Stocking ELK in Virginia

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kenny thomas

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The Virginia game commision has a proposal to stock Elk in three counties in the western part of the state. These counties are mostly wooded (85%) with very few farms and most of the open land is strip mines.
I do not know much about Elk so what are some thoughts? What are concerns? Many of the strip mines are replanted with hardwood trees, will the Elk damage these small seedlings? What are farm concerns?
 

mtncows

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Bad idea.If a 100 lb deer can trash a car what do they think an800 lb elk will do?In CO an antelpoe goes under the fence,a deer over the fence and an elk through it.
 

c farmer

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I am in pa and the elk are already in this state give it time and they will have migrated down there too. Can you see how much crop damage elk can do, and I thought deer were bad. :devil2:
 

3waycross

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Some Elk facts.

They will try to jump a fence. Draw your own conclusions.

They are grazers so if they are turned loose where it's 85% wooded they will be where there's some good grass real soon.

They will damage small trees but mostly rubbing with their horns....and I am sure if the pickins are slim they will eat the terminal growth but not by choice.

They are like all wild animals if standing corn tastes good to them they will eat it......and they love alfalfa.

They taste great.
 

Red Bull Breeder

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There is a lot of bull in the article upfrombottom posted. There has been a herd of elk in the middle Richland Creek area for twenty years.The elk herd in Arkansas numbers around 500 head by unoffical AGF sources.I think Va. residents could block this because of CWD. Arkansas cannot bring any more in because of CWD, not that we need them.The elk very seldom use the native warm season grasses as was talked about in the article. They much perfer Clover and Alfalfa as Threeway said. If the va game commisson is going to stock elk they better get there forage ready. Lots of ochard grass and clover for the spring and fall, millet buckwheat and haybean for the summer, and tons of wheat for the winter. The AGF bought 2800 acres of land in the lower Richland Creek Valley at a cost of $2800.00 dollars per acre 4 years ago the Rocky Mountian Elk Foundation was the primary source of funding. If you go to the RMEF website and read it says the RMEF trys to buy a square mile of land ever 24 hours to expand elk range. All farms KT gets to lease for maintaining them may soon be leased by VA Game commison or bought by them with funding form the Rocky Mountian Elk Foundation.
 

upfrombottom

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I don't get out much or do much traveling, but I do go to the Ozarks on occasion for a weekend, just haven't had the time in the last couple years. I would love to see the Elk population here in Arkansas as I have never seen one in person.

I live in a part of the state that is mostly rural river bottom farm land. In places you can see for miles. The rural part gets to be more and more every year as the smaller towns that were supported by farming in the early years slowly dry up. When I was a kid, wildlife in these parts was scarce, if someone saw a deer track they would call everyone to brag about it. Well being rural has its advantages, but most rural people love to hunt and fish for food and recreation and when there is nothing to hunt, that is a big disadvantage. I was lucky growing up as my father saw to it my brother and I had a place to hunt, and took us to other areas of the state that had deer and turkey, although they were not over populated by any means. I can distinctly remember a deer season in 1982, in Arkansas County, that there were 10 of us hunting a 2400 acre lease, and there was one deer taken for the whole season.

There are plenty of deer here now and the turkey are making a remarkable comeback, and it is mainly because of the purchase of land by the Dept. of Parks and Tourism. In the last several decades advances in farming practices have increased yields to the point that the least productive land is being taken out of production and being reforested. This to has had a big impact on the wildlife populations in our part of the state. I can and do understand some peoples animosity toward wildlife because of the damages they can do and living in an area that has a good deer population I have seen it personally. But, having lived with out any for so long, there are very few complaints in our area.

I thank the Lord for Teddy Roosevelt having the foresight to see where we were headed.
 
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kenny thomas

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Part of my problem with it is the game commission does not own or lease any land here. They are proposing to turn them loose on coal company land and even the coal company has not agreed to it yet. Guess I will go to their meeting next Tuesday and see what they have to say.
 

Red Bull Breeder

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Upfrombottom you meet me at the woolum crossing on the Buffalo River in September and i will give you a elk tour. Was from 80 to 120 head using in the lower Richland Valley last fall. Most of the local folks around here ain't that happy with Roosevelts National park system.I make the better part of my living doing contract work for AGF, and leasing hay ground from them and for the first time since elk were brought here i can get a elk tag. I have spent countless hours fixing fence and gathering up cows from elk tearing down my fences. Have lost alot of time from work over the years from having to get the cows back from the neighbors hay feilds or just out of there pastures. The Elk are here just got to learn to live with them, i think it will be alot easier to do with one or two in the freezer.
KT you need to ask them folks about CWD and bring animals from states with CWD. Also might ask how good of forage they have for them cause they are going to need a bunch.
 

Red Bull Breeder

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You can bring a 06 i don't care, its them park rangers and game wardens that get fussy about that. Archery bear season is open in September, saw a sow and two cubs yesterday evening. In Boxley Valley the park service has a vewing station so people can watch the elk.
 

gimpyrancher

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I'm trying to deal with elk going through my fences as we speak. I think I'm going to install flexible fiberglass posts and HT wire. I hope that'll help with fence destruction. :help:
 

Red Bull Breeder

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Worse trouble with a darn elk is it don't care how many places it crosses your fence. Flexable post will help, if you got a place where they cross regular run a peice of small cable thru a peice of pvc pipe and hang it at the same level of your top wire.
 

alftn

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Hay what is the problem, if they (the elk) are a problem , we can aways kill them off again....
 

3waycross

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alftn":1y7p87jb said:
Hay what is the problem, if they (the elk) are a problem , we can aways kill them off again....

I her they are gonna plant some black ones just for you so you can run around promoting them all day. I bet you won't want to kill them then.
 
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kenny thomas

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At meetings here this week two of the counties involved voted against the stocking. I still feel they will do it. Too much money involved for the state game dept.
aftn, easier said than done. The plans are for them to have tracking collars on many of them so they can tell when and where something happens.
 

Dave

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It has been my expereince that the first 3 or 4 will jump a fence just fine. It is that 5th one in line who forgets to jump. Then the 6th one doesn't have to worry about jumping. Actually the only big repairs I have had to do is in a field where the hunters shot at a herd. There wasn't much left standing after that. I have one field where a herd winters. Come spring there might be a hole or two but it is amazing how much elk hair there is in the barb wire. Give time and not spooked they aren't that hard on the fence. Thankfully that field is shielded from the road so people don't stop to look at them and end up spooking them.

Oh, they do taste real good. Pretty much what I eat.
 

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