Elk NetworkStudy Follows North Dakota Elk Migration

General | July 17, 2020

Researchers in North Dakota are trying to get a better grasp on the distribution and movements of elk. To do so, they captured and placed GPS collars on 70 cows and 20 bulls.

“We’ve seen some pretty neat dispersal movements that kind of gives us a better idea how our western badlands elk are fitting into the population dynamics regionally,” said Bruce Stillings, North Dakota Game and Fish Department big game management supervisor.

GPS data shows some elk wander south into South Dakota while others go as far as Montana during the summer but return again to the badlands.

“North Dakota’s elk herd is very, very healthy … this western half of the state as you get west of the Little Missouri River, you’re getting into some pretty healthy elk numbers,” added Stillings. “We realize that there are landowner tolerance issues, so we are trying to strike that balance of a healthy elk herd, but within the tolerance of landowners.”

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(Photo source: North Dakota Game and Fish Department)