AMK Sportsman

Virginia Elk Program

brownbear932008

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I know there are several guys on the forum from the Virginia area so thought I would post this up feel free to share it with whom ever you would like. I have shared on Social Media with good results.
Also hope some of you guys in other states take a look at this we all love to elk hunt in here. So feel free to comment to VADGIF. I have commented on several of the proposals this year. The Elk Program/Restocking is going great and it appears WV. is also jumping on board this year. If this keeps going well the mountains of VA.,WV,TN,PA,KY and other states are going to soon be a great elk hunting destination in the east. RMEF has been a great partnership in the east with the programs. I will attempt to attach the link for comments.

Thanks!

https://www3.dgif.virginia.gov/web/comment-2015/expand.asp?VAC=090-085
 

VAspeedgoat

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To elaborate for those that don't know, Va has a restocking program that protects elk in three counties. Outside of that area an elk coming in from another state can be shot and checked in under standard deer regulations. It is one of the dumbest regulations in history. Anyway, that being said these new regs would help insure the success of the program. I have commented and encourage others to do so. My kids always ask me if we can go scout for a place to hunt when the season opens. I hope I get to see that happen.

Thanks for posting
 

skimerhorn

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Ashland Va
Would love to see that happen. Hopefully we will be like Pennsylvania and be able to have a few tags at first through a lottery so people don't wipe them out. Even if I don't live to see a hunt able population, would be nice to hear one bugle in va!
 

LopeHunter

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Missouri is attempting to restock elk to have huntable herds. Is interesting to watch other states as they introduce the elk and then later introduce elk hunting. Treating an elk as invasive species during deer season does seem odd. I could see providing a landowner a way to remove an elk if is causing damage.

Bison will go where they want, fences be damned. Not aware elk are that prone to mischief other than eating up all the hay.
 

mixedbag

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If you want a hunt like Pa's then you better be a very lucky person in the draws.I love to elk hunt but never even attempted to enter the Pa draw for elk.Not much of an elk hunt imo.It does make good money for the state though.We have so much public land here its ashame they don't expand the herd.They want to keep the elk in a small zone within the state.If you want an easy 400" bull then theres no better place then Pa.And, we don't even cry when NR get same odds as residents in the draw.A highly sought after tag by residents too.Kind of like your western sheep,goat or moose hunts,but a fair draw to everyone
 

brownbear932008

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Yeah Mixedbag I have never understood why PA. doesn't expand the elk herd there with all the public land. I am hoping that VA. eventually expands theirs to mimic KY. I'm not so sure that will happen but it would be nice. The 3 county area is very open to it but the surrounding counties is where the ag land begins and I don't see farmers being so supportive of the elk in the area. It seems there is always complaints and struggles with the Farm Bureau and farmers filing complaints on fence damage and crop damage from deer. Truth is from what I've seen most of the damage comes from their own livestock they can't seem to keep in and it gets blamed on bear/deer.
 

mixedbag

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I'm not sure we have the type of feed the elk prefer,but they seem to do good up in the big woods.Alot of our woods are old growth and need to be thinned out by timber companies.Eastern states don't have near the management practices they do out west.If you have old reclaimed strip mines in your area I'd think that would be the place to put the elk.Farmers are the worst nightmare for re-establishing elk in the east .KY seems to have a good plan for opportunity verse trophy quality.Still an extremely tough tag to draw and a lot go to landowners/auction tags.
Just wouldn't feel right hunting elk out here to me.I enjoy the scenery of a western elk hunt as much as the hunt
 

VAspeedgoat

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Your right about farmers, and I'm one of them. There are places I have seen major crop damage but here in the mountains of va it is usually overblown. Near dc, they usually cant get crop insurance on soybeans because of the deer. Also car insurance has to have deer collision added on I'm told. Bears are another story though. There was a 20 acre field near me that had 17 bears killed between damage permits and refular season. Its not normal but it happens. I had a bear or bears ruin a corn field last year and we have never seen one on the farm prior to that. I know farmers and ranchers get a bad reputation some time but when an animal ruins a couple acres its easy to say we are wrong when its not costing you money. That being said I like wildlife and feel many if not most kill permits are unwarranted. Its not as cut and dry as each side seams to think. I'm in the middle so I am always wrong!

