Elk Management in Ontario

In the late 1800s elk were extirpated from Ontario, but due to the success of restoration efforts by the Ontario government and many important partners in the late 1990s, elk now inhabit several areas of the province.

Everyone can appreciate the intrinsic value of elk. One of Ontario's largest mammals, this majestic animal is once again an important part of Ontario's ecosystems and biodiversity. Elk also provide opportunities for recreation such as viewing and hunting.


Whenever humans and wildlife interact there is the potential for conflict to occur. In Ontario, conflict between humans and elk has occurred in the form of agricultural damage and motor vehicle collisions. Find out more about living with elk.



NOTE:  If you wish to view or print the PDFs below, we recommend that you first download them to your computer. Windows/Linux users: right-click on the link and select your web browser's save option; Mac users: hold-click on the link and select your web browser's save option.


Update January 2011

bull elk Under the guidance of Ontario's Elk Management Plan, and consistent with Ontario's Cervid Ecological Framework, the province is implementing a comprehensive management program to support healthy and self-sustaining elk populations. This comprehensive elk management program will provide a range of benefits for Ontarians, including the first modern day elk hunt in the province, tools for managing human-elk conflicts and guidelines to supporting sustainable management now and into the future.

As part of implementing this program the following components of the elk management program have been finalized.

Elk Population Objective Setting Guidelines  (PDF, 300 kb)
Elk Population Objective Setting Guidelines-Executive Summary  (PDF, 41 kb)
  (Registry Number 011-0743)

Elk Population Objective for the Bancroft-North Hastings Area Herd  (PDF, 440 kb)
  (Registry Number 011-0742)

Elk Harvest Allocation System  (PDF, 83 kb)
  (Registry Number 011-0741)

Elk Harvest Management Guidelines  (PDF, 212 k)
Elk Harvest Management Guidelines - Executive Summary   (PDF, 45 kb)
  (Registry Number 011-0744)

Policy for Protecting Agricultural Property from Elk   (PDF, 96 kb)
Policy for Protecting Agricultural Property from Elk – Executive Summary   (PDF, 38 kb)
  (Registry Number 011-0745)

Regulation amendments to establish an elk hunt under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act – Environmental Registry Notice 
  (Registry Number 011-0746)

Visit the Environmental Registry and enter the associated Registry Numbers (listed above) to view the decision notice postings.


Ontario's Elk Management Plan


View Ontario's Elk Management Plan or read an Executive Summary of the plan.


Ontario's Elk Management Plan, released in June 2010, is a key component of the province's elk management as it evolves from a program focused on restoration to a program based on sustainable management.

The plan is guided by Ontario's Cervid Ecological Framework which aims to achieve a broader, ecologically based approach to managing all four of Ontario's wild cervid species (moose, white-tailed deer, caribou and elk) at the landscape level. It contains a provincial level goal, as well as key objectives and strategies aimed at supporting self-sustaining elk populations in Ontario now and into the future.


With direction from the Elk Management Plan, Ontario is implementing a comprehensive elk management program.  Updates and opportunities for participation in elk management planning will be posted on this page.