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why has cow elk hunting in panhandle been suspended this year if the animal density is above manegment levels?

Answer

General season antlerless elk hunting was suspended in the Panhandle Elk Zone for the 2012 season due to poor calf recruitment and overall reductions in elk populations in several game management units.  The ellimination of the general season antlerless hunting was applied to the entire Panhandle Elk Zone to reduce the potential for significant numbers of hunters to switch hunting areas if some game management units retained general season antlerless hunting.