AP NEWS

Wyoming officials to use hay trail to lure elk to new ground

December 20, 2019 GMT

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department plans to lure elk away from a historic feeding ground using a trail of hay, officials said.

Wildlife managers want to lure elk from the historic Alkali feed ground to the state-owned Patrol Cabin feed ground, The Jackson Hole News and Guide reported.

The Bridger-Teton National Forest reauthorized use of the Alkali feeding area, but wildlife officials want to move the elk along the Gros Ventre River corridor.

Elk are being moved as a result of recent litigation meant to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease.

The lethal illness has not yet been found in Wyoming’s human-fed elk populations, but it is expected to cross over from deer in the region over time.

Flaking off pieces of a hay bale every 50 to 100 feet to move elk is “standard operating procedure” for the state agency, regional supervisor Brad Hovinga said.

There are no plans to feed elk at Alkali Creek in the future, he said.

“Our intent is to not feed at Alkali,” Hovinga said. “We’re hoping we don’t need to do that, and it would be our preference to not throw out any hay at Alkali at all.”