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Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3431
Grand Teton National Park rangers responded to two reports of possible illegal hunting in the park on Tuesday, September 20, 2011, and issued a citation to one of the individuals. Rangers determined that one elk had been taken legally and the other illegally. September 20 was the opening day for hunting season on the Bridger-Teton National Forest adjacent to Grand Teton National Park.
The first report notified rangers that a hunter on a guided trip killed an elk sometime between 7 and 7:30 a.m. north of the Bailey Creek road, which lies within Grand Teton National Park. Rangers determined that the animal was killed legally on the Bridger-Teton National Forest and outside of the park's boundary.
Later that day, rangers cited Dane Clark, 49, of Pineville, Oregon with a mandatory appearance for the taking of wildlife in the park. Rangers received a report at approximately 6 p.m. of the incident from a hunting guide service. They reported that a hunter was removing a dead elk from the Arizona Creek trail inside Grand Teton National Park. Investigating rangers encountered Clark while he was packing out the bull elk but Clark fully cooperated with rangers showing them where the elk was shot. Rangers determined the elk was killed about one mile inside of the park boundary.
Investigating rangers discovered that Clark was using a road map rather than a topographical map to identify the boundary line. Clark mistook one peak for another, incorrectly believing he was outside of the Grand Teton National Park boundary and in a legal hunting area on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Clark had not visually located the boundary before hunting.
Rangers remind park users hunting is prohibited in Grand Teton National Park and only those who have been issued a permit to participate in the park's Elk Reduction Program can lawfully take wildlife in Grand Teton National Park. The Elk Reduction Program is a cooperative management tool used to regulate elk population numbers and was established by Congress in the 1950 enabling legislation that created Grand Teton National Park.
Rangers thank Good Samaritans for reporting alleged illegal activity in the park and often rely on such actions to assist in protecting visitors and park resources. Visitors and park users are reminded that rangers are consistently on patrol, monitoring activities to assure for the safety and well being of visitors and the park's cultural and natural resources. To report an incident, please call the Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 307.739.3301.