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Indiana Division of Forestry and U.S. Forest Service could create openings in Yellowwood State Forest, Morgan-Monroe State Forest and Hoosier National Forest. It would help habitat for other wildlife like deer, turkey, woodcock, rabbits, ruffed grouse, bats, etc.
Ha.....you touched on the sticking point. They "COULD" ......but won't. They have not done it to promote other animals we already have.....that are already in significant decline.....I don't see them doing it for something we don't currently have. They cut some old growth forest in Yellow-wood recently and the tree huggers had a fit. They don't realize that if you do nothing eventually everything turns to old growth forest!

I also figured you not to be the type that wanted them behind a fence....just the fastest way to do it based on the current management climate was my point.

I think the road to elk in IN is going to have to start with prairie restoration and creating suitable habitat first.....then, bring the elk into the picture. Our DNR doesn't seem interested in saving the declining populations of various critters we have due to habitat loss and they seem determined to gut the deer population as well. Both of those do not seem to demonstrate they are anywhere near interested in restoring elk to Indiana in my opinion.
 

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Actually guys, Elk in Indiana wouldn't be a great idea. Indiana has limited open areas which Elk need and the "Human" population, with all kinds of development going on, would not allow a decent habitat situation for game animals like Elk. Indiana should just stick to managing their Deer herd.
 

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Actually guys, Elk in Indiana wouldn't be a great idea. Indiana has limited open areas which Elk need and the "Human" population, with all kinds of development going on, would not allow a decent habitat situation for game animals like Elk. Indiana should just stick to managing their Deer herd.
I am of the mind that anything is possible.....I can fill the grand canyon with the rocky mountains if given enough time and resources. So is it possible? I think so. Is it likely? That is a far different question and to be honest I think it would be a long shot at best based on the current state of our game populations and DNR. I would prefer to see us do a better job with what we already have first....but I think elk could return, but it would be a very long process and require funding, resources and support that just do not exist at the moment.
 

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It sounds like maybe my position on the elk re-intro isn't clear.

#1 - I agree IN doesn't currently have the needed habitat or resources to support this.
#2 - I would prefer to see IN "right the ship" with habitat and the wildlife we do have FIRST!
#3 - I am NOT in favor of doing this NOW.
#4 - I would/could be in favor of it once I would be convinced #1 & #2 have been addressed.
#5 - I think it would be a long 20 year or more process to get elk back in IN....it's possible, just not probable in my opinion. The Bison situation was done on privately purchased land and it still took them 20 years. Imagine the hoops and issues and obstacles to do it on public land with public funding! Possible.....but not probable.
 

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I am of the mind that anything is possible.....I can fill the grand canyon with the rocky mountains if given enough time and resources. So is it possible? I think so. Is it likely? That is a far different question and to be honest I think it would be a long shot at best based on the current state of our game populations and DNR. I would prefer to see us do a better job with what we already have first....but I think elk could return, but it would be a very long process and require funding, resources and support that just do not exist at the moment.
j-bird, the problem with introducing Elk in Indiana is that there is no proper habitat for them. Back, in the past, when Elk were around, there were no big cities, highways built everywhere, and of course FAR LESS people. Today, more and more valuable habitat suitable for even our current game & non-game species is shrinking every year. New subdivisions are popping-up every year in areas that use to be good wildlife habitat; there is just not enough room for both the "People" population and Elk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Never say never! I talked to Rocky mountain elk foundation members that helped Libby for elk restoration. Kentucky took almost 15 years of lobbying. West Virginia and Virginia members said they lobbied for almost 20 years. Missouri lobbied for 15 years. I started lobbying in 2011. I would expect 2030 the earliest. I holding out and hoping Mark Reiter, The director of division of fish and wildlife retired soon. Getting Cameron Clark, director of indiana department of natural resources is too of my list of future retirements but he is governor appointed. Governor Holcomb and Lt. Governor need to go. They both have a thing against Indiana DNR and cave in to special interest groups like farmers, auto insurance companies, and anti-wildlife groups. I am young. If it takes 40 years so he it. I think there will be others to take my place lobbying for elk restoration of i decide to retire from lobbying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
I know the black bear in kentucky, ohio, and Michigan are expanding their range towards Indiana. We had a black bear come into northern Indiana in 2015 and a kentucky black bear in 2016 and hibernate during the winter of 2017. If the black bear comes back on it's own in the next 20-25 year s why can't elk be reintroduced. Black bear eat fruit from orchards, honey from bee hives, grass in pastures, plus beech, hickory, acorns, hazelnuts, field and sweet corn and even vegetables from gardens. If black bear survive in the future then elk can make it!
 

