Elk In Texas: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

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

With brown to tan skin tone, and a set of magnificent and large antlers, these creatures roam the vast expanse of our lands. They are typically of the size of goats and sheep but look formidable especially due to their antlers. 

Yes, it’s none other than the elks, precisely the elks in North America. Because, unlike the ones in Europe, the elk in the North American continent belong to the Wapiti species of the deer family.

They are the second largest deer coming second to moose and are one of the largest mammals in the continent. These creatures are found in the United States of America including the state of Texas. 

Below I’ve explained everything you need to know about the presence of elk in the state, their physical features, hunting game, etc.

Are There Any Elk in Texas?

Yes, there definitely are elks in Texas. In the past, these creatures occupied a significant portion of the country’s land. But today they have been pushed to the western parts including the state of Texas.

The first time anyone encountered elk in Texas was about 400 years ago in 1601. But rock arts in the Pecon Canyonlands point to elk presence from 4000 years ago. 

How Many Elk Are in Texas?

As per Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, there are about 1,500 to 2,000 elk individuals living in Texas. The state has a stable and healthy population of Rocky Mountain elk which is native to the state. 

These elk predominantly live in the Rocky Mountains and the adjacent mountain ranges where they spend the summer in higher elevated areas of forests and basins and winter in lower elevated areas of marshes and open forests.

Where Can I See Elk in Texas?

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

Elk in Texas occupies the western regions predominantly the five mountain ranges of the west namely, Davis, Eagle, Guadalupe, Wylie, and Glass. Here these creatures have been found in small herds. Surprisingly, a few elk individuals have also been spotted recently in Texas Panhandle in Dallas County. 

Similar to every wild creature population distribution, even the Elk population in Texas may change over time. In fact, sometime in the mid-1900s, the Elk population plunged down and was almost in single digits. It was because of the state’s efforts and conservationists’ initiatives that the elk population in the state has been revived.

Also Check Our Guide On Elk In Pennsylvania

Are there elk in Austin Texas?

No, there are no confirmed sightings of elk in Austin. These creatures are not suitable for city life and typically inhabit grasslands, forests, and marches. There may be some free-ranging population in higher ranches in the suburbs around the city. 

What time of year are elk in Texas?

Do you want to observe elk in their natural habitat in Texas? Then visit the mountains of west Texas during their breeding season. This season is between September and November. As elk are actively searching for a mate during this time, they will often roam in long stretches of land and that’s why you have more chances to look at them. Additionally, throughout the year, they are most active during dusk and dawn of the day.

Can You Hunt & Shoot Elk in Texas?

Yes, you can hunt and shoot elk in Texas provided you have a valid hunting license for elk. The elk population, monitoring, and hunting are controlled by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. The department also has established a few rules and regulations for hunting elk in the state. 

To hunt an elk in Texas, the hunter needs to obtain a hunting license, choose a weapon, and follow the guidelines set up by the department. Note that without a license, hunting elk is illegal in the state and the individual breaking the rule can be criminally charged.

Which U.S. state has the most elk?

As per the country’s wildlife agency, about 200,000 to 280,000 elk individuals inhabit the state of Colorado, making it the state with the largest population of elk. This also makes the state a hotspot for hunting, wildlife viewing, and conservation efforts.

Note that population estimates are subject to change in the future due to various factors. So, to know the updated population, contact the state’s wildlife agency to know the current and latest estimates.

Also Check Our Guide On Elks In America


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

Thank You For Reading!

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