100 years after the introduction of seven elk back into Michigan, the population has grown, according to the DNR, to an estimated 1,173.

That estimate comes after the 2017 hunting season and the 2018 winter survey. During the two 2017 hunting segments, 200 hunters took 158 elk (60 bulls and 98 cows total) The winter survey, done from the air, estimates a herd of between 830 and 1500 elk, leading the DNR to settle on the 1,173 number. “Our population goal for elk is between 500 and 900 animals. This has been determined as the best balance for the forests, area agriculture and residents,” said DNR elk specialist Chad Stewart. “Besides having an estimated population, knowing where they are located is also very important.” Most of the population of elk in Michigan are in the northeast Lower Peninsula, specifically the Pigeon River Country State Forest area.

Looks like there might be a few extra elk tags in the coming years.


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