Minnesota Elk Hunt Apps Due July 16th

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Hunters have until Friday, July 16, to apply for one of 11 elk licenses offered this year by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Licenses for the 2010 hunts will be available in the traditional Grygla area and central Kittson County, which is a consolidation of the north and south Kittson zones from last year.

"Annual elk hunts help manage population size and provide a unique hunting experience for Minnesota hunters," said Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game program coordinator.

Seven licenses (two either-sex and five antlerless) will be offered in the Grygla area. Four licenses (one either-sex and three antlerless) will be offered in Kittson County.

"With the completion of our elk management plan, we're allocating elk licenses so that we can manage the two populations at established levels," Cornicelli said.

A total of three licenses (two in Grygla and one in Kittson County) may be issued to qualified landowners in their elk zone in a preferential drawing. Unsuccessful landowner applications will then be added to the general drawing, from which the remaining applicants will be selected. Alternates will be selected in case successful parties opt not to purchase a permit.

In total, there will be two seasons in each zone, divided as follows:

  • Sept. 18-26, two either-sex in Grygla, one either-sex and one antlerless license in Kittson County.
  • Dec. 4-12, five antlerless licenses in Grygla and two antlerless licenses in Kittson County.

Applications may be made at any DNR license agent or the DNR License Center, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul. Paper applications will not be accepted. Hunters may apply individually or in parties of two. There is a non-refundable application fee of $10 per hunter. Successful applicants will be notified by mail. In order to hunt, they must purchase an elk license for $250. Each party will be authorized to harvest one elk.

If no qualified landowners apply, all licenses will be drawn from the general pool of applicants. In Minnesota, elk hunts are considered once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, which means parties that choose to purchase their license will not be eligible to apply for future elk hunts.

Applicants must select a single zone in which to hunt. Choices are Zone 10 (Grygla) or Zone 20 (Central Kittson County). Applicants may not apply for both zones. Applicants successful in the lottery will be randomly selected for season and license.

"The early hunt is timed to coincide with the elk rut, so hunters will have a good opportunity to try calling a bull," Cornicelli said. "During the second season, elk should be congregated in larger groups with snow on the ground, making tracking and trailing easier."

All successful applicants will be required to attend an orientation session at Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area headquarters in Middle River prior to the hunt. Hunters also must register their elk in their hunt area. 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.

Hunters should be aware that both elk zones include private land. Permission to hunt these lands should be obtained prior to purchasing their license.