Surprise VA bull

jvanhoy

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VA
Checked my camera on my family’s farm in Buchanan co VA and had a crazy surprise. So awesome they are getting restored in this state. Never thought I would see or get a picture of one. This farm is just a special place. Deer season was closed for years until 1999. That first year I killed my biggest buck to date. Crazy to think one day I might be able to kill a bull on it as much as I’m obsessed with elk hunting. D187A044-C5AB-4222-902F-B41EB18FAFC3.jpeg
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My buck from 1999
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jvanhoy

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That’s really cool. If you don’t mind my asking why was the deer season closed?
Very low deer population. They stocked deer in to get the population up. There’s still not a lot of deer up there compared to where I live a hour and half away.
 

jvanhoy

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It’s just rough steep coal mine country. Not a lot of fields other then the strip mined area where they stocked the elk. It’s probably 1/2 hour or so drive from our farm.
 

3855WIN

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Seems that I’ve heard that any elk seen during an open season can be killed in Virginia. Is that correct?
 

jvanhoy

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Seems that I’ve heard that any elk seen during an open season can be killed in Virginia. Is that correct?
Not in the coal mine county’s near where they are stocked WV/KY border areas. The county’s where I live you can. There have been a few taken over the years. They are going to start the hunts in Buchanan co next year. I’m sure it will be a lottery like in KY. Just great to know they are here.
 

oxn939

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Sep 21, 2017
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Crazy to think one day I might be able to kill a bull on it as much as I’m obsessed with elk hunting.

Was pretty depressing to see the initiative to get elk specific tags created die last year. Omega controlling the bay, dog hunters getting free run of anyone's private property they want to walk across as long as they claim they're "looking for dogs..." and the cattle industry preventing that initiative to get elk-specific tags off the ground. I love a lot of things about our state, but man, the people making the laws are just so clearly owned by special interests it is gross.

In any case, that's awesome to see you have them somewhere other than the mine! Healthy looking little fella too.
 

rwc101

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Nice. Having lived in the state for 8 years (and probably back soon) it's great to see them expand. Hopefully, their expansion is tolerated.
 

oxn939

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Hopefully, their expansion is tolerated.

Super unlikely, IMO. One of my buddies from college is a warden who has done some work in the area and says the local cattle ranchers see elk as competition and a threat to their livelihood, and kill them in or out of season whenever they see them. I hope those reports are exaggerated, but there is probably some reason the population never expands much outside that core tract of private.
 

rwc101

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Super unlikely, IMO. One of my buddies from college is a warden who has done some work in the area and says the local cattle ranchers see elk as competition and a threat to their livelihood, and kill them in or out of season whenever they see them. I hope those reports are exaggerated, but there is probably some reason the population never expands much outside that core tract of private.

Yeah, my brother-in-law is a warden (c/o) in Virginia. I don't have huge hopes that they expand much, but at least DWR is planning to have a drawing for elk tags within the management zone this spring.
 

VAspeedgoat

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Timberville, VA
That's awesome man. That would have me so damn pumped up!

The reason given for killing elk with general deer tags is supposedly chronic wasting because those animals are from other states. Also they are out of the elk tolerance zone whatever the hell that means. My gripe has always been that these transient elk are free elk that we don't have to pay for so why kill them?

The spot was specifically picked because it was the area least likely to have conflicts with agriculture. There is a lot less cropping and typically just grazing farms. Also I think the lower deer densities help with what would be a more natural balance.
 

brownbear932008

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SWVA
I never would have thought I'd get to sit and watch big bulls in VA and hear those screaming bugles over the Appalachian mountains.
That buck is a jumbo dang huge body. Did y'all weigh him by chance?
 

jvanhoy

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VA
I never would have thought I'd get to sit and watch big bulls in VA and hear those screaming bugles over the Appalachian mountains.
That buck is a jumbo dang huge body. Did y'all weigh him by chance?
No but I wish we would have. I really think he would have dressed around 200. He was unreal body size for here. Grossed 140 1/8. Netted 133 7/8. Going up there Saturday morning. Found 4 big fresh scrapes getting my camera.
 

EKYHunter

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Kentucky called. They want their elk back. Just joking but it’s a real sore spot with lots of folks. Kentucky’s elk herd isn’t doing well right now so many locals are/were upset that elk were trapped and relocated. Kentucky’s elk were donated to us so I see this as paying it forward.
 

EastTNHunter

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That’s cool.

TN had to abandon their elk reintroduction due to CWD discovery, so it has been slow. I hope to draw one of the few annual tags someday. I have no idea why they expanded the draws to include a bunch of archery tags. We have the same law that allows harvest of an elk outside of the core or buffer counties, but I have not heard any reports of one being taken in that fashion. I too have heard of farmers killing them and burying them even in the core counties, but I cannot confirm the validity of these accounts.
 

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