Kentucky to provide elk for Missouri restoration program

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BillHilly
 
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Kentucky to provide elk for Missouri restoration program

Postby BillHilly » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:21 pm

We's gitten us some of them big deer ya buddy more meat
Cooperative efforts with other states and conservation groups is getting the Show-Me State’s elk-restoration program off to a fast start.
HAZARD, Ky. – Elk from Kentucky will begin arriving in the Show-Me State this coming spring, and preparations to trap and transport the animals are proceeding rapidly, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).
In October, the Conservation Commission directed MDC staff to restore elk to a 346-square-mile area in Shannon, Carter and Reynolds counties. The first step in implementing the plan was to find a state willing to share its elk.
“Kentucky has by far the most successful elk restoration program and largest herds in the eastern United States,” said MDC Resource Scientist Lonnie Hansen, “Its herds number around 10,000 across 16 counties. The Commonwealth of Kentucky generously consented to provide elk for our program, so we are preparing to help trap elk in Kentucky and bring them to Peck Ranch Conservation Area in southeast Missouri.”
The area where MDC will trap elk is on the Cumberland Plateau in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky. Elk inhabit approximately 6,000 square miles of the mountainous region. Most of Kentucky’s elk are clustered around the eight sites where elk from western states were released during a five-year restoration effort from 1997 to 2002. In all, the commonwealth brought 1,549 elk from western states. The ratio of cows to bulls was three to one. Much of the area inhabited by elk is owned or controlled by timber or mining companies and is managed by the Commonwealth under special agreements.
Construction of a corral-type elk trap, holding pens and other facilities began Dec. 8 in Bell County, Kentucky. Construction Superintendent Richard Grishow, who supervises MDC onsite staff, said the work has progressed very quickly. In spite of single-digit temperatures and a 14-inch snowfall, work was winding down by Dec. 15. On that morning, the crew had to use space heaters to free skid steers from frozen mud before work could begin. Frequent sightings of elk have kept construction crews excited about their work.
Grishow said he expects the trap and holding pen in Kentucky to be completed by Christmas. Soon afterwards, trapping crews will begin baiting the trap with a mixture of corn, oats and molasses. At the same time, MDC construction workers will be busy back at home building a holding pen at Peck Ranch Conservation Area. The elk will arrive in tractor-trailer trucks after a three-month, precautionary quarantine in Kentucky.
The MDC has not selected a site for the holding pen at Peck Ranch. However, it likely will be in a remote spot inside the conservation area’s 11,000-acre central refuge. The Missouri holding pen will consist of a single 12-foot chain-link fence covered with burlap so the elk cannot see out or be disturbed by activities outside the pen. MDC Resource Scientist Ron Dent, who is helping with the restoration program, says the enclosure will minimize the chance of disturbing the elk.
“We will try to minimize human activity around the enclosure,” said Dent. “These are wild animals that are not used to being around people. Activity around the holding pen could cause unnecessary stress to these animals.”
The MDC will provide periodic public updates, including photos and video of the trapping and relocation process.
Elk could be released into the wild at Peck Ranch as soon as late April 2011. The “soft release” will involve opening a gate and letting elk leave on their own. The MDC plans to close the refuge area at Peck Ranch to hunting as long as elk remain in the holding pen. This is likely to affect a small number of turkey hunters who use the area.
The MDC selected the limited restoration zone in this remote part of the Ozarks because it has extensive public lands, suitable habitat, low road density, minimal agricultural activity and landowner support.
MDC personnel have received significant help from the staffs and volunteers from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFW), the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) and the Appalachian Wildlife Foundation (AWF).
The RMEF recently pledged $300,000 for Missouri’s elk-restoration program. The AWF has pledged $50,000. Virginia plans to conduct its own elk-restoration program with elk from Kentucky and will benefit from helping set up the trapping operation.
The Conservation Commission decided to restore elk to Missouri for several reasons. These included citizen requests, ecological benefits from restoring a native species and economic benefits to Missouri through tourism and hunting. Before making the decision, the commission gathered citizen comments at public forums and by e-mail, mail and telephone. More than 70 percent of the 2,953 comments received expressed support for elk restoration.
All elk brought to Peck Ranch CA will be fitted with microchips and radio collars. This will permit tracking their movements after they leave the holding pen as part of a cooperative research project with the University of Missouri.
The elk-restoration plan includes measures to deal with elk that wander onto private land where they are not welcome. The Conservation Department will use hunting to maintain the elk herd at a manageable size.
Kentucky held its first elk hunt in 2001. Missouri’s elk-restoration plan calls for a hunting season as soon as the elk population can sustain one. Research conducted in conjunction with the restoration program will enable the MDC to develop a population model to help determine when hunting can begin.
Elk brought into Missouri as part of the MDC’s restoration program will undergo rigorous testing for chronic wasting disease (CWD), brucellosis, bovine tuberculosis, anaplasmosis, bovine viral diarrhea, blue tongue, epizootic hemorrhagic disease, Johne’s disease and vesicular stomatitis. They also will receive treatment for internal and external parasites. These veterinary health protocols are more stringent than any that apply to livestock brought into Missouri.
Elk-vehicle accidents have been infrequent in other states with elk-restoration programs. This is partly because bull elk assemble groups of cows and guard them, rather than pursuing individual females, as white-tailed deer do. Elk are much less mobile in eastern states, where natural food is more plentiful, than in western states.
Arkansas’ elk-restoration zone has nearly twice the density of roads as Missouri’s. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) has recorded one or two elk-vehicle accidents annually since elk restoration began 25 years ago. The AGFC receives approximately two complaints of pasture damage and one or two complaints of fence damage annually.
According to the RMEF, statistics from eastern states with elk-restoration programs show no human fatalities from collisions with elk, and automobile insurance rates are no higher in states with wild free-ranging elk.
Born on a mountain raised in a cave Huntin and truckin is what I crave

KYdeer88
 
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RE: Kentucky to provide elk for Missouri restoration program

Postby KYdeer88 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:43 am

That’s cool. I enjoy the elk here. It's fun to be sitting in the stand and have an elk wander by. I think the 10k population guess is very conservative. I have heard we may have as many as 15k. I'm lucky because I don't have to drive out west to hear an elk bugle; I can go a half hour from the house.

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BillHilly
 
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RE: Kentucky to provide elk for Missouri restoration program

Postby BillHilly » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:30 pm

Elk restoration effort moves forward in Kentucky (w/pics)

Missouri’s first elk is in a holding pen, awaiting company.

HAZARD, Ky.–Missouri’s elk-restoration effort took a significant step forward Jan. 7 with the delivery of its first elk.

Workers with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFW) captured a juvenile bull. Of the bulls captured as part of trapping efforts, only calves and spike bulls will be used for Missouri’s restoration program, because mature bull elk with branched antlers are more difficult to handle and more likely to injure themselves or other captured elk.

Before elk trapping could begin, a construction crew made up of workers from KDFW and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) had to build a corral capable of holding 50 elk in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky. The pen was built using funds from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Despite challenges posed by single-digit temperatures, repeated heavy snowfall and freezing rain, they put finishing touches on the holding pen just days before the first elk’s arrival.

Kentucky’s deer and elk herd coordinator, Tina Brunjes, said the operation has shifted from construction to trapping.

“The holding facility is complete, we have the pens to hold the elk, and we have the handling facility where we can do all the disease testing,” Brunjes said. “It’s all ready to go.”

The first MDC trapping team arrived in Kentucky last week. MDC Wildlife Management Biologist Travis Mills is supervising the four-person team. Mills has a special interest in the project, since he is the wildlife management biologist for Shannon, Carter, Ripley and Oregon counties, which encompass much of Missouri’s elk-restoration zone.

Mills said the assistance from the KDFW is vital to the success of his team.

“We couldn’t do this project successfully without help from the Kentucky team,” Mills said. “They’ve been through their own elk reintroduction in Kentucky and they’re putting their expertise to work helping us to take every precaution to ensure we bring in a healthy elk herd to Missouri.”

The trapping process, according to Brunjes, starts with laying out bait where the elk regularly travel, then letting that bait lead the elk into the trap through a series of fencing.

“We’ve got bait out in areas where we’re trying to get a significant group of elk to start coming and feeding so we can trap them in the corral,” Brunjes said. By Jan. 10, two elk herds, totaling around 60 animals, were using the bait, setting the stage for trap deployment.

The trapping process is simple, according to Brunjes. She said the team found an area where they have seen elk and knew they are traveling through that area. After placing bait to lead the animals into the corral trap, it is just a matter of waiting.

Once elk are in the trap and the corral gate is closed, the trapping team will transfer them to the holding pen as quick as possible to minimize stress on the animals. Health testing will begin when 50 elk have been captured. Veterinarians from several agencies will cooperate on the health assessment and sampling process according to Brunjes.

If all goes well, MDC hopes to have 50 elk in holding pens by the end of January. When trapping ends and the initial health testing is completed, the clock will start running on a three-month quarantine period in Kentucky.
After arriving in Missouri, the elk will undergo another quarantine period in holding pens at Peck Ranch Conservation Area. These measures are intended to protect the health of Missouri’s domestic livestock and wildlife. The holding period also will allow imported elk to acclimate to the area, reducing the likelihood of their wandering far.

Mills said being part of the elk trapping and restoration team is an exciting assignment.

“To me, this is a career highlight,” Mills said. “I’ve spent over 20 years professionally in conservation and I’m excited to play such an integral part in this chapter of history where we’re restoring an important species to Missouri.”

The Missouri Conservation Commission decided to restore elk in a 346-square-mile area covering parts of Carter, Reynolds and Shannon counties for several reasons. These included citizen requests, ecological benefits from restoring a native species and economic benefits to Missouri through tourism and hunting. Before making the decision, the commission gathered citizen comments at public forums and by e-mail, mail and telephone. More than 70 percent of the 2,953 comments received expressed support for elk restoration.
The limited elk-restoration zone was chosen because it has extensive public lands, minimal agricultural activity, low road density and public support.

All elk brought to Peck Ranch CA will be fitted with microchips and radio collars. This will permit tracking their movements after they leave the holding pen as part of a cooperative research project with the University of Missouri.

The elk-restoration plan includes provisions for protecting Missouri wildlife and livestock and dealing with elk that wander onto private land where they are not welcome. The Conservation Department will use hunting to maintain the elk herd at a manageable size.
Born on a mountain raised in a cave Huntin and truckin is what I crave

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BillHilly
 
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RE: Kentucky to provide elk for Missouri restoration program

Postby BillHilly » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:33 pm

Elk restoration effort moves forward in Kentucky (w/pics)

Missouri’s first elk is in a holding pen, awaiting company.

HAZARD, Ky.–Missouri’s elk-restoration effort took a significant step forward Jan. 7 with the delivery of its first elk.

Workers with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFW) captured a juvenile bull. Of the bulls captured as part of trapping efforts, only calves and spike bulls will be used for Missouri’s restoration program, because mature bull elk with branched antlers are more difficult to handle and more likely to injure themselves or other captured elk.

Before elk trapping could begin, a construction crew made up of workers from KDFW and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) had to build a corral capable of holding 50 elk in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky. The pen was built using funds from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Despite challenges posed by single-digit temperatures, repeated heavy snowfall and freezing rain, they put finishing touches on the holding pen just days before the first elk’s arrival.

Kentucky’s deer and elk herd coordinator, Tina Brunjes, said the operation has shifted from construction to trapping.

“The holding facility is complete, we have the pens to hold the elk, and we have the handling facility where we can do all the disease testing,” Brunjes said. “It’s all ready to go.”

The first MDC trapping team arrived in Kentucky last week. MDC Wildlife Management Biologist Travis Mills is supervising the four-person team. Mills has a special interest in the project, since he is the wildlife management biologist for Shannon, Carter, Ripley and Oregon counties, which encompass much of Missouri’s elk-restoration zone.

Mills said the assistance from the KDFW is vital to the success of his team.

“We couldn’t do this project successfully without help from the Kentucky team,” Mills said. “They’ve been through their own elk reintroduction in Kentucky and they’re putting their expertise to work helping us to take every precaution to ensure we bring in a healthy elk herd to Missouri.”

The trapping process, according to Brunjes, starts with laying out bait where the elk regularly travel, then letting that bait lead the elk into the trap through a series of fencing.

“We’ve got bait out in areas where we’re trying to get a significant group of elk to start coming and feeding so we can trap them in the corral,” Brunjes said. By Jan. 10, two elk herds, totaling around 60 animals, were using the bait, setting the stage for trap deployment.

The trapping process is simple, according to Brunjes. She said the team found an area where they have seen elk and knew they are traveling through that area. After placing bait to lead the animals into the corral trap, it is just a matter of waiting.

