Skip to main content Skip to main content

Top 5 Signs Your Elk Hunting Area Needs Habitat Help

Here are RMEF's Top 5 signs that your elk hunting area may need more intensive habitat stewardship.

Top 5 Signs Your Elk Hunting Area Needs Habitat Help
Top 5 Signs Your Elk Hunting Area Needs Habitat Help

MISSOULA, Mont. — When Elk season ends, you’ll have another autumn’s worth of memories. When it’s fresh in your mind, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation asks you to think about the country you hunted, how it’s changed through the years and how it’s likely to change in the future.

Here are RMEF’s Top 5 signs that your elk hunting area may need more intensive habitat stewardship:

  1. Habitat Fragmentation: Poorly planned subdivisions and ranchettes are eliminating or cutting off key habitat, particularly winter range and migration corridors.

  2. Weeds Amok: Knapweed, yellow starthistle, leafy spurge, cheatgrass and other invasive weeds are consuming the West. These noxious exotics kill or displace native forage that elk and other grazing species depend on for forage.

  3. Sick Forests: Years of fire suppression and lack of forest management have resulted in dense, choked timber stands piled high with deadfall. These conditions lead to massive beetle infestations, threaten catastrophic wildfire and offer little benefit, other than escape cover, for elk. Yet overgrown, undermanaged forests are becoming more rule than exception.

  4. Vanishing Meadows and Aspen Stands: Fire suppression has also allowed pinyon, juniper, fir and other evergreens to overtake meadows and aspen stands. The resulting shade shrivels understory plants, cutting available forage for elk by up to 90 percent.

  5. Lack of Water: Because of persistent drought in much of the West, many traditional watering holes are drying up earlier in the year. Elk are forced to abandon historic ranges and follow the water to survive.

Excessive predation by wolves and other predators is exacerbating these problems in many areas.

Since launching in 1984, RMEF has helped address these and other habitat issues on more than 6 million acres. Stewardship projects include weed treatments, prescribe burns, forest thinning, constructing guzzlers and restoring riparian areas, land acquisitions, conservation easements and more.


RMEF also is involved in legal efforts to manage and control wolf populations.


“RMEF members, volunteers and partners are making a difference but there is still much work to do,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “We invite everyone who cares about elk, elk country and elk hunting to join us.”

For membership information, visit www.rmef.org or call 800-CALL-ELK.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Umarex The Modern Air Rifle: Air Rifle Hunting with the Umarex Surgemax Elite .22

Umarex The Modern Air Rifle: Air Rifle Hunting with the Umarex Surgemax Elite .22

.22 Caliber air rifles are becoming more and more popular and this front loading, single shot rifle is easy use and very dependable. Discover all the features of the Surgemax Elite .22 and see how it can become a great training tool that's a lot of fun at the same time.

Crash Course: How to Fish Bass-Rich Shoreline Points

Crash Course: How to Fish Bass-Rich Shoreline Points

In this episode of "Crash Course," host Shane Beilue covers techniques for catching bass on shoreline points. When your time is limited, target points to intercept bass throughout the day.

Trigger Time

Trigger Time

If there is one thing that can make a hunter a better shooter, it's a better trigger. Triggers with heavy pull weights, and excessive creep and overtravel can ruin a shot—and a day—in the deer woods. The Lupo's trigger is designed to help hunters place their shots accurately. Let's look at the details on episode nine of Beyond the Rifle.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now