Hardware Ranch research
This Wildlife Management Area is more than just a working ranch.
Hardware Ranch WMA includes the infrastructure — like traps and research pens — that enable DWR biologists to conduct research and manage the area wildlife.
Hardware Ranch has served as a center for elk research since the 1950s. Understanding the biology and population dynamics of elk is important for sound management of the herds.
Each winter, DWR employees weigh and place ear tags on a number of elk using the ranch's trapping facilities. Employees use ear tags to identify individual elk and study population characteristics. They also test a representative sample of elk each year for brucellosis and, occasionally, tuberculosis.