Hunters can apply for alternate permits for National Refuge Elk Hunt weekly

(Jackson, Wyo.) – With colder, winter-like weather settling into the Jackson Hole valley, wildlife managers expect to see an increase in movement of elk from summer to winter range lands. This seasonal migration may increase current hunting opportunities on the National Elk Refuge.

Elk hunt management on the Refuge is a critical tool for achieving population objectives determined through a cooperative effort between the National Elk Refuge, Grand Teton National Park, and Wyoming Game & Fish Department managers. This year’s Refuge elk hunt began on October 17 and will run through December 18.

National Elk Refuge hunters have four options for obtaining an elk hunting permit, beginning as early as mid–August. The application process is coordinated with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department, utilizing the State’s Private Lands Public Wildlife Access Program web site.

For the remainder of this year’s elk hunt season, hunters can apply for alternate permits issued during weekly computerized draws. Individuals who were already successful in obtaining any elk permit for another hunt period may still apply for an alternate permit for a different week. Applicants begin the on-line process at A direct link to the on-line permit application is also provided on the elk hunting page of the National Elk Refuge’s web site  at

Hunters apply for an alternate permit between Friday at 9:00 am and Sunday at 11:59 pm (Mountain Standard Time) for the upcoming hunt period. Individuals designate during the application process if they want to be considered for a Tuesday – Friday or a Saturday – Tuesday alternate permit for the upcoming hunt period. The results of the weekly computerized random draw for permits will be posted on the application web site by 11:00 am on the following Mondays:  November 9, November 16, November 23, November 30, December 7, and December 14. The number of alternate permits issued will vary, depending on hunter harvest rates and participation.

Later in the season, generally from late November through the remainder of the hunt, daily field permits may be available on a first–come, first–served basis. Hunters can call a recorded message at (307) 201-5437 to be notified if field permits are available. These are issued at a specified location on the Refuge Road and are valid for the day of issuance only. Decisions to issue daily field permits will be based on current conditions; there is no guarantee daily field permits will be available.

Both alternate permits and daily field permits allow wildlife managers flexibility to adjust the number of permits issued, responding to the amount of current hunters and the dispersal of animals. This helps safely manage the hunt while still achieving population objectives.

All hunters are required to obtain a copy of the National Elk Refuge 2015 Elk Hunting Information and Regulations handout. In addition to application information, the handout includes specific regulations, access and travel information, and harvest reporting. All hunters should print the handout, referred to on the State’s web site as “Ranch Rules,” when printing their on-line permission slip and harvest report. The document is also available on  the Refuge’s web link at and at the following locations:

  • Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, 532 North Cache Street
  • Wyoming Game & Fish Department Jackson Regional Office, 420 North Cache Street
  • National Elk Refuge Administrative Offices, 675 East Broadway Avenue

For further questions regarding Refuge hunt applications, please call the Refuge Administrative Offices at (307) 733–9212, or the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Jackson Regional Office at (307) 733–2321.