U nited S tates inside of half a century. But th eir possible range is of course strictly lim ited, and as there are no foes to kill them down, the necessary death rate is kept up by n atu re in a far m ore cruel w ay— that is, by starvation in w inter. T he suffering and m isery th at this m eans is quite h eartrending. E very w in ter the W apiti herds th at go south of the Y ellow stone P a rk lose thousands upon th o u sands of th eir num bers by the long draw n agony of slow starvation. T he loss falls especially, of course, on the calves of the year, and the cows in calf— the very anim als th a t under any proper system of hunting suffer least. F ro m time to tim e well m eaning people propose th a t the difficulty shall be m et by feeding the elk hay in w inter or by increasing the size of the w in ter grounds. O f course there are circum stances under which feeding hay is not only proper but necessary, and it m ay be th a t there can properly be made a slight enlargem ent of the w inter range of the elk. B ut as a perm anent w ay of m eeting the difficulty n either enlarging the range nor feeding w ith hay would be of the slightest use. A ll th at either could accom plish would be to rem ove the difficulty for tw o or three years until the elk had time to m ultiply once m ore to the d anger point. W h a t is needed is recognition of the simple fact th at the elk will alw ays m ultiply beyond their m eans of subsistence, and th at if their num bers are not re duced in some other way they will be reduced by starvation and disease. q Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. It would be infinitely better for the elk, infinitely less cruel if som e m ethod could be devised by w hich hunting them should be perm itted right up to the point of killing each year on the average what w ould am ount to the whole annual increase. T he herd must be kept stationary, and it should be kept stationary in som e way that w ill work the least possible cruelty to the anim als and w ill be of m ost use to the people of the country, especially o f the S tates in w hich the park is situated. O f course, the regulation should be so strict and intelligent as to enable all killing to be stopped the moment it w as found to be in any way excessiv e or detrim ental. There should be no profit hunting, that is, no sale o f the meat or trophies.* T h e problem s involved in the m anagem ent of the Jackson Hole Elk Herd are in a measure common to those affecting the conservation of other im portant herds such as the X orthern Yellowstone, Shoshone, W ind River, Sun River, and Green River herds, and the unique Roosevelt Elk of the O lym pics in W ashington. T he States of W yom ing, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona, and W ashington and their sp ortsm en’s associations are vitally interested. It is recommended that the Presi d en t’s Committee on O u td o o r Recreation em power the C om mission on the Conservation of the Jackson Hole Elk to serve as a continuing body, and that the Commission undertake, with the addition of representative personnel, a complete series of studies looking to the conservation of the American Elk th ro u g h o u t its western range. I hese conclusions are based upon the facts given in the following report. • T h is la s t s e n te n c e refe rs , of c o u rs e, to th o s e elk killeil by s p o r ts m e n . ID Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. F a c t s * F o r a period of nearly sixty years the elk of Jackson Hole have been under some form of protection, including the establishment of a great state sanctuary in 19051 and the carrying on of periodic winter feeding from 1910 to the present. N evertheless the Jackson Hole elk herd is today subject to the tragedy of recurrent starvation and the influence of o ther undeterm ined factors. The salient factors which continue to jeopardize the integrity of the herd and forbid the realization of their proper community and national value a r e : 1. Unstable winter food supply; 2. Lack of control of the annual increase; 3. Inelastic laws and consequent lack of exercise of ad ministrative power in the field; 4. Insufficient coordination of responsible agencies. S i z e o f H e r d B a s e d o n W i n t e r F o o d S u p p l y The forage capacity of the sum m er ranges of the elk is relatively unlimited and the factors affecting the life of the herd during their occupancy are favorable and constant. Conversely the food capacity of the winter ranges is limited, because of the pressure of human occupancy at the low levels. T he factors of environment are therefore unfavorable and variable and become particularly acute in severe weather. T he difference in carrying capacity between the winter range and the sum m er range explains the recurrent starvation. It is the crux of the problem. It is a well known biological fact that all animals tend, if u n checked, to increase beyond the limits of their food supply. T he elk is no exception. No doubt before the settlement of the country, and even discounting the influence of Indian hunting, there was an annual attrition which kept the herds within limits. They had to contend with natural causes and the competition of other species. But these natural checks have been largely removed and artificial obstacles substituted. T he sum m er ranges, where natural conditions continue ideal for propagation and where over a great area complete sanctuary1 is enjoyed, annually *T his report is confined to a con sid eration of the herd of elk w hich w in ters in the Jackson H ole and on the T eton N ation al F o rest g en era lly referred to as the Jack son Elk Herd. T he Y ello w sto n e Park, Sh oshon e and W ind R iver herds are excluded alth ou gh it is recogn ized th at drift from th e J ack son H ole H erd m ay in fluence th ese groups. M oreover, no a ttem p t has been m ade to include a d etailed d iscu ssio n of th e natural h isto ry of the elk. T he in terested reader is referred to reports of th e B iological S u rvey and of the F o rest S erv ice of the U . S. D ep artm en t of A g ricu ltu re, n otab ly th ose of Preble. B a ile y , N e'son and G raves. It is the purpose of th is report to g iv e e sse n tia l backgroun d fa cts and th e co n clu sio n s th a t m ay be draw n from h isto rica l exp erien ce, and to su g g e st a course of action to govern the fu ture ad m in istra tio n of the Jack son H ole herd. 'T eton S ta te Gam e P reserv e. 11 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. P h o to g ra p h by I S B iological S urvey T lie hi gh m o un t a i n s u m m e r r ange s affartl ideal nat ural cond i t io n s f o r the we l f ar e o f the elk', I lie f a c t o r s e f f ect in g the lift o f tin herd durint) their o c cu p a n c y are f av o r a b l e a n d c onst ant. I lie f o r a g e c ap a ci ty is relatively unl imit ed. 11 ith the a d vance o f sn o w in tin f a l l the an i ma l s d r i f t down to the lower ranges Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. t u r n off in c re a s e d n u m b e r s . T h i s u n c o n t ro l le d in c re a s e m u s t fight a losing b a ttle in th e w i n t e r on a r a n g e so m o d ifie d by m a n th a t th e i n te g r ity o f th e h e r d is c o n tin u a lly in j e o p a r d y . H a y p r o d u c e d o r th a t can be p r o d u c e d 011 r a n c h e s in th e J a c k son H o le , G r o s V e n t r e o r o t h e r a g r i c u l t u r a l a r e a s w ith in th e locality w h e r e elk m a y be co m p elled to “ y a r d u p ” f o r th e w in te r a f f o rd s th e o n ly d e p e n d a b le s u p p ly o f food. U p o n th e stab ility o f th is s u p p ly th e c o n s e r v a ti o n o f th e J a c k s o n H o l e h e r d p r im a r il y pivots. Since, th e n , artificial fe e d in g m u s t be r e s o r te d to in w in te r, a n d since th e s u m m e r r a n g e s a r e c a p ab le o f t u r n i n g off a r e l a tively u n lim ite d n u m b e r o f elk, it fo llo w s t h a t th e a m o u n t of w in te r fee d th a t can be p r o d u c e d w i t h o u t s e rio u s d is p l a c e m e n t o f o th e r c o m m u n i t y in te r e s ts is th e f a c to r th a t d e t e r m in e s h o w larg e a h e r d m a y be c o n t i n u o u s l y m a i n t a i n e d . T h e n u m b e r o f elk, o f p r o p e r ag e classes a n d sex, t h a t is c o m m e n s u r a t e w ith av ailab le o r p ossible fo o d s u p p ly a n d th a t can a n d sh o u ld be m a i n t a i n e d w i t h o u t u n d u e sacrifice to local i n d u s t rie s is d e s ig n a te d as th e o p t i m u m n u m b e r . T h e fix in g o f th is n u m b e r is basic in a n y p la n f o r th e f u t u r e w e l f a r e o f th e J a c k s o n H o le h erd . O n c e th is n u m b e r is d e t e r m i n e d it is p o s sible to stabilize w i n t e r f e e d in g c o n d itio n s a n d m in i m iz e th e a d v e r s e in flu e n ce o f t h e v a r i a b l e f a c t o r s o f t h e o p e n r a n g e in sufficient d e g re e to p r o te c t th e in te g r ity o f th e h e r d . I t s h o u ld be u n d e r s t o o d , h o w e v e r, th a t th is n u m b e r is n o t a b s o lu te a n d fixed f o