Elk are Nebraska's largest big game species. By late summer of 2007, our elk population should number close to 1,400 animals, with approximately 900 elk in the Pine Ridge. Annual herd growth is estimated at 15-20 percent, which suggests there will be significant increases in future elk hunting opportunity as permits are increased to slow population growth or to reduce populations.
Although the Game and Parks Commission's wildlife management areas and U.S.
Forest Service pastures in the Bordeaux and Hat Creek units provide some
opportunities for elk hunters, most elk taken in Nebraska are killed on private land. Obtaining private land access to hunt
elk is difficult, but not impossible, and a growing number of Nebraska
landowners charge fees for hunting privileges. It is a good idea to make at
least two preseason trips to elk units before the hunting season -- the first
to become acquainted with the landowners and the second to scout the hunting
areas. Veteran elk hunters suggest looking for the best sources of feed near
heavily forested, rugged terrain.