TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Idaho is growing and as more industries like agriculture expand, wildlife encounters continue to increase.
Depredation is defined as attacking or plundering and in the case of many farmers, having a field of food can be alluring to most wildlife. Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) is combating this issue before it gets out of hand.
“We’re having a lot of positivity coming from the efforts with the landowners and the department on trying to solve chronic depredation issues and I think that’s one of the biggest takeaways is that we are working hard with landowners. We have really strong relationships and some of those chronic issues we have been battling have seen reductions,” said Regional Wildlife Biologist Miranda Reinson.
One culprit has become a prominent issue over the past few years due to the animals size.
“Elk in standing corn is one of the larger agricultural depredation issues we have in the magic valley, and I think it is such a large problem because of the difficulty in accessing these animals in standing corn that’s 8 feet tall,” said Reinson.
The large animals not only eat the corn but damage the stock making them unable to be harvested. Another issue is once they are in the field, getting them out is another problem. Strategies like pyrotechnics have been used in the past and hunting has been an available tool to use due to healthy population sizes in Elk.
IDFG not only looks to help local farmers but growing their relationship with landowners is the key to success when it comes to a healthy agricultural industry and a healthy wildlife ecosystem in Idaho.
For more information on depredation efforts, click here.