September 25, 2023

Concerned Sportsmen Of Idaho Revise Stance On Elk Farming/Hunting

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As a result of learning more about the facts surrounding the debate in Idaho over proposals to ban elk farming and “high-fence” hunting on those ranches, members of the Concerned Sportsmen of Idaho have revised their official stance on the issue. CSI president Pete Ellsworth has written a formal letter stating the organizations positions along with some suggestions, that has been sent to Idaho Governor Butch Otter.

Governor Butch Otter
Boise, Idaho

Dear Governor Otter:

The Concerned Sportsmen of Idaho, Inc. (CSI) after much discussion and learning a great deal more on this issue CSI offers the modified positions and recommendations which are outlined below regarding domestic elk ranching and domestic elk shooting operations in our great state of Idaho. The CSI categorizes such operations and associated enterprises as follows:

1. domestic elk ranching – High fenced ranches that are similar to yet different from domestic cattle, sheep, horse, mule and exotic breed operations. Where agricultural products, both live and processed, are sold for financial gain.
2. captive domestic elk shooting operations – High fence operations that vary in size (acreage) where customers pay to shoot domestic elk under various conditions, directly linked to domestic elk ranching.

The CSI does not oppose domestic elk ranching provided those ranches comply with Idaho Department of Agriculture regulation.

The CSI does not oppose captive domestic elk shooting operations provided those operations comply with Idaho Department of Agriculture regulation.

Concerns and Related Recommendations:
1. CSI recommends, because of the unique industry features and requirements of domestic elk ranches and captive domestic elk shooting operations a system of licensing or a fair and more effective rule enforcement system be established.

2. CSI has a concern that domestic elk must have a positive identification. (This is now in effect with ear tagging and one other form of identification. We want to make sure that it will continue in effect.)

3. If the Idaho Legislature or the Idaho Elk Breeders decide fair chase guidelines should be adopted, CSI believes the State of Utah Domesticated Elk Hunting Parks Rule R58-20 or the Safari Club International domestic game ranch policies may assist in that effort.

CSI members have expressed a broad spectrum of opinions related to domestic elk ranching and captive domestic elk shooing operations. The CSI is always willing to work with the agricultural community and other members of the hunting, fishing and trapping communities to bring about successfully negotiated solutions to any issue.


Pete Ellsworth

Tom Remington