During this hunt period, 131 state hunters harvested elk (46 bulls, 72 cows and 13 calves), and one Pure Michigan Hunt winner harvested a bull.
While the early elk season is designed to target elk outside of their traditional range, the late elk season is used to manage overall elk numbers, including those in the core elk management area. In total, hunters in hunt periods 1 and 2 harvested 214 elk, and all three Pure Michigan Hunt winners harvested bulls.
During the first hunt period of the elk season, which has concluded, 83 state hunters harvested elk (29 bulls, 52 cows and two calves), and two Pure Michigan Hunt winners harvested bulls.
The early elk season is designed to target elk outside of their traditional range over the course of 12 days. Hunters had excellent weather conditions throughout the three hunt periods (Sept. 1-4, Sept. 18-21 and Oct. 2-5.), with mild temperatures throughout the days, cool nights and little rain or wind.
Elk licenses were awarded to 100 Hunt Period 1 hunters and 160 Hunt Period 2 hunters. The late elk season will take place Dec. 12-20.
To learn more about Michigan's elk herd and elk hunting, visit www.michigan.gov/elk.
Put and take hunts are no longer available on a first-come, first-served basis at fish & wildlife areas (FWAs). To reserve a spot, click "Apply for a reserved hunt" at on.IN.gov/reservedhunt.
Private landowners who allow gamebird hunting opportunities on their properties can receive financial incentives and habitat management assistance through the Indiana Private Lands Access Program (IPLA).
Participating landowners are eligible for incentives up to $25 an acre for fall bobwhite, pheasant and woodcock hunting opportunities and up to $16 an acre for spring turkey hunting opportunities.
DNR biologists will work closely with each landowner to develop a wildlife habitat management plan and to schedule hunting opportunities for their land. Additional financial incentives and habitat management assistance are available for improving habitat on land enrolled in IPLA. Habitat teams are also available to assist landowners with implementation of habitat work on IPLA properties.
Landowners located within the program’s five focal regions are strongly encouraged to apply. For more information, including a description of the five focal regions, visit wildlife.IN.gov/9572.htm.
Another exhilarating year of elk hunting has ended, and the 2019 season statistics are in. Success rates continue to be high for Michigan elk hunters.
Elk hunt period 1
Hunt period 1, which targets elk outside of their traditional range, was 12 days long, running Aug. 27-30, Sept. 13-16 and Sept. 27-30. The first four days of the hunt, temperatures were slightly cooler than normal with good weather, leading to early success. During the first hunt period, 96 state hunters harvested 71 elk (29 bulls, 40 cows and two calves). Additionally, all three Pure Michigan Hunt winners were successful during this elk hunt period.
Elk hunt period 2
During hunt period 2, Dec. 14-22, another 99 state hunters harvested 89 elk (30 bulls, 54 cows and 5 calves). The weather was ideal for hunters during the nine-day season, with multiple snowfalls and temperatures below freezing, creating perfect tracking conditions.
Among this year’s successful hunters was 8-year-old Braeleigh Miller. Already an avid hunter, Braeleigh took only one shot to harvest the 400-pound cow, and shortly afterwards, she helped to field-dress it as well.
When asked what her favorite part of the hunt was, she responded, “Seeing all the elk in the field. We went out to watch them the day before. They were all so big and beautiful.”
Annual elk survey
Due to a consistent trend in elk population data over the last several years, the annual elk survey will not be conducted this year. The aerial survey may resume in January 2021, when a Department of Natural Resources airplane will fly predetermined grids covering the entire elk range.
Elk regulations will be revisited for the 2020-2021 hunting seasons at the March Natural Resources Commission meeting.