Box Elder Elk Hunt Successful

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Six Nebraska elk hunters were successful in the Box Elder Management Unit Season that closed at sunset Sunday evening in southwest Nebraska.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission authorized 18 permits in the Box Elder Management Unit south of Maxwell, Nebraska and set a month long season that ran from September 28 through October 27. The season was offered to provide public hunting opportunities for elk and to provide some relief to landowners who had suffered crop and fence damage from the free ranging wild population of elk that began to populate the area in the mid- 1980's.

The Commission authorized twelve antlerless permits and six either-sex permits for the season. Six limited landowner permits were designated to area landowners. Three landowner permits and three general public permits were filled, accounting for the harvest of four bulls and two cows.

The largest bull taken was shot by Brandon Gosnell of rural Maxwell on a limited landowner, either sex permit. Gosnell's bull was classified as a 7 x 7, weighing 700 pounds field dressed and having a 44-inch neck. Ryan McFarland of Eddyville was the youngest elk hunter in the field to take an elk. McFarland, 14 years old, hunted in the accompaniment of his father and took an adult cow on an antlerless permit after five days of hunting.

Nebraska elk permits may be granted to successful public applicants only once in a lifetime. Successful landowner applicants, however, may apply for a permit after three years. Nebraska currently has two elk management units in the panhandle, one unit in northern Nebraska and one unit in southwest Nebraska.