October 2, 2023

Idaho Elk Breeders Association Opens New Website

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In response to the inaccurate information, bias and at times outright lies running rampant in Idaho and the intermountain region of the U.S., the Idaho Elk Breeders Association has decided to open a website in order to counter or explain the truth about elk farming.

Our Association would like to use this site in order to provide the public with an accurate view of what is really going on in the media, in light of this most recent incident in Eastern Idaho.

This statement is in response to the media coverage that has taken place over the last 2 months in telling of the escaped elk from the Chief Joseph ranch in eastern Idaho. *Scroll down to find related stories*

The Association is hoping to use the website to educate and set the record straight about the elk industry and how well it is run under the direction of the Idaho State Agriculture Department.

Concerning elk hunting preserves, the website makes this statement:

Some of our Elk Ranchers operate elk hunting preserves which are also located throughout the state. Some mis-conceptions lately in the local news media have given people the impression that these ranches are only for the rich, and that their operations are unethical and should be outright banned. Once again, we are here to provide the accurate view on these sort of operations.

It also says that all elk hunting preserves “are operated in accordance with Safari Club International’s requirements for the “fair chase rule“, that all animals are tested for disease and that all preserves require 8-foot fencing.

Some of the other issues the Elk Breeders Association wishes to clarify on this website are hunting ethics.

Usually anywhere in between 200 acres to 2,000 acres depending on the ranch. All ranches are regulated by the ISDA, (dept of agriculture). In addition, these ranches offer hunting experiences for disabled persons/children, elderly hunters, and out of state hunters who wish to receive a guaranteed hunt. Many hunters also opt for this option due to the decreased population of wild elk due to wolves, disease, etc. Although some might not opt to hunt in this manner, we feel that it is important for others to have this right if they choose to do so.

The Association offers up some guidelines as to what they feel hunting preserves should have to adhere to.

-All hunting ranches continue to require regular inspections from the ISDA, in order to ensure that they are maintaining proper fencing, feed, etc.

-All elk ranches (hunting/otherwise) require special licensing from the ISDA.

-The ISDA should have the authority to reprimand, restrict or revoke these licenses should they find the operator to be in violation of the set forth rules and regulations.

There is one issue that seems to be of real concern to the Association. That is the point about diseased animals.

All domesticated elk are tested for CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) at slaughter. There has never been a positive CWD result in any domesticated Idaho elk herd. Only 1% of wild elk were tested for CWD in 2005. Up until last year, our domesticated elk required TB testing every 24 months. Due to the non-existence of TB in our private herds, the ISDA moved the requirements up to every 36 months. Our elk are also tested for Brucellosis, and any animal coming into Idaho from an outside state, requires this testing also. We are only allowed to purchase an out-of-state animal from at least a 5 year CWD herd. The only way a ranch can receive it’s 5 year CWD certification, is to have turned in every single brain on every animal which has died or been slaughtered on their ranch. If we do not have a brain sample on (1) adult animal, we will lose our CWD status. If the F&G is concerned with disease, We feel they should adopt a program such as ours, in order to test every single wild animal. If we work together, we should be able to help eradicate disease in the wild, as we have done in our own private herds.

And genetic purity.

Domesticated elk are tested for genetic purity to ensure that they are not hybrids, i.e. cross-bred with New Zealand Red Deer. Wild elk are not.

Hat tip goes to Kristy from Black Canyon Elk Ranch for directing me to this website.

*Previous Posts*

Bull Elk Shot Inside Rex Rammell’s Ranch
Wyoming Governor Asks Idaho Governor To Ban Game Farms
Escaped Idaho Elk Shot In Wyoming
Rex Rammell Arrested
Governor Jim Risch Defends His Decision To Shoot Escaped Elk
Idaho Gubernatorial Candidates Have A Say About Elk Farming
Rammell For Governor, Ranch Sold, Elk Still Being Hunted
Wyoming Governor Freudenthal Says Interior Department Not Doing Enough About Escaped ElkIdaho’s Escaped Elk Now Getting National Attention
Idaho Elk Farmer Says All His Elk Accounted For
Idaho Governor Expands Hunt For Escaped Elk
More Elk Killed In Idaho – Some By Hunters
Idaho Elk Farmer Plans To Sue The State
Scientists Will Test Killed Idaho Elk For Disease And Genetic Make-up
A Helicopter, A Plane And 25 Agents Can’t Find 160 Domestic Elk
Escaped Idaho Elk Being Slaughtered. Wyoming Ordered To Kill Elk Also
Domestic Elk Crash The Gate – Escape!

Tom Remington