JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Supplemental feeding of elk and bison is starting on the National Elk Refuge near Jackson.

Officers planned to begin by distributing small amounts of alfalfa pellets on Thursday. Eventually the elk will work themselves up to getting 8 pounds of food a day. The bison will get about 20 pounds daily.

There are currently about 6,000 elk and 600 bison wintering at the southern end of the refuge.

The migration of elk there began later this season thanks in part to heavy spring runoff which provided abundant forage. Significant snowfall also arrived late.

Last year, the feeding season began on Jan. 6 and lasted 100 days, 33 days longer than average.