discussion / Citizen Science  / 3 May 2024

Using Dart Guns

I am looking for experience with using Dart guns for large ungulates such as Elk.  We are working a Elk herd project here in California and plan to dart some bulls and cow later this summer.

cows  Elk can be very easily spooked and getting close enough for a shot can be difficult.   How close do I need to get to be in range of typical dart guns?  Suggestions on makes and models?  Any experience with blinds or with lures that will tempt elk to come close? 

Thanks for your help 

Mike Hundtthe 

Hello Mike how are you? in this case you need a rifle, a pistol will give you a max of 30 mt and it depends on the size of the dart, so a rifle can give more than >40 mt range and it uses a telescopic sight, do you know which protocol are you going to use? how many mL of anesthesia are you going to use depending on the weight of the elk? the best rifle in the market is Daninject, I've one for myself Daninject JM standard 16 Bar with a single 13 mm rifled barrel (SKU: JMSTR13) that gives you about 30-70 mt range) and I use disposable darts (Pneudart, type P and type U RDD's) I don't use reusable darts in situ since those are more expensive and then you're going to cry if you lose them $$$ hehehe.


If you are going to use at much as 3 cc darts, then I use a VHF transmitter inside the dart so I can track the animal if he tries to run away, PLL RDD from Pneudart and VHF transmitters from Telenax ([email protected])


I've experience with feral dogs, tapirs, deer, felids, with deer and tapirs I use mineralized salt used in livestock, lure them for a cuople months (use a camera trap to record vistis) and build a hide just like you were a hunter.

Where are you based,? USA? you can write to Dr Mary Helen from Daninject USA and ask for a quotation, [email protected] , [email protected]

tell her that I say hello 



Thomas Gray
Woods Hole Group
Argos satellite system manager for North America
WILDLABS Research Participant
Commenter level 2
Conversation starter level 1

Just coming in here to say, neat project. Are you working on the elk herds in the Pacheco Pass area or further north? (I'm in Monterey Bay, CA)