Politics and wildlife management shouldn’t mix. I’ve defended that statement many times in these writings and on the radio. I still firmly believe it. Trained biologists have a better handle on the right decisions when it comes to game management than somebody who is beholding to a special interest group. Even worse is when a politician believes he or she is an armchair biologist. p>
My firm belief in that creed is what makes it hard to judge what’s going on with the elk program in
The bottom line is Governor Tomblin stated publicly he wanted to see elk reintroduced. Therefore, that’s the direction the agency is going. The people of
Such is the case at DNR. One unnamed source tells me in this instance, while there’s certainly politics driving the idea, it was going to happen eventually with or without political will. The elk may not have been reintroduced deliberately, but they are moving in from neighboring states more and more every year.
They already have the plan in place. Until now however, it was largely aimed at managing those wayward animals who wandered into the
The cost of such a program should be carefully considered. The project will be paid for with hunting and fishing license money and it won’t be cheap. The return on that investment needs to be carefully weighed going forward.
Many supporters tell me they love the idea of elk hunting in
Others are less enthused about hunting elk, but are fixated on the possibility of seeing elk and hearing them bugle. Some believe elk sighting seeing tours could become big business. Perhaps, but I still need more convincing on that one. One thing is sure, it’s going to be an expensive bugle echoing through the steep hollows of southern
The state would be wise to tread carefully in this direction. They should be prudent in consideration of the cost of sportsman’s license fees to the amount of benefit sportsmen will receive.