Questions and answers on three-elk harvest opportunity
By angelamontana

Posted: August 12, 2019

Q: What is the new three elk discussion? I thought I could only harvest two elk per year.

A: Partially true. In the 2019 legislative session, HB497 created the opportunity for a hunter to harvest up to three elk. However, our current 2019 Deer, Elk and Antelope regulations, as passed by the Fish & Wildlife Commission in February of 2018, indicate, “Each hunter may possess only one (1) Elk B License per license year in addition to a General Elk License.”

As a result, for the 2019 hunting seasons, hunters will still only be allowed up to one B Elk License and the harvest of only two elk. This includes the surplus licenses.

However, in compliance with the new law, those hunters who are selected for a Game Damage Hunt, Management Hunt or Supplemental Game Damage License Hunt where an additional hunt-specific Elk B License or Supplemental Game Damage License is authorized, hunters may possess multiple Elk B licenses and thus legally harvest up to three elk in a given license year — only one of which may be antlered. This only applies to those hunters selected and authorized on game damage hunts where a new or additional damage hunt license opportunity has been created.  The three-elk limit applies to the total harvest for any one person between the general hunting season and any game damage circumstance.

Q: I’ve not been selected for a damage hunt, but surplus licenses are available in a district I want to hunt. Can I pick up multiple B licenses through surplus and harvest three elk this fall?

A: No. Hunters must follow the current 2019 regulations of only one Elk B License per license year.

Q: I’ve been selected for a damage hunt, supplemental game damage license hunt or management hunt. Can I use my unused Elk B License and purchase another one?

A: Possibly. It depends on how the hunt was set up locally. Some hunts authorize the use of any unused Elk B License and some damage hunts require a new additional license that a hunter must purchase. See the hunt permission letter that you received when you accepted the hunt or contact your local FWP regional office.

Q: When will I be allowed to harvest up to three elk?

A: As a part of the 2020-2021 biennial season-setting process starting this fall, some regions may offer additional harvest opportunity of up to three elk if approved by the Fish & Wildlife Commission.