JACKSON, Wyo. — The National Elk Refuge elk hunt is underway until Dec. 12 with the Youth Only hunt period beginning tomorrow, Nov. 25. through Nov. 27.

According to the National Elk Refuge elk hunting regulations, full-priced youth license holders who have applied for and drawn a Refuge permit for the youth only hunt period may take one bull elk. Youth hunters may take two additional cow/ calf elk with additional licenses. The only other hunt period that allows for bull elk to be harvested is Hunt Period A, between Oct. 12 and Oct 25.

Per Wyoming Statute, any hunter that is 12 or 13 years old shall at all times be accompanied by an adult who possesses and can exhibit a hunter safety certificate, or who currently holds or has been issued a Wyoming big game hunting license within the last five years. If the person who is accompanying the hunter under the age of 14 years old is not the parent or guardian of the hunter, the hunter shall have in their possession a permission slip signed by their parent or guardian allowing them to hunt under supervision. Each accompanying adult shall supervise only one hunter under the age of 14 years.

Mark Gocke, Wyoming Game and Fish Departments Public Information Specialist explained that the Elk Refuge elk hunt and the Grand Teton National Park elk hunt are both migration hunts.  Depending on the weather, a lot of times the peak migration is around Thanksgiving and stays pretty steady until the end of the season.” 

Hunting on the refuge opened on Oct. 12 and will run through Dec. 12.

‘Typically between 250-350 elk are harvested during the hunt on the elk refuge,” said Frank Durbian, National Elk Refuge Manager. 

New for 2021, the Refuge will not be doing field-issued permits during the later hunt periods. All permits that were issued through the field permit system will be accessible online through Wyoming Game and Fish Departments Access Yes! portal. Hunters can apply weekly for upcoming weeks alternate draw between Friday at 9 a.m. and Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Results will be posted online at 8 a.m. Monday morning. Hunters may apply for alternate permits every week if they choose.

All hunters who harvest elk during the refuge hunt must provide a sample for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing. The mandatory sampling effort was implemented in 2018 due to the detection of CWD in a mule deer recovered in Grand Teton National Park.

Hunters can provide samples by depositing the animal’s head at a collection box or allowing a biologist to collect samples in the field. Hunters are advised to take personal safety precautions by wearing rubber gloves while field dressing.

More information can be found here.

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.