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Roaming Elk in Wheeler county are causing trouble for some producers

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Amarillo, TX - One area county has encountered some exotic visitors.  Several tagged Elk have been roaming around in Wheeler county and eating from deer feeders and drinking water from farms.

Texas Game Warden Jared Self says, "According to the state of Texas parks and wildlife department they are considered exotic because they are not indigenous in the state of Texas."

There are around a hundred of them roaming around Wheeler county. Officials believe these tagged exotic animals came from Oklahoma. And for the past several months, they have been causing some trouble to producers.

"There has been a little bit of damage, a lot of people that would normally plant food plots for deer decided not to. There's been some people that did not fill their feeders because the Elk were eating all the food that were put out for the other animals." says Self

Officials say since Elk are an exotic animal, there is not a "closed season." So, in other words you can hunt them year around in Texas but since these Elk are tagged, that is not allowed. Shooting them, would violate the law, even if they are on your property.

"If an Elk is on the landowners property and that Elk belongs to somebody else, the person that the Elk belongs to can file against them for shooting their animal even though it's on somebody else's property," says Self.

In addition, according to hunting regulations, it is against the law to hunt an exotic animal on a public road, access road, without the landowners permission or to possess the animal or the carcass of the animal without the owners consent.

"We are not really protecting them as much as we enforcing the laws," say Self.

So far, one Elk has been reported shot from the roadway and stripped of the "backstrap" portion of the carcass. Anyone who is caught could face a fine up to $4,000 and/or some jail time.
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  • Sarah Macias

    Sarah Macias

    Sarah Macias joined the NewsChannel 10 team in April 2014.
    Sarah Macias joined the NewsChannel 10 team in April 2014.