Opening day is exciting enough for hunters but imagine what it would be like to wait for opening day for your state’s first-ever elk hunt? Missouri’s archery elk season runs October 17-25, 2020, while its firearms season is December 12-20.
“I’ll be there at the crack of dawn, where I think they are. I’ve hunted deer for years, but not elk,” Eugene Guilkey, one of five archery hunters who drew a coveted elk tag this past summer, told the Springfield News-Leader. “Deer pattern the same every day. If one walks through on a Monday, it will walk through the same areas on Tuesday. With elk, their range is so much bigger. You may not even see it.”
Unlike Guilkey, Sam Schultz previously hunted elk out of state.
“In Colorado you can get on the side of a mountain and glass a large area,” he told the Springfield News-Leader. “You can’t do that here, especially with all the trees.”
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provided both funding and volunteer manpower to support and successfully restore of elk to their historic Missouri range. In 2000, RMEF invested more than $61,000 to help fund Missouri’s initial elk restoration study. A restoration plan was subsequently approved. RMEF gave $40,000 to help build a trapping and handling facility used to bring elk from Kentucky to Missouri. RMEF also pledged $300,000 to the state of Missouri to ensure the elk not only arrived, but also thrived. Elk hit the ground in 2011.
(Photo source: Missouri Department of Conservation)