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#3621350 - 12/30/09 How to NOT hunt elk!!
Bringitbig Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 303
Loc: Idaho
Got this off a Washington State website.

CONCRETE, Wash. (AP) - The killing of about seven elk cornered in a farm pasture in eastern Skagit County has spurred state officials to close the elk archery season in the area and angered others who either witnessed or heard about the killings.

"Obviously, this got a little out of hand," Dave Ware, state Department of Fish and Wildlife game division manager, said during a phone interview from Olympia on Monday.

Ware said the hunters who gathered around a herd of elk on Bill Johnson's beef ranch five miles west of Concrete on Saturday "lacked discretion" and "took advantage of the situation" when they shot dozens of arrows into the panicked herd.

The state wildlife agency had opened elk hunting in an area roughly bounded by highways 9 and 20, east to the intersection of 20 and Cape Horn Road. The hunting season was created to keep elk out of the residential and farm areas in eastern Skagit County.

However, Ware said the agency closed the season Monday afternoon on an emergency basis because of the Saturday spectacle.

One neighbor who asked not to be named said the event, which slowed traffic on Highway 20 as people watched, was a "testosterone-poisoned circus."

She called it "savage and inhumane."

A Fish and Wildlife officer was at the scene Saturday, but didn't stop the hunters because they had not violated the law.

The property's owner said Monday that once neighbors spotted the elk in his south pasture, the word got out.

"A few of my neighbors have friends who are bow hunters," Johnson said.

The word began to spread until a dozen or more bow hunters were in Johnson's field trying to encircle the herd, which by then had moved to the north pasture. Johnson, whose family has farmed on the Wilde Road property since 1915, wasn't pleased with the way the situation progressed. "The whole thing kind of got out of control," he said.

Other hunters in the area said Saturday's incident disgusted them.

"How can you call that hunting?" asked Bob Coombs, 70, of Mount Vernon. 'You pin some animals inside a barbed wire closure then allow people to come in there and take shots at them with arrows. Good Lord. That can't be called hunting. There are some fair chase rules that any ethical hunter subscribes to."

Longtime hunter Walter Gillespie, 82, of Sedro-Woolley, agreed.

"I think it was an atrocity," Gillespie said. "It's not a sportsman's way. It sounded to me like a fiasco, and it was something that didn't have to happen at all."

He said the hunt wasn't fair, with the elk penned up and hunters coming from both sides of the herd.

Gillespie said the worst part wasn't the elk that died and were hauled away.

"How many more were shot damn it," he said. 'That's what bugs me. If one didn't fall down, they'd shoot another one. The whole thing was like a comedy a bad, bad comedy."

Last year, some hunters were licensed to hunt elk in the area with muzzle loaders. Some of the hunters trespassed on private property or took shots from the highway, officials said. So Fish and Wildlife limited this season to archery to try to prevent some of the abuse, Ware said. Next year's season will be more restrictive, Ware said.

Skagit County Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Bill Heinck said officers would be in the area this morning enforcing the emergency hunting closure.

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#3623074 - 12/30/09 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: Bringitbig]
Bulletbutt Offline
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Registered: 03/03/06
Posts: 10262
Loc: Between Seafire and Scott F
Azzhats.
The good thing in this is that Ware didn't lie and expound on how these guys exhibited behavior typical of all hunters. Good for him.
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#3623473 - 12/30/09 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: Bringitbig]
1minute Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 16805
Loc: Burns/Hines, Oregon, USA
Were they crowded into a high fence situation? Likely there are no laws on the book that cover such an event. Sad that it happened, but not suprised at all.

We had an incident about 10 years ago where our locals put together a coordinated effort on an elk herd frequenting an isolated alfalfa pivot. Basically, about 20 folks got them surrounded on opening day. This was a bull season. When the officers made it to the site, they found something like 12 - 15 unclaimed elk, with most being cows. More bloody trails led off into the hills. Only 2 people were pinched for not having tags. The officers admitted that had they been on site, they would have essentially been saturated with mob behavior, and likely unable to assign any of the excess shooting to specific individuals. That event angered both the hunting and non hunting public, and was the subject of many arguments in the community.

I've never been involved in an event like that, but have seen small herds totally baffled after a comrade has fallen. Had I been inclined, I'm fairly sure I could have taken about a dozen animals.

The closest I've come to such and incident... The wife and I were moving in on a 40 acre clearing where we expected to find elk. Two fully loaded pickups raced in ahead of us and unleashed about a 40 rd barrage that lasted close to 2 minutes. When it quieted down we eventually ventured in and found 2 of 9 individuals tending to a single dead cow. The rest were off on blood trails, but no other animals were recovered. We fully expected to find a true cord of elk piled up in that situation. I think it speaks to the ability and ethics of more of our so called hunters than we care to admit.

