September 28, 2023

Idaho Elk Farmer Says All His Elk Accounted For

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Rex Rammell, the owner of the Chief Joseph elk ranch in eastern Idaho says all of the elk that escaped his farm back in August are either captured, killed or located. Idaho game officials must not agree with that assessment because they have brought in private hunters holding elk tags for that hunting district to hunt the elk along with giving permission to landowners to kill any they see.

Idaho game officials say they have killed 15 elk. They say one landowner has a killed a bull but they don’t know if any of the hunters have had any success. Nobody knows how many elk escaped in the beginning. What’s going on in Idaho?

This sounds to me like either the Idaho fish and game department is extremely disorganized and the owner of the ranch runs a pretty poor business or communications to the public are severly lacking, misreprensented and inaccurate.

What is unfortunate is that more than likely legal decisions will be made in a rush to judgement about game ranches that will negatively affect good operational businesses. There is a least one proposal in Idaho waiting approval to open a game ranch.

From the information I’m receiving, it seems that there is something wrong with the fish and game department that they can’t know immediately whether any hunters have killed escaped elk. If what Governor Jim Risch has indicated is true, the risk of spreading disease and diluting the gene pool is urgent enough to order the slaughter of the elk, then it should be important enough to place officials at key points to know exactly when and where the elk are being captured and/or killed. Any issue that is so pressing as to order the actions the governor has, deserves the proper attention to detail.

On the other hand, what kind of a businessman would operate an elk farm and not know exactly his inventory at any given point in time. Is Rex Rammell just “stroking a golden goose” as the saying goes, raking in big bucks without any concern for laws and public safety? He may be a nice guy as his wife exclaims but one can only surmise that he is a terrible business person.

I have also to ask myself, are their no regulations at all on this industry? I hate regulations but if there is the kind of potential threat in existence that we have been lead to believe by the Governor’s office, more checks and balances would have been in place to ensure that Rammell had his elk properly tagged, that his inventory was updated and accurate and his animals were declared disease free. If not, shut the business down.

This entire incident certainly raises a lot of questions. At a time when too many states are rushing to pass laws totally banning all game preserves, one has to wonder if this isn’t a good bandwagon to jump on exploiting the escape of domestic elk in order to further the desires of some to shut down the industry. Is this just a good excuse at an opportune time?

It appears the state needs to tidy up its own house before they go pointing fingers at others and shutting down viable businesses partly because of their own ineptitude. First things first and then go after these businesses with strict guidelines to protect other wild animals and an agriculture industry that is of gigantic importance to Americans.

Rammell runs a shoddy business. That’s obvious, otherwise he would have known when his elk escaped and how many exactly were gone. They would have been properly tagged and he could have been able to present documented proof that his animals were clean, both genetically and of disease. He either didn’t care, wasn’t required, is a lousy businessman not protecting his investment or the state government wasn’t do its job – or all of the above.

It would be in the best interest of all parties to not run to the lawmakers to ban an industry that no decent attempt has been made to control or to protect the safety and well being of the people. Thought and careful planning always betters emotional reactions.

*All posts on the topic*:

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

Tom Remington