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Ford Bans Elk Hunting on Wyoming Ranch

Actor Harrison Ford (search) is drawing the line — right at his property — against state efforts to thin the elk herd.

Elk living near Ford's ranch belong to the larger Fall Creek Herd (search), which numbers 5,100, exceeding the state's population objective of 4,400 animals.

"The problem is that a lot of landowners don't allow permission to hunt," said Mark Gocke, spokesman for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. "That's why this particular herd segment has grown so much."

Ford has created a private elk refuge of sorts with elk summering on his property in South Park.

"(Ford) doesn't want any hunting to take place on his property," said John Kelly, who manages the ranch for the actor. "He told me that if I caught anyone to turn them in."

Kelly said he's placed signs warning would-be hunters along the border between Ford's property and that of a neighboring housing development.

State officials want to thin the heard to protect cottonwood habitat on the Snake River. They also are concerned about elk mingling with cattle because of the potential for transmitting diseases and because elk may damage stored hay.