Elk Will Return to Missouri in 2011

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Missouri will join Arkansas, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Tennessee in reintroducing elk to the Show-Me state. The initial plan calls for releasing up to 150 wild elk into Reynolds, Carter, and Shannon counties.

According to Allvoices.com the initial reintroduction will begin next year in a 346 square mile restoration zone. Elk have not been a part of Missouri's wildlife mix for about 150 years. Hunting, fencing, and habitat competition caused the former herds to decline and disappear. Radio collars will be used to track the locations of the released animals. The habitat in the restoration area has been improved since the year 2000 to prepare for the integration of the elk into the state.


Ca_Vermonster's picture

I love to see things like

I love to see things like this.  The elk that were reintroduced to Tennessee and Kentucky have been thriving, and the applications for their hunts are off the charts.  It's a really good success story, and hopefully it will continue in Misourri.

hawkeye270's picture

Rocky Mountain Elk have the

Rocky Mountain Elk have the bigger antlers though. They atleast have that going for them. The Roosevelt elk of the pacific north west are bigger in body size as well but most of their bulls just look like our raghorns with more mass. Sorry north west guys but we've got you beat in the headgear department. You guys get more tasty elk meat for every bull that you put on the ground though so you take the win in that regard. The Tule elk are just plain funny looking. I do not really like their antlers as much as the other subspecies. I have never learned what Eastern and Merriam's elk antlers were like. I might have to try and find out that stuff. I think that was not taught in class because it is probably a little more important that we learn our lesson about not over harvesting our wildlife resources to the point of extinction. Probably just a bit more of an important lesson ha.

CVC's picture

I do know they have been able

I do know they have been able to find some old eastern elk and have succesfully harvested DNA from it.  They are working and they think they can add the DNA to a rocky mountain elk embryo to essentially achieve a live eastern elk after implanting it into a cow elk.

Nah, I just made that up but with what they can do with science today, it isn't really that far fetched.

hawkeye270's picture

Well it could definitely

Well it could definitely create a hunting option for you but it is going to be one that you might get once in a lifetime. You are going to have a much better chance of drawing pretty much any western elk tag than you are that one. Heck, you can buy an over the counter bull tag here in Colorado... no drawing needed.

As far as the reintroduction goes... that is awesome. I am glad to hear that another state is going to take them on. Here is the deal though. The Eastern and Merriam's subspecies of elk are extinct which makes reintroduction of the right subspecies impossible. I believe that the other eastern states that have reintroduced elk have used the rocky mountain subspecies and I am assuming that Missouri wil use the same as well. It is more or less just a matter of conservation philosophy but I don't have a problem with introducing them. Let's do it! It will be good to have the species back where they used to roam.

CVC's picture

You are correct about the

You are correct about the Eastern and Merriam subspecies of elk being extinct.  The eastern was declared extinct around 1880 and the Merriam soon followed.  Pennsylvania is using the Rocky Mountain elk which I didn't know until I did some research is actually smaller than the eastern elk was.

For some reason, I just had an idea that the RME would be bigger.

I agree that reintroduction is a good idea and one of the things MO did was to develop habitat for hte elk about a decade before the reintroduction.  Smart move.

CVC's picture

This is an interesting

This is an interesting development and one that I will follow closely considering the proximity of MO to KS.  Maybe this will provide another hunting opportunity?  I don't think hunting elk in MO, KY or PA could ever replace the mystic of hunting elk in the western states, but maybe it will offer an alternative if I don't draw a western state.

I wonder if the animal rights people are supportive of this or not?