Five Reasons to Take a Cow Elk

Five Reasons to Take a Cow Elk

MISSOULA, Mont. — Your crosshairs shift undecidedly between a raghorn bull and a big cow, both standing broadside at 60 yards. The elk tag in your pocket makes both animals legal. Which one do you shoot?


The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation offers five reasons to consider taking the cow:

  1. Reducing a herd to fit the carrying capacity of its winter range is a form of habitat conservation. Culling a calf-producer is more effective population control. Wildlife agencies issue either-sex tags specifically to encourage hunter harvest of cows.

  2. Letting young bulls walk improves your odds for a big, mature bull next year.

  3. A more abundant bull population tends to be older, which can improve efficiency of the rut. Result: more bulls surviving winter, higher pregnancy rates in cows, fewer late calves and better overall herd health.

  4. A less abundant cow population tends to be younger, more vigorous and resistant to diseases.

  5. As tablefare, cows and calves are generally better.

Hunting remains the primary wildlife management tool today, vital for balancing elk populations within biological and cultural tolerances, says David Allen, Elk Foundation president and CEO.

“Habitat conservation, sound management, good hunting, healthy wildlife — they’re all tied together. And, more and more, adequate harvest of cow elk is becoming a factor. If you have an either-sex elk tag this fall, consider letting young bulls go and filling your freezer with a fat cow,” he said.


RMEF this fall passed the 5.7 million acre mark in habitat conserved or enhanced.

Cow Elk

Recommended for You

Gear

Get Ready for Summer with Cordova Coolers

May 23, 2019

Memorial Day sale offers 15 percent off everything website-wide.

Panfish

Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.

Walleye

How to Fish Bottom Bouncers for Walleye

Mark Sak - May 23, 2019

While misunderstood by some, fishing bottom bouncers can be a very productive technique for...

See More Recommendations

Trending Stories

Bass

4 Tips When Jig Fishing For Bass

Chris Schneider - August 25, 2015

A 7 pound giant taken on a jig during the pre-spawn transistion in the Midwest. Although...

Other Freshwater

3 Deadly Bait Rigs For Stripers

J.B. Kasper - April 21, 2005

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers.

Catfish

12 Great Catfish Baits

Jeff Samsel

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these five great...

See More Stories

More Stories

Stories

Coyote Calling Tips for Hunting at Close Range

Tim Lilley - January 09, 2014

Brian Meyer likes to have coyotes within 20 yards! He uses an SKB shotgun for his coyote...

Stories

Grandpa'™s Gun Tags Giant Buck, Ends Multi-Year Quest

Lynn Burkhead - November 21, 2017

Missouri hunter Tim Phillips is all smiles after using his late grandfather's worn Marlin...

Stories

Coyotes In Suburbia

Stephen D. Carpenteri - November 30, 2016

Once considered a denizen of the Western wilds, the coyote has learned to adapt to human

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×