Elk Hunting


Herd size management is an important objective of National Elk Refuge managers. Hunting helps to serve this objective and provide wildlife-dependent recreation to hunters. 

Regulation Update - Effective on Sunday, November 25, the National Elk Refuge will require a mandatory sampLe of all elk harvested on the refuge for the remainder of the 2018 hunts season. Refuge Manager Brian Glaspell is implementing this mandatory sampling effort due to the recent detection of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a mule deer recovered in Grand Teton National Park. Read the full news story here.

Alert: Bear Activity Both hunters and Refuge staff have had regular sightings of bears and bear tracks in Refuge hunt areas this season. Though bear spray is not required in the hunt areas, it is strongly recommended. Bear spray is an effective deterrent that is specifically designed to deter aggressive or charging bears. It is not, however, a substitute for appropriate safety precautions. Hunters should remain vigilant, especially in areas with limited visibility due to shrubs, trees, and other cover as bear encounters can happen very quickly with little forewarning. Click here for more information. 

How to Apply for a Refuge Hunt Permit

The starting point for hunting elk on the National Elk Refuge is obtaining a valid Wyoming elk hunting license through the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. Once hunters have a valid license, they are eligible to apply for an elk hunting permit on the refuge (Hunt Area 77). 

Begin your application for a National Elk Refuge elk hunting permit by visiting the state's Access Yes! program web site, formerly called the Wyoming Game & Fish Department Private Lands Public Wildlife Access Program.

The initial application period began on August 1 and runs through September 21. The results of the computerized random draw will be posted on the application website by 8:00 am on September 25.


Hunting Regulations  

The National Elk Refuge 2018 Elk Hunting Information and Regulations four-page handout, linked below, thoroughly explains the refuge permit application process, along with general elk hunting information, season and hunt period dates, hunt regulations, retrieval guidelines, and an area map. 

2018 Elk Hunting Information and Regulations (Adobe PDF) 

Hard copies of the above information and regulations will be available during the hunting season at the following Jackson, WY locations:

Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center
532 N. Cache Street

Wyoming Game & Fish Department
420 N. Cache Street

National Elk Refuge Administrative Office
675 E. Broadway Street 

Hunters are responsible for reading the National Elk Refuge hunting information and regulations specific to the hunt area where they are permitted and have them available while hunting on the refuge. 

Hunters do not need to apply to hunt in a specific unit within the National Elk Refuge. Hunters must understand and comply with weapons restrictions based on the area where they will be hunting. See the section entitled “On-Line Permit Application” in the information and regulations brochure for further information on obtaining a permit.

Elk hunters should also remember that permit holders with two valid Wyoming elk hunting licenses may use and fill both licenses while hunting on the refuge. Elk hunters attempting to fill two valid licenses during the same hunt period do not need to apply for two refuge permits.

The annual Youth Only hunt is scheduled for November 22 - 24, 2018; further information on the youth hunt can be found on page 4 of the 2018 Elk Hunting Information and Regulations brochure listed above.