SEQUIM — After a 1,222-pound bull was killed Friday morning at Graysmarsh Farm, the seasonal culling of the Sequim elk herd is almost halfway to this year’s goal, with about seven weeks left.
“There have been 12 killed although only 11 hunted because one bull killed another one,” said Jerry Angiuli of Sequim, volunteer hunt master.
The cow hunting season ran from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31 and six cows were harvested, Angiuli said.
The bull hunting season began Sept. 1 and will continue until Feb. 29, he said.
Five bulls had been harvested by Saturday, he said.
This year, 12 permits to kill elk bulls have been issued, along with eight permits to kill elk cows, Angiuli said.
Another four permits are reserved for youth, who can kill either a bull or a cow, plus a couple of permits for charity that can be used if the annual goal isn’t met, he said.
The one killed Friday morning was shot by a 10-year-old girl.
When it was weighed by state Department of Fish and Wildlife employees, it tipped the scales at 1,222 pounds, Angiuli said.
“Three of the four youth have killed bulls, which is good. There ate 22 branch-antlered bulls, which is too many for the cows we have,” he said.
“The bulls are sparing and pushing and still fighting.”
The hunt, which is by shotgun only, is conducted in a very limited area that hunters must know.
Rarely do they hunt by themselves, usually being accompanied by volunteers from the state Fish and Wildlife Department, Angiuli said.
A game warden watches the hunt, and hunters are not allowed to shoot from a road, across a road or parallel to a road, he said.
Angiuli said that, unless they are youth, the hunters must hold master hunter permits and work 20 volunteer for the state Fish and Wildlife Department, or work 40 hours to renew their permits.
The hunt’s purpose is to control the size of the Smith Ranch elk herd, Angiuli said.
The herd started this year with 82 animals.
Wildlife managers like to keep the herd at about 50 animals, he said.
About 24 permits were issued this year, he said.