As a youngster back east I was always amazed at hunters that reported missing 3 to 6 whitetails in a single day. Obvioulsy, my skills were not up to par, as I felt lucky to just see a deer on a given day.

It's sad, but some humans are no better than dogs, coyotes, or wolves when they get into pen of captive critters.

Wouldn't suprise me if that piece of ground is excluded from future hunts.


Edited by 1minute (12/30/09)
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#3623705 - 12/30/09 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: 1minute]
heavywalker Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 07/15/09
Posts: 12348
Loc: 40 Years too Late
If these hunters shot multiple elk and just kept shooting until one went down that is absolutely terrible and inexcusable.

On the other hand I have never seen a barb wire fence stop a herd of elk. Seen them run through them many of times and fixed a lot of fences that they ran through so calling it an capture is a little overboard.

Take the fence out of the equation and everything is fine? unless of course they were wounding elk in the process.
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#3623749 - 12/30/09 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: heavywalker]
Wild_Bill_Hiccup Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Montana & Thailand
Originally Posted By: heavywalker
On the other hand I have never seen a barb wire fence stop a herd of elk. Seen them run through them many of times and fixed a lot of fences...


I was thinking the same thing. Was this a 'high fence' situation, or what? Jumping over or running through fences is certainly the norm around here. It just seems odd to me.
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#3623779 - 12/30/09 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: Wild_Bill_Hiccup]
heavywalker Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 07/15/09
Posts: 12348
Loc: 40 Years too Late
Yeah and I was also thinking that the story doesn't mention any fine being givin out. Must not have been doing to much wrong. The elk got in there somehow they should have been able to get out.

I might be worng but this seems like a good ol fashion case of some people complaining about what they saw and the newspaper put a twist on things and interviewed a few old men who hunt and asked them what they thought about there version of the story.
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#3627997 - 01/01/10 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: heavywalker]
magnumb Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 05/04/06
Posts: 5216
I watched the news cast/video several times and know intimately this particular herd and where this debacle took place. The news stations clearly showed a few of these elk with arrows and shafts broken off (due to how these elk were so balled up) in all parts of these elk, hindquarters and all. They also clearly showed the many archers surrounding the small enclosed, fenced area that these elk were grazing in. It was a true sportsman's worst nightmare.

It was standard fencing, not high. These archers semi-circled these 70 or so elk and started flinging arrows. As any elk hunter with some experience knows, elk look to one another for their escape routes.....the lead cow being assigned those duties in most cases. With all the craziness, fear and confusion of being shot at (when they were so use to eating in these fields in the first place without fear of humans), they all just balled up for awhile (quite awhile), while the archers continued to fling arrows at them. How many elk fall immediately to even a well placed arrow......? So, many of these "hunters" just kept flinging arrows at 'em, even though they'd stuck some already. Not cool......whether being witnessed by large #'s of the public or not..........mad.

The WA F&G has paid this particular landowner for damage from these elk to his pastures for several years. It happens and he was compensated. Since these aren't huge properties, just small, few acre fields, the F&G should just high fence these few farmlands and satisfy the owners who complain about such things and it might even be cheaper in the long run.

No fines were given out, no legal rules were broken......that's true. There were however, animals not recovered who likely died later that were wasted and endured unnecessary pain and suffering. And there are the wounded who are no doubt STILL suffering as we discuss this. And perhaps just as important as how these elk were pursued and "hunted".......it is yet another great opportunity for the anti's, and fence sitters as well, to make VALID comments about those among us who are "slob hunters".

Some here might say, "who cares, screw 'em". Well, if you care anything for our sport and it's future, you should care. Incidents like this do nothing to support our sport nor does it help to convince the many fence sitters out there that we don't rightfully deserve the criticism we often get.

So, yeah, this whole situation could have been avoided, whether legal or not, by the "hunters" who chose to act as they did and by the WA F&G Dept. There is not even a small part of this entire incident that resembles "hunting" as I know it, nor the way I've tried to introduce hunting ethics to my son or daughter.

The actions of these few "hunters" was not a benefit to either these elk nor to scores of sportsmen, as I know them...............IMHO.



