Theodore Roosevelt National Park Elk Reduction

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Last year with the help of sharpshooters, 406 elk were harvested in a 12 week period in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. Hunters who want to aid in reducing the elk can turn in their application starting July 9th. A total of 200 applicants will be randomly selected, 20 per week for the duration of the process October 17- December 23rd. The park's ideal population of elk is 300 and now there are around 650.

Elk reduction is a volunteer based job, no money is exchanged, but the sharpshooter is allowed to keep the meat from one of the elk. Last year 64,000 lbs of meat was harvested, the meat from the rest of the elk is donated to Native American tribes and Sportsmen Against Hunger programs to help low-income individuals meet food needs.

Participants from last year's reduction said it was some of the most physical work they had ever done, but also some of the most rewarding. “It is not a guided elk hunt,” Wildlife Biologist and Elk Reduction Coordinator Wade Jones said, adding that volunteers go through safety training. “We use very clear and plain language that they are employees that are here to help with elk management. It is stated early that they are here to do a job.” Those that are randomly selected must pass a background check and marksmanship test.

Applications will be accepted until July 23rd. Last year more than 5200 applications were received, coming from 46 different states. A high turnout is expected this year as well. From Grand Forks Herald.


hunter25's picture

When I first started reading

When I first started reading this and saw the word sharpshooters I was going to get upset that the oportunity was not being given to sportsmen. After readin it all of course it was much clearer and it looks like they have an excellent program going on up there. I have never hunted in North Dakota but from everything I've heard it would be an interesting place to give it a go. Although this  elk hunt sounds good I was thinking of checking out the antelope hunting as a place to start as it's usually an easier hunt to figure things out and find them.

I'm surprised that if I read this right there is no fee at all being charged to participate. That makes it even better as there is no such thing as a free tag for any reason here in Colorado as far as I know.

niceshot_smitty's picture

i think that is cool they are

i think that is cool they are letting applications come from other states.   i few years back only resedents were given the tags.  I just hate when that call it a cull hunt.  To many people from the other side of hunting turn that word around on us.