Proposed elk hunt on golf course causes concern for some residents

New Mexico

TAOS, N.M. (KRQE) – An upcoming elk hunt in Taos has some residents upset. It’s taking place on the Taos Country Club golf course. The New Mexico Game and Fish Department and the owners said it’s their solution to an elk herd that is growing in size and destructiveness.

The herd started small but is now up to 50 to 60 animals, and they’re causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage every year. Now, the Game and Fish Department is holding a depredation elk hunt on the golf course.

“When you build a golf course in the middle of a rural area you understand that you are living with wildlife and there are other measures of mitigation that can take place,” said Krista Steen.

While some residents may not like the plan, Game and Fish says it’s the best solution at this point.

“We’re having issues that could be a safety issue. Those animals are starting to cross the road. [We] don’t want cars hitting elk; they are a big animal,” said Ross Morgan with the Game and Fish Department.

Morgan said they will be giving out 18 licenses, only two hunters will be allowed on the property at a time, and it’s an archery-only hunt.

Staff with the Taos Country Club golf course said the proposed hunt was initially set for Saturday, January 25, but said it most likely won’t happen on that date because there are still details that need to be finalized. Staff said if the hunt isn’t on Saturday, it will be sometime next month.

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