Energy, Mines and Resources

Agriculture

Growing Forward 2

Wild Elk and Agriculture

In winter, elk gather on agriculture properties in the Takhini River valley, which can negatively impact some land owners. 

Damage can include:

  • fence damage as elk move from one area to another;
  • winter survival issues for crops from elk bedding practises such as pawing and grazing; and,
  • loss of forage intended for livestock.

It is difficult to assess the damage and cost elk are having on agriculture properties, but Yukon Agriculture Branch and Department of Environment are working to better understand the movement of these animals out of their core range and the impact on agriculture properties. 


What you can do

If you have issues with elk or other ungulates on your field, please call Conservation Officer Services or the TIPP line at 1.800.661.0525. 

A Conservation Officer will contact you to assess the issue and assist with mitigation. Reporting issues can lead to assistance protecting your livelihood, and ensures these events are documented so trends can be considered when making human/wildlife management recommendations. 

You can also contact the Agriculture branch if there is damage to your fields to us to document the damage and keep record of the impacts. Depending on damage, there is compensation available through the Growing Forward 2 Wildlife Damage Prevention and Compensation program.

Recommendations to keep wildlife from accessing your crops include:

  • hunting by licensed hunters/First Nations;
  • specialized dog breeds;
  • harassment using vehicles;
  • deterrents such as noise makers (scare cannons/cracker shells/”critter getters”), rubber batons, flagging, scents, and “surrogate wolves;”
  • remove crops from fields. Do not leave a standing crop or feed source in your field;
  • graze hay field regrowth after freeze up. This will reduce the amount of feed that may attract animals to your field;
  • if you are feeding livestock, keep livestock feed areas closer to residences and deter any grazing by elk on these feed sources; and,
  • fencing hay storage areas with game fencing. Do not provide an attractant to the animals.

Game fencing of high-value fields is an effective option to keep wildlife off your crops. The Growing Forward 2 Wildlife Damage Prevention and Compensation program may fund producers with 50% to 60% of costs to a maximum of $15,000 for a minimum 7-foot tall game fence. 

This program also provides funding for wildlife proofing of crop storage facilities, purchasing crop protection measures and purchasing a guardian dog.

Contact Us: 

Room 320,
Elijah Smith Building,
300 Main Street, Whitehorse

Phone: 867.667.5838
Toll Free: 1.800.661.0408 ext. 5838
Fax: 867.393.6222
Email: agriculture@gov.yk.ca