Fish and Game Begin Feeding Elk in Wood River Valley
HAILEY, Idaho (KLIX)-The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has started feeding elk in the Wood River Valley to prevent the animals from migrating into nearby towns. The feeding at Bullwacker, the only elk feeding station in Idaho, usually starts in December and lasts until April, according to Idaho Fish and Game. On average 125 elk are fed at the site during the winter. People have been asked to avoid the area so not to disturb the elk that gather there. "A large number of deer and elk have become year-round or seasonal residents within communities throughout the Wood River Valley, leading to an increased number of human-wildlife conflicts in the winter. Big game that remains in and around communities run a higher risk of getting hit on roads and highways, caught in fences, falling through thin ice on decorative ponds and into household window wells, as well as getting chased by off-leash dogs, and tangled in swing sets and hammocks," said Idaho Fish and Game in an announcement. Yearly feeding operations started in the 1980s, but elk have been fed by the agency since the 1950s periodically. Idaho Fish and Game asks that people living in the area not feed elk to prevent the animals from moving closer into neighborhoods. Earlier this week the U.S. Forest Service-Ketchum Ranger District closed some areas off to prevent people from disturbing deer and elk.