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Elk Cull in Rocky Mountain National Park Has Ended

March 19, 2009.

The elk cull in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park has ended.

When first announced, the cull had been controversial. Rather than using hunters (at no cost to the taxpayer), the Park Service had planned on spending millions to hire sharpshooters to carry out the cull. The Park Service eventually settled on a mix of hired sharpshooters and volunteers.

The cull, as planned last fall, originally planned to remove up to 100 elk from the area's herd. According to information at (a private site not owned by the Park Service), the population estimates and subsequent cull goal were modified over the winter, with a goal of 30-40 elk set for the cull.

Ultimately, 33 elk were culled in the Park this winter.


  • 20 cows were taken in support of the CWD/Multi-year fertility control research/study. These animals were darted and euthanized by researchers
  • 13 cows were taken by the culling team
  • First day of the culling operation was January 27, 2009; The last day an elk was culled was February 19, 2009.
  • CWD testing has been completed on 11 of the 13 animals culled. Eleven tested CWD not detected two tests are pending.

If you applied for an elk carcass in the lottery that was held to distribute the meat resulting from the cull, you should have heard if you were selected by now.


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