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Elk Make Their Winter Appearance on Refuge

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Snow accumulation at the higher elevations over the past few days have prompted the first movement of elk onto the refuge for the season.  According to Refuge Biologist Eric Cole, about 120 elk moved over Miller Butte and onto adjacent forest service land in Hunt Area 80 yesterday.  Historically, he says the average number of elk observed on the refuge during the last week of October was 1,400, but in 2007 the south end of the refuge was opened to hunting with limited range weapons.  This removed the safe zone where elk used to congregate, and the average number of elk observed there during the last week of October dropped to 300.  So far, no elk harvest has been reported during the current hunt.

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