Elk NetworkMinnesota Conducts Aerial Elk Surveys

General | January 18, 2023

Below is a news release from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will conduct aerial elk surveys beginning the second week of January. DNR staff will survey the Kittson County and Grygla elk herds in northwestern Minnesota and the border elk herd in both Minnesota and Manitoba.

The surveys are typically conducted each year during the winter, weather permitting.

Aerial survey information is used to monitor elk populations and help the DNR make decisions about future elk management and harvest regulations.

“We have sufficient snow cover now to start our elk surveys,” said Doug Franke, acting assistant regional wildlife manager and elk survey coordinator. “We anticipate the surveys will be completed in about two weeks.”

DNR pilots will fly surveys during daylight hours at an altitude of approximately 200 to 300 feet.

The DNR is also asking for help from those who have recently seen elk in their area. People are encouraged to contact their local DNR office with sighting information:

  • Karlstad area wildlife office, 218-436-2427
  • Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area, 218-633-7671
  • Thief River Falls area wildlife office, 218-219-8587

People can also document observations using the elk sightings tool on the DNR website.

“Thank you to everyone who has reported elk sightings to us,” Franke said. “These reports provide an important supplement to data from our aerial surveys and help us better understand elk movement and distribution in Minnesota.”

(Photo source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)