Wyo. refuge has low elk numbers so far

Jackson, Wyo. – National Elk Refuge officials say a combination of hunting pressure, mild weather and good forage available elsewhere resulted in the lowest number of elk on the refuge this fall in 25 years.

The refuge typically has about 3,000 elk on its southern end this time of year. But biologist Eric Cole says the high count has been only about 900 elk.

Cole says a limited-weapons elk hunt that started Oct. 10 and ended Dec. 13 pushed elk off the south end of the refuge and into the national forest or Grand Teton National Park.

He also says low snowfall amounts and plentiful forage meant elk didn't need to come to the refuge to find food.