Elk In Wyoming: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

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

They may look like your typical deer but are not to be taken lightly. Belonging to the deer family, these creatures are quite intimidating with their large body size and 2 big antlers. 

With tan skin and brownish-thick mizzle, these creatures roam the grasslands, meadows, and forests of the American continent. 

Still unable to guess them? 

These are the second-largest deer species in the world. Yes, We are talking about elk. Elk also scientifically and locally called Wapiti is a breed of deer found living in the North American continent, including the United States of America. 

But what is their presence in Wyoming? Below I’ve explained everything you need to know about the elk in Wyoming.

Are There Any Elk in Wyoming?

Yes, there is a significant population of elk in Wyoming. In fact, due to the presence of abundant habitats, various elk herds call the state their home. In addition to Yellowstone National Park which extends into the state, many elk herds are also found in western mountain ranges, the Wind River Range, the Wyoming Range, and the Big Horn Mountains. Did you know, as per the state’s wildlife agency, elk herds are present in every national forest of the state?

How Many Elk Are in Wyoming?

Firstly, it is important to note that, like most wildlife, the population of elk changes from time to time, year to year, and is never constant. Additionally, their population is also unevenly spread throughout the state.

As per Wyoming Game and Fish Department, there are more than 100,000 individual elks in the state. These are found in the 35 different elk herds each consisting of elks anywhere between a few hundred to 11,000 in number. In fact, the largest elk herd in the state, the Jackson elk herd consists of about 10,734 animals as assessed in 2021.

Where Can I See Elk in Wyoming?

The elk range in Wyoming covers landscapes from high mountains to low plains and deserts. In fact, every land administered by the Bureau of Land Management consists of these creatures. They are present both in public as well as private lands.

There is no absence of elk in any part of the state. Having said that, one of the sought-out places to spot this creature is the National Elk Refuge near Jackson. Additionally, a population of elk is also established in Grand Teton National Park, Bridger-Teton Forest, Yellowstone National Park, Bighorn National Forest, and Wind River Range. In fact, these locations are famous for close-up viewing and photography of elk.

Also Check Our Guide On Elk In Wisconsin

What Time of year are Elk in Wyoming?

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

These creatures are found throughout the year in the landscapes of Wyoming, but their behaviors and movement vary place by place and season by season. 

Typically, you can find them easily during the mating season or “rutting” season which occurs from September to October. 

During this time, the bulls gather cows to display vocal and physical prowess to show their dominance and win over a cow. Another time you could find them is during winter when it is easier to spot them in the snow background. 

In addition to the time of the year, also focus on the time of the day importance and travel to these places at dawn or dusk. 

How many Elk are killed in Wyoming each year?

The number of elks killed in Wyoming is not constant but each year a solid number of elks are killed during hunting. As per the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, about 25,852 elk were killed as a result of human hunting in the state. This includes both resident and non-resident harvest.

Can You Hunt & Shoot Elk in Wyoming?

Yes, You can hunt and shoot elk in Wyoming. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department established the hunting seasons and regulations for the survival of these creatures in the state. The hunting program in Wyoming is well-regulated and a rewarding activity in the state.

Yes, you do need to obtain licenses and tags for elk hunting from the department, but you can choose when, where, and how to hunt. As there are no predators of these creatures for most parts of the state, the elk population is quite abundant. 

So, there are good chances to obtain a harvest. The hunting season typical is organized between mid-August to early January of next year.

Where to Hunt Elk in Wyoming?

It is important to note that the state is divided into different hunt areas with each having its own set of specific regulations and hunting season. But typically, the best place to hunt include Bridger-Teton National Forest, Shoshone National Forest Rocky Mountain West, Laramie Mountain Range including area 7 in the Bighorn Mountains which is known for many elk herds and low hunting pressure. 

You can look into the Wyoming Game and Fish Department website for more details on the places and their map for where you could hunt elk in Wyoming.

Can a Non-Resident Hunt Elk in Wyoming?

Well Yes, non-residents can hunt elk in Wyoming if they apply and get a license. Similar to residents, non-residents can apply for an elk license through Wyoming Game and Fish Department. 

In addition to a license, non-residents must also purchase a conservation stamp and a fishing license. But beware, the cost for non-residents is exuberant, about $692 exclusive of other costs for preference points and special permits.

Also Check Our Guide On Elk In America

Is Wyoming a good Elk Hunting state?

This is subjective but typically yes, Wyoming is a good elk-hunting state. In fact, the state also offers hunting of other animals like mountain lions, deer, black bears, moose, etc. The state’s abundant elk population, ample public land, well-managed hunting program, and trophy potential are some of the features that make Wyoming one of the best places in the state for elk hunting.


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

Thank You For Reading!

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