Dimension of Elk Management in Yellowstone
Aspects of Hunting:
Hunting is an important aspect of the recreational activities in
the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has a variety of recreational
activities, hunting being high on the list. The Greater Yellowstone
Ecosystem includes the areas of the National Elk Refuge, Grand
Teton National Park and Jackson Hole. Elk hunting has become an
increasing recreation activity in the Yellowstone area.
- The National Elk Refuge had a total of 556 hunters who harvested
170 elk in 1998.
- Grand Teton National Park had a total of 1,575 big-game hunters
who harvested 687 elk in 1998.
- Lastly, Jackson Hole had a total of 8,353 big-game hunters who
harvested 3,129 elk in 1998.
Hunting has become a more popular form of recreation over the past
- The numbers of big game hunters in the United States has increased
from 6.6 million in 1965 to 12.6 million in 1985. This increase
in hunting as a recreational activity increases the local economy
(lodging, food, equipment, etc.).
- The number of user-days that are associated with big game hunting
has increased from 9.5 million in 1977 to 11.1 million in 1983.
Tourism in Yellowstone with respect
a major part of the Yellowstone National Park area. Recreation can
include wildlife (elk) viewing, fishing, hunting (in areas around
the national park), camping, canoeing, hiking, etc. Most park visitors
come between mid-June and late August.
Tourism is the
second most important industry in Wyoming and Montana (after agriculture
and mineral extraction). In July of 1998 there were 988,509 visitors,
and in the following year 1999, there were 974,682. That is a very
large number of people going through the park in just one month
alone. In a survey taken in Yellowstone National Park, 93% of visitors
were there to view wildlife. The estimated numbers of elk on public
land for 1999 in Wyoming 38,000, compare that number to 2,250 moose,
542 bear, and 1,136 bighorn sheep. The number of elk is much larger
in comparison, increasing the odds for a visitor to see at least
on type of wildlife.
The number of
visitors in Yellowstone National Park was 3,120,830 almost reaching
the record-breaking year of 1992 when 3,144,405 visitors came through
the park. In the fast paced world that most everyone lives in, people
are starting to reach back into the past. The past, in which we
could view nature at its best, untouched. People want there children
to experience the wonder of wildlife in the wild, elk are the most
easily observed wildlife in the park, therefore, elk have an important
role with the tourism of Yellowstone National Park.