Elk at Hardware Ranch WMA.

Hardware Ranch WMA includes the infrastructure — like traps and research pens — that enable Division biologists to conduct research and manage the area wildlife.

Hardware Ranch WMA 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, Division employees weigh and place ear tags on a number of elk in the 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.