r all tim e. It is a g u id e f r o m w h ic h in te llig e n t d e p a r t u r e s a n d a d j u s t m e n t s can be m a d e as c i rc u m s ta n c e s f r o m tim e to tim e m a y dictate. F r o m th e r e c o rd o f c o u n ts it will be n o te d th a t th e J a c k s o n H o l e h e r d h a s re a c h e d o v e r If),000 h e a d t h r e e tim e s in th e last 25 y e a rs , w h ich m a y be ac ce p te d to in d ic a te th a t u n d e r n o r m a l c o n d i t i o n s t h e h e r d m a y be m a i n t a i n e d at a p p r o x i m a t e l y 20,000 h ead. T h i s n u m b e r t h e n is a d o p t e d as th e initial o p tim u m . E x p e r i e n c e m a y p ro v e th a t it is to o h ig h . I t is th e initial g u id e n u m b e r , h o w e v e r, o n w h ic h is b as e d a s u g g e s te d p la n o f a d m in i s tr a ti o n a n d f e e d in g o p e ra tio n s . M e e t i n g t h e F e e d R e q u i r e m e n t s o f a H e r d o f 2 0 , 0 0 0 J a c k s o n H o l e V a l l e y T h e a n n u a l c o u n t s s h o w th a t a m a x i m u m o f 5 9 % o f th e h e r d h a s l>een fed in th e V a lle y in a n y o n e w in te r. T w e lv e th o u s a n d h ea d , in r o u n d n u m b e r s , is th e n th e m a x i m u m th a t it is n e c e s s a r y to p r o v id e f o r on th e basis o f a h e r d o f 20,000. O n e to n o f h a y f o r e v e r y th r e e a n i m a l s o r a total o f 4 ,0 0 0 to n s w o u ld be sufficient f o r th e f e e d in g o f th is n u m b e r f o r 90 d ay s. H o w e v e r , p as t r e c o rd s in d ic ate t h a t p ro v is io n fo r th e fe e d in g o f a m a x i m u m n u m b e r is n o t n e c e s s a r y e v e ry y e a r. It is e s tim a te d th a t o n ly one w i n t e r o u t o f f o u r will n e c e s s ita te th is 13 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. provision and that during the three intervening years onlv the average num ber of elk will come to the feed grounds. T h e hav production tonnage of the Biological Survey Elk R efuge and of the Izaak W alton League R efuge is not now s u fficient to provide for the elk annually frequenting the Valley. The additional tonnage may he assured in ])art by the purchase of privately owned ranches. T here is. however, in the opinion of the Commission, objection to the Federal acquisition of productive lands and their removal from the taxable resources of Teton County wherever this can be avoided. H ay can be bought from the local ranchers in emergency and a welcome market afforded for the upkeep of a s tru g g lin g com m unity. Certain lands must be bought, in any event, if adequate control of the elk d rifting into Jackson Hole is to be maintained. T h ere must be acquired by purchase the lands which now separate the Izaak W alton League lands and the G overnm ent Elk R efuge, and which extend north along the migration route of the elk to the Gros V entre River, near the town of Kelly, a* well as several ranches closely adjoining these refuges, in order to round out the area of control and make it a refuge that the elk can occupy without being disturbed and without trespassing on private property. T he elk in their semi-annual migration are more or less thrown together at the north end of this proposed purchase area. This is caused by the topography of the country, which makes this section one of the principal crossings of the Gros Ventre on feasible routes to the winter refuge. As soon as the elk have crossed the Gros V entre River they spread out over the proposed purchase area and the adjacent foothills where, if u n disturbed, they occupy extensive and productive range |>asture on which is found ample feed for fall, early winter, and spring. W ith these lands in private ownership the elk are harassed and driven hack into the hills where snow and feed conditions are unfavorable, or else they are driven onto the elk refuge hay lands and jxistures, which should be withheld as much as possible for later use. In occupying or crossing these private lands the elk not only damage crops, hut they damage fences, ditches, and other improvements, and compel the owners of the lands to adopt measures detrimental to the welfare of the animals. T h e lands recommended for purchase, together with the ad joining National Forest lands that are now set aside for the e x clusive use of the elk, will consolidate the present Biological S u r vey lands and the Izaak Walton League lands, and afford a route from the elk w inter range area to sum m er ra n g e on the National Forest without crossing privately owned lands. These lands, aggregating over b,()()() acres, can now he purchased for a reasonable price. The upkeep will be relatively small, because there will be no need of maintaining fences or other ranch im- 1 4 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. provements. Some of the lands, included through necessity, will produce hay and thus reduce the annual purchase requirements. W ith the present elk refuge at Jack so n enlarged, by p u r chase of all the lands recommended, this particular refuge and winter feeding unit can be considered complete and approximately 60% of the whole herd safeguarded under the most adverse conditions. G r os V e n t r e a n d O u t l y i n g A r e a s W h en the m axim um num ber from the whole herd frequents the Jackson Hole feeding grounds only 24% are found in the Gros V entre region and 17% in widely scattered groups in outlying localities. In average years 33% of the whole herd are found along the Gros V entre and 25% in the scattered areas. However, in the years of average distribution the weather conditions are favorable, and so it may be assumed that normally about 6,200 head can carry through on the Gros V entre and 5,000 in scattered groups. In severe winters the normal tax on the Jackson area is increased by the drift of 3,000 head for which provision is made in the feeding plans, and the herd is reduced proportionately elsewhere; on the Gros V entre to 4,800 head; in the outlying areas to 3,400 head. In the event conditions presaged a severe loss on the Gros V entre it might be possible to entice some of these elk to the valley near Kelly or to the refuge at Jackson where it would be practicable to feed them hay. It would be obviously impossible to make this provision for the small outlying bands with the possible exception of a group of 800 head which ordinarily winter south of Jackson on both sides of Snake River on range centering about H u n g e r M ountain. D uring the last hard winter the State of W yom ing acquired some hay in the immediate vicinity of H u n g e r M ountain and was able thereby to avert a loss which during previous hard winters had occurred in this vicinity. It is understood that the State Game Commission now has under consideration the establishment of a State hay feeding station unit near H u n g e r Mountain to take care of this situation. If these plans do not m ature it would be advisable to incorporate this group of 800 elk in the general Federal feeding plan here recommended. This would avoid divided responsibility. The establishment of feeding grounds on the Gros V entre River is not recommended at this time, because feeding hay induces an increased num ber of elk to come to or remain in such localities, and the possibility of producing a commensurate amount of hay in the Gros V entre River Valley is decidedly remote. It has been demonstrated by trial that tame hay species can not be propagated and raised in that section and that the few areas at all adapted to wild species are low in productivity. H o w ever, there are a num ber of ranches in the Gros V entre Valley which in Government ownership or under Government control Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. I'liiiliitcru iili b y S, N . L e e k T h e fooel c a p a c i t y o f tin w i n t e r r a n g e s , due to tin s e t t l e m e n t o f tin c o u n t r y , ix l i m i t e d . T h e f a c t o r s o f e n v i r o n m e n t a r e un-f a v o r a b l e a m i v a r i a b l e . T i n ta.r on f o r a t / e b e c o m e s ( / r e n t e r w i t h each y e a r o f u n c o n t r o l l e d i ncrease m t h e h e r d Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. through lease would he im portant and valuable elk winter range areas. These lands are on the whole the most productive of elk forage of any within the G ros V entre elk w inter ran g e area. As this land is now in private ownership the elk not only are prevented from utilizing the forage but it is necessary for the owners of the land to harass the elk more or less in order to protect th eir fences, p astu re and hay. F u rth e r study and investigation will u n doubtedly reveal op-portunities for protecting the elk m the Gros V entre and outlying areas. T hey constitute an important percentage of the whole herd. It is not unreasonable to suppose that an unusually severe winter might greatly reduce their numbers, thereby upsetting the best of well laid plans for the unit as a whole. It would be desirable to purchase or lease some of the Gros V entre ranches and devote them to elk pasture without any attem pt at harvesting of crops. Moreover, under administrative control