Ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

Friday, October 19, 2012

RMEF Volunteers Gather to Help California Tule Elk Hunters

A gathering point for Tule elk hunters is good-to-go after a group of Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation volunteers recently spruced up and modernized state-owned land in central California. Volunteers removed fencing, thinned trees, leveled camping spots, shoveled gravel, installed picnic tables and constructed a metal frame where hunters can clean their harvested animals at the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area located about halfway between Sacramento and San Francisco.

Workers rolled up their sleeves and fired up a backhoe to remove an old elk pen, freeing up space and habitat for elk under a stand of eucalyptus trees. That will allow elk to use the trees for cover and as rubs to remove velvet from their antlers. The picnic tables offer a more suitable place for hunters, the public and California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) staffers. The new processing area will also be used by wildlife biologists and teachers as an educational tool for demonstrations, tours and field trips.
Grizzly Island Wildlife Area

The Grizzly Island Unit of the Solano County wildlife area is closed July 27 through September 13, 2012, for the annual elk hunt. It is also often closed during winter months because of flooding.

Tule elk is a subspecies of elk found only in California. It supposedly has the smallest body type of all elk but CDFG recorded the live weight of a bull at more than 900 pounds. The Tule elk derives its name from tule, a plant native to freshwater marshes. When Europeans first arrived, there were an estimated 500,000 Tule elk but the population shrank to an estimated 40 before a modern day rancher protected them from hunting and poaching, and successfully lobbied CDFG to protect and expand them and their range. As of 2010, there were about 3,900 animals.  The state’s population objective is 7,000. Tule elk are now found in 22 locations in California. About half of those areas have enclosure fences that prevent them from leaving but the remaining areas are free-ranging. 

Courtesy Bendbulletin.com

1 comment:

  1. Without volunteer efforts to fundraise, construct, and finish these types of projects...recreation areas like Grizzly Island would not provide such up close and memorable wildlife encounters. Thank you to all who made this possible!!!