LITTLE CAMAS, Idaho (KLIX)-Magic Valley wildlife managers have completed an elk roundup in the Little Camas area as part of a herd reduction effort to lessen the damage on area crops.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game announced this week 17 elk were trapped and translocated to central Idaho in the Bear Valley area during a three day period. The goal was to reduce a herd of around 100 to 150 elk that have been living almost exclusively on private property and damaging crops grown in the area. The result, according to Idaho Fish and Game, is the cost to the state in depredation claims. In the past few years the department has used various methods of getting the elk to move off the property, including hazing with dogs, special hunts, and nighttime sharp shooters; relocating elk is a rare option.

Out of the 17 animals captured 16 were relocated, of those five were female adults, two yearlings, and 10 calves. All the elk that were moved were tagged and six were given radio-collars to monitor their movement and survival. Regional Wildlife Manager Mike McDonald said in a prepared statement, “We’re reached a tipping point with our elk population numbers in our elk management zones in southern Idaho” according to McDonald, “with population numbers in the agriculture interface at the upper end of population objectives outlined in the elk management plan, it goes to reason that we’d see increasing issues with crop damage caused by big game.” Officials noted that the elk population in the Magic Valley is strong. More trapping and relocation operations may happen later this winter or in early 2021.

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