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It's the shedding season for the area's deer, elk and moose. Even the biggest bucks and bulls have been getting rid of their head-gear and looking a lot like the girls.
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At 68 years old, Jerry Barron is, in his words, “too damned old to be climbing up mountains in the cold and snow.” But he rose to the occasion this fall after winning Washington’s raffle tag for a once-in-a-lifetime bighorn sheep hunt.
Elk in Idaho’s Panhandle units tend to be doing better than most other regions of the state during the wolf reintroduction era, despite a tough winter in 2008-2009. The numbers of cow elk, for example, are higher than the numbers game managers peg as optimum and the ratio of calf elk improved this year in most areas, said Jim Hayden, Idaho Fish and Game regional wildlife manager.
Blue Mountains elk numbers have increased over the past few years and are doing quite well in most areas, said Pat Fowler, state biologist in Walla Walla. “Calf survival has improved in recent years, but is still 15 percent below optimum levels, which does have a negative impact on the number of spike bulls available for harvest,” he said.