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Exciting Times in Elk Country

Jan 20, 2011

These are exciting times for MDC staff working on Missouri’s elk-restoration program. Work has been progressing rapidly at the trapping site in the Cumberland Mountains of eastern Kentucky. We have gotten a few inquiries about this, so I thought I would share the latest news from our trapping crew.

As of this morning, they had 38 elk in the holding pen near Pineville. About three out of four were cows. That’s about the ratio you want when restoring a population. Six of the elk now in MDC’s holding pen are yearling males, so-called “spike bulls.” They aren’t very spiky, though. Their unforked antlers have been sawed off so they are less apt to injure themselves, other elk or the workers who will be performing veterinary health work-ups on them next week.

I will post another update then!


elk trapping
MDC trapping crews have transferred 38 elk from corral traps to a holding pen in Kentucky.


elk trapping
Elk Near Corral Trap
MDC trapping crews have seen large groups of elk near corral traps.


This is another example of how great our state and the MDC are. Second to none and continuing our heritage with this re-introduction of elk. If it is as successful as MDC's efforts with deer and turkey, you can only amagine what this project will be like in 20 years. Our state will be richer for these efforts, both in revenue from tourism and simply by the elk's presence. Thanks again MDC.

I was part of the stock purchase for the elk going to Lone Elk Park in the 60s. If you offer the same type of stock offering for the Peck CA elk, I'm all for it. Thank you for this project and God bless the young folks dedicating their life to this project.

That's great to hear about the attempt at elk-restoration. Plenty of deer to be found throughout the state, but it would be great to see elk introduced into the area. Like Paul said, coming from Colorado where elk are plentiful, it would be great to see them in Missouri.

I am so excited to see this program go forward! As a lifelong Missouri deer hunter, and having hunted lots of big game in other states and caribou in Canada, the thought of being able to see and pursue elk in MO is very exciting. Since elk were part of Missouri's landscape historically it only makes sense to reintroduce them. Everyone can enjoy them even if you are a non hunter, and if you have never experienced a cool morning when bugles echo off the ridges you will be in for a treat like no other. And if you are a sportsman and your insurance company is making loud noises about the reintroduction, maybe you should man up and look at another carrier.Great job MDC, get 'em herded our way!

Missouri is the only place like I know. Fishing and hunting is plentiful. Enjoying summer days with my sunglasses on and the smell of fresh air.

Wow. 38 elk. This is really exciting stuff. I'm 27 years old and MAYBE I will get to participate in a Missouri elk hunt before I die. Seriously, at this rate it will be 50 years before we have a legitimate elk population. With all of the money we put into our department of conservation we deserve better.

Missouri is one of the lucky states to have caring wildlife professionals and citizens to allow animals like black bear and elk to return. Here in Indiana, the public is different. The DNR in my state claims that are too many roads, people, houses, and not enough forest although we have a contigious 350,000 acres forest block 15 minutes from my home in south central Indiana. Makes me want to leave my home state jut to be around wildlife. If I can't persuade the Indiana DNR to reintroduce elk I may move to Missouri or Kentucky where the elk are.

We moved to Missouri from the northwest corner of Colorado where elk are plentiful. Soon after we moved here, we fell in love with Peck Ranch Conservation Area. My youngest son shot his first deer on a managed youth deer hunt at Peck Ranch. We have spent many many days and nights at Peck. It is a true wilderness. The calls of coyotes singing in the dead of night are such a beautiful sound. For elk soon to be a part of this landscape is more than we could ever have imagined. The wilderness of Peck and the surrounding area will soon be home not only to the bear, deer, turkey, bobcat, and other animals, but these beautiful animals. Their bugle calls will be magnificent!

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