Virginia announces historic first elk season


Photo credit: Getty Images

Interested in hunting elk in Virginia? The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (VDWR) just announced that five tags will be available for 2022 thanks to a successful elk recovery effort that began in 2012. Led by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), today, over 250 elk roam their historic, native range and VDWR is accepting applications for the five available tags until March 30, 2022.

“Instituting the first-ever managed elk hunt a mere decade after restoration is an indicator that the state’s elk herd is growing, sustainable and healthy. In short, it marks a conservation milestone for Virginia,” said Mark Baker, RMEF board of directors chair. “We salute and congratulate VDWR on successfully executing its elk management plan, and for establishing a hunt that will generate significant funding to ensure the future of elk in Virginia.”

However, this isn’t the only successful restoration effort RMEF has helped with. In fact, six other states now have resident elk populations thanks to the organization, including Kentucky (with over 10,000 elk and the largest population east of the Mississippi), Missouri (with over 200 elk), North Carolina (200+ elk), Tennessee (over 400 elk), West Virginia (with about 80 elk) and Wisconsin (with nearly 400 elk and counting). 

“As in the past, we remain committed as an organization going forward to working alongside our state agency partners in supporting and growing elk populations throughout the East and across the country including here in my home state of Virginia,” said Todd Walker, RMEF board member from McLean.

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