As far as elk I am all for it. The national forests are a shell of what they used to be and I think elk would be a welcome addition to the pathetic deer herds we have now. The current area does have alot of mine reclamation on them. I was old enough to remember when they opened deer season up for the first time in those counties. I am sure there will be conflicts with farmers but generally tags for them and their buddies usually quiets us down. We just need to prevent the widespread slaughters tha took place with other failed introductions.
 

mdunc8

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Not Virginia anymore!
The national forests are a shell of what they used to be and I think elk would be a welcome addition to the pathetic deer herds we have now.

If this is true, why would elk be any different?

...other failed introductions.

Maybe this is why they're starting this round of reintroductions in a relatively small area rather than releasing or letting elk from neighboring states disperse throughout the western half of the state. Wouldn't starting small and figuring out what will work and what won't be smarter than repeating past mistakes (and making new ones) while risking money, time, and animals? Seems like a pretty good approach to me.
 

cowboystl1

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bring on the elk keep the wolves! any state that wants to bring elk in has my support they are mighty tasty. there will always be crop issues here and there that's life. just watch them when they start talking about reintroducing wolves thats when things get crazy.
 

VAspeedgoat

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If this is true, why would elk be any different?



Maybe this is why they're starting this round of reintroductions in a relatively small area rather than releasing or letting elk from neighboring states disperse throughout the western half of the state. Wouldn't starting small and figuring out what will work and what won't be smarter than repeating past mistakes (and making new ones) while risking money, time, and animals? Seems like a pretty good approach to me.

Both god points. I guess my reply to the nat forest is that for the last two decades the edge habitat that once sustained many deer have given way to older growth forests that if I am correct are more suitable for elk as well as bear. The bear have deffinately enjoyed this. And if the Kentucky herd is a good example the elk should thrive and deer may benefit as well.

As far as starting small, I would agree more if TN and KY weren't so successful. Shooting free animals because they are outside of a three county area seems like a waste of money and resources too. I guess I feel that if we are going to do it, do it right so it has the best chance for success. That's just how I am wired. To me shooting those animals for traveling out of bounds is counter productive to the goal of introducing them in the first place. Ask PA if maintaining a very small herd is worthwhile. If you want a huntable resource then do it. If you want a novelty to look at I'd rather have them in a zoo
 

VAspeedgoat

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I think that came out rude so let me better explain myself. In my opinion Va has squandered their deer herd on the nat forest. Partly because of federal regs on timber harvest and partly because of laziness. I go to other states like Ga, ME, and Wy, and it seems like thise states go out of there way to manage and maintain herds. For example in Ga green pine forests they plant food plots throughout to maintain herd numbers. Therefor keeping license sales up and money circulating. Here we say well we can't log as much so I guess there's nothing we can do now. License sales drip and then we say we have no money. Also I can call to Wyoming and get all kinds of info about herd size and areas to research hear im told we really dont have that kind of information. I go the ME and they are trying as hard as they can to maintain the deer yarda for the winter and here im told yea, this old growth forst is good for bears though.

So I guess I have a chip on my shoulder when they say so we want to reintroduce elk but only these elk, go ahead and shoot those they might have chronic wasting. It just seems like a lazy half @$$ way of doung something. But maybe every resident feels that way about their own game commission. I wouldn't be able to argue with that.

Either way we have elk and it looks like we are trying to expand the herd so I guess I should just shut up and say thank you........I probably won't shut up but I have said thanks.
 

Jwill

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Virginia
I was able to attend and speak at the DGIF Board Meeting where this was discussed. It will basically serve to protect those elk($) from getting shot on a deer tag outside of the three county introduction zone. I think it's a good move. The state will still have the ability to manage wanderers as they see fit, hazing, kill permit, fencing, etc. I think this may be a catalyst for the state developing an elk management plan, which is a good thing as well.
 

brownbear932008

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I totally agree Jwill I think it is a great idea I never agreed with the 3 county area just a bad idea all together IMO I mean these elk where wondering several years ago already to counties as far and say Bland and Wythe Counties from Ky.
 

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