Elk issues in Six Mile


As most Park County residents already know, brucellosis is a huge concern for local cattle producers. I can feel for them, as this can be detrimental to their bottom line. But as a small business owner I also face challenges daily that affect my bottom line as do millions of other business owners. 

As a Six Mile resident since 1999, I have noticed more and more intolerance of our local wintering elk herd from the cattle producers. For the past several years the local cattle producers have forced the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks to pay hazers on horseback to push elk away to reduce the risk for intermingling between cattle and elk. This type of hazing can occur multiple times a week during cold periods, and the elk get pushed all the way to the refuge, which is several miles to the south, crossing other residents’ land and fences. These elk are not only trying to survive the winter in historic wintering range but they are also trying to keep a fetus alive all the while getting ran by guys on horseback shooting cracker shells and contending with tight four-strand barbed wire. This is the same elk herd that is getting pounded already from wolf and bear predation. Keep in mind there was just major changes put in place to our 2016 elk hunt in 313 in order to get the population to rebound. 

If you want elk off your land, then push them off yourself or “Fence Them Out.” In addition, the hazing needs to stop at the property line. I personally like to see elk hanging around my property, as do many other residents of the Six Mile area.  Recently I received notification that there will be an “elk management removal” on private land in Six Mile, which includes the harvest of 10 cow elk from March 8 through April 30. Even as an avid hunter of both predators and prey, I would totally oppose any elk hunt that included killing cow elk in their third trimester. Please give our declining elk herd a break!

Brad Shultz