News November 9, 2020

Elk Slow to Move

by Jackson Hole Radio News


Only a few elk have been harvested so far since the 2020 Elk Refuge hunting season opened on October 13th. According to Refuge Biologist Eric Cole, there are currently 43 elk equipped with GPS collars on the air, all of which are adult cows that were captured on National Elk Refuge feed grounds during the winter months However, as of November 2nd, none of these collared elk have migrated from their summer ranges to the Refuge. Nonetheless, Cole says there have been major movements by collared elk from southern Yellowstone National Park and the Teton Wilderness to lower elevation areas southwest of Moran and the central valley of Grand Teton National Park. Elk that summer in Grand Teton National park also appear to have moved farther south, within the park or to private lands west of the airport. Considering that movement, significant influx to the Refuge is possible at any time.  Cole adds that the first documented movement of elk to the south end of the Refuge so far this season occurred on October 28th.  Approximately 150 elk were on Miller Butte for a day before subsequently moving east to the Bridger Teton National Forest’s hunt area 80, but since no collared elk were in the group, their current whereabouts are unknown.