Once elk are in the trap and the corral gate is closed, the trapping team will transfer them to the holding pen as quick as possible to minimize stress on the animals. Health testing will begin when 50 elk have been captured. Veterinarians from several agencies will cooperate on the health assessment and sampling process according to Brunjes.

If all goes well, MDC hopes to have 50 elk in holding pens by the end of January. When trapping ends and the initial health testing is completed, the clock will start running on a three-month quarantine period in Kentucky.
After arriving in Missouri, the elk will undergo another quarantine period in holding pens at Peck Ranch Conservation Area. These measures are intended to protect the health of Missouri’s domestic livestock and wildlife. The holding period also will allow imported elk to acclimate to the area, reducing the likelihood of their wandering far.

Mills said being part of the elk trapping and restoration team is an exciting assignment.

“To me, this is a career highlight,” Mills said. “I’ve spent over 20 years professionally in conservation and I’m excited to play such an integral part in this chapter of history where we’re restoring an important species to Missouri.”

The Missouri Conservation Commission decided to restore elk in a 346-square-mile area covering parts of Carter, Reynolds and Shannon counties for several reasons. These included citizen requests, ecological benefits from restoring a native species and economic benefits to Missouri through tourism and hunting. Before making the decision, the commission gathered citizen comments at public forums and by e-mail, mail and telephone. More than 70 percent of the 2,953 comments received expressed support for elk restoration.
The limited elk-restoration zone was chosen because it has extensive public lands, minimal agricultural activity, low road density and public support.

All elk brought to Peck Ranch CA will be fitted with microchips and radio collars. This will permit tracking their movements after they leave the holding pen as part of a cooperative research project with the University of Missouri.

The elk-restoration plan includes provisions for protecting Missouri wildlife and livestock and dealing with elk that wander onto private land where they are not welcome. The Conservation Department will use hunting to maintain the elk herd at a manageable size.
Born on a mountain raised in a cave Huntin and truckin is what I crave

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clfenimore
 
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RE: Kentucky to provide elk for Missouri restoration program

Postby clfenimore » Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:04 pm

Here is a video segment of our elk trapping efforts in Kentucky. Feel free to use content. Please identify MDC Missouri dept of Conservation as the source.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP-6TA2E9qs
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MoBowman
 
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RE: Kentucky to provide elk for Missouri restoration program

Postby MoBowman » Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:57 am

I think for the most part the vast majority of Missourians are all for the Elk restoration program. Sure will be nice to hear the early morning bugle of the Elk in the Ozark Mountains.

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BillHilly
 
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RE: Kentucky to provide elk for Missouri restoration program

Postby BillHilly » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:17 pm

46 elk captured, health protocols in progress
Catch includes spike bulls and several pregnant cows.
PINEVILLE, KY – Forty-six animals that will form the nucleus of Missouri’s restored elk herd are in a holding pen in Bell County, Kentucky, undergoing veterinary testing and treatment. By the end of the week, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will start the clock on a 90-day quarantine period designed to ensure they are healthy and ready for a new life in the Ozarks.
Crews made up of personnel from MDC and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources finished trapping operations Jan. 22, using two corral-type traps in separate locations. They baited the traps with alfalfa hay, corn and sweet feed. The traps were equipped with remotely controlled gates, allowing workers to watch the traps from a distance and close them when elk were inside.
MDC hoped to capture 50 elk this year. That challenge was complicated by the need to trap only cow elk, their calves and 1.5-year-old bulls, known as “spikes” because of their unbranched antlers. Spike bulls will be 2.5 years old next fall, when cow elk in Missouri are ready to breed.
“Mature wild bull elk are too strong to work with safely in captivity without sedation,” said MDC Elk Project Manager Ron Dent. “Sedation carries more risk for the animals, and without sedation big bulls pose a danger to workers and other elk in a confined space.”
Trapping crews had to experiment with techniques to exclude mature bulls from the traps. They also had to work through technical hitches with the automatic gates.
This year’s catch includes seven spike bulls, 21 adult cows, 10 yearling bulls, four yearling cows and four female calves. Nearly all the mature cows are expected to be pregnant.
State and federal officials conducted the first round of veterinary testing Tuesday. Elk were guided through a “squeeze chute” like those used for working domestic livestock. Once confined in the chute, each elk received an injection to kill internal and external parasites. Workers then shaved a small patch of skin on the animals’ necks for a tuberculosis skin test and to draw blood for other disease testing. Veterinary health protocols approved by the Missouri State Veterinarian are more stringent than any that apply to livestock brought into Missouri.
After veterinary health work-ups, the elk were fitted with ear tags and with passive integrated transponder (PIT) identification tags.
MDC workers will check the tuberculosis skin tests Friday. Then MDC can start the clock on a 90-day quarantine period. The holding pen is surrounded by a perimeter fence that prevents contact with free-ranging elk or deer.
A three-month quarantine leaves time for MDC to bring the elk to a holding pen at Peck Ranch CA in Carter County and let them acclimate to their new surroundings before being released to the wild. The acclimation period will allow biologists the opportunity to observe elk and fit them with them with GPS collars.
The elk are being protected from poaching or disturbance by curiosity seekers. This protection will continue at the holding site at Peck Ranch. Dent said this is critical to the success of the elk-restoration effort.
“These are wild animals,” he said. “They are highly susceptible to human disturbance. We stay away from the holding pen as much as possible, because the elk can become very nervous if they hear, see or smell humans nearby. They can injure themselves if they bunch up or try to jump the fence. That is why we do not allow news media or other visitors at the trapping site. The same will be true when we bring the elk to the holding pen at Peck Ranch
FOR RELATED PHOTOS visit our online Newsroom at http://mdc.mo.gov/newsroom
Born on a mountain raised in a cave Huntin and truckin is what I crave

