Apply Now for Elk Hunt

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The July 14 deadline to apply for one of eight permits to hunt the 2006 Minnesota elk hunt is approaching.

The hunt is being held to reduce the elk population, located in a zone around Grygla, from the present level of 55 animals. Two of the eight permits will be for a legal antlered bull, while the remaining six permits will allow the harvest of antlerless elk only.

Applications may be made at any of the 1,800 statewide locations where hunting and fishing licenses are sold. The license code for the ELS elk application is 625. The area that must be entered is 10.

Applications are also available from the DNR License Center at 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul. Paper applications will not be accepted. Hunters may apply individually or in parties of two.

There is a nonrefundable application fee of $10 per hunter. Successful applicants, who will be notified by mail, must purchase an elk license for $250. Each party will be authorized to harvest one elk. Hunters must be 16 years of age by Sept. 16, 2006.

One of the eight licenses will be issued to a qualified landowner in the elk zone in a preferential drawing. Unsuccessful landowner applications will then be added to the general drawing, from which four more applicants will be selected.

A second drawing will determine which of the eight successful parties receive the bull licenses. The remaining four successful applicants will receive licenses for antlerless elk. Alternates will be selected in case successful parties opt not to purchase a permit.

If no qualified landowners apply, all eight licenses will be drawn from the general pool of applicants. The hunt is once in a lifetime, which means that parties that choose to purchase their license will not be eligible to apply for future elk hunts.

The bull elk hunt will be held from Sept. 16-24. There will be two antlerless elk hunts from Nov. 18-26 and Dec. 2-10. Antlerless licenses will be valid for one time period only. All successful applicants will be required to attend an orientation session at Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area headquarters prior to the hunt, and will be required to register any elk harvested at this location. Some biological information relative to elk physical condition will be collected at the check station.

Elk will be tested for chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis as part of Minnesota's wild cervid surveillance program.