A recent elk survey of the Northern Yellowstone elk herd turned up 5,800 elk. This is down 23% from last years assessment which was 7,500 elk.
This herd ranges from the parks Lamar Valley north to Six Mile Creek. In 1994 this herd was at 19,000 critters! With the introduction of wolves, the population crashed to a low of 3,915 elk in 2013. A big reason for the population drop is the low survivability of calves. An estimated 15.2 calves per 100 cows is the 2019 rate.
There is a lack of bulls entering the population. The number of brow tined bulls is declining despite hunting restrictions over the past few years. Levels of hunter success will continue to decline.
The survey was completed in late February using helicopters. The aircraft fly the same route annually to get a consistent population count.
No new regulations are forthcoming. The FWP is waiting until the rest of their data is collected.
For more Montana Grant, find him at www.montanagrantfishing.com.