. . . turning from the northern Range, in Jackson Hole elk numbers high, mortality low.

Officials assess refuge herd at mid-winter. Mortalities are down, but officials worry about high numbers, warmer temperatures. Jackson Hole News and Guide.

An amazingly small number of elk have perished as of mid-winter at the National Elk Refuge. However, the snow is deep, meaning it will probably melt out late and will get dirty and infectious before the winter feeding ends. Therefore, some conclude that mortality rate may yet soar.

The wintering elk herd is regarded as too large by the management of the National Elk Refuge.





  1. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    … bu not by the Wyoming G&F Department. Any non-hunter mortality is considered unacceptable.

  2. Jim Avatar

    What does “dirty and infectious” mean?

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    It means the remaining snow is a long way from being white in color, and it is full of disease causing organisms.

  4. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    Welcome to elk management, Wyoming style.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan