Laramie, Wy – Idaho big game officials say a number of the farm-raised elk that escaped last month near Yellowstone National Park may never be recovered and probably have already mated with wild elk.
A special emergency depredation hunt starts tomorrow along the Idaho-Wyoming border.
To protect the wild elk gene pool, Idaho Governor Jim Risch has authorized licensed hunters with valid elk tags to shoot as many of the domesticated elk as they can find.
Somewhere between 70 and 160 elk are believed to have escaped, but the owner of the elk Rex Rammell says he's now located or captured them all.
State authorities are not so sure and are proceeding with the hunt tomorrow.