Edited by magnumb (01/01/10)

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#3648339 - 01/06/10 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: magnumb]
IBUY50BMGBRASS Offline
Member

Registered: 08/12/07
Posts: 42
Loc: Indianapolis IN
God will judge them so don't worry about doing it yourself. They will pay for their sins...Gluttony, Greed, Wrath, Vainglory...just to name a few.
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#3648682 - 01/06/10 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: Wild_Bill_Hiccup]
alpinecrick Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 19198
Loc: Western Slope of Colorado
Originally Posted By: Wild_Bill_Hiccup

I was thinking the same thing. Was this a 'high fence' situation, or what? Jumping over or running through fences is certainly the norm around here. It just seems odd to me.



Yeah, I'd like to know what kind of fence that was that the elk couldn't get through.

What were those idjits thinking of?


Casey
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#3649826 - 01/07/10 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: alpinecrick]
Strick9 Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1742
Loc: Mt. Pleasant, SC
Sounds like a job for the 300wsm. Crappy propaganda Crappy ethics, Crappy everything.
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#3654734 - 01/08/10 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: Strick9]
Oldtrader3 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 05/27/09
Posts: 275
Loc: Washington State
I live in Washington. I live in the next county north fom Skagit and about 40 miles north. I also am and have been an elk hunter for over 40 years.

Western Washington is PITA paradise and Granola cruncher land. Politically correct, Yuppies are wizzing past my house in their BMW's and VW's on I-5 as I write. This area also is TV News Soundbite-land where whatever gets said in a 30 second soundbite report on TV becomes the social fabric and "actual" history of the event. What really happened becomes unimportant.

Hunting in Western Washington really stinks. Poor public game management policy coupled with appointed and elected granola crunchers who have opposite agendas, running most political offices in the western part of the state, it is very hard to be a happy hunter here.

Hunters need to be more sensitive to the notion that Poorly Managed Perception becomes Reality! Plus, it does so with alarming speed. The judgement errors of these few hunters and their lack of control and hunting discretion will hurt the cause of hunting way beyond the true significance of the event, the animal loses or the few tickets issued. This will affect public policy and not in a way that is good for hunters. A few incidents like this, even when the participants did not directly break any laws, have the effect of further limiting our choices and hunter freedoms.


Edited by Oldtrader3 (01/08/10)
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#3655435 - 01/08/10 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: Bringitbig]
100_dollar_Bill Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 01/22/02
Posts: 1579
Loc: USA
Hmmmmm.
A group of prey animals bunched up in a corner against a fence, with a pack of predators killing and wounding every prey animal in reach, resulting in excess killing and wasted wounded animals. Sounds familiar. cool
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#3656156 - 01/08/10 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: 100_dollar_Bill]
IBUY50BMGBRASS Offline
Member

Registered: 08/12/07
Posts: 42
Loc: Indianapolis IN
DPole, good point.

If these guys took out more Elk than their license allowed, wouldn't they be criminals?
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#3656262 - 01/08/10 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: IBUY50BMGBRASS]
nimrod1949 Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 04/01/09
Posts: 2466
Loc: north idaho
Iíll play the devilís advocate. If they werenít cited there is no proof they did anything illegal, poor taste maybe but legal. Iím not sure what % of truth there is in the article.
So here is the rub. Why are folks so upset over them filling their tags? I used to be more uppity about Ďthe huntí but an old hunter explained to me not to pass on the easy ones just because they are easy. Considering the amount of time and effort most of us put into hunting and it all balances out when you can load an elk whole in the back of the pickup vs the number of miles packing quarters. Who wants tag soup anyway? Any volunteers?
Iím slow to jump on the bad hunters band wagon. Arenít archery hunters supposed to be the cream of the crop anyway? wink
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#3657366 - 01/09/10 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: nimrod1949]
Oldtrader3 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 05/27/09
Posts: 275
Loc: Washington State
Legal, smeagal!! They probably did not do anything illegal! The point is that many of them EACH shot at several animals after shooting one and being too GREEDY AND LAZY to track that animal!!! This is NOT good hunting practice and looks like what it is, wanton slaughter. We are not wild dogs and should behave better!! Just because F&G did not cite more hunters does not mean that there were not more infractions!

If you idiots can not see the difference, then mybe your priviledge of hunting does need to be further curtailled, WITLESS JERKS!!!!
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#3657399 - 01/09/10 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: Wild_Bill_Hiccup]
Klikitarik Online   sick
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 08/13/03
Posts: 13343
Loc: Alaska - N63¬ļ, W162¬ļ
Originally Posted By: Wild_Bill_Hiccup
Originally Posted By: heavywalker
On the other hand I have never seen a barb wire fence stop a herd of elk. Seen them run through them many of times and fixed a lot of fences...


I was thinking the same thing. Was this a 'high fence' situation, or what? Jumping over or running through fences is certainly the norm around here. It just seems odd to me.


