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

FWP is seeking 10-12 individuals to serve as a statewide citizens group to collaboratively provide guidance for the Elk Management Plan in Montana. Specifically, the group will be tasked with developing a concise issue statement about elk management and define some meaningful and enduring principles that may guide elk management into the future. The citizens group will be diverse and represent a variety of stakeholders.

Applications must be received no later than May 25, 2020.

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