Fish and Game (Courtesy photo, Idaho Department of Fish and Game) "Import elk from Yellowstone 1915. In 1915 Idaho Fish and Game began importing elk into Idaho from Yellowstone National Park." (via pinterest)


"Grangeville Globe," March 4, 1915:
The settlers over In the Chamberlain Basin and Mallard Creek sections will be surprised to learn that the state has just had 50 elk shipped in from the National Perk and Jackson Hole country for the purpose of "propagating and perpetuating the species" and that corrals and feeding grounds have been prepared for their reception over in the Black lake country. The few settlers in the sections mentioned have had some experience with elk during the past few years, as well as with the state officials and game warden's department, which has taught them a sad and expensive lesson along that line.

Edward C. Harpison lives on Mallard Creek, some 25 miles south of Elk City, where he owns a ranch from which he has been trying to earn a living. The elk, which are abundant in that country form in herds and break down his fences and overrun his crops, not infrequently destroying his season's labor. They come in at certain seasons and mingle with his domestic cattle and tramp out his meadows from which he cuts hay for his own animals. In severe winters he has fed and preserved the elk and has thus helped to carry out the efforts of the state which has had laws enacted preventing the killing of the same by hunters.

Mr. Harpison was out to Grangeville last season and was a guest of the local Commercial club at the regular weekly luncheon while here. Mr. Harpison related some of his experiences in dairying and "elk raising" which were very interesting. When the elk became so numerous under his fostering care as to be burdensome and destructive of crops, Mr. Harpison applied to the state asking that in view of the part he had taken in preserving the elk In that section, that he be supplied by the state with sufficient wire to fence his place against the elk invasions, but his petition was ignored. Yet the state can go to the trouble and expense of shipping elk in from another state, building corrals and employing persons to care for and feed them, but cannot see the wisdom or economy in co-operating with the pioneer settler who has helped protect and preserve the elk already here, and who has suffered loss and expended labor in doing so. This is all wrong in principle, as anyone with the least bit of sense or fairness must see, and should be corrected. The 'Weiser Signal' of last week contains the following account of the arrival of the recent elk shipment at that place and the interest shown in the same:

Two car loads of elk direct from their native health in the National Park and the Jackson Hole country were shipped Into Weiser Monday night and were transferred to the P. & I. N. Tuesday noon and taken to Council. While the animals were in this city there were more than 500 people visited the two cars and inspected the animals. In order to ship them in stock cars they had to be dehorned and much of their beauty was spoiled for the sight seers. The horns would have been shed shortly anyway and the loss of them is only for the time being. By the coming autumn they wil be spread again in all of their seven or eight feet of glory.

Most of the animals were two year olds but some were three. In all there were 50 of which 15 were males and 35 female.

The intention of the man in charge was to have the elk taken off at Council where they are to be crated and then hauled over to The Bear river country and around through the Black Lake country. Corrals and feeding grounds have been prepared and there is little doubt about the elk ever straying far from the grounds where they will winter the first year.

'Council Record': The 60 elk for the Black Lake preserve arrived Tuesday evening in two cars attached to the passenger train, and nearly the whole town was down at the depot to see them. They were taken to New Meadows to unload and two of them escaped and took to the hills at that point. From there they are to be driven to the preserve via Little Salmon and the head waters of Deep creek.


Note: The position of State Fish and Game Warden was created in 1899. (Idaho Blue Book)

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