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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Partnership Between DGIF and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Leads to Success in Virginia Elk Program

American Hunter has this story on the success of the reintroduction of Elk in the Commonwealth:
The project, originally spearheaded by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), was met with initial resistance from the Virginia Farm Bureau as farmers worried about potential fence and crop damage as well as the spread of disease to existing cattle herds. VDGIF chose Buchanan County as the drop location because its vast reclaimed mine lands provided the least amount of agricultural risk, and Buchanan was the only county that didn’t initially oppose the reintroduction. The agency coordinated with Buchanan County, RMEF and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) and today Buchanan, Dickenson and Wise counties all are included in the Virginia restoration, which adds up to 1,200 square miles of elk country.
After the herd reaches 400, hunting will be added to the program as a management tool.  The herd currently stands at about 100, with 20 calves born in 2014 and possibly 50 more this year. 

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