By the Numbers

Elk, Then and Now

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.Field & Stream Online Editors

Precolonial North American elk population, as estimated by naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton: 10 million

Number of precolonial North American elk subspecies: 6 (Rocky Mountain, Roosevelt, Eastern, Manitoban, Merriam's, and Tule)

Number of subspecies remaining by 1900: 4 (Rocky Mountain, Roosevelt, Manitoban, and Tule)

Elk population in 1922: About 90,000

Current population of Rocky Mountain elk, the most numerous subspecies: Over 900,000

Current population of Tule elk, the least numerous subspecies: 3,500

Number of Rocky Mountain elk currently living east of the Rocky Mountains: Over 10,000

Total number of elk in North America today, according to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's latest statistics: 1,025,050