Elk In Nebraska: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Elk In Nebraska
Elk In Nebraska: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Known for its rich history and wild landscapes, Nebraska is home to a diverse platter of flora and fauna. And like most states, Nebraska too has a thriving population of elk.

In fact, Nebraska is one of the best places to hunt elk among the other mid-western states of the country. But before we give you the hows and when’s of elk hunting in Nebraska, let us first understand about their overall presence in the state, what they eat, and finally, whether you as a resident or non-resident can hunt these creatures…

Are There Any Elk in Nebraska?

Yes, But did you know, there was a time when these creatures were extinct in Nebraska? It was in the mid-1800s. As Europeans settled in the North American continent, including the historical lands of the current state of Nebraska, many wild creatures were extensively hunted by newcomers all over the state. Gradually, many wild creatures like elk lost their habitats, were hunted without regulation, and disappeared from the region by the early 1900s.

It was only in the 1960s that a few individual elks from nearby states migrated to Nebraska. And after a few years of continuous recorded presence of these creatures, the state conducted the first modern elk hunting season in 1986. 

How Many Elk Are in Nebraska?

Once upon a time disappeared creatures, and elk are back in Nebraska and are in fact thriving. As per the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission which monitors and controls the population of elk, there are about 2,500 to 3,000 elk individuals in Nebraska. Rocky Mountain elk are the subspecies of elk found in the state and are easily distinguished by their dark brown fur and large, majestic antlers.

Note that, there is no information on the re-introduction of elk into Nebraska. And therefore, the elk have indeed naturally migrated from nearby states into Nebraska, which is good news. But it’s now the responsibility of the state wildlife agency to conserve the population of elk now calling the state its new home.

Where Can I See Elk in Nebraska?

Elk In Nebraska
Elk In Nebraska: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Elk in Nebraska are common in the western parts of the state. Most commonly in the Pine Ridge region located in the northwestern part of the state. The region provides rolling hills, open grasslands, forested areas, and other diverse landscapes for elks. The region also provides a range of elk-viewing experiences for the common people. Other than this, Kreycik Riverview elk ranch is one more place that attracts a flock of viewers every year for elk viewing.

Also Check Our Guide On Elk In Minnesota

What Time Of Year Are Elk In Nebraska?

Well, elk live in Nebraska throughout the year and the current population in the state is non-migratory. So, you can view Elk at whichever time of the year you visit the state. But, to make yourself luckier, visit the state during winter or fall. 

In fall, elk are quite active due to mating or breeding. And in winter, it is easier to spot these creatures in the background of snow. But whenever you go, just make sure you visit their habitat during dusk or dawn when they prefer to roam their habitat due to suitable temperature.

What Do Elk Eat In Nebraska?

Elks in Nebraska eat the same things as those found in other parts of the country. They are herbivores and so their diet consists of plant-based food. Though the specific food depends on the environment they live in, the type of vegetation in the place, and the time of the year. 

Typically adaptive, elk will eat any type of plant-based food they can find. But commonly they consume grasses, especially during warm weather, forbs, browse, bushes, sprouts, etc.

Can You Hunt & Shoot Elk in Nebraska?

Yes, The state is famously known as the hidden gem of the midwestern U.S. for elk hunting. After the first hunting season in 1986, Nebraska Game and Park Commission has conducted one elk hunting every year

And to participate in one, you need to avail license by applying in the online portal of NGPC and get drawn in the lottery system. One more thing, the number of elk licenses issued per year depends on the population and distribution of elk in the state during the year. So, go through the requirements for the application and apply as early as possible.

The elk season in general is conducted between September and October. But a special elk depredation season runs in the state between the 1st to 21st of July in parts of Keith, Deuel, Garden, and Lincoln counties of the state. 

Can A Non-Resident Hunt Elk In Nebraska?

Sadly, no, Non-residents are not allowed to hunt elk in the general elk hunting season in Nebraska. It is legal only for residents to hunt elk in the state with a valid license. But non-residents can hunt elk in private ranches with the landowner’s permission. As non-residents remember that you also need to follow the rules and regulations established by the private ranch. 

Also check Our Guide On Elk In America


And that was everything you need to know about the Elk In Nebraska. I hope this article answered all your queries.

Thank You For Reading!

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