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#3621350 - 12/30/09 03:51 AM 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.

RV 728 BP
#3623074 - 12/30/09 06:26 PM Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: Bringitbig]
Bulletbutt Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 03/03/06
Posts: 10262
Loc: Between Seafire and Scott F
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.
I saw a movie where only the military and the police had guns. It was called Schindler's List.

#3623473 - 12/30/09 08:09 PM Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: Bringitbig]
1minute Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 16604
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 10:41 PM)

#3623705 - 12/30/09 09:23 PM Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: 1minute]
heavywalker Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 07/15/09
Posts: 12149
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.
Vote out the incumbent

"Some people believe that appeasement is the solution to an enemy. I believe standing for what one knows is right needs no excuse, nor justification, nor appeasement" - Winston Churchill

#3623749 - 12/30/09 09:39 PM Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: heavywalker]
Wild_Bill_Hiccup Offline

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.
One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching. -Bill

#3623779 - 12/30/09 09:48 PM Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: Wild_Bill_Hiccup]
heavywalker Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 07/15/09
Posts: 12149
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.
Vote out the incumbent

"Some people believe that appeasement is the solution to an enemy. I believe standing for what one knows is right needs no excuse, nor justification, nor appeasement" - Winston Churchill

#3627997 - 01/01/10 01:08 AM 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" 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 01:52 AM)

#3648339 - 01/06/10 07:11 PM Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: magnumb]

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.
"Paper is poverty,... it is only the ghost of money, and not money itself." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1788. ME 7:36

#3648682 - 01/06/10 08:50 PM Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: Wild_Bill_Hiccup]
alpinecrick Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 19195
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?


Not being married to any particular political party sure makes it a lot easier to look at the world more objectively...

#3649826 - 01/07/10 01:33 AM Re: How to NOT hunt elk!! [Re: alpinecrick]
Strick9 Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1714
Loc: Mt. Pleasant, SC
Sounds like a job for the 300wsm. Crappy propaganda Crappy ethics, Crappy everything.
Lowcountry Wildlife Management
Knowing Wildlife Beyond Science
Genesis 9;2

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