Celebrate 100 years of Michigan's elk while supporting the Michigan Nongame Fish and Wildlife Fund! Purchase a fundraising license plate from the Secretary of State!
Order specialty license plates by mail or fax or at any Secretary of State branch office. To purchase a plate by mail or fax, complete and print the Wildlife Habitat License Plate Order Form. The plate will be mailed within 14 business days from the date it is ordered. License plate sales benefit the Michigan Nongame Fish and Wildlife Fund. Your purchase helps to conserve wildlife habitat.
Michigan's native elk disappeared in the late 1800’s. Today's elk herd dates back to 1918 when seven animals were released near Wolverine. From that reintroduction, the number of animals grew steadily, with estimates of 300-400 in 1939 and 900-1,000 by 1958. As the elk population grew, the area they occupied also increased.
The first Michigan elk hunting seasons were held in 1964 and 1965 to help address crop damage complaints, reforestation problems and concerns of elk competing with deer for limited food resources.
Through the late 1960s, elk numbers declined due to poaching and lack of quality habitat. The 1975 winter survey estimated only 200 elk.
The elk herd rebounded due to increased law enforcement efforts and improving habitat. Elk hunting resumed in 1984, and since then has been held annually to address social and ecological concerns. Biologists currently survey the elk population by airplane in the winter and strive to maintain the population within the goal of 500 - 900 elk using annual hunting seasons for maintaining the population and controlling distribution.
2018 celebrates 100 years of elk in Michigan – A continuing conservation success story of wildlife management!