2013 Elk Harvest in Eleven Western States

The harvest data for elk is finally available for 2013 elk hunting seasons in eleven Western States and is included in the table below. For comparisons to 2012 to see how the numbers harvested, the number of hunters and harvest success has changed click here.

The table is ranked by highest total elk harvested to the lowest.

2013 Total Elk Harvest in 11 Western States

State OTC Tags Bull Elk Cow Elk Total Elk Harvest Total Hunters Success Avg. Days Hunted
Colorado R&NR 22,766 20,840      43,606   219,166  19.9%     5.1
Idaho R&NR 16,816  9,258      26,084   161,153  16.2%     5.8
Wyoming   R 11,276 14,692      25,968    57,785  44.9%     8.0
Montana R&NR 10,446  9,708      20,154   107,568  18.7%     8.6
Utah R&NR  8,131  8,748      16,879    66,374  25.4%     5.3
Oregon R&NR 10,801  5,795      16,596   106,639  15.6%     6.0
New Mexico  No  7,881  6,238      14,119    29,637  47.6%     ???
Washington R&NR  4,075  3,171       7,246    68,572  10.6%     ???
Arizona  Few  2,784  3,339       6,123    16,180  37.8%     5.0
Nevada  No  1,209  1,648       2,857     7,930  36.9%     ???
California  No    134    102         236       353 66.9%     ???
  • R&NR = Over-the -Counter (OTC) Elk Tags available for both Residents & Non-residents in Colorado, Montana, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington – R = OTC tags only for Residents In Wyoming.

My DIY Elk Hunting Guide is now available as PDF

Bull Elk include all Antlered Elk including Spike Elk if the state keeps separate records. Cow Elk includes all Antlerless Elk, which includes both cows and calves (male & female). California reported 28 elk harvested from seven either sex elk hunts, but did not report which sex was taken, so I assumed that 14 bulls and 14 cows were harvested.
Total Elk Harvested, Total Hunters, Hunter Success and the Average Days hunted includes the harvest of all elk from all hunt seasons in all units by all hunting methods. Average Days hunted is the average of all hunters, not just successful hunters.

Most Elk are Harvested in Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana

Colorado still has the largest elk harvest because they have the largest elk population. There are still about two times the number of hunters in Colorado as any other state. That is not all bad, because Colorado has many different seasons to spread the hunting pressure. Idaho has passed Wyoming for 2nd place and Montana is fourth. Idaho and Montana still have many hunters than Wyoming and Wyoming still claims an amazing overall success rate over 40% (including OTC tags).

Utah Elk Population Still Increasing

Utah, Oregon, and New Mexico are again in a fairly close 5th – 7th place, but the total elk harvest in Utah has jumped over Oregon. Oregon harvested more bull elk, but Utah has increased the number of cow tags to try to slow the growing elk population. This year (2014), Utah DWR encouraged hunters to harvest as many cow elk from certain units as possible. Success rate in this group ranges from low of 15.6% in Oregon to a high of 47.6% in New Mexico, where all elk tags are limited entry. Utah is looking good with a 25% success rate which includes thousands of OTC tags for both residents and non-residents.


Arizona and Washington are still 8th and 9th place. Washington has many OTC tags, but hunting in Washington must be tough since the overall harvest success remains around 10%. Success in Arizona is high (37.8%), but most elk are harvested with limited entry tags.

California and Nevada have the Least Elk

California and Nevada will always have the smallest Elk Harvest of the Western States and both states only have limited entry tags.

bdc scope reticle with elk in
Check out My DIY Elk Hunting Guide

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