Hunters have through Friday, June 15, to apply for one of 22 elk licenses offered this year by the Department of Natural Resources. Elk hunting is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Minnesota residents.
“A number of antlerless-only elk licenses are being offered this year for the Kittson-Central herd to reduce that population,” said Erik Thorson, DNR acting big game program leader. “Our latest survey counted 75 elk in this herd, which is above the population goal of 50 to 60 identified in the elk management plan.”
Licenses will be available for three elk seasons in Kittson County’s central zone and just the first season in the northeast zone. The Grygla area elk zone will not be open to hunting in 2018 because that area’s elk population remains below the population goal.
The first 2018 elk season (A) runs from Saturday, Sept. 8, to Sunday, Sept. 16, in both open elk hunt zones. Two either-sex licenses and five antlerless-only elk licenses will be available in the Kittson County central zone (zone 20) and two bulls-only licenses will be available in the Kittson County northeast zone (zone 30).
The second 2018 elk season (B) runs from Saturday, Sept. 22, to Sunday, Sept. 30. One either-sex license and six antlerless-only elk licenses will be available in just the Kittson County central zone. The third 2018 elk season (C) runs from Saturday, Oct. 6, to Sunday, Oct. 14. One either-sex license and five antlerless-only elk licenses will be available in the Kittson County central zone.
Hunters may apply individually or in parties of two at any DNR license agent, the DNR License Center at 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul, mndnr.gov/buyalicense or by telephone at 888-665-4236. There is a nonrefundable application fee of $4 per hunter and applicants should use Code 625. The license fee is $287. Hunters will have to select a zone and season when applying. Hunting information including maps of the elk hunting zones is at mndnr.gov/hunting/elk.
Although the northwestern Minnesota radio-collared elk research is ending this summer, the DNR will use research findings to inform management decisions.
Applicants should be aware that license purchasers will be required to attend a mandatory orientation session prior to their hunt, register their elk in person and provide biological samples from any harvested animals.
More information on Minnesota’s current elk herd and ongoing studies exploring the feasibility of reintroducing elk to northeastern Minnesota in the future can be found at mndnr.gov/elk and elk.umn.edu.