The state offered seven elk tags for the 2016 season.
You read that correctly. Minnesota offered only seven elk tags this year. All of the tags were bulls only.
The low tag count comes as a result of low population and tight control by the Minnesota DNR. The DNR’s goal is to significantly increase the size of its small herds.
Two zones were open and available to hunt in 2016. In Zone 30, the Caribou-Vita herd, two tags were issued. Both tags were filled by mature 6×6 bulls.
Zone 30 was also open in Kittson county. The Kittson-Central herd calls this area home. Five tags were issued for this area. Of those five tags, only three were successfully filled. The three successful harvests resulted in a 5×6 bull, a 6×6 bull, and a 6×7 bull.
The Grygla area, one of few in the state with free-ranging elk, was not hunted this year. Population surveys were done earlier in the year, and it was determined there were not enough elk to allow hunting and reach population goals. The state would like to see the population in this area have a minimum of 30 elk. This year, the survey reported 21 animals. On the contrary, in 2015, the size was 18, while 2014 saw 20 elk and 2013 reported 28.