Local elk are handling the rough winter just fine as they enjoy Basin farmer’s haystacks as a free buffet. According to DWR Conservation Outreach Manager Tonya Kieffer, thousands of elk are crowding private lands and are literally eating local farmers out of house and home. “Several parts of the state are feeding deer,” shares Kieffer, “but here, we have elk that have become habituated to find the easy route and use the local farmer’s haystacks as their winter buffet.” As a result, the DWR is urging these private landowners to allow family, friends, or other hunters to apply for the new Private Lands Only permit that allows for controlling elk on private property. All that is required of the land owner is giving written permission to the hunter. There isn’t much time left to apply. The permits are valid on private property through January 31st with over 1,000 tags still available on select units. Taking cow elk is an essential part of managing Utah’s thriving elk population. For more information, visit www.wildlife.utah.gov or call 781-9453.