Ranchers demand elk herd solution

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BOISE (AP) - Ranchers east of Boise are appealing to the Legislature for help controlling elk populations that are trampling their fences and eating their forage.

The group from the burg of Mayfield charged that Idaho Department of Fish and Game isn't doing enough to keep the animals from threatening their livelihoods.

The department currently pays for some of the goods lost and hosts "depredation hunts," allowing a handful of hunters to shoot some animals in an attempt to drive herds away.

But owners say the practice only causes elk to flee to neighbors' land, and exposes them to badly-behaved hunters who cut fences and chase animals through crop fields.

Several proposed solutions included moving herd feeding grounds or even relocating the animals to backcountry where elk numbers have been decimated by wolves.

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