The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has released its annual forecast of the elk population in North America. This state-by-state compilation is a must read for anyone who has an elk tag for this season or is looking for an elk hotspot for the future. Elk used to live across this continent, but, as you can see from the map below, these days you are most likely to find them in the western states and provinces.
A mild winter, spring and summer precipiation and successful habitat conservation are all breeding optimism for the upcoming hunting season for the RMEF. However, wolves are a concern in more than a few sections of elk country. According to the RMEF, elk calf survival rates are now insufficient to sustain herds for the future. The urgent need to control wolf populations is a localized wildlife management crisis now compounded by a recent court decision to return wolves to full federal protections under the Endangered Species Act.
Full story: RMEF’s 2010 Elk Hunting Forecast