Elk rides ending early at Hardware Ranch

DWR managers have decided to end wagon rides at the Hardware Ranch WMA early this year. Friday and Saturday are the last days to take a wagon ride through the few elk that are still at the ranch. (Photo: DWR)

(KUTV) - The warm temperature this winter has forced the closure of wagon rides through the herd of wild elk at Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area.

The Divison of Wildlife Resources said the unseasonably warm weather has caused the elk herd to leave the meadow early.

Nearly 500 elk were in the meadow earlier this winter but as of Wednesday, only 90 elk remained. For that reason, DWR managers are ending the wagon rides early this year.

In a press release, Hardware Ranch WMA Manager Brad Hunt stated that the elk are exhibiting behavior not usually witnessed until March.

"They’re moving to the hills above the meadows,” Hunt said in the release. “And they’re acting anxious to move to even higher county.”

Friday and Saturday are the last days to enjoy a wagon ride through the elk herd. After Saturday, the elk-viewing season — which was scheduled to run until Feb. 26 — will end for the year, the press release stated.

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