Montana Statewide Elk Management

Image of elk in the snow

Managing Montana’s elk populations at levels compatible with other land uses and meeting the current and future demand for hunting and other recreation has become increasingly complex, demanding increased comprehensive planning. FWP has operated under some form of elk plan since 1978. In 2005, Montana adopted a new, comprehensive elk plan.

Management Plan

The Elk Management Plan is available for download. This plan has been separated into sections for faster downloading.

Elk Management Plan Initial Guidance Citizens Group

The Elk Management Plan Initial Guidance Citizens Group will provide initial guidance for the revision of the Elk Management Plan drafted in 2005. The group is tasked with identifying and articulating issues with current elk management and defining durable and overarching principles regarding the future of elk management in Montana. Guiding principles from the citizens group will be presented to the Fish and Wildlife Commission for adoption and undergo public review before FWP proceeds with the next steps in the Elk Management Plan development. Learn more

Population and Distribution

NOTE: Maps and charts were not produced every year prior to 2010.

Elk & Brucellosis Research

Brucellosis is a contagious bacterial infection in domestic animals, wildlife and humans worldwide. The disease can result in abortions in some pregnant animals, including domestic cattle, bison and elk. It can also result in serious financial burdens to cattle producers, potentially resulting in quarantine of a herd, increased testing and vaccination costs and possible difficulty in trade with other states and countries. The potential for transmission to livestock has led FWP to investigate the status of brucellosis in some elk herds near Yellowstone National Park. Learn more

Current and Completed Elk Research Projects

Find out more about studies currently underway and completed projects about elk conservation and management throughout the state. Learn more


Working Groups

There are 4 working groups which provide input on elk management in various parts of the state. Working Group are convened at appropriate intervals to help assess implementation and effectiveness of elk management recommendations. Learn more