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State of the Sate Elk Hunting Report

When applying for elk tags, make certain you understand the preference and bonus point systems that apply to the state and area you're interested in. Here's the lowdown for each major elk hunting state, including elk populations, license systems and costs for residents and non-residents, as well as a quick analysis of the hunting in the state.

Arizona (602-942-3000)

Elk Population: 20,000
Resident License System and Cost: Draw, $154
Non-Resident License System and Cost: Draw,$746
Lowdown: One of the best trophy elk states, but a tough draw demanding years of accumulating bonus points and paying non-refundable license fees.

Colorado (303-297-1192)

Elk Population: 300,000
Resident License System and Cost: Over-the-counter and draw, $51
Non-Resident License System and Cost: Over-the-counter and draw, $531  (either sex), $256 (cow)
Lowdown: A ton of elk and arguably the best state for non-residents, with
over-the-counter tags available.

Idaho (208-334-3700)

Elk Population: 115,000
Resident License System and Cost: Over-the-counterand draw, $43
Non-Resident License System and Cost: Draw,$514
Lowdown: Elk population has declined in areas of high wolf densities. Still offers among the best wilderness hunts.

Montana (406-444-2950)

Elk Population: 170,000
Resident License System and Cost: Over-the-counter and draw, $38
Non-Resident License System and Cost: Draw, $593 to $1,500
Lowdown: Among the best, but opportunities near Yellowstone Park compromised  partly due to wolf predation. Decent drawing odds for non-residents.

New Mexico (800-862-9310)

Elk Population: 70,000
Resident License System and Cost: Draw,$91
Non-Resident License System and Cost: Draw, $543 to$768
Lowdown: Another great trophy elk state. Drawing odds vary.

Oregon (503-947-6100)

Elk Population: 120,000
Resident License System and Cost: Over-the-counter and draw, $57
Non-Resident License System and Cost: Over-the-counter and draw, $438
Lowdown: Roosevelt elk on the coast, with excellent hunting for Yellowstone elk in the northeast corner of the state.

Utah (801-538-4700)

Elk Population: 59,000
Resident License System and Cost: Over-the-counterand draw, $71
Non-Resident License System and Cost: Draw, $453
Lowdown: Tremendous trophy potential, but long odds for non-residents.

Washington (360-902-2200)

Elk Population: 60,000
Resident License System and Cost: Over-the-counterand draw, $39
Non-Resident License System and Cost: Over-the-counter and draw, $394
Lowdown: Two distinct elk herds, with Roosevelt elk in coastal ranges and  Yellowstone elk in the Cascades.

Wyoming (307-777-4600)

Elk Population: 103,000
Resident License System and Cost: Draw, $57
Non-Resident License System and Cost: Draw, $591
Lowdown: Excellent season outlook with a growing elk herd. Wilderness areas  require hunting with an outfitter.

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