Wyoming Elk Hunting Laws & Regulations

Elk Identification Features

Body Coloration

Elk typically exhibit a distinct coloration pattern. Their body fur tends to be a mix of reddish and lighter brown, providing a natural camouflage in their habitat. This coloring is especially noticeable in contrast to their legs, which are of a darker shade.

Neck

A prominent feature of the elk is its neck, which is usually a chestnut brown color. This hue is notably darker than the rest of the body, adding to the elk's distinctive appearance.

Snout

Elk possess slender noses. This physical characteristic not only differentiates them from other species but also is an adaptation that aids in their foraging habits.

Rump

The rump of an elk is of a pale yellow color, standing out against the darker tones of the rest of the body. This coloration can be a useful identification marker, especially when viewing elk from a distance.

Antlers

In bulls that are two years and older, the antlers are a significant feature. These antlers display visible brown tines branching off from a main beam. The structure and size of the antlers can vary significantly with age and health.

Special Archery Seasons for Elk Hunting

Season Dates and Area-Specific Regulations

Special archery elk hunting seasons are determined by the dates specified in Section 2, tailored to individual hunt areas and varying by license type. During these seasons, archers must adhere to the limitations associated with the special archery season dates for their specific hunt area and license.

License Requirements for Archers

Archers must possess either a limited quota elk license or a General elk license, along with an archery license, to legally hunt elk with archery equipment during these special seasons.

Restrictions for General Elk License Holders

Archers with a General elk license are restricted to hunting in areas open for General license hunting. They must follow the limitations associated with the special archery season dates for their hunt area as detailed in Section 2.

Restrictions for Limited Quota Elk License Holders

Archers holding a limited quota elk license can only hunt in the areas where their license is valid. They are bound by the limitations associated with the special archery season dates for their hunt area, as specified in Section 2.

Type 9 Limited Quota Elk Licenses

Holders of Type 9 limited quota elk licenses, which are valid for "archery only," do not require a separate archery license. This special license type streamlines the process for archers, allowing them to focus on the specific regulations and limitations of their hunt area.

Hunting Season Extension Permits for Elk

Permit Eligibility and Usage

Individuals who meet the qualifications and possess a Hunting Season Extension Permit, as issued by the Department in accordance with Commission regulations, are granted a unique privilege. This permit allows for hunting elk five days before the earliest regular season opening date. However, this is strictly within the hunt areas applicable to their license type.

Limitations Based on License Type

It's important to note that the activities permitted under this extension are subject to the limitations outlined for the earliest opening regular season date. These limitations are specified in Section 2 of this chapter, ensuring that hunting practices remain regulated and sustainable.

Exclusions

The permit does not apply to certain protected areas. Specifically, hunting in Grand Teton National Park (Hunt Area 75) and the National Elk Refuge (Hunt Area 77) is excluded from this extension privilege.

Permit Display Requirements

During the hunting season extension, hunters are required to carry their Hunting Season Extension Permit at all times. Moreover, this permit must be immediately available for inspection upon request by any authorized enforcement officer. This regulation is crucial for ensuring compliance and maintaining the integrity of the hunting season extension system.

Regulations for Youth Elk Hunters

Eligibility and Hunting Rights of Youth Hunters

Youth hunters holding a full price youth elk license, valid for the taking of an antlered elk, are granted specific hunting privileges. They may choose to harvest either an antlered elk, as detailed in Section 2 of this Chapter, or opt to take an antlerless elk during an antlered elk season. This choice allows for flexibility in their hunting experience while adhering to the regulations.

Area-Specific Restrictions

Despite these privileges, there are important geographical exclusions to note. Youth hunters are not permitted to exercise this provision within certain areas:

  • Grand Teton National Park (Hunt Area 75)
  • National Elk Refuge (Hunt Area 77) These areas are explicitly excluded from the provision, emphasizing the need for youth hunters to be aware of and respect the specific regulations of the hunt areas where their license is valid.

Elk Special Management Permit

Purpose and Requirement

The Elk Special Management Permit is a mandatory requirement for hunters within certain designated elk hunt areas. This permit is integral to the Department's elk feedground program, a special management initiative that involves additional expenses for wildlife feeding. Its primary purpose is to manage the elk population effectively and sustainably, particularly in areas where supplemental feeding is necessary.

Applicability and Possession

  • Required Areas: Any person hunting elk in the specified hunt areas must possess an Elk Special Management Permit.
  • Designated Hunt Areas: The permit is specifically required for Elk Hunt Areas 70, 71, 75, 77, 78, and 80-98.
  • Possession During Hunting: Hunters must have the permit on their person while hunting in these areas.
  • Inspection: The permit must be immediately produced for inspection upon request from an authorized Department representative.

Availability of the Permit

The Elk Special Management Permit can be obtained from various locations for the convenience of hunters:

  • Cheyenne Headquarters
  • Department Regional Offices
  • Designated License Selling Agents

Elk Hunting Regulations in Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge

Harvest Limitation in Grand Teton National Park (Hunt Area 75)

  • One Elk Rule: Hunters are restricted to harvesting no more than one elk within the Grand Teton National Park.

Mandatory Hunter Safety Course

  • Safety Course Requirement: All hunters, regardless of age, must successfully complete a hunter safety course prior to hunting in Grand Teton National Park. A hunter safety certificate must be in possession while hunting.

Permit Requirements

  • Permit Necessity: Hunters must acquire either a Park or National Elk Refuge Permit before hunting elk. This permit must be carried at all times while hunting in Grand Teton National Park or the National Elk Refuge.

Specific Geographic Boundaries within Hunt Area 75

  1. Antelope Flats Portion: Defined by specific road boundaries, starting from Lost Creek Road and encompassing areas along Grand Teton National Park boundary and Shadow Mountain-Kelly Road.
  2. Snake River Bottom Portion: This area includes regions along U.S. Highway 191, Deadmans Bar Access Road, and portions adjacent to the Snake River.

Hunting Area Closures

  • Proximity Restrictions: Elk hunting is prohibited within a quarter-mile width along either side of U.S. Highway 191 in Grand Teton National Park. Additionally, a half-mile radius around buildings, as indicated on the detailed Hunt Area 75 map provided with a park permit, is off-limits for elk hunting, with certain structures being exceptions.

Closed Areas for Public Entry

  • An area spanning a quarter-mile width along the north side of the Gros Ventre-Kelly Road, extending from the Mormon Row Road to Kelly, is closed to all public entry.

Legal Firearms Specification

  • Firearms Restriction: Legal firearms for elk hunting in Grand Teton National Park include rifles with a barrel bore diameter of at least .24 caliber and cartridges that are two inches or more in length. Handguns and archery equipment are prohibited for hunting in this region.

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.