Grand Teton park rangers responded to an incident over the weekend involving an illegal take of a bull elk near the Schwabacher Road, outside the designated elk reduction program areas within the park. Four citations were issued to Robert Baltensperger of Wilson, Wyoming in response to the incident. Mr. Baltensperger will be required to appear before the Federal Magistrate next month. No further details are releasable with this ongoing criminal investigation.
Park rangers and state game wardens follow up on all information received and many times the information may lead to successful prosecution of violators. Individuals submitting information can remain anonymous, and may be eligible for a reward.
The 2015 elk reduction program in Grand Teton National Park began October 24. Authorized through the park's enabling legislation of 1950, the program allows for the proper management and conservation of the Jackson Elk Herd.
The areas open to the program, Wyoming Game and Fish Department Elk Hunt Areas 75 and 79, are generally located on the east side of the park, and north of the Gros Ventre River. The Snake River Bottom, between Deadman's Bar access road to Ditch Creek west of US Highway 26/89/191 is closed to the program. The Antelope Flats area is closed to the program after November 30, and the entire program ends December 13.
Elk reduction program participants are reminded that they are responsible for knowing and complying with the rules and regulations that apply to the program, including the boundaries of the area they are using, and only take an animal that is within a legal zone.
The areas remain open to park visitors, and the wearing of orange or other bright colors is highly recommended during this time.
Park rangers will intensively monitor and patrol elk reduction areas to ensure compliance with rules and regulations, interpret the elk reduction program to visitors, and provide participants with information on local conditions associated with this wildlife management program.