Sounds kind of like rounding the bend in the river to discover a pack of wolves lying around a well eaten moose carcass, and being too heavy to run, some fellow just picks them off one by one with a rifle.

Or perhaps it's more like the folks who cornered those elk, bison, or mammoths and begin "torturing" them with spears and arrows. (I know, the era probably makes this different.)
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#3657754 - 01/09/10 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: Klikitarik]
Oldtrader3 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 05/27/09
Posts: 275
Loc: Washington State
The era and our distance from being a subsistance society changes the playing grounds for all! You guys do know the difference and know better. I am done with this one!
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#3661581 - 01/10/10 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: Oldtrader3]
99guy Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 4621
Loc: SE, PA
You guys believe everything you hear and read? Somebody said it or somebody wrote it so it must be true...right?

Fact is none of us posting here really know exactly what happenend there.



Edited by 99guy (01/10/10)
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#3661676 - 01/10/10 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: 99guy]
greydog Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 06/12/04
Posts: 2604
I don't know for sure either but I don't doubt it. This year, I saw two "hunters" corner a small group of whitetail deer in a field adjacent to our place. This field (about eighty acres)is fenced with high page wire to exclude elk. Deer are able to crawl under the gates and do so regularly. Anyway, these guys herded the deer into the corner, jumped out of their pickup, and cut loose. After five shots, there were two deer down. They had permission to hunt there and technically, did nothing illegal (although I suspect they did have a loaded rifle in the truck). Illegal or not, their performance was appalling and showed a complete lack of any sort of ethics.
Later on, one of the guys involved in this "harvest" deliberately left a gate into the field open to allow elk into the field. When a bull got into the field, he shut the gate and was then chasing the bull around with his four wheeler to get a close look at his rack. Upstanding, ethical hunter that he is, he didn't want to shoot an illegal bull. When I first saw him running around on the quad, I thought he was just trying to herd the elk out of the field but was corrected in this notion when the sorry SOB actually had the balls to come up to my house and ask if I would help him get a look at the bull's antlers.
"Why", I asked.
"I want to see if he's a six point", he replied.
I told him I would go to the field with him but I would be going to open the north gate so the bull could get out.
"That gate's locked, he said.
"I'll take a hacksaw", says I.
He then said, "Well, we should check and see if he's got six points".
"To what purpose?"
"If he does, I can shoot him".
I told him he was welcome to do what he wanted but, in my opinion, anyone who would shoot a fenced in elk was a low-life son of a bitch. He looked offended and walked back to his four wheeler and rode off, pouting. I cut the chain on the gate and about an hour later, got the bull out of the field (he was a good looking 5x6). I replaced the chain and relocked the gates with my locks then phoned the absentee property owner to tell him he would have to come to the house to get a key the next time he was out.
People who do things like this are the reason everything has to be spelled out specifically in law; because they lack the moral integrity to act in an ethical manner. Now, in some cases, it may be that they just don't know any better but in most cases they do. They just don't care. Sadly, such hunters are more common than most would care to admit. GD

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#3661678 - 01/10/10 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: Bringitbig]
1minute Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 16805
Loc: Burns/Hines, Oregon, USA
Unfortunately, we have a wide variety of ethical standards in our hunting circles. I know folks that would drop a buck/bull that was entangled in a fence or locked in battle and brag about it. I also know others that would gather up a group of buckaroos, stretch the critter out, cut him free, release it, and take anyone to task that took advantage of the situation.

As to archery... That group used to be a scarce and dedicated lot that was seldom seen. With advent of the drawing system for scarce rifle tags, we now have a large group that I call "alternative archers." At least in Oregon, those unsuccessful for rifle draws, can still buy across the counter archery tags, and with a few exceptions, can pretty much hunt the whole state. These are the ones that are running the roads morning and evening with 4 bass boat seats in the rear of a pickup (each holding a ready to draw shooter), tarping over select water holes, and attempting to post guzzlers and tanks on public land for their exclusive use. Since their endeavors are essentially silent, there are some that sit over water all night at full moon intervals.

While there is broad base support to force hunters to select their method for the year prior to a drawing, I suspect the additional tag income is stalling our commission's action on such a move. The issue with ethics is that they can not be mandated.