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Elk lover 1979 Heres a different tact you might try. The navy is all about wasting money on just about anything and also love getting environmental pats on the back. So you should investigate getting ahold of whoever manages NSA cranes deer hunt for an elk study/pilot program. Its tons of acreage and its fenced so the elk would be reasonably contained to the base. Controlled access and has plenty of water on it also. It might be a easier route than the corrupt state government.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Slug gun sniper, a group of Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation members from Indiana chapters tried to talk Crane and Indiana DNR into an elk restoration in 2005. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources turned them down like they turned my elk restoration idea down in 2010, 2011, and 2018. I gained 25 pounds and in poor medical condition every time I had to deal with with Indiana DNR staff. Made me want to pull my hair because of the land excuses. They even admitted to me that they never completed an elk feasibility study and they have no interest. Mainly because they think chronic wasting disease will eventually spread into Indiana. Everybody knows it is a matter of it not when. The same Indiana DNR that allows tree huggers to stop tree cutting since 1980. We are going to lose ruffed grouse and American woodcock because they won't bring back clear cuts. I tried to talk them into a greater prairie chicken restoration in Kankakee Sands Nature Preserve owned by the Indiana chapter of the Nature Conservancy. It is almost 9,000 acres of tall grass prairie and wetlands. In one ear out the other with Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife.
 

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It has been 7 years since I tried to get the Indiana DNR to start an elk feasilbility study and social economic study in 2011. I finally got an e-mail back from Wildlife section leadership. It doesn't look to promising. The leadership is dead set on not doing one because their afraid of auto insurance companies and farmers and afraid of chronic wasting disease. Here is the copied email:


Dear Mr. Collins,



We forwarded your email to Wildlife Section Leadership and here is their response:



Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding a feasibility study for the reintroduction of elk to Indiana. As you might recall, the DFW considered this topic, at your request, in 2009-11 and included participation by wildlife faculty at Purdue University. At that time, a feasibility study was not recommended, regardless of funding source, because of concern that suitable contiguous wildlands were lacking and the potential for negative socioeconomic impacts to Indiana's agricultural interests. These same concerns were identified in an earlier feasibility study to reintroduce elk in southern Illinois conducted by the Illinois Natural History Survey. Although the forested landscape of southcentral Indiana may be similar to that in Illinois, ownership is fragmented and interspersed with farms and homes. Further, chronic wasting disease has now been confirmed in three neighboring states. This eminent threat wasn't a concern 8-10 years ago, and the DFW believes translocating a CWD-susceptible cervid, such as elk, to Indiana is not in the best interest of the state's white-tailed deer herd. Thank you again for your continued support and interest in Indiana's fish and wildlife resources



I tried emailing the Indiana DNR every year at least twice a year the last 7 years. I guess I will have to wait til the current wildlife leadership retires to get the elk restoration study completely. It had taken many long hard hours of searching and researching other states. My options are down to creating a petition and getting has many signatures has possible to take to an Indiana Natural Resources Commission meeting or having my state representative and state senator co-sponsor an elk feasibility bill in the Indiana General Assembly and have the Governor sign the bill.
I'd love to see elk restored to Indiana as well as other animals we long ago got rid of. Id especially love to see the return of mountain lions.. I think Brown County would be the place to start. Maybe it could help control the methlab population.
 

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I just don't see it as being possible. Knowing what I know about Elk, I did a study on habitat and food sources and range. Indiana just simply is not fit for an animal of that size. There aren't enough forrests or woods for them to roam. Indiana, as I have lived in many states, is by far the number 1 state for woods missing. You pull up a map blow it up and throw a dart at it your likely to hit a field. There just isn't enough hardwoods in the state anywhere. All habitat has been or slowly is being destroyed.
just as titanium700 said probably Hoosier national forest, with enough protection might be enough (202,800 acres of hilly hardwood forests, oak savanna and prairies).
 

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just as titanium700 said probably Hoosier national forest, with enough protection might be enough (202,800 acres of hilly hardwood forests, oak savanna and prairies). with enough influence just like Kentucky and Pennsylvania reintroduced this beautiful herbivore. They could implement an lottery if everything is going well it might bring tourists, hunter and others to the area, maybe?
 

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Family near the Hoosier National Forest has seen Mountain Lions consistently for the past 2 years. Gramps got a donkey cause he was worried about his cows but the lion hasn’t caused any trouble, it just passes through every couple months. He reported it to the DNR and they said that time line checks out for a mountian lion “roaming” it’s territory. Kinda cool(y)
 

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Family near the Hoosier National Forest has seen Mountain Lions consistently for the past 2 years. Gramps got a donkey cause he was worried about his cows but the lion hasn’t caused any trouble, it just passes through every couple months. He reported it to the DNR and they said that time line checks out for a mountian lion “roaming” it’s territory. Kinda cool(y)
If they were to take off like the bobcat population has, we'll have cats everywhere.
Saw my first bobcat 15 years ago deer hunting along Big Walnut in Putnam co. Got bored and was trying to call in coyotes, instead a bobcat walks right up to the stand.
Saw a litter of 3 young ones north of Mooresville 6 years ago, I have been seeing one of those 3, ( they all had very distinct white triangle patches at the tips of their ears) the last several years just south of Monrovia, while deer hunting.
 

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That’s cool, a neighbor lady had a bobcat living under her trailer for a while, she said it kept scaring her when she’d leave for work, it just sat on her porch in the mornings and would run back under the trailer when she stepped outside. Kinda like her pet haha
 

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that would be cool to have in your yard! i have seen 3 bobcats in the wild around here. would never shoot one though. neat animals to watch like fox and badgers.
 
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