As many as 60 elk died during a trapping operation at Weiser Cove shortly after noon Tuesday.
Fish and Game crews began the trapping operation Saturday. Southwest Region Fish and Game officials were forced to turn to trapping as a final resort to removing elk causing damage complaints in the Weiser River valley. The herds were not trimmed sufficiently by hunters, even with a five-month hunting season last year, because access to private lands in the area is often difficult.
About 200 head of elk flooded into the trap around noon Tuesday. Crews immediately realized too many elk had gone into the trap and successfully released 32 but some 60 animals, mostly yearlings and calves, were killed in the panic.
Workers removed 132 animals from the trap during the operation and shipped them away to remote areas of Hells Canyon. Thirty-five animals were salvaged, but 25 were not salvageable. About a dozen bulls were turned out of the trap.
The dead elk were immediately field dressed while mobile butcher units were called. The carcasses will be donated to needy families.
Contact:Evin Oneale 208-465-8465