investigations may develop practical means of increasing both the quality and quantity of native forage. C o n t r o l o f t h e A n n u a l I n c r e a s e All of the m easures h itherto tak en for the p re serv atio n of the Jack so n Hole elk herd have been protective. D u rin g the last sixty years the State has tak en num erous steps lo o king to this end, such as the fixing of seasons of hunting, the b a g limit, the establishm ent of refuge, and the feeding of hay on the w inter range in cooperation w ith the Federal G overnm ent. B ut these steps leave m uch to be desired. T h e in tegrity of the herd is alw ays th reatened if sole reliance is placed upon m ere p rotective m easures, how ever stringent. P rotective m easures are of course essential and m ust be in au g u ra ted as soon as m an interferes w ith the n atu ral environm ent and habits of gam e. But over-protection, paradoxical as it may seem, defeats its end, for u nder its stimulus the anim als are so safeg u ard ed th at they m ultiply beyond th eir means of subsistence. M ore food does not solve the difficulty for its provision sim ply means m ore elk — a perfect exam ple of the classic vicious circle, as was so well pointed out by P resid en t Roosevelt. P rovision for adequate w inter feeding and enlarg em en t of the w inter refuges to provide for an optim um herd of 20,000 head has been outlined. But it must be em phasized th a t this is the nu m b er designed to be kept at a continuous level and therefore alw ays com m ensurate with the forage and range provided. O bviously this cannot be accom plished unless there is provision I for the disposition and economic utilization of the annual increase. Because of the lack of cheap tran sp o rtatio n , tra n s p la n ting of the surplus stock on an adequate scale is not practicable. T h e n um ber of elk legally killed by sportsm en, estim ated to average 900 head annually, is relatively insignificant to the total annual increase under norm al conditions. T h is nu m b er should 17 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. 1>e increased l)y regulated hunting, as was advocated by P resident Roosevelt, and if the excess is not removed in that way there m ust be provision for official killing and the disposal of the carcasses for economic use. An effective system of regulated h u n tin g as a m eans of d isposal of surplus stock is predicated upon the determ ination of the annual kdl factor, or the num ber, class, and sex of anim als th at m ay be safely rem oved w ithout affecting the breeding stock. \ \ hen determ ined for the herd as a whole its pro p er a p plication becomes of essential im portance. T h e d istrib u tio n of the herd and its m ake-up. the u n d ersto ck in g o r o v ersto ck in g of the range, the ru ttin g season, the period of calving, routes of m igration, and o th er factors should determ in e the specific locality, time and class of kill. T h e present S tate system, however, does not perm it this control, so essential to intelligent gam e ad m in istratio n . T h e present laws do not restrict the n u m bers of elk licenses issued. W hile the present kill is far too low to dispose of the increase, nevertheless there should be a u th o rity to restrict and limit or to increase the n um ber of licenses w henever circum stances w a rran t. M oreover present licenses permit the kill of an elk of any class, an y w h ere outside of the refuges, and at any time within a prescribed period. T h e licenses should recite on th eir faces the class of kill perm itted, the p artic u la r local sh o o tin g range, and the period of time for which they are good, w hich m ay well vary on different ranges. T h e present state laws em brace an excellent requirem ent, of essential value in the determ in atio n of the kill factor. E ach licensee is required to report to the S tate G am e and Fish C om mission the n u m b er and kind of anim als killed and the time and locality of the kill. I n fo rtu n atelv the retu rn s to the S tate are so m eag er that the annual report of the total nu m b er killed is a mere estimate. If the S tate decides to locally control and regulate the h u n tin g of elk in the Jac k so n Hole region, p ra c tical m easures can no doubt be devised for the retu rn by h u n ters of an accurate record of kill. < )nce the sj>ortsmen can be im pressed with the necessity and value of such a record their cooperation will follow. R e s e a r c h K now ledge of the life history of the Jack so n Hole elk herd is largely em pirical. T h e re has been no attem p t to ca rry out intensive and continued scientific research, a lth o u g h for years this resource of positive local and national value has been the object of concern. No intelligent long-tim e plan for the welfare of these anim als can be put into operation until fundam ental principles are w orked out. In the absence of this precise know ledge the integrity of the herd must continue in jeo p ard v and local interests must be subjected to unnecessary ad justm ents. 18 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. M any questions of p rim ary im portance need to be t h o r oughly studied. T h e fixing of the optim um herd at 20.000 head is largely speculative. T he m aintenance of the breeding stock in proper num bers and in the pro p er pro p o rtio n of sexes is a controlling factor. In reg ard to this latter factor little is know n beyond w hat is indicated by general o b s e r v a tio n ; i. e., th at the p roportion of sexes is about equal at b irth and that am ong m ature elk females predominate. T h e explanation that hunters kill m ore bulls th an cows will not hold as to the J a c k son Hole elk, because local residents who kill for meat almost alw ays kill cows. Ju st w hat the pro p o rtio n of sexes is at birth and, if ap p roxim ately equal, w hat becomes of the bulls before reaching m atu rity is som ething ab out w hich there is little authentic inform ation. A count for determ ination of age classes and sexes cannot be made of the entire herd because of the difficulty of d isting u ish in g one class from ano th er under conditions th at obtain in the hills. T h e m ethod that has been followed is to count on the feed g ro u n d s w here the elk are u nder control and apply the percentages th u s obtained to the entire herd. At the present time the only practical m ethod of ta k in g a census of the elk is by counting du rin g the w inter months. U n d e r certain w eath er and snow conditions which drive the m axim um n um ber of elk to the lower country, a fairly accurate count can be made. In w inters of light snowfall the elk rem ain too m uch scattered in small bunches to perm it a satisfactory count. Counts under such conditions of course, re tu rn only the total n um ber of elk without segregation by age classes or by sex. M igration counts, moreover, are inmossible under nresent conditions, for most of the elk leave the gro u n d s in the sp rin g d u rin g the night and have im mediate access to ro u g h tim ber covered hills. C o unting d u rin g the fall m igration is equally difficult because the anim als struggle th ro u g h ro u g h country and generally at night. Com parison of the periodic counts for the determ ination of loss or gain of the whole herd can not be made accurately with present knowledge. The N o rth e rn herd, the Shoshone herd, the W ind River herd, and the Green R iver herd interm ingle with the Jackson Hole herd more or less on the sum m er range but occupy widely separated areas d u rin g the w inter m onths. T o what extent this condition m ay affect and account for v a r y ing num bers in the Jackson H ole herd has not been determined. T he first step tow ard such determ ination is a sim ultaneous w inter count of all th e herds over a period of years. W ith o u t more precise know ledge of the num ber, age classes and sex of the Jackson H ole herd it is difficult to determ ine the kill factor intelligently. Yet this factor is a pivotal point in gam e adm inistration ; for it controls the ch aracter of the s u rplus stock and its removal. 19 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. l ’lio lo g rap h hy I ’. H. Itloloitii ul Survey h i t r i t a h l y t h e n c o m e t st ti p o i n t , m u r k e t l It// a s e v e r e w i n t e r , w h e n tin a n i m a l s h a v e m u l t i p l i e d b e y o n d tin s u p p l y o f w i n t e r f o r a p e . S t a r v a t i o n e n s u e s . T h i s ell: is in tin f i nal s t a p e s Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. G ame refuges are established for the purpose of p ro v id in g shelter, feed and seclusion d u rin g critical periods in the life of the animals. Once established, however, it is difficult for the public to appreciate th at they need not necessarily be m ain tained in perpetuity. T h e ir establishm ent presupposes th a t anim als u nder absolute protection will be reared and d rift to adjoining areas and th at eventually the whole area will become fully stocked. W h en this time arrives, as it ap p aren tly has with the Jackson H ole elk herd, the rigid m aintenance of extensive refuges on the fall ranges m ay interfere w ith the success of regulated hunting. T h e effectiveness of regulated h u n ting depends upon the p ro p er location of h u n tin g areas, control and regulation of num bers taken from such areas, as well as the extent to w hich it can be employed to better control di-tribution and preserve the element of sportsm anship. 