So if research shows that feedgrounds are ripe for surplus killing, and history shows such killing occurs, why don't feedground managers do more to deter it?
What managers would like to do is kill the wolves that killed the elk. A Wyoming Game and Fish supervisor said that WGFD can't manage the accused pack of nine; wolves are still protected in Wyoming under the federal Endangered Species Act. (In Wyoming, managing wolves means killing them; that's why they're still protected.)
What strikes me is the response to kill wolves as the first resort. Why didn't WGFD say that this makes a strong case for using nonlethal deterrents? Range riders, guard dogs, noisemakers, and other deterrents keep wolves and livestock separate and alive. Feedground managers that treat elk like livestock should study Idaho's Wood River Wolf Project, which proves that nonlethal deterrents protect sheep-livestock even more susceptible to surplus killing.
Feedground officials may say they don't have the money to implement nonlethal deterrents. But, revenue to help cover the cost could come from adding a fee to elk hunting licenses. That is, after all, one of the main reasons why feedgrounds exist.