National Elk Refuge
The National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole was established in 1912 after the photography of Stephen Leek inspired public interest in preserving a part of the traditional winter range of the area elk population.
Today almost 10,000 elk winter in the refuge, which is located just north of the town of Jackson. The elk begin their migration out of the high meadows in the fall, usually after the first snow storm. They stay in the refuge through the spring, when food becomes more abundant.
The refuge covers about 25,000 acres of open fields, streams, ponds, and marshes. In addition to elk, the refuge is home to at least 46 other mammal species and nearly 175 bird species.
Fishing on the Elk Refuge has become a summer event for local and visiting anglers alike. Lower Flat Creek (between the "Old Crawford Bridge" site and the McBride Bridge) is only open from August through October. The fish living there are notoriously difficult to catch, so bring your WY fishing license and a healthy dose of patience!
In the spring, Boy Scouts venture on the refuge to collect the elk antlers which are shed yearly. The sale, on the third Saturday in May, provides funding for both the Elk Refuge and the local Scout Troops. The antler pickup and sale ("Elk Fest") started in the 50s and goes on strong today.