Elk herd troubles Idaho neighborhood

Feeding that started in the ’70’s now attracts more than just elk

This is an interesting story about what feeding elk in the Elkhorn subdivision of the Wood River Valley has led to.

Elk herd troubles Idaho neighborhood
By Ariel Hansen – The Magic Valley Times-News







  1. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    This is an excellent story; it lays out the consequences of the human ignorance and arrogance behind decisions to feed elk or other wildlife.

  2. Salle Avatar

    It also points out how those who wish to live in wild places don’t take into account that their expensive landscaping is an introduction of exotic species to an area and that just because THEY moved there, god isn’t going to make it like LA or wherever they came from. It reminds me of all those people in southern California who think that just because they moved to the desert, it should somehow just become an oasis with plentiful water for their ridiculous gardening ideas overnight.

  3. Smitty Avatar

    What is really sad is that they were able to develope this prime elk winter habitat. I hope that the elk eat every last cent of expensive landscaping that they own. I am sure that the predators once again will follow the elk into the subdivisions as they did last winter. Remeber the hysteria from last year? What a bunch of hypocrites on both conservation and climate change these folks are no matter their stance on feeding elk. Also if Fish and Game frowns on feeding elk why do they have their own feeding station in warm springs?

  4. Ryan Avatar

    I guess my comment was edited off, what are wildlife managers supposed to do support elk herds when winter range has been developed, Let them starve? Allow for massive private lands damage? Whats the answer to this problem?

  5. Cobra Avatar

    On my property I’m trying to keep it mostly as was because elk, deer and moose have wintered there forever. It’s only 40 acres, probably more like 90 if it were flat so there is a lot of browse available. I have been researching some to see if there are other types of vegetaton I can plant other than the maples, alders, etc. that would be better for them through the winter.

  6. foolonthehill Avatar

    This is what makes me sick about these rich snobs how move out west to be “close to nature”, then they develop habitat and complain about animals in there yard. Why don’t you just keep your money and stay in Manhattan, we’re much better off without you!

  7. Linda Hunter Avatar

    When I went to the ISPT annual tracking gathering this year I met a man who has worked magic with homeowners who live around the Irvine Ranch. When they see a bobcat in their yard and call F&W, he gets called in turn. He goes out and meets with the homeowners and explains to them how honored they are to have a wild cat visit. . he offers to put up a wildlife camera (at their expense) so they can enjoy the show. He has such a love of wildlife and is so infectious that they often write the check for the $700.00 on the spot and become part of the wildlife research. One family even moved their daughter’s wedding from their back yard in August because there was a mother bobcat using the estate to raise kittens. This man is retired from the police force and I intend to visit and see the program first hand on my way home from Baja this year. I would dearly love to see a wolf eat an elk in my backyard and I can’t understand why other people, especially those who move to wild places would not. Maybe, one person at a time we can change some of these folks so they appreciate where they live.

  8. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    “I would truly love to see a wolf eat an elk in my backyard”


    I have lived in wild lands virtually my whole life and can’t say, I would enjoy seeing this, and I am for wildlife..

    Of course when I was in the military, I didn’t enjoy seeing another human killed and I don’t sit by the road in Yellowstone, just waiting for the kill, nature is cruel and many people can’t understand it.

    I remember the first time I saw a wolf outside of the Lamar in Yellowstone, which took down an elk calf, by time it was over, there were many people who were crying and wondering why the Rangers on site didn’t prevent it, it was in the Gibbon River Canyon…several years ago…

    People love to see nature, but many don’t understand nature…which is part of the problem with these issues.

    I had a coyote take a newborn fawn last summer in the front yard of my property in Montana, and I know for a fact, that anyone else besides me and my wife would have been calling for blood, the coyotes….I had a twinge when it happened, as well as a tear when I heard the final scream of the fawn, but fully understand that is nature, but as I said, many don’t…

  9. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I saw a cow elk kick a wolf in the head in the Lamar and then chase the wobbly wolf for about a half mile until the wolf came to its senses and cleanly got away.

    My first wolf sighting in Yellowstone from a trail was of a wolf with a new born elk calf in its mouth.

    Whichever species wins is in my opinion, fine. I love nature in the raw. Seeing wildlife in a non-Disney setting is good for Americans.

    Similarly, witnessing caskets coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan is important too (Bush/Cheney hid them). I wish there were none, but if there are, they should be seen.

    Americans need a dose of reality.

  10. jdubya Avatar

    Speaking of Yellowstone, nature, and changing time, this is a very interesting article:


    Ralph, maybe you should put a whole new thread for the duration of the climate change talks going on in Copenhagen. Climate change is going to have as much impact on the west as every housing subdivision, every strip mall and every dam ever built put together.

    Glad you’re back….

  11. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Glad to be back jdubya.

    Maybe I should do a climate change thread. However, if it doesn’t have some sideboards it might just be a discussion with a scant analysis mixed with conservatives vs. liberals, conspiracy theories, and enough heat to melt antarctica 😉

  12. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    Bush I, was the president that prevented the caskets from being viewed, not Bush II and Cheney…

  13. Linda Hunter Avatar

    Ralph says: Whichever species wins is in my opinion, fine. I love nature in the raw. Seeing wildlife in a non-Disney setting is good for Americans.
    I think you are right about that. . many of the problems we have in protecting predators and getting people to want to protect wild lands is they have lost touch with reality when it comes to nature. You cannot go out and watch nature intimately anywhere in the world and not see the young swallowed and the weak killed, and sometimes the strong and healthy be a meal. All animals must eat, including us, and one person’s “bambi” is another’s survival. Here in Baja, Mexico you can paddle your kayak offshore just a little ways and see the chain of life in fish swallowing fish, ripping and tearing up it’s meals. People who move to wild areas need something in the way of reality education or they just try and manipulate things to suit their false sensitivities, hence why wildlife services IS.

  14. cobra Avatar

    Well said, natures tough to say the least, especially in the world of fishes. I would hate to be a baitfish, fresh or saltwater. I’m so jealous of you being in Mexico, we usually make it to Mazatlan every couple of years but with the economy the way it is I’m not sure when well be back down. Last night we had -1 with a high of 6 deg. today, it’s sunny but man is it cold. Drink one for us up in the cold and ice.

  15. Ryan Avatar

    “Maybe I should do a climate change thread. However, if it doesn’t have some sideboards it might just be a discussion with a scant analysis mixed with conservatives vs. liberals, conspiracy theories, and enough heat to melt antarctica ”

    I’ll take some of that heat, its much colder than usual this time of year here.

  16. Dawn Avatar

    What do you guys think of elk feeding grounds ? Alot of people out here in Jackson want to stop it, but it could be to late . Nicely put Ralph , wildlife is not Disney, so true .

  17. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Wildlife feeding grounds should be stopped, it was a bad idea to begin with and it still a bad idea, we need to be willing to accept the loss as the transition happens, but in the long run, it will benefit wildlife.


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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Ken Cole