Originally distributed over most of the state, elk were functionally extirpated by the early 1900s due to overharvest and conversion of Minnesota’s vast prairie ecosystem to agriculture.
Today, elk herds only range in northwestern Minnesota. There are three localized herds within two areas, one north of Grygla and the other in Kittson and Roseau counties.
This tool allows you to report an elk observation anywhere in Minnesota so DNR wildlife managers can use sighting data to better understand elk movement and distribution. Use our elk and deer ID tool if you're uncertain what you saw.
So sighting data can't be used as a hunting aid, the DNR will turn off sighting locations on the map each year starting Aug. 1 through the end of the elk hunting season. Season dates are posted each year in mid-May on the elk hunting page. Sighting submissions during this period are still encouraged but will not display until the season is over.
We appreciate your assistance in this effort to better understand the location of elk in Minnesota. We are only interested in sightings within the state boundary. For more information on elk in Minnesota, visit our elk management page.
The DNR will not respond to nuisance complaints submitted through this form. Please call your local wildlife manager or conservation officer if you require assistance with a nuisance elk. Sightings of tagged, potential escaped captive elk should be reported via email to the DNR's big game program leader.