Wyoming Sees Another Record Elk Harvest

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Casper -(KCWY) "In the State of Wyoming we had yet another record year of elk harvest," said Justin Binfet, a Wildlife Management Coordinator at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

The total statewide elk harvest for the second year in a row topped 25,000 elk, the second highest elk harvest on record

"A lot of that is based on substantial increases of elk harvest in central and eastern Wyoming," said Binfet.

It seems Wyoming hunters have concerns for the species considering the rocky mountain elk foundation raises more money for elk conservation than any other state.

"So we will continue to tell people that there are increased opportunities for people to hunt elk in this region,” said Janet Milek the public information specialist for Game and Fish in Casper.

"Populations have grown. They are over objective in a lot of areas of the state so we have really liberalized our seasons you know increased our license issuance and extended our season lengths into the end of December and even the end of January in some cases," said Binfet.

The increase in population includes the Casper area.

"In the Casper region right now we do have a high number of elk so there are increases in licenses available," said Milek.

Although northwest Wyoming have seen some decreases in elk harvest wildlife managers say there are plenty of opportunities out there to hunt and they don't foresee the population decreasing anytime soon.

"Elk are tough; it is very rare that we lose elk to winter mortality," said Binfet.

Different from mule deer and antelope which have seen declines, it couldn't be a better time to be an elk hunter in Wyoming.

"Populations recovered significantly in the 70's and 80's and then really hit that upward trend in their growth curve in the 90's and now we just have a whole lot of elk," said Binfet.