Topic 1
Elk Education

Elk Ed

A Brief History

Elk are native to Kentucky and were present until the mid 1880s, when the population was eliminated due to habitat degradation and overhunting. Kentucky's elk program is considered a restoration, not an introduction. The first Rocky Mountain elk was released in December 1997. More than 4,000 people lined up in Perry County to watch the historic release. The elk restoration program started with seven elk which included four bulls (males) and three cows (females). Since then, the small herd has translocated into a 16-county elk zone of the south eastern corner of Kentucky. This area is roughly the size of Yellowstone National Park. The elk restoration program has been the largest project of its kind for wildlife ever attempted in North America.

The reclaimed coal mine, where the elk were released, composed of rolling hills and forest which makes a perfect habitat for elk. The first hunt took place in 2001 and this is also when 10 elk hunting permits were open for the public. By 2014, the number of elk permit applications increased to about 70,000!

Elk 101 was designed to promote hunter education and safety for elk hunters. Educating elk hunters provides an opportunity for a better hunting experience. The course has the potential to lower wounding loss and accidental kills, while increasing hunter satisfaction. A hunter will learn critical topics of elk hunting including habitat, movement, herd structure, anatomy and shot placement, equipment, elk sign, recovering, field and meat care.

Safe hunting!