Helicopter netting of elk as part of a brucellosis study

Yesterday the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks was out using a helicopter to capture elk with nets so that they could test them for brucellosis, attach radio collars, and implant vaginal devices intended to drop out when the elk give birth or abort a fetus. This is another example of how the livestock industry turns the table against wildlife so that they carry no burden.

Disease testing: Elk study aims to measure spread of brucellosis
By Nick Gevock of The Montana Standard.

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About The Author

Ken Cole

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. We do not accept unsolicited “guest” authors or advertising.

4 Responses to The effort to protect the livestock industry of Montana expands to elk.

  1. wolfsong says:

    Sigh.. So I wonder how many will suffer broken legs and abort calves from the stress of having this done. I have never seen so much overwhelming greed and stupidity in my life!

    • mikepost says:

      Wolfsong, elk are subject to capture myopathy as well. This condition, not very easily observable at the time of capture, results in the death of the animal days later and certainly sets them up for predation. Net gunning has a higher rate of injury than other capture methods and causes higher rates of capture myopathy due to the stress involved in the chase, netting, struggle, bulldogging by the biologist on the ground and the drugs involved during the fitting of the devices. I do not oppose this type of action, done properly and on an as needed basis, but it should not be done frivolously as this may appear to be.

      • wolfsong says:

        Thanks Mike for the info. This really does appear frivolous and to me seems to be using the Elk as guinea pigs. A far simpler solution would be to take the damned cattle off of grazing leases and keep them home where they belong. But since Hell hasn’t frozen over that isn’t going to happen.

  2. Dusty Roads says:

    Hopefully instant karma will speed up its process and latch on to those who assign and conduct this type of wildlife abuse. May they be subjected to something similar in their lives and soon. Actions have consequences… those who do such things should suffer those consequences directly IMHO. Enough is enough.


February 2011


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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