Elk were another big game species that were common in pre-settlement Kansas. They were also extirpated at the turn of the century. However, a small herd was maintained at the Maxwell Wildlife Area near McPherson. The 2,200-acre enclosure is operated as a refuge and also features bison. In 1981, elk from Maxwell were released at the Cimarron National Grassland, and that herd was free-ranging. To keep that herd from growing too big and causing crop damage, a limited resident-only season was opened in 1987. Later in the 1980s, elk were captured at Maxwell and released on the Ft. Riley Military Reservation. That herd is also free-ranging, and a season was established for the fort in 1990. Today, elk are primarily hunted on and around Ft. Riley, but individual elk or small herds may be found at other locations around the state, and hunting is permitted everywhere except Morton County. About 900 applications are received for the 20 or so permits allotted each year, and they are divided among military personnel and Kansas residents.

Range Map
Elk Map
Elk Management Units

Elk Management Unit Map

KS Top 10 Elk Records

Elk Archery Records

Name Score Year Co. of Harvest
Trevor Haddix, Fort Riley 317 6/8 2002 Riley

Typical Elk Firearm Records

Name Score Year Co. of Harvest
Sherry Price, Salina 354 5/8 2003 Riley
William Brugge, Fort Riley 320 2/8 2004 Riley

Non-Typical Elk Firearm Records

Name Score Year Co. of Harvest
John W. Garrison 376 0/8 1990 Riley