1 hese factors in gam e adm inistration are w o rth y of the m ost careful study and investigation. T h e problem s of forage utilization by elk are identical with the problem s of forage utilization by livestock. A m ore accurate determ ination of the kind, am ount, quality and distribution of forage species adaptable to elk is a prim e requisite in gam e m anagem ent, especially so where early use in the s p rin g of the year m ay result in heavy o v erg razin g of areas which should be reserved for w inter use. T h is then b rings up the problem of how distribution of the elk can be more effectively controlled to meet forage g ro w th requirem ents. E x p erim en tal plots, p ro p erly chartered, and records kept over a period of years are absolutely essential to determ ine the effect of g ra z in g on the forage crop. F o rest pro d u cin g land m ay become so heavily stocked with gam e animals as to injure tim ber reproduction seriously or retard its establishm ent and g row th. 'I his problem dem ands the attention of forest biologists. just how m uch of a factor p re d ato ry anim als are has not been determ ined w ith any degree of accuracy. In Jack so n Hole the coyote is considered a valuable fu r-b earin g anim al and is extensively hunted as such by local residents and professional trappers. In view of the fact th at the coyote is a source of no mean income to local residents, there ought to be an exhaustive study of the coyote's place in the ad m inistration of wild life in Jackson Hole. Disease and parasites are other factors of which we have no certain knowledge. A form of scab is m ore or less prevalent am o n g the Jackson H ole elk. Some years ago the B ureau of Animal In d u stry m ade an investigation and pronounced this form of scab not a serious menace. 'Picks are ab u n d an t du rin g the spring m onths and are a source of annoyance to all kinds 21 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. of animals. W h e th e r or not they kill elk calves as has recently been suggested has not been determ ined. T h ere are o th er factors in the life h istory of the elk of which little is known. Recently it has been observed that good heads of antlers are not so com m only found as in form er years. If in fact there is m ark e d decrease in the size of antlers this is sy m p to m atic of a serious condition th at needs investigation. T h ese are some of the questions th at need to be solved th ro u g h research. As a first step in ca rry in g out a research p ro g r a m the present Biological S u rv ey \ \ inter E lk Refuge should be developed into an experim ent station. A d m i n i s t r a t i v e R e s p o n s i b i l i t y a n d C o o p e r a t i o n Enough has been said to make it clear that the intelligent conservation of the Jackson Hole elk demands a working plan of adm inistration continually fortified by the findings of scientific research. This plan must he cooperative, inclusive, and jointly supported by the governmental agencies interested— the Forest Service and the Biological Survey of the C. S. D epartm ent of A griculture— and the State (lam e and Fish Commission of the State of Wyoming. Sj>ecial investigations and scientific research are the function of the Biological Survey. T h e Forest Service by reason of its adm inistration of the Teton National Forest, including the greater part of the elk range, is well equipped and prepared to record general data from field observation and to assist the State in the patrol of game areas and in the enforcem ent of the game laws. It is the function of the State on recommendation of its Game and Pish Commission, to enact the necessary legislation and confer the necessary broad adm inistrative power to make the plan of administration effective. In addition it is desirable that representatives of all local interests participate in the development of plans for the adm inistration of the game. T his can be effectively brought about by the recognition of an advisory hoard composed of such representatives. If results are to be obtained there must be concerted action by all interests involved. It would be futile for the Pederal G overnm ent to acquire feed and range sufficient to support a fixed num ber of elk if the State laws remain so inelastic that proper disposition of the surplus stock cannot be made. Unless accurate data are obtained through research the plan of ad ministration must proceed by the costly process of trial and error. It is a situation in which the residents of Jackson Hole, stockmen, tourists, the State and fed eral Governments, dude ranchers, and the general , ’T have a common interest. It requires local cooperation, aided by the best qualified and ex-perienced Federal and State authorities, and backed by a sym pathetic and constructive public opinion. 35 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. P r i n c i p a l L e g i s l a t i v e A c t i o n G e n e r a l M e a s u r e s W yom ing was established as a T erritory July 10, 1868, and was admitted as a State July 25, 1800. It was formed from parts of the former territories of Dakota, Idaho, and U tah.1 At the time of the creation of W yom ing Territory, Dakota and Utah had no laws protecting big game, and Idaho and U tah a simple statute establishing a closed season from F ebruary 1 to July 1 for elk and other big game. D uring the 22 years prior to the admission of W yom ing to statehood several important events occurred that had an influence on the conservation of elk: (1 ) The first game law was passed by Congress in 1869, (2 ) the killing of elk was restricted and waste of game was prohibited in 1871, (3 ) the Yellowstone National Park was created in 1872, (4 ) non-residents were prohibited from killing game in 188(1, (5 ) the appointment of game detectives was authorized in 1885, and (6) the open season on big game was abolished in 1890. The first game law in 1869 prohibited offering elk or other big game for sale between F eb ru ary 1 and A ugust 15. It was followed in 1871 by the enactment of the first closed season on elk and other big game from March 1 to A ugust 15. Game could be killed at any time for immediate wants but, even in the open season, it was unlawful to kill more than could be disposed of to advantage. In 1882 the open season was changed to the last four months of the year, September, October, Novem ber and December, and the killing of more game than could be used for food for the use of a family was prohibited. Two years later provision for game detectives was made by requiring sheriffs, constables, and other peace officers to see that the game laws were enforced. In 1890 the open season was abolished and the killing of elk or other big game was prohibited throughout the year. Bona fide residents, however, were allowed to kill game for consumption by their own families. In Territorial days there were few settlers in Jackson Hole to hunt the elk. Also there was very little hunting by nonresidents, and such hunting was discouraged by a provision in the game laws of 1886 prohibiting non-residents from killing game. \ he restrictions on killing elk were simple and were directed chiefly toward preventing commercialization of the game, prohibiting waste, and providing officers for enforcing the game laws. As early as 1871 authority was given residents to kill a M h a t part of the territory w est of the Continental D i / i d e was formerly in Idaho and the s o u th w e s t corner, south of the lati tu de of the boundary line b etw een Idaho and U ta h , w as formerly part of U tah . T h at part of the S t a te along the w este rn boundary and south of the Yellow'stone N ational Park was formerly U in ta County but was later subdivided into several counties of which T eton is now the one adjoining the park. 23 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. su p p ly o f gam e at a n y time for th eir im m ed iate w ants, a n d with the abolition of the oj>en season in 1 SIM) this p rovision w as ag ain enacted. In the two decades following admission of W y o m i n g as a State protection of the elk advanced steadily and a n um be r of new features were incorp or ate^ in the laws. T h e prohibition of hunting bv non-residents was replaced in 1895 by a non-resident license; in 1899 a guide license was recpiired, and in 1905 a license for p h o t o g ra p h i n g big game. T h e latter year also m ark ed the establishment of the first game preserve immediately south of Yellowstone National Park. In 1907 hunting elk for teeth, or “tusk h u nt in g ,” was made a felony. Two years later came the first State appropriation for feeding game, and in 1910 the first experiment of tra ns fe rri n g elk from J a c k son Hole to other parts of the State. Several experiments were made in prov idin g the machinery necessary for administering