It’s not surprising that a bull elk is featured on the cover of Virginia’s just-released July 2022-June 2023 hunting and trapping regulations booklet. After all, the state will host its first-ever managed elk hunt later this year.
“Though a small hunt, it’s significant in marking the early success of the restoration of this magnificent animal to Virginia, and also a tremendous opportunity to show the greater public the conservation benefits of hunting,” said Ryan Brown, executive director of Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR).
Brown also pointed out that more than 31,000 people from all 50 states entered DWR’s lottery for five elk tags drawn in May, generating significant funding to be put back on the ground.
“That’s approximately half a million dollars that will go right back into wildlife conservation because of the contributions of these hunters. Not to mention the economic benefits from elk viewing and associated recreation that our partners down in Southwest Virginia are already taking advantage of.” added Brown.
A sixth and final license, Virginia’s first-ever elk conservation license, will be raffled off and announced on August 13 by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation at its Southwest Virginia Coalfields Chapter banquet in Oakwood. In addition to the tag, the grand prize winner will also receive an elk hunter’s essential package that also includes a rifle, hunting gear and apparel. Second through fourth place winners will each receive a rifle and the fifth-place winner gets a $250 gift card. Go here to enter the raffle and for additional information.
RMEF has a long, active history in Virginia that includes providing both funding and volunteer support to successfully restore wild, free-ranging elk to their historic Old Dominion range in 2012. Dating back to 1993, RMEF and its partners completed 82 conservation and hunting heritage projects in Virginia with a combined value of more than $2.1 million.
(Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)