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Wyoming hunters set elk harvest record in 2023

(Wyoming Game and Fish Department)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Wyoming hunters harvested a record number of elk during the most recent season, spending nearly 500,000 days in the field and taking nearly 29,000 elk, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. 

Elk populations in the Cowboy State have been thriving over the last two decades with a recent estimate indicating statewide elk populations climbing to 109,000, per Game and Fish, which says the record-breaking harvest comes at a time when elk populations in some parts of the state are over-objective. 

Overall harvest numbers for elk this past season reflected a nearly 5% increase compared to the previous season, and antlerless elk harvest climbed for the first time above 13,000, per Game and Fish. 

Hunting is the primary management tool for the state’s elk populations, Game and Fish says, adding that when elk numbers climb, so does the private property damage.

“Hunters play a crucial role in wildlife conservation, and their commitment to help manage elk populations is greatly appreciated,” Game and Fish Wildlife Chief Rick King said in a statement. “We appreciate the access provided by landowners and the effort expended by hunters in the harvest of antlerless elk.”

Per Game and Fish, tentative season information for the upcoming elk season is available on the department hunt planner.