the game laws. In 1895 the Fish Commission, established sixteen years previously, had its jurisdiction extended to include game. F ou r years later a State game warden was provided to give his entire attention to g am e protection. Th is system of a State game warden appointed by the Governor was continued until 1911, when it was replaced by a gam e commission, comprising the Governor. Secretary of State, and State Auditor, to administer the gam e laws. 1'he State g a m e warden was ap pointed by this Commission. H un t i n g by Indians proved a serious problem for the settlers. In addition to the Indians from the reservations within the State, the C rows and the Crow Agency in Mo nt ana and the Bannocks from the Fort Hall Reservation in Idaho were accustomed to cross into \ \ yo m in g to hunt big g am e in the autumn. Under a treaty with the Bannocks the United States had gu ar ant eed the Indians in perpetuity the privilege of h u n t ing on vacant public lands. Many of these Indians were accustomed to hunt elk in Jac kson Hole. It was largely to check the activities of h u nt in g parties of Indians that the State in 1895 i >assed a $20 non-resident license law (L a w s 1895, Chap. 98). the highest non-resident hu nting license at that time in any of the States of the West. In July, 1895, Race Horse, a Bannock Indian from the Fort Hall Reservation, hun ti ng without a license, killed seven elk in Jac ks on Hole and was arrested by J o hn Wa rd. Sheriff of Uinta County. T h e case was tried in the I nited States Circuit Court, and on the basis of the provision in the Bannock treaty was decided in favor of the Indians. 1'he State, however, appealed the case to the S upreme Court of the I nited States, which, in February. 189b, handed down a decision (W a r d v. Race Ho rse) to the effect that the admission of W voming as a State in 1890 acted as a repeal on that clause in the treaty which prevented the State 2-1 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. from enforcing its laws against non-residents. ( )therwise, the State of Wyoming would not have been admitted on the same footing as the 13 Original States. This decision checked somewhat the hunting by non-residents, but apparently was not effective, for in 1899 the license fee was raised to $40 (Laws 1899, Chap. 19). and in 1903 (Laws 1903, Chap. 44), to $50, at that time the highest non-resident license in the United States. The rate has not prevented hunting by non-residents, though it has acted as a protection against indiscriminate hunting by certain classes of hunters from outside the State. At present the open season for the hunting of the Jackson Hole elk is from September 15 to November 15. I he State Game and Fish Commission, however, may suspend the open season if there is threat of extinction. I he bag limit is one elk. Hunters are required to make a sworn statement showing whether or not any game animals have been killed, the number and sex of each kind, and the time and place of killing. Non-resident hunters pay a license fee of $50 and must be accompanied by a guide. The resident fee is $2.50. The sale of all game is prohibited. The Justice of the Peace, however, may issue tags under affidavit that game was lawfully captured or killed, which permits the sale of all except the edible portions. W i n t e r F e e d i n g M e a s u r e s Serious losses to the elk first became apparent in the unusually severe winters following the time when the animals were cut off from their winter quarters on the Green River drainage and began to collect in Jackson Hole. One of the first of these disastrous seasons of which there is any record occurred about 1882, another occurred in 1886 or 1888, another in 1899, and the most severe of all in 1909-10. Still another disastrous winter was that of 1919-1920, which wiped out about one-half of the herd. In 1909-10 elk were dying by thousands, and the settlers in Jackson Hole, largely through information disseminated abroad and the aid of photographs taken by S. N. Leek, succeeded in inducing the State Legislature to make an appropriation of $5,000 for feeding the animals. Feeding in severe winters had begun, however, before the State appropriation became available. Twentv years ago, in March, 1907, about 200 elk were snowbound on Willow Creek, near Pinedale, and the warden was urged to provide for feeding the animals to keep them from starving. No funds were available for the purpose, but the Supervisor of the Teton National Forest succeeded in securing contributions sufficient to provide the necessary hay. At the time that the appropriation of $5,000 for feeding the elk became available, in 1909, the State game warden reports that there were fully 20.000 25 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. r h o t o K i a i.il by S . N . L e e k Th e a n nu a l count* s h o w t hat f r o m 3 1 % to r>!l% o f the herd o c cu p y . la d , so n llol, d u r i n g tht w i n t e r mont hs. II itli the p r esent ell: r e f u g e s a n d f e e d i n g (/rounds at J a c k s o n e n l a r g ed by tlo p ur chas e o f the l ands r e c o m m e n d e d this p erc en t ag e o f the whole herd can be s a f e g u a r d e d under th< most adverse condi t i ons Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. anim als in the settled p art of Jack so n Hole. V ery few adult elk died that season, but the losses am o n g the calves am ounted to about 15 p er cent. P ro m p t action on the p art of the settlers in beginning feeding before the ap p ropriation became available u ndoubtedly did m uch to prevent g re ater losses. A bout 300 elk were also fed by forest ran g ers for several days in April at the big bend of Green R iver on hay p urchased from the balance of the fund raised by subscription in 1907. (R ept. State Game W ard en . 1909, p. 6.) In M arch, 1910, reports of sta rv in g elk were sent out from Jackson Hole, and in consequence the G overnor, the State veterinarian, the food com m issioner and the gam e w arden made a visit of investigation to Jackson. W hen the party arrived, w arm w eather had im proved conditions to such an extent that relief m easures were found unnecessary. T h e usual n um ber of elk died in the valley, while losses elsew here were reported below the average. In the following winter, 1910-11, the norm al n um ber of elk came down to the valley, hut som ew hat earlier th an usual, and before the w inter was half over the herd suffered g reat loss. At the same session of the legislature at which the first fund was provided for p u rc h asin g hay, a m em orial was passed requesting C ongress to cooperate w ith the State of W y o m in g by m ak in g an adequate appro p riatio n for “ feeding ,pro tectin g and otherw ise p reserv in g the big gam e w hich w inters in great num bers within the confines of the S tate of W y o m in g .” In response to this memorial, Congress, on M arch 4, 1911, a p p ro priated $20,000, which was made im mediately available for feeding the elk and m a k in g a prelim inary investigation as to possible m ethods of relieving the situation or tra n s f e rrin g some of the anim als elsewhere. T h e Biological S urvey was placed in ch arge of the w ork and sent its representative to Jackson. In the m eantim e feeding u n der the direction of the State had begun ab out F e b ru a ry 15, but the am ount of hay available w as only about 250 tons. Follow ing a prolonged sum m er dro u g h t, w hich curtailed the g ro w th of forage th ro u g h o u t the region, the w inter of 1919-1920 was unusually long and severe, and th o u san d s of elk. pro b ab ly one-half of the total herd, died of starvation. In addition to the stock of hay on hand at the F ederal Elk Refuge, the State of W y o m in g provided about 500 tons of hay and a carload of cottonseed oil cake. A n em ergency p u rchase by the Biological S urvey in J a n u a ry of 573 tons of hay at a cost of over $36,000 prevented g re ater disaster to the herd. F eeding has continued unin terru p ted ly since 1909, with the exception of two years, 1915 and 1926. As a rule, it extends from early J a n u a ry until late in M arch or early in April, an 27 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. average of less than three m onths. T h e shortest period was 22 days, in 1919, and the longest about 90 days, in 1912 and 1923. 1 he latest dates on which feeding ceased were April 15. 1912; April 21, 1913, and April 25, 1923. 1 he am ount of hav fed since ap p ro priations were provided by the State or Federal g o v ernm ents has varied, with the exception of 1919 and 1921, from about 500 tons up to 1,900 tons, the latter am ount being fed by the State and the United States Departm ent of A g ricu ltu re in 1920.' T h e nu m b er of elk fed d u rin g any one season varied from about 3,000 in 1919 up to 10,(XX) the previous year, the num ber fluctuating in accordance with the w eather and snow conditions. T he averag e i> about 5,000 or 6,000 annually. T h e figures for the years 1912 to 1926 are show n in the following table, which is based on reports of the Biological Survey. Entries m arked with an asterisk in the column show ing the num ber of tons of hay fed indicate the combined feeding bv the State and the I nited States D epartm ent of Agriculture. I*e e d ix <• E l k i n J a c k s o n H o le Year P e r io d o f Feedini/ H a y l ed ( I ons) E lk F ed 1912 January 14- April 1 5 ........................ 