Rogue deer and elk descend upon Weiser – KTVB.com

WEISER, IDAHO – Seeing wild elk and deer might be a thrill for some, but ranchers and farmers in Weiser say the animals are a nuisance, eating food that doesn’t belong to them.

“Winter time is a tough time, they come in with the groceries on their back so what they were able to eat in summer and fall is the condition they go into winter,” said Fish and Game’s Statewide Deer and Elk Program Coordinator Craig White.

Over the past three weeks, several Weiser ranchers have witnessed herds of deer and elk by the hundreds come onto their property and go to town on their hay.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says it may appear like the animals are starving.

“Some people take that as a sign of they are really hungry, they are just standing in two or three feet of snow,” said White.

But majority are weathering out the storm, looking for the low hanging fruit.

“Deer and elk during the winter time, it’s the time when there’s the lowest amount of forage available, it’s not necessarily that they are near death but if they see a haystack of course they will go to it,” said White.

While these rogue deer and elk may get into food without asking, Fish and Game strongly discourages inviting the animals for a bite as they become concentrated unlike they would in the wild.

“Concentrated deer and elk numbers can create problems like disease and competition among the herd as far as younger animals tend to get pushed around and injured,” said White.

For ranchers wanting to keep the nuisance animals away, Fish and Game says to give them a call.

“We provide paneling so they can put it along the haystacks to prevent deer and elk from getting into them,” said White.

Fish and Game added that the goal is to see deer and elk supported by the habitat that is available, meaning in some cases during harsh winters, nature will take its course and there will be deaths.

Copyright 2016 KTVB

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