AZ elk in WVContributors to this thread:
WV Mountaineer 10-Mar-18
HUNT MAN 11-Mar-18
Charlie Rehor 11-Mar-18
I was in Phoenix this AM taking bowhunter ed and the warden giving the class was telling us about an AZ capture that was just released in WV of 60 elk, taken off of a ranch in 6A. Found the story on the AZ GFD website. WV came to AZ looking for elk as there is no CWD in AZ. Good to see a state that benefited from elk transplants doing the same. GL to the herd in WV.
From: WV Mountaineer
I’m so pumped at one day hearing an elk bugle in my home state.
From: HUNT MAN
From: Charlie Rehor
Hope there is enough “drinkers” for them to survive. I know when they transplant sheep they need lots of drinkers.
Don't think they will need drinkers, Charlie!
Based on the success of other transplants in the eastern US, expect to see great things out of WV in a few years!
I’m a Commissioner for WV DNR. The AZ elk are here. 8 have died since capture and one has an injured leg. Due to USDA regulations they have to remain in holding pen 90 days here in a WV which concerns me. I understand why but 90 days is a long time. We obtained 24 from KY last year and got an additional 17 this year. We’ve lost a few. A cow and calf was hit and killed on a road but most are doing well. I got to hear my first bugle in WV this past fall and it was an awesome experience.
First bull I ever heard bugle in WV
Another good WV bull. Barring any unforeseen issues limited tags will become available in about 5 years and will be available by lottery pick
The area where the elk are being released borders KY elk zone as well as the VA elk counties. Ultimate plan is to have a 3 State elk zone. WV is concentrating on populating our northern release site, future reintroductions will establish a southern release site. The northern site is on a recently purchased 44,000 acre WMA. The southern site will be an approx. 20,000 acre site. These are reclaimed mountain top removal mines and have prime habitat. RMEF is helping WV with the reintroduction and a thank you is due to them.
Thanks for all the info gobbler.
You are going to love your elk. Be sure to get up early during the rut and listen to them bugle- best music in the world.
FYI- Raymond Ranch is in unit 5B not 6A. I hope W.V. enjoys our Elk as much as we do. GOOD KARMA !
A lot of the elk releases back east have been on reclaimed coal mines. Usually some of the best wildlife habitat. Congratulations to the Coal companies that have developed the habitat, WV DNR for their work to bring elk back to historic range, RMEF for their continuous efforts to expand elk populations across NA, and Arizona for donating some of their valuable resources to the cause! Who knows, those eastern elk might produce a new world record in a few more years:)
It will be a pretty unique situation for the east coast. Where the elk are is in WV Archery only 4 county zone which produces 160 and 170 bucks each year and has a good population of bears. WV is producing over 3000 bears on an annual basis now. To be able to bowhunt in an area that’s producing bucks over 170 annually with a decent chance to kill a bear and see elk is a pretty special situation.
I agree Treeline. It's yet another conservation success story spearheaded by hunters and hunter-conservationist groups. HSUS and DoW should take notice. You can actually do good things for wildlife outside of the courts if your priority is wildlife and not high-six-digit incomes and perks for your BoD and administration.
Thank you gobbler for the great info! Being in Michigan, I won't benefit from this but it does my spirit good knowing the RMEF is doing great things with my membership dues! Who knows though, maybe one day visiting WV, I'll catch a glimpse or hear a bugle!