Minnesota will issue 23 permits this year for two elk herds in the northwestern part of the state.
Twelve permits will be for a long established elk herd near Grygla. Eleven permits are available for a newer elk herd in Kittson county.
Hunters have drawn permits in past years to take elk from the herd near Grygla. State law limits the size of that herd.
DNR Big Game Program Coordinator Lou Cornicelli expects hundreds of hunters to apply for the elk permits.
"It's a pretty unique experience. Michigan hunts elk to the east of us but that's really all you get until you go to Arkansas or Kentucky or out to the western states. There's not a lot of states in the Midwest that are hunting elk. It's not like hunting deer. You have to put your homework in," Cornicelli said.
Cornicelli said there will likely be annual elk hunts to control the population and minimize conflict with farmers whose crops are damaged by elk.
Hunters have until July 18 to apply for an elk hunting permit.