ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - An annual survey estimates the elk population of northwestern Minnesota at 79 animals in three herds.
While that's down from 83 last winter and 131 in 2015, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the main reason is that the Caribou-Vita herd travels back and forth across the Minnesota-Manitoba border. Most of that herd was on the Canadian side when the aerial survey was conducted.
But John Williams, the DNR's northwest region wildlife manager, says they're concerned about the decline of the Grygla herd in Marshall County. While that herd hasn't been hunted since 2012, he says the population continues to trend downward. Observers counted 17 elk in the Grygla herd, down from 21 last year and 18 in 2015. The DNR's goal for that herd is 30 to 38.