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Elk

License Requirements

  • Residents: Must possess a hunting license (see Licenses & Permits) or proof of exemption. In addition, all elk hunters must possess an elk license for each elk hunted or proof of exemption.
  • Nonresidents: Nonresident elk hunters are exempt from a hunting license while hunting elk, but they must possess a nonresident elk license for each elk hunted or proof of exemption. Holders of nonresident lifetime hunting and lifetime combination licenses are not exempt from purchasing elk licenses.
  • Jan. 1-31: All hunters must possess an elk license for the current calendar year and a current hunting license (see Licenses & Permits) or proof of exemption.

Written Permission

All elk hunters must possess written permission from the landowner or, where appropriate, the lessee (tenant). Permission must be carried on the person while hunting elk. Elk hunters may only hunt on those lands for which they have written permission.

Combined Season Limit

The combined statewide season limit for elk is two (2) elk, regardless of sex or method of taking. Elk taken by hunters participating in controlled hunts are not included in the hunter’s combined season limit.

Any elk harvested from Jan. 1-31, 2017, will count toward the hunter’s 2016 combined season limit.

Harvesting a holiday antlerless elk DOES count against zone quotas and your season bag limit.

Hunter Orange

For hunter orange requirements, see E-Check, Deer Processors & Hunter Orange.

Public Lands

Elk hunting is closed on all Department-owned or managed lands, except for controlled elk hunt permittees on areas and dates designated on their controlled hunt permit.

Shooting Hours

One-half hour before official sunrise to one-half hour after official sunset.

Field Tagging & Checking

For field tagging and checking requirements for elk, see Field Tagging & Checking.

Zone Harvest Quota

Before hunting, all hunters must check the Wildlife Department’s website at www.wildlifedepartment.com to ensure the quota has not been met for the zone in which they will be hunting. Once the zone quota has been met, the season is closed.

Legal Elk Definitions

A legal bull is defined as any antlered bull, except in the Special Southwest Zone, where a legal bull must have at least five points on at least one side of the antlers (a point is defined as the tip of the main antler beam and any projection arising from the main antler beam that is at least one inch in length).

An antlerless elk is defined as any elk with no visible antlers, regardless of sex.

Legal Means of Taking

  • Archery: Equipment described as legal for deer archery season. See Deer.
  • Muzzleloader: Equipment described as legal for deer muzzleloader season. See Deer.
  • Gun: Equipment described as legal for deer gun season. See Deer.

Season Dates
(only in open zones)

  • Elk Archery: Oct. 1, 2016 – Jan. 15, 2017.
  • Youth Elk Gun: Oct. 14-16, 2016.
  • Elk Muzzleloader: Oct. 22-30, 2016.
  • Elk Gun: Nov. 19 – Dec. 4, 2016.
  • Holiday Antlerless Elk Gun: Dec. 16-25, 2016.

Open Zones

Panhandle Zone: All private lands in Beaver, Cimarron, and Texas counties.

  • Zone bag limit: Two (2) elk, one of which must be antlerless.
  • Zone harvest quota: Sixty (60) elk.

Special Northwest Zone: All private lands in Woodward, Dewey and Ellis counties, and a portion of Roger Mills County north of State Highways 33 and 47 to the north county line and west to the state border and east to the county line.

  • Zone bag limit: One (1) elk, regardless of sex.
  • Zone harvest quota: Two (2) elk. (No increase in the annual elk quota for this zone is anticipated until 2021 unless through legislative action.)

Northwest Zone: All private lands north of Interstate 40 and west of Interstate 35, excluding the counties in the Panhandle Zone and counties or parts thereof in the Special Northwest Zone.

  • Zone bag limit: One (1) elk, regardless of sex.
  • Zone harvest quota: Eight (8) elk.

Northeast Zone: All private lands north of Interstate 40 and east of Interstate 35.

  • Zone bag limit: One (1) elk, regardless of sex.
  • Zone harvest quota: Twenty (20) elk.

Southeast Zone: All private lands south of Interstate 40 and east of Interstate 35.

  • Zone bag limit: One (1) elk, regardless of sex.
  • Zone harvest quota: Five (5) elk.

Southwest Zone: All private lands south of Interstate 40 and west of Interstate 35, excluding the counties in the Special Southwest Zone.

  • Zone bag limit: One (1) elk, regardless of sex.
  • Zone harvest quota: Thirty (30) elk.

Regulations in red are new this year.

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