Thanks to just-released results from its 2017 elk hunt as well as insights gained from an aerial survey, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has a clearer picture of the state’s elk population.
The DNR says 200 hunters took 158 elk (60 bulls and 98 antlerless elk) during the 2017 hunt.
“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.”
The 2018 aerial survey determined an estimated elk population of approximately 1,173 elk, with a confidence interval of plus or minus 339.
“The survey tells us there are between 834 and 1,512 elk in Michigan,” said Brian Mastenbrook, DNR wildlife field operations manager. “Based on this survey, past surveys, damage concerns and disease issues, our recommendation to the Natural Resources Commission is to continue reducing the elk population slowly over the coming years.”
(Photo source: Michigan Department of Natural Resources)