The Idaho Department of Fish and Game projects the 2018 elk hunt should be a good one. Despite a rough winter in 2017, most of Idaho’s elk herds and harvests have been at or near record highs and above long-term averages.
In 2017, hunters took 22,751 elk, and they have killed more than 20,000 elk annually since 2014. That’s a significant statistic because before 2014, elk harvests were well below 20,000 for seven years. (The 10-year average from 2008-17 is 18,865 elk).
The last extended streak of elk harvests above 20,000 was from 1988 to 1996, which were historic high harvests in Idaho that topped out at 28,000 in 1994.
The 2017 elk harvest ranked second-highest in the last decade with 1,242 more elk than in 2016. It also ranks sixth all-time, and it’s 30 percent above the 50-year average elk harvest.
Here’s how the 2017 elk harvest breaks down:
- Total: 22,751
- Overall success rate: 24.4 percent
- Bulls: 11,650
- Cows: 11,101
- Elk taken during general hunts: 13,277 (18.4 success rate)
- Elk taken during controlled hunts: 9,473 (44.6 percent success rate)
- Elk populations remain strong because they’re less susceptible to winter kill
Go here to find more information.
(Photo source: Geri Storer)
(Graphic source: Idaho Department of Fish and Game)