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The Best Places to Hunt Elk

September 10, 2009.

From the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

America’s top 20 trophy elk counties have produced a combined 602 record-book bulls, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has invested millions to keep habitat in those counties in top condition.

Elk Foundation projects in trophy counties have included prescribed burns, treating noxious weeds and thinning overgrown forests to enhance forage for elk and other wildlife, restoring riparian zones, constructing wildlife drinkers, brokering land deals that improve public access, many kinds of research, public and youth education, and more “all funded primarily through our network of volunteers and system of fundraising events,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.

Of course, RMEF funds identical projects all across elk country, not just top trophy counties. Nationwide, at a cost of over $448 million, RMEF has completed 6,371 projects that have protected or enhanced more than 5.6 million acres. The effort has helped U.S. elk populations grow by over 40 percent since 1984.

Trophy statistics below were compiled from Boone and Crockett Club (B&C) records. The club recognizes four categories of elk records. Those categories, along with their respective minimum scores for inclusion in B&C all-time records, are: American typical elk—375, American non-typical elk—385, Roosevelt’s elk—290, and tule elk—285.

Here are America’s top 20 trophy elk counties with RMEF conservation activities*:

1. Coconino County, AZ—61 bulls in B&C records including 44 typical and 17 non-typical entries for American elk. Since 1987, RMEF has spent $1,741,848 on 158 projects that conserved or enhanced 126,393 acres of habitat in and around Coconino County.

2. Apache County, AZ—59 bulls in B&C records including 37 typical and 22 non-typical entries for American elk. Since 1987, RMEF has spent $766,703 on 65 projects that conserved or enhanced 87,505 acres of habitat in and around Apache County.

3. Clatsop County, OR—40 bulls in B&C records, all Roosevelt’s elk. Typical versus non-typical records not kept. Since 1991, RMEF has spent $47,177 on 11 projects that conserved or enhanced 693 acres of habitat in and around Clatsop County.

4. Navajo County, AZ—39 bulls in B&C records including 23 typical and 16 non-typical entries for American elk. Since 1987, RMEF has spent $532,902 on 55 projects that conserved or enhanced 59,153 acres of habitat in and around Navajo County.

5. White Pine County, NV—36 bulls in B&C records including 26 typical and 10 non-typical entries for American elk. Since 1988, RMEF has spent $1,570,832 on 62 projects that conserved or enhanced 109,260 acres of habitat in and around White Pine County.

6. Columbia County, OR—31 bulls in B&C records, all Roosevelt’s elk. Typical versus non-typical records not kept. RMEF has not yet launched a project in Columbia County.

7. Humboldt County, CA—30 bulls in B&C records, all Roosevelt’s elk. Typical versus non-typical records not kept. Since 1995, RMEF has spent $148,945 on 13 projects focused on habitat inventories and elk population surveys in and around Humboldt County.

8. Catron County, NM—29 bulls in B&C records including 22 typical and 7 non-typical entries for American elk. Since 1988, RMEF has spent $331,188 on 51 projects that conserved or enhanced 200,808 acres of habitat in and around Catron County.

9. Clallam County, WA—28 bulls in B&C records, all Roosevelt’s elk. Typical versus non-typical records not kept. Since 1993, RMEF has spent $101,728 on 13 projects that conserved or enhanced 577 acres of habitat in and around Clallam County.

10. Garfield County, UT—27 bulls in B&C records including 20 typical and 7 non-typical entries for American elk. Since 1988, RMEF has spent $284,158 on 36 projects that conserved or enhanced 73,023 acres of habitat in and around Garfield County.

11. Jefferson County, WA—26 bulls in B&C records, all Roosevelt’s elk. Typical versus non-typical records not kept. Since 1989, RMEF has spent $141,961 on 16 projects that conserved or enhanced 6,323 acres of habitat in and around Jefferson County.

12. Park County, WY—26 bulls in B&C records, all typical American elk. Since 1988, RMEF has spent $939,328 on 39 projects that conserved or enhanced 68,450 acres of habitat in and around Park County.

13. Gila County, AZ—25 bulls in B&C records including 16 typical and 9 non-typical entries for American elk. Since 1987, RMEF has spent $182,398 on 29 projects that conserved or enhanced 37,502 acres of habitat in and around Gila County.

14. Coos County, OR—23 bulls in B&C records, all Roosevelt’s elk. Typical versus non-typical records not kept. Since 1989, RMEF has spent $75,794 on 8 projects that conserved or enhanced 6,423 acres of habitat in and around Coos County.

15. Tillamook County, OR—23 bulls in B&C records, all Roosevelt’s elk. Typical versus non-typical records not kept. Since 1992, RMEF has spent $70,911 on 25 projects that conserved or enhanced 2,874 acres of habitat in and around Tillamook County.

16. Del Norte County, CA—21 bulls in B&C records, all Roosevelt’s elk. Typical versus non-typical records not kept. Since 1995, RMEF has spent $161,023 on 11 projects focused on elk habitat inventories and research in and around Del Norte County.

17. Park County, MT—21 bulls in B&C records including 18 typical and 3 non-typical entries for American elk. Since 1985, RMEF has spent $136,550 on 51 projects that conserved or enhanced 103,679 acres of habitat in and around Park County.

18. Elko County, NV—19 bulls in B&C records including 16 typical and 3 non-typical entries for American elk. Since 1991, RMEF has spent $594,314 on 41 projects that conserved or enhanced 37,654 acres of habitat in and around Elko County.

19. Millard County, UT—19 bulls in B&C records, all typical American elk. Since 1988, RMEF has spent $75,359 on 11 projects that conserved or enhanced 34,130 acres in and around Millard County.

20. Solano County, CA—19 bulls in B&C records, all tule elk. Typical versus non-typical records not kept. Since 1998, RMEF has spent $27,088 on 6 projects that conserved or enhanced 450 acres of habitat in and around Solano County.

*Note: Many habitat conservation projects, such as prescribed burns in national forests, straddle county lines. In these cases, the project, affected acres and costs are attributed to both counties. Thus, RMEF data above cannot be used to calculate cumulative totals.

For more about Boone and Crockett Club, visit www.boone-crockett.org.

 

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