What’s the best state for elk hunting? That’s a question that hunters have asked countless times, and there’s no consensus answer. However, the team at Rocky Mountain Elk Ranch wants to get to the bottom of it. We’ve researched the best states for elk hunting and have determined the top state. 

The Contenders

To answer the question of the best state for elk hunting, we needed to narrow the field. Some states don’t have any elk to hunt, making them easy cuts. Next, we considered the number of hunting opportunities. Using that as a factor, we whittled our list down to a list of contenders for the best state for elk hunting.


Are you surprised to see a state so far East on the list? We were a little surprised too, but Pennsylvania is considered by many to have the best state for elk hunting East of the Mississippi. They have a solid population of elk, and hunting opportunities are plentiful.


Arizona doesn’t have many elk. However, the bulls they do have are massive, some of the biggest anywhere. For that reason, Arizona deserves mention on the list of the best elk hunting states, even if the odds of bringing one down are low. 


Like Arizona, Utah’s elk make for some fantastic trophies. Their bulls are large in size, and you have a better chance of seeing them than in Arizona. Hunters rave about hunting on Utah’s public land, which is ideal for other types of hunting as well.


Colorado has the largest elk herd in the U.S., making it a no-brainer to include the “Centennial State” on our list. With a population of that size, hunting opportunities are bountiful. However, many hunters claim Colorado’s elk population doesn’t have many trophies in its midst.

Idaho: The Best State for Elk Hunting

We might be biased since our ranch is based in Idaho, but we firmly believe Idaho is the best state for elk hunting. Idaho has over 120,000 elk, and there are plenty of trophy bulls out there. Plus, Idaho has the perfect environment for elk hunting. From dense forests to open meadows, there’s a variety of terrain to experience. 

Rocky Mountain Elk Ranch is the perfect place to experience why Idaho is the best state for elk hunting. We offer success-guaranteed elk hunts in the Big Hole Mountains, located in Southeast Idaho, and provide our guests with comfortable accommodations in our luxurious lodge. Please check our website or call us at 208-351-7301 for more information.