Edited by 1minute (01/10/10)
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#3661695 - 01/10/10 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: 1minute]
8updeerhunter Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 229
Loc: The Natural State
This BS remind me of a trip i went on back in the 90's. A group of guys fired into a herd of elk across a deep ravine(approx. 400yds). I know there were at least 30 shot between the six of them, Yes..im serious. They were mostly shooting 7mm mags. Myself and another found the aftermath, there were blood trails everywhere. After the incident they grabbed up the animals, pulled camp, and hauled arse. I found a cow with a jaw shot off, one with foot shot off, an illegal bull,and several blood trails in the snow that i followed and jumped more wounded elk. I was so sick! Things like this really gives REAL hunters a bad name. Im starting to think it should be like some of the African safaris, if you shoot an animal and dont find it then you tag is used. But, i guess that wouldnt be fair to the times when folks make honest mistakes
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#3666125 - 01/11/10 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: 8updeerhunter]
high_country_ Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/23/07
Posts: 4560
Loc: E. WA / N. ID
one thing that has been overlooked. the cars that stopped to watch and haze the hunters eliminated the escape route for the elk. they had 4 ways out, two wer blocked by hunters and then the last two were a bunch of cars and people or a fence.

ethical.....prolly not the most given how it evolved, but I bet had there not been all the traffic stopped it would have gone down much different.

something that you guys in better elk states also have to consider, washingtons elk season only lasts about 80 hours for our rifle season, and maybe 250 for archery. you must chose one or the other. desperation is a factor in washingtons harvest....it sux, but F&W makes it so.

the true bummer is the F&W agent who beat on the hunters and never asked the folks who were harrassing the hunters (per WAC) to move along. then instead of making a comment like, "no comment" or "we have to resort to these types of hunts to control the damage done by these elk, sinc we do not have funding to allow for winter range or fencing". instead he blackend the eye of all washington tag holders for the actions of a few, even though the actions were legal. as long as ethics are not written there will be argument.
I personally would not have done what they did. I would have called the state patrol and asked that the traffic be moved along or sited.
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#3666395 - 01/11/10 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: high_country_]
red_alder_ranch Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 492
It's amazing to me the way people will try to excuse what looks to me like plainly unethical behavior. Rather than blame the hunters for putting on a spectacle like this, now the people who pulled over to the side of the road are to blame, or the short season is to blame, or the F&W officer is to blame for allowing the public to witness the spectacle.

Let's face it, there are a lot of un-ethical slob hunters out there and an awful lot of the negative image the non-hunting public has of hunting is because of those slobs. I see plenty of evidence of the slobs almost every year in my neighborhood and on my land.

There are plenty of other hunters who manage to make do with the hours they have without resorting to this kind of nonsense, and they go pretty un-noticed by the public, so I don't think we should be making excuses for a debacle like this one. These guys have done a lot damage to the public image of the hunter.

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#3666472 - 01/11/10 Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: red_alder_ranch]
high_country_ Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/23/07
Posts: 4560
Loc: E. WA / N. ID
Originally Posted By: red_alder_ranch
It's amazing to me the way people will try to excuse what looks to me like plainly unethical behavior. Rather than blame the hunters for putting on a spectacle like this, now the people who pulled over to the side of the road are to blame, or the short season is to blame, or the F&W officer is to blame for allowing the public to witness the spectacle.

Let's face it, there are a lot of un-ethical slob hunters out there and an awful lot of the negative image the non-hunting public has of hunting is because of those slobs. I see plenty of evidence of the slobs almost every year in my neighborhood and on my land.

There are plenty of other hunters who manage to make do with the hours they have without resorting to this kind of nonsense, and they go pretty un-noticed by the public, so I don't think we should be making excuses for a debacle like this one. These guys have done a lot damage to the public image of the hunter.


so if you are on a stalk and another group pulls up do you adapt or give it up?
I am far from condoning what these fellows did, I just wish the fish and feathers officer had used the media spotlight to make the most of it.....which he did not. the blame lies solely on the hunters no doubt, but in wa we have a law that protects sportsmen in the commission of taking game. stoping your car on a highway to yell at hunters breaks more then one law here. had the cars not stopped and the people not been walking about....god only knows how it would have been.

also consider that these are "mangement hunts" designed to do exactly what they did...make the elk go away. if the general public saw what happens everytime an animal dies we would be forced to eat seaweed. the dept officer was there the whole time and could have stopped the hunt.....they do that often here. but the goal was to move those elk. I suppose the officer felt relieved tht the traffic had stopped to eliminate any wrecks......good for the traffic, not so much for the hunters.

I know this much, we don't have much funding to cater to habitat or fencing and those small farms get the heck tore out of them. the real loser in the whole deal is the land owner....imagine the calls he is getting.
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I would not buy something that runs on any kind of primer given the possibility of primer shortages and even regulations. In fact, why not buy a flintlock? Really. Rocks aren't going away anytime soon.

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