920* 7,250 1913 February 15-A pril 21 500 4,000 1914 January 3 0 -M arch 28 550 6,150 1915 N o feeding ............... 1916 January 12-M arch 27 1,000* 8,000 1917 January 15-A pril 5 1,060* 6,000 1918 February 7 -April 8 890* 10,000 1919 M arch 5 - M arch 27 164 3,000 1920 D ecem ber 27. 1919-A pril 20 1,900* 8,000 1921 January 19-March 18..... 225 3,500 1922 January 4-A p ril 24 1.200* 4.300 1923 January 2 3 -A pril 25 955* 3,400 10J4 February 4-A p ril 9 565* 4,800 1925 January 5 - M arch 28 1,189** 5,500 19J0 N o feeding R k f i ’c e s Several proposals have been made from time to time for establishing g am e refuges for elk in Jackson Hole in addition to the proposed so uthw ard extension of the Yellowstone N ational Park. W ithout g o in g into unnecessary detail and w ith out re ferrin g to the S tate gam e refuges east of the p ark or in o th er p arts of the State, it m av suffice to mention five of these projects. T w o of them never advanced beyond the 'A pproxim ately 7 pounds of hay per day per anim al are required, or a to tal of 6.10 pounds per anim al for the severer w inters. *( ( J i n b m e d feeding by Biological Survey and S tate. ’ ’A lso by l/a a k W alton League. Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. stage of discussion; the oth er th ree have become accom plished facts. T hese five projects are as follow s: 1. P roposed w inter gam e preserve on the Red Desert. 2. T eto n State G ame Preserve, established by the State in 1905. 3. Proposed w inter refuge on the Gros V entre. 4. W in ter E lk Refuge, established by the Federal G o v ern ment in 1912. 5. Izaak W alto n L eague W in te r Refuge, established in 1925 with funds raised by the League. In 1898, Dr. F ra n k D u n h am published in Recreation (Vol. IX , p. 271, Oct., 1898) a proposal for a w inter gam e preserve on the Red Desert, n o rth of Green River. W yom ing. T h is preserve w as to be located in the n o rthern p a rt of Sweetw ater County, between the twelfth guide m eridian on the east and the thirteenth guide m eridian on the west, the fifth stan d ard parallel on the south and the so uthern b o u n d ary of F rem o n t C ounty on the north. W ith this w inter reserve was a proposed refuge, including m ost of Jackson Hole and ta k in g in all the region west of a line extended so u th w ard from the eastern b o u n d ary of the Yellowstone P a r k alm ost to Cora, W yom ing. T he w inter gam e refuge and the Jack so n Hole refuge were to be connected by an elk trail, as show n on a m ap published with the article. T h is proposal was based on the recom m endation of a veteran guide and sportsm an, Ira Dodge, of Cora, W y o m ing, who reported th at tw enty th o u san d elk passed his place in the fall bound for the area w ithin the proposed w inter range. T h is project never advanced beyond the state of a proposal. At the session of 1905 the L egislature of W y o m in g passed an Act creating the first State gam e refuge im mediately south of the Y ellowstone P ark. T h is refuge, now know n as the T eton State Game Preserve, com prised some 570,000 acres, ex tending from the Idaho b o u n d ary eastw ard to the C ontinental D ivide and from the Y ellowstone P a rk so u th w ard to the Buffalo F ork. T h e T eton was the first, as it has remained one of the largest, of the gam e reserves in the State, and alth o u g h its boundaries have been modified several times the main area has now been a refuge for m ore than tw enty years. Later, the section west of the sum m it of the T eto n R ange was eliminated, as there was not enough big gam e left in that section to w a rran t its continuance as a re fu g e; and still later the eastern area was extended to the southeast along D u N o ir Creek, the valley of the upper Yellow stone im mediately south of the p ark was opened to h u n tin g and oth er changes were made. In his annual report for 1907 the State Game W a rd e n of W y o m in g recom m ended th a t six tow nships of public land on 29 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. i'lio lo g ra p li by I '. S. F o re st Service T h e r e art c i r c u m s t a n c e s u n d e r which f e e d i n g h a y is n e c e s s a r y . M o r e f e e d i n g (d o n e , however, d o e s not solve th e d i f f i c u l t y f o r i t s p r o v i s i o n s i m p l y n o u n s m o r e e lk . A l l t h a t it c o u ld a c c o m p l i s h w o u l d he to r e m o v e the d i f f i c u l t y f o r t w o o r three 'years u n t i l tlo e l k h u d t i m e t o ■ m u l t i p l y o n c e m o r e to tlo d a n g e r p o i n t Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. the U p p er Gros V entre be set aside as a w inter range for elk. T h is proposal originally included a strip of land six miles wide, extending easterly from range line 114-15 nearly to the head of the Green R iv er Divide and also included two to w n ships em b racin g the big bend of Green River. In the report of the State Game W a rd e n for 1906 a m ap was published (p. 11) show ing this area, an estim ate was subm itted th at from $45,000 to $50,000 w ould be required to extinguish the private claims, and a recom m endation was m ade th a t C ongress be asked to donate the land to the State. In the following year, on F e b ru a ry 16, 1909, the L egislature of W y o m in g passed a resolution CH. j . M em orial No. 2. See Ann. R ep o rt State Game W ard en , 1909, p. 9) u rg in g C ongress to g ra n t the State of W y o m in g six tow nships of land, namely, T o w n sh ip s 41 and 42, R. I l l and 112 W\, and T o w n sh ip 42 in R. 113 and 114 W. of the Sixth P rincipal Meridian. T h e area outlined in the resolution differed slightly from the first proposal, but included six townships. T h e passage of this resolution met ooDosition. S tro n g protests were made and the scheme was abandoned, alth o u g h in later years provision was m ade for protecting the w inter forage for elk on p art of this area th ro u g h g ra zin g regulations pro m u lg ated by the Forest Service. As a result of p relim in ary investigations made in Jackson Hole in the spring of 1910, following a hard w inter and severe losses of elk by starvation, recom m endation was m ade to C ongress for the p urchase of lands in Jack so n Hole on which hay could be g ro w n to feed the elk. An item of $45,000 was included in the A g ricultural A p p ro p riatio n Bill passed by C ongress A u g u st 10, 1912, and $5,000 additional was included the succeeding year. W ith this app ro p riatio n of $50,000, 1,760 acres of land im mediately n o rth of Jackson was purchased, and with 1.000 acres of ad jo in in g public land a refuge of 2,760 acres was established u nder Act of Congress of A u g u st 10, 1912, and M arch 4, 1913, and by Executive O rd ers of 1915 and 1916. In 1925 the Izaak W alto n League of A m erica purchased 1.760 acres of land in Jackson Hole, and in 1927 C ongress authorized acceptance of title to this area as an addition to the nearby F ederal refuge. T h e total area of the elk refuge, therefore, is slightly over 4,500 acres. R e l a t i o n B e t w e e n S u m m e r a n d W i n t e r E l k R a n g e s T h e habitat and environm ent of the Jackson Hole elk have been perm anently modified. T h e high m ountain sum m er ranges in the Teton National Forest and along the southern border of the Yellowstone N ational P ark , em b racin g more than two million acres of land, 570.000 acres of which is w ithin a State G am e Refuge, are unaffected by settlem ent and continue to afford w hat are regarded as ideal conditions for the 31 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. welfare of the herd d u rin g spring, sum m er and fall. But, as has been pointed out. settlement has occupied the flats and valleys. 