The elk are out there, but not quite ready to settle in on the refuge. According to National Elk Refuge Biologist Eric Cole, approximately 2500 elk were observed on the south end of the refuge last week but quickly moved back to the forest land east of the refuge due to hunting activity nearby. Cole says radio telemetry confirms there is a relatively large number of elk in the vicinity of the refuge. So far, Cole says the elk harvest reported by hunters was 87 by the end of the season which is remarkably low for a hunting total. Hunting season on the elk refuge closed for the year on Sunday.