Elk hunting opportunities remain at National Elk Refuge
by Wyoming Game & Fish
November 23, 2016
Hunters who have not yet filled their 2016 Wyoming elk license still have an opportunity to hunt elk on the National Elk Refuge (Hunt Area 77). Three additional hunt periods remain through the end of the season, which is scheduled to conclude on December 16.
The application process for National Elk Refuge elk hunting permits is conducted in cooperation with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. Applications are made through the Wyoming Game & Fish Department’s Access Yes Program web site at http://bit.ly/1jjpFQL.
Many hunters receive a Refuge elk hunt permit via a computerized drawing in September. However, once the season is underway, alternate permits also become available to hunters on a weekly basis. The alternate permits are issued online on Mondays. In order to disperse hunters over the hunt period, half of the alternate permits issued are valid for Tuesday-Friday of the respective week, with the remaining half valid for Saturday-Tuesday of the same hunt period.
Hunters apply for an alternate permit between Friday at 9:00 am and Sunday at 11:59 pm MST for the upcoming hunt period. During the application process, hunters designate if they want to be considered for the Tuesday-Friday or the Saturday-Tuesday option for the upcoming hunt period. The results of the weekly computerized random draw are then posted on the application web site by 11:00 am on the following Monday. Currently, three alternate draws remain for the 2016 Refuge elk hunting season: November 28, December 5, and December 12.
The number of alternate permits issued will vary, depending on hunter harvest rates and participation. Individuals who were already successful in obtaining an elk permit for another hunt period may still apply for an alternate permit.
Beginning in late November, Refuge daily field permits may also be available on a first-come, first-served basis. This allows wildlife managers from both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Wyoming Game & Fish Department to provide additional late season hunting opportunities to achieve population objectives. Hunters can call a recorded message at (307) 201-5437 to be notified if field permits are available. The daily field permits are the only permits issued on location; when available, they are distributed on the Refuge Road near the 90° turn at Twin Creek, approximately 3.5 miles on the Refuge Road. Daily field permits are valid for the day of issuance only and give licensed hunters immediate access to the Refuge hunt once their permit is signed.
Daily field permits will be based on the number of current hunters and the safe dispersal of hunters and animals. There is no guarantee these permits will be available.
Refuge hunting regulations, including access, a map, retrieval of harvested animals, and other information, can be found on the National Elk Refuge web site at http://bit.ly/2gexVFl.
Printed copies of the regulations are also available at the following locations:
Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, 532 N. Cache Street
Wyoming Game & Fish Department Jackson office, 420 N. Cache Street
National Elk Refuge Administrative Offices, 675 E. Broadway Avenue