1 hese areas com prise the natural winter ranges. I heretore. the seasonal ranges are now disproportionate in food supply and are no longer com plem entary. W ith the advance of snow in the fall the animals drift down to the lower ranges of Jack so n Hole, the N orth F o rk of the Buffalo, the tiro s \ entre and the H ohack Rivers, and a high percentage of the cows over two years old are flanked by calves. It the winter conditions are favorable the yearlings and w eaker anim als in general ca rry th r o u g h ; and the herd, slowly following the retreat of the snow in the spring, again occupies the higher ranges. The cows are then with calf and soon these are dropped. A nd so the herd is augm ented with each favorable season and may even double in size within four years. Such an increase occurred between 1921 and 1925. T h e sum m er ranges remain adequate, but with each year of increase in the herd the tax on the w inter ranges becomes greater. Inevitably, then, there conies a point, m arked by a severe winter, when the anim als have multiplied beyond the supply of winter forage. T h e starvation and death of th o u sands ensues, as in the disastrous season of 1919-1920. E s t i m a t e s o f t h e N u m b e r o f E l k I he first count of elk in Jackson Hole was m ade by the I nited S tates Forest Service in 1912. but estim ates of the herd were published at intervals previous to that vear. T hese estim ates were usually based on reports of trap p ers or hunters who had opportunities of m ak in g observations on the ground, and while differing from an actual census were m ade by p e rsons fam iliar with the elk. m any of them in a position to ju d g e with fair accuracy the relative num bers in the herds in the N ellowstone Bark and in Jackson Hole. For these reasons these estim ates are valuable as indicating the relative size of the herd at the time and tire the only figures available for the early years. In 1887 a correspondent of Forest and Stream. stated that a hu n ter and trapper, who had wintered in Jackson, later reported th at 15.000 elk had wintered south of the Park in the valleys of the Shoshone and Snake rivers. While this n um ber was considered som ewhat exag g erated , yet it indicated th,at there were a g reat m any anim als in the valley. He also reported that settlers were compelled to drive the elk off the range so that their stock could secure feed ( Forest and Stream. Vol. XXI X. p. 88. A ugust 25. 1887). In the report of the N ellowstone Bark for 18')9 it was estim ated that the total herd num bered about <>0,(.XX), of which possibly half re p resented the southern units, including the elk in Jack so n Hole. Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. Following the 1912 count of the herd, the Forest Service undertook the systematic recording of the numbers of elk : S u m m a r y o f E l k C o u n t s March, 1912— By Forest Service........................................................................................ 13,528 M arch, 1916— By Forest Service....................................................................................... 19,763 March, 1921— By Forest Service, Biological Survey and State of Wyoming.... 9,346 February and M arch, 1925— By Forest Service, Biological Survey and State of Wyoming.... 19,493 February and March, 1927— By Forest Service, Biological Survey and State of Wyoming.... 19,238 Changes in the number of animals in the herd are almost entirely due to snow conditions affecting the availability of sufficient food supply. In the period 1912-1916, during which a succession of easy winters and favorable snow conditions obtained, a considerable increase is noted. The hard winter of unfavorable snow conditions in 1919-1920, when many elk are known to have starved, is reflected in the reduced number counted in 1921. A doubling p i the numbers between 1921 and 1925 would seem to suggest the expectation of a continued increase. F o r reasons not known, this has not occurred although recent winters have been favorable and, according to the best information available, comparatively few elk have been killed by hunters. These counts, extending over a period of fifteen years, reveal the percentage of the total herd which frequents definitely known areas during the winter months and also the approximate percentages of different classes of animals. The following tabulation shows these data: Ja ck so n V alley Feed Gros V entre S cattered G ounds and V icinity (W in te r Range) (W in te r Range) Total Y ear % N um ber % N um ber % N um ber N um ber 1912 59 8,00) 24 3,240 17 2 288 1916 13,528 , 38 7,472 32 6,273 30 6,018 19.763 1921 45 4,233 24 2,273 31 2,840 9,346 1925 31 5,996 47 9,128 22 4,369 19,493 1927 46 8,832 29 5,543 25 4,863 19,238 A ver. 42 6,916 33 5,291 25 4,076 16,273 It is known, then, that from 31 per cent to 59 per cent of the herd occupy the Jackson Hole feed ground and the immediately contiguous territory during the winter months where, in case oj necessity, they can be fed hay; that from 24 per Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. lMiotoKrupli by l \ S. F orest Service S o t 4- I In c o n d i t i o n o f thin a n i m a l . W h a t in n e e d e d i s r e c o g n i t i o n o f t he s i m p l e f a c t t h a t tin elk: w i l l m u l t i p l y b e y o n d t h e i r m e a n s o f s u b s i s t e n c e , a n d t h a t i f t h e i r n u m b e r s a r e n o t r e d u c e d in s o m e o t h e r w a y t h e y will be r e d u c e d b y s t a r v a t i o n a n d d i s e a s e . Ti n h e r d m u s t be k e p t s t a t i o n a r y a n d h e l d a t a n u m b e r c o m m e n s u r a t e w i t h a v a i l a b l e or p o s s i b l e f o o d s u p p l y Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. cent of the total herd are scattered in relatively small bunches in outlying localities. T h e averages are: Jackson H o le feed grounds and v icin ity ......................... 42 per cent G ros V entre w inter range 33 per cent O utlyin g d istricts.......................................................................... 25 per cent L o s s e s f r o m C a u s e s O t h e r t h a n S t a r v a t i o n A p p ro x im ately 900 elk are reported killed legally by hunters. T his is an estim ate due to the failure of hu n ters to m ake com plete returns, alth o u g h required to do so by State law. In years gone by w anton destruction of elk for their tusks and for coyote bait was an im p o rtan t factor in the decrease of the herd. O f late years this loss has been reduced to a m inim um . H o w much of the annual loss is due to n atu ral causes other than starvation is as yet undeterm ined. Loss from predatory anim als has not been determ ined with any degree of certainty, or ra th e r it has not been determ ined th at p re d ato ry anim als are responsible for the loss of any very great n um ber of elk. Coyotes are the most num erous of the so-called pred ato ry species and know n instances of coyotes attac k in g elk are rare It is hard ly probable that coyotes attack and kill adult elk. T h a t they kill some of the very y o u n g calves and weak and starv in g anim als is probable. W olves and m ountain lions are know n to be exceedingly destructive of elk as well as other gam e animals. But these are very scarce in the present range of this elk herd, and the m ethods employed by the Biological Survey will no doubt keep their num bers in control. T h o u g h pred ato ry anim als have in the past made serious inroads in the elk herds, there is no evidence th at they do so now. O n the contrary, the rapid increase th at has usually taken place in the n um ber of elk d u rin g the years when s ta rv a tion conditions did not obtain indicates that the loss from p red ato ry anim als is not serious. G e n e r a l E c o n o m i c C o n d i t i o n s i n R e l a t i o n t o t h e E l k H e r d T h e Jackson Hole elk bear an exceedingly im portant relation to the local stock raising, farm ing, recreation and general com m unity interests of T eton County, W y o m in g . T h ey p r o vide a m arket for surplus hay and afford em ploym ent for local residents, are the basis of a considerable local business in o u tfitting and g u id in g h u n tin g parties and furnish local residents an economical and desirable source of fresh meat supply. These elk are also of very g reat economic im portance as a part of the whole scheme of things, w hich m akes n orthw est W y o m in g and the Jackson H ole a mecca for tourists, recreationists and big-gam e hunters. Indeed, it is believed th a t when the elk herd is made secure against periodical losses by s ta rv a tion and is m anaged in a businesslike way, its value as an 35 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. economic asset will be g reater th an that of any oth er local industry. P roper m anagem ent of the elk involves consideration of the use now m ade of the range by domestic stock. T h e ultim ate objective of the conservation of the elk is to establish their full com m unity and national value. T h e great attraction of the elk is as a recreation asset m aintained as nearly as possible u nder natural conditions. Unless the herd can be maintained under such conditions the Jackson Hole region will lose its chief claim to distinction and its greatest source of potential income from tourists and soortsm en. W ith o u t this e x tra o rdinary exhibition of wild life, this region, even th o u g h of unusual scenic charm , would need to compete with hundreds of sim ilarly beautiful regions in the West. It is wholly practicable to provide properly for all of the essential industries of the Jackson region, which are dependent upon the use of the range. T h e m aintenance of wild life, particularly the elk. is included as one of these essential industries. Much has been accomplished by the Forest Service in stabilizing the livestock industry th ro u g h its plans of range m anagem ent. T h e re rem ains the necessity of stabilizing the conditions su rro u n d in g the welfare of the elk. W ith the cooperation of the responsible agencies— State and F ed eral— there is no reason why a plan of m anagem ent cannot be developed which will give just recognition to all essential interests. 36 Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula.
