PICABO, Idaho (PRESS RELEASE) – With over 36” of snow on the Silver Creek valley floor and hundreds of elk and mule deer in cattle feed lines and along major roadways, Idaho Department of Fish and Game is going to initiate winter feeding of mule deer and elk in the Bellevue, Picabo and Carey areas.

“Most all the vegetation on south facing slopes is covered with snow and difficult for deer and elk to access” said Daryl Meints, Regional Wildlife Manager. “We will continue to monitor the situation around the region, and react as quickly as we can to reduce problems,” he said.

The Department’s plan is to begin feeding today, January 19, 2017 in four locations:

  • Cove Ranch - around 200 elk and 150 mule deer damaging stored crops and creating a public safety issue along Gannett Road.
  • Picabo Ranches - around 150 elk and 100 mule deer accessing cattle feed lines.
  • Dry Creek - around 100 elk accessing cattle feed lines
  • Queens Crown - more than 200 elk and 150 mule deer damaging stored crops, accessing cattle and horse feed lines and corrals, and creating a public safety issue along U.S. Highway 20.

We still have a lot of concern for animals not located near any of our emergency feed sites,” said Daryl Meints, Regional Wildlife Manager. “With that said, there are a number of reasons why we are reluctant to feed small groups of animals, including wildlife health concerns, damage to neighboring property, and the potential to congregate small groups into large herds. Congregating animals can actually reduce survival and depending on the location, create public safety concerns."

A small group of elk look for shelter and feed near Silver Creek. Photo by Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Source: Idaho Department of Fish and Game