Grand Teton National Park is an American national park in northwestern Wyoming (Shutterstock)

CASPER, Wyo. — Federal and state wildlife resource managers have determined that an elk reduction program is necessary in Grand Teton National Park this season, the park said in a press release Thursday.

The need for the program is determined on an annual basis depending on how the Jackson Elk Herd is doing in terms of total population and other characteristics, including how many elk have been relying on supplemental feed on the National Elk Refuge, the release said.

The 2022 elk reduction program authorizes a total of 475 hunting permits. The elk reduction program begins Saturday, Nov. 5, Grand Teton added.

“The only area open to the elk reduction program is Wyoming Game and Fish Elk Hunt Area 75, located mostly east of U.S. Highway 89,” the press release said. “The Antelope Flats portion of this area closes November 21, and the remaining portions close December 11. The Snake River Bottom between Deadmans Bar and Ditch Creek is closed.

“Wyoming Game and Fish Elk Hunt Area 79 is closed to limit harvest pressure on northern migratory and resident elk.”

People with permits authorizing them to participate in the reduction program must carry their Wyoming Game and Fish–issued hunting license for Elk Hunt Area 75, a conservation stamp, an elk special management permit and a 2022 elk reduction program park permit. Hunters are required to use non-lead ammunition and are limited to the number of cartridges they can carry each day, Grand Teton added.

“Harvest is currently restricted to cows and calves,” Grand Teton said. “The use of archery, handguns, or other non-center fire ammunition rifles is not permitted, nor is the use of artificial elk calls.

“In addition, participants, regardless of age, are required to carry a hunter safety card, wear fluorescent orange or pink, and carry and have immediately accessible a 7.9 oz. (or greater) can of non-expired bear spray. Information packets accompanying each permit warn participants of the risk of bear encounters and offer tips on how to minimize the risk of human–bear conflicts.”

Grand Teton personnel will also be collecting lymph node samples from hunter-harvested elk for chronic wasting disease testing.

“With detection of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in two mule deer and an elk within Grand Teton National Park since 2018, the National Park Service increased surveillance efforts to include mandatory collection of elk heads from all elk harvested during the program,” the release said. “Park personnel will collect biological samples from the heads and submit them to the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory for testing. Participants can check their results online.

“National Park Service and Wyoming Game and Fish staff will monitor and patrol elk reduction program areas to ensure compliance with rules and regulations, interpret the elk reduction program to visitors, and provide participants with outreach regarding bear activity and safety. These areas remain open to park visitors, and wearing bright colors is highly encouraged during this time. An information line for the elk reduction program is available at 307-739-3681. More information can be found at”