Elk Hunting

Hunting_Elk_Article

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 - The National Elk Refuge requires a mandatory sample of all elk harvested on the refuge. This mandatory sampling effort was implemented in 2018 due to the detection of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a mule deer recovered in Grand Teton National Park. 

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.


2020 Hunt Periods:
Elk hunting on the National Elk Refuge (Hunt Area 77) is permitted from October 13, 2020 through December 13, 2020. Only hunt Period A and the Youth Only Hunt (Period G) are for “any elk” and allow for the taking of no more than one bull elk. All other periods, are restricted to the taking of “cow or calf elk” only.
  • Hunt Period A: October 13 – 26 - any elk, must apply with a full-priced license, may harvest not more than 1 (one) bull elk.
  • Hunt Period B: October 27 – November 2, antlerless elk only
  • Hunt Period C: November 3 – November 9, antlerless elk only
  • Hunt Period D: November 10 – 16, antlerless elk only
  • Hunt Period E: November 17 –23, antlerless elk only
  • Hunt Period F: November 24 – 25, antlerless elk only
  • Hunt Period G: Youth Only Hunt November 26 – 28 - any elk, must apply with a full-priced youth license, may harvest not more than 1 (one) bull elk.
  • Hunt Period H: November 29 –30, antlerless elk only
  • Hunt Period I: December 1 – 4, antlerless elk only
  • Hunt Period J: December 5 – 8, antlerless elk only
  • Hunt Period K: December 8 – 10 , antlerless elk only
  • Hunt Period L: December 11 – 13, antlerless elk only

Hunting Regulations
The National Elk Refuge 2020 Elk Hunting Information and Regulations handout, linked below, thoroughly explains the refuge permit application process, along with general elk hunting information, hunt regulations, retrieval guidelines, Youth-Only hunt period, and an area map.

2020 Elk Hunting Information and Regulations (Adobe PDF) 

Hard copies of the above 2020 information and regulations will be available beginning in early August at the following Jackson, WY locations:

Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center
532 N. Cache Street
Jackson, WY 83001

Wyoming Game & Fish Department
420 N. Cache Street
Jackson, WY 83001

National Elk Refuge Administrative Office
675 E. Broadway Street
Jackson, WY 83001

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.