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Guides Hired For Elk Culling Operations in Theodore Roosevelt National Park Will Be Well-Paid


Theodore Roosevelt National Park is looking for five guides who can lead volunteers into the park to kill elk. NPS photo.

Individuals who land part-time work leading elk-culling operations in Theodore Roosevelt National Park will be relatively well-paid for their time.

According to a job posting for the five positions, the guides will earn somewhere between $19 and $22 an hour for heading into the park's backcountry in search of elk between October 1 and January 31.

Under the park's elk management plan, teams of park staff and volunteers will shoot cow elk so as to reduce the overall herd numbers.

Of course, not everyone will qualify for these guiding positions. As the duties section clearly points out, you simply can't walk in off the street for one of these jobs.

The primary responsibility of this position is to serve as a Team Leader during implementation of the Theodore Roosevelt National Parks' 2010 elk management plan. As a Team Leader, the incumbent will:

* lead a team of up to 4 Volunteers with firearms in the field during reduction activities.
* will be lethally removing elk, which will include interpreting elk "sign" and pursuing elk on foot,
* use a large-caliber center-fire rifle,
* field process elk (butchering, boning, prepare for packing, collecting biological samples, etc.),
* interpret maps and utilize GPS units for field activities
* oversee the daily activities of the volunteers in his/her charge while implementing elk reduction activities in the field.

Qualifying for the role isn't easy, either:

Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following job elements:

* Ability to perform the duties of the position without more than normal supervision.
* Ability to maintain and shoot a high-powered rifle
* Ability to provide leadership for others.
* Knowledge of elk behavior and hunting techniques.
* Ability to use and maintain tools.
* Use of measuring and collection instruments
* Ability to interpret instructions and maintain a safe environment.

And the working conditions, while inviting to some, can be downright miserable for others:

Physical demands: Up to 75% of the work will be field work and should be considered extremely strenuous in nature. Reduction activities will involve walking on very uneven and steep terrain while carrying up to 50 pounds of equipment. Weather conditions during reduction activities could range from 80F to -20F, with snow and rain common during the fall months. Frequent lifting of objects (packs and carcasses) up to 75 pounds will be required, and frequent crawling, bending, and stooping will be common during pursuit of elk. While in the field, Team Leaders will be exposed to biting insects, venomous snakes, other wildlife, and high pollen levels.

Applications are being taken through midnight, Eastern time, on August 25.

And if you land one of the guiding jobs, we'd love to share your experience with Traveler's readers in a guest post!


After working elk jams in Yellowstone all summer this looks like enticing. :)

If only I had the heart to shoot animals. Any idea what's going to be done with the meat? I'm hoping that it'll be sent to homeless shelters. If not, I know of a certain park ranger at Capitol Reef that would love some elk meat (me!)

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