There is no hunting allowed in RMNP, but…
Hunting is permitted in Roosevelt National Forest on the east side of Estes Park.
Elk that live in the National Park in the summer naturally migrate to the warmer, lower elevations of the National Forest for the winter, and during the Fall rutting season, trophy status bulls wander from the protection of the Park into surrounding areas (including downtown Estes Park!) in search of cows, food, and territory.
The Park relies on hunters in the National Forest to thin their herds.
There are three times more elk in Estes than in Rocky Mountain National Park. We need more hunters to keep the elk in balance with the habitat.