Missouri Elk Numbers Growing, Hunt May Follow

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Wildlife officials in Missouri are carefully monitoring the state’s growing elk population. Right now, the Missouri Department of Conservation estimates there are approximately 175 elk within the state’s borders. Continued growth may lead to a regulated elk hunt.

“Our biologists will consider a limited hunting season. That doesn’t mean we have 201 and ‘We’re going to have a hunt,’ but it means once past that number of 200, they’ll consider it and look at what the options are,” Candace Davis, MDC spokesperson, told WMC-TV.

Historically, elk roamed all across Missouri. They eventually disappeared in the 1800s. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation worked with the MDC and other partners to successfully restore elk back into Missouri beginning in 2011.

Since 1991, RMEF and its partners completed 112 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Missouri with a combined value of more than $2.4 million. These projects conserved or enhanced 7,120 acres of habitat.