Elk Refuge Holds Off on Supplemental Feeding
JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Wildlife biologists say warm weather and adequate forage mean they won't yet start supplemental feeding for elk and bison on the National Elk Refuge near Jackson.
Refuge biologist Eric Cole and Wyoming Game and Fish Biologist Aly Courtemanch estimated the forage at 665 pounds per acre. Range officials typically start supplementing with alfalfa pellets when the amount of forage drops to less than 300 pounds per acre — a level that might prompt the animals to leave for private land.
The refuge usually starts supplemental feeding in late January.
Cole says warm temperatures and wet snow made it easy for the animals to forage.
Since Dec. 22, the average number of elk using the refuge is 4,850 while the average number of bison is 375. Hunters have killed 265 bison.