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|Title||Grand Teton Nation Park and Jackson Hole National Monument, Wyoming Brochure|
|Description||A brochure for visiting Grand Teton Nation Park and Jackson Hole National Monument, Wyoming dated July 15, 1927.|
|Subject (LCSH)||Jackson Hole (Wyo.)|
|Rights Management||Materials in this collection are made available for personal, non-commercial, and educational use. For permission or questions about use of this material please contact Archives and Special Collections at the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at the University of Montana--Missoula.|
|Contributing Institution||University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library|
|Geographic Coverage||Jackson Hole, Wyoming|
|Time Period Represented||20th century|
|Digital Collection||Boone and Crockett Club Records|
|Physical Collection||Boone and Crockett Club Records, 1888-2009, MSS 738|
|Series||Series II: Conservation, 1902-2001|
|Subseries||Subseries 1: Early Conservation Efforts, 1902-1955|
|Folder Name||Jackson Hole Elk Conservation, 1927 and undated|
|Collection Description||For more information about the Boone and Crockett Club Records collection, connect to the online guide: http://nwda.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv46765|
|Genre (Short List)||brochures|
|Genre (AAT)||letters (correspondence)|
|Digitization Specifications||Images captured using an Atiz BookDrive Pro with dual Canon EOS Rebel T1i at 400 ppi with a custom White Balance, ISO of 200 and no flash was used. Dual Canon lens: EF50mm f/2.5 - Compact Macro. Dual camera control capture software using BookDrive Capture 5.1. Camera file format RAW (.CR2). File processed to TIFF at 400 ppi for preservation and PDF at 300 dpi for online access using Adobe Bridge and Photoshop version 12.0.3 (CS5). The PDF files were OCR�d with Abbyy FineReader version 9.0.|
|Contact Us||For additional information about the collections held by the Archives and Special Collections at the University of Montana--Missoula, please visit the web site: http://www.lib.umt.edu/asc. You may also contact us by email: email@example.com.|
p # "' ■ y, f.
The Conservation of the Elk
of Jackson Hole, W yom ing
/ / / f J I />> ^
A Report to
H o n . D w i g h t I7 . D a v i s , The Secretary of War.
Chairman of the President's Committee on
A N D
H o n . F r a n k C . E m e r s o n , Governor of Wyoming.
In this country the science of game administration
should be more clearly understood by the public. It is
not the mere exercise of police power for the protection
of numbers of game. Unhappily A merican game today
is still largely in the era of mere protection and dependent
for existence upon inelastic statutes which do not
conform to changing conditions and customs. Indeed,
not infrequently, these statutes violate fundamental
principles of biology.
Game administration includes rational protection of
wild life adjusted to changing conditions, and excludes
unnecessary and unmerciful waste. Over-protection,
paradoxical as it m ay seem, defeats its end, and under
its stimulus certain types of game anim als multiply beyond
their means of subsistence and cruel starvation
The case of the elk of Jackson Hole, Wyom ing, is a
N a t i o n a l C o n f e r e n c e o n O u t d o o r R e c r e a t i o n
W a s h i n g t o n , D . C .
J u l y , 1927.
Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula.
T H E P R E S ID E N T ’S C O M M IT T E E ON O U T D O O R R E C R E A T IO N
H o n . D w i g h t F . D a v i s , Secretary of W ar, Chairman
H o n . H u b e r t W o r k , Secretary of the Interior
H o n . W . M. J a r d in e , Secretary of Agriculture
H o n . H e r b e r t H o o v e r , Secretary of Commerce
H o n . J a m e s J . D a v i s , Secretary of Labor
H o n . H a n f o r d M a c N id e r , Assistant Secretary of W ar, Executive Secretary
N A T IO N A L C O N F E R E N C E ON O U TD O O R R E C R E A T IO N
Chairman, C i t a u n c e y J . H a m l i n
Vice-Chairman, V e r n o n K e l l o g g
Vice-Chairman, J o h n C . M e r r i a m
Honorary Vice-Chairman, G e o r g e B i r d G r i n n e l l
Honorary Vice-Chairman, T h e o d o r e R o o s e v e l t
Treasurer, G e o r g e S h i r a s , 3d
Secretary, A r t h u r R i n g l a n d
C O M M ISSIO N ON T H E C O N S E R V A T IO N O F T H E
JA C K S O N H O L E E L K
C h a r l e s S h e l d o n , Boone and Crockett Club, Chairman
W. C. D e l o n e y , of Jackson, Wyoming, representing the Governor of
R o b e r t E. M i l l e r , of Jackson, Wyoming
I r v i n g H. L a r o m , of Valley, Wyoming
£ . A. G o l d m a n , U. S. Biological Survey
i l l C. B a r n e s , U. S. Forest Service
H o r a c e M. A l b r i g h t , National P ark Service
F. S. H e r b e r t , General Land Office
S k i 11 E. G o r d o n , Izaak W alton League of America
O . I I . \ a n N o r d e n , Camp Fire Club of America
K e r m i t R o o s e v e l t , American Game Protective Association
T. S. P a l m e r , American Society of Mammalogists
A r t h u r R i n g l a n d , National Conference 011 Outdoor Recreation
Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula.
Ju ly 15. 1927.
Hon. D wight F. Davis. T h e Secretary of W ar,
C hairm an, I lie President s Com mittee on O u td o o r Recreation,
Hon. F ra n k ( \ Kmerson, T he G overnor of W yom ing.
( jENTI.k m e n :
I have the honor to tran sm it for vour consideration the report
of the m eeting of the commission appointed to consider the
conservation of the elk herds in the vicinity of Jackson Hole.
W yom ing, held in W ashington. 1). C , F eb ru ary 28 to March
C h a r l e s S h e l d o n , C h a irm a n .
Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula.
C o n t e n t s
F o rew ord ..................................................................................... 5
Resolutions .............. 7
F acts .................................................................................................................................. 11
Size of herd based on w inter food supply............................................... 11
M eeting of the feed requirem ents fo r a herd of 20,000..................... 13
Jackson H ole V alley.................................................................................... 13
G ros V entre and outlying a re a s.............................................................. 15
Control of annual increase............................................................................... 17
R esearch .................................................................................................................... 18
A dm inistrative responsibility and cooperation.......................................... 22
P rincipal legislative action............................................................................... 23
G eneral m easures.......................................................................................... 23
W in te r feeding m easures.................................................................................... 25
R efuges ......................................... 28
R elation betw een the sum m er and w in ter elk ran g es........................... 31
E stim ates of the num ber of e lk .................................................................... 32
S um m ary of elk counts........................ .*................................................... 33
Losses from causes oth er than sta rv a tio n ................................................... 35
G eneral economic conditions in relation to the elk h e rd .................... 35
Boone and Crockett Club Records (Mss 738), Archives and Special Collections. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula.
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