July 24th, 2024

Disappointment follows announcement of fewer tags for 2017 elk hunt

By Tim Kalinowski on August 19, 2017.


tkalinowski@medicinehatnews.com
@MHNTimKal

Alberta Environment and Parks will be issuing 800 tags for this year’s elk hunt in CFB Suffield, about half as many as the previous two seasons.

There will be 320 tags for antlerless elk and 480 for antlered. There have been 7,340 applicants for these tags to date. Alberta Environment and Parks is also confirming about 400 random TB lab tests will also be carried out during the Suffield hunt over the next three years.

Bindloss area rancher Jim Hern says everyone he has talked to is unhappy with the relatively small number of tags being issued for this year’s hunt.

“I am a pretty disappointed because they cut it in half,” he says. “We still have a big problem out there. My fences are just terrible. Us ranchers don’t get any help, and we go down there Monday, Wednesday and Friday and repair fences to make sure our cattle don’t get out.”

Hern had hoped after a 20-year fight with CFB Suffield and Alberta Environment Parks over the elk issue, progress was finally being made with larger hunts the past two seasons.

“They have done a little bit with the hunt the past few years, and we thought they were looking ahead a little bit. They gave out two tags (per person) last year, and now they are back down to one, and you only got 800 tags altogether … And we’ve got to get the elk down to 800 at least.

Hern says the elk problem is spreading as more and more animals leave the Suffield Block every year to move out into the surrounding countryside.

“They used to call us a bunch of whiners, us ranchers next to the Block. But now they are getting out there further, and they are wondering why we never did anything sooner. And we have been trying to do something about it for 20 years.”

“I would really like to see that hunt ramp up and get these elk out of here,” he continued. “I am really scared of that (TB) disease. I am not sure it is out there in the elk, but everybody is so closed-lipped about it. And the government won’t tell you anything.”

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