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

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Lowrance Enters Trolling-Motor Market with Ghost

Lowrance Enters Trolling-Motor Market with Ghost

Lowrance's Lucas Steward shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead what all of the fuss is about in the brand new Ghost trolling motor being brought to market by the Tulsa, Okla.-based fishing equipment manufacturer.

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

From rugged reliability to smooth integration of cutting edge technology across several different platforms, OSG's Lynn Burkhead learns that there's much to like about the new Optimum and Optimum TS downriggers from Canon.

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

As Pure Fishing's Andrew Upshaw explains, reel making giant Abu Garcia has done it again at ICAST 2019 with a new spinning reel geared towards finesse fishermen.

New 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch from Simms

New 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch from Simms

Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead gets new product details from Simms Fishing Product's John Frazier about the new waterproof 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews of smelly ingredients often used to catch catfish. Catfish

How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options. Catfish

12 Great Catfish Baits

Jeff Samsel

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options.

Fishing for nighttime crappie gets you out of the summer heat and puts more fish in the cooler.

By Other Freshwater

6 Tips for Nighttime Crappie

Keith Sutton - June 19, 2017

Fishing for nighttime crappie gets you out of the summer heat and puts more fish in the...

Experts agree record channel cat caught in 1949 was actually a blue catfish. Records

Upon Further Review: 70-Year-Old Catfish Record Voided

Game & Fish Digital Staff - May 22, 2019

Experts agree record channel cat caught in 1949 was actually a blue catfish.

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

Where and how some of the state's best archery bucks were killed last season. Whitetail

Oklahoma's Big Archery Bucks of 2018

Kelly Bostian

Where and how some of the state's best archery bucks were killed last season.

How a humble Virginia hunter bagged the biggest non-typical whitetail a bowhunter has ever seen. Whitetail

The Story Behind Brewster's World-Record Buck

Lynn Burkhead - October 17, 2019

How a humble Virginia hunter bagged the biggest non-typical whitetail a bowhunter has ever...

It's been two decades since spring snow goose season was federally mandated. Is it working? Conservation & Politics

Revisiting the Light Goose Conservation Order

M.D. Johnson - March 30, 2020

It's been two decades since spring snow goose season was federally mandated. Is it working?

This wildlife-rescue story has a cool ending. Conservation & Politics

Game Warden Stories: Duck Day Afternoon for N.Y. Officer

Game & Fish Staff - June 15, 2020

This wildlife-rescue story has a cool ending.

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

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