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BillHilly
 
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RE: Kentucky to provide elk for Missouri restoration program

Postby BillHilly » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:29 pm

Well Chuck I aint seen you since we hunted Jack ass bend last Nov You get a big one last year son? If you wana trade hunts again this year drop me a line. here is some new news on the Elk thats a commin to mo.

46 elk captured, health protocols in progress
Catch includes spike bulls and several pregnant cows.
PINEVILLE, KY – Forty-six animals that will form the nucleus of Missouri’s restored elk herd are in a holding pen in Bell County, Kentucky, undergoing veterinary testing and treatment. By the end of the week, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will start the clock on a 90-day quarantine period designed to ensure they are healthy and ready for a new life in the Ozarks.
Crews made up of personnel from MDC and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources finished trapping operations Jan. 22, using two corral-type traps in separate locations. They baited the traps with alfalfa hay, corn and sweet feed. The traps were equipped with remotely controlled gates, allowing workers to watch the traps from a distance and close them when elk were inside.
MDC hoped to capture 50 elk this year. That challenge was complicated by the need to trap only cow elk, their calves and 1.5-year-old bulls, known as “spikes” because of their unbranched antlers. Spike bulls will be 2.5 years old next fall, when cow elk in Missouri are ready to breed.
“Mature wild bull elk are too strong to work with safely in captivity without sedation,” said MDC Elk Project Manager Ron Dent. “Sedation carries more risk for the animals, and without sedation big bulls pose a danger to workers and other elk in a confined space.”
Trapping crews had to experiment with techniques to exclude mature bulls from the traps. They also had to work through technical hitches with the automatic gates.
This year’s catch includes seven spike bulls, 21 adult cows, 10 yearling bulls, four yearling cows and four female calves. Nearly all the mature cows are expected to be pregnant.
State and federal officials conducted the first round of veterinary testing Tuesday. Elk were guided through a “squeeze chute” like those used for working domestic livestock. Once confined in the chute, each elk received an injection to kill internal and external parasites. Workers then shaved a small patch of skin on the animals’ necks for a tuberculosis skin test and to draw blood for other disease testing. Veterinary health protocols approved by the Missouri State Veterinarian are more stringent than any that apply to livestock brought into Missouri.
After veterinary health work-ups, the elk were fitted with ear tags and with passive integrated transponder (PIT) identification tags.
MDC workers will check the tuberculosis skin tests Friday. Then MDC can start the clock on a 90-day quarantine period. The holding pen is surrounded by a perimeter fence that prevents contact with free-ranging elk or deer.
A three-month quarantine leaves time for MDC to bring the elk to a holding pen at Peck Ranch CA in Carter County and let them acclimate to their new surroundings before being released to the wild. The acclimation period will allow biologists the opportunity to observe elk and fit them with them with GPS collars.
The elk are being protected from poaching or disturbance by curiosity seekers. This protection will continue at the holding site at Peck Ranch. Dent said this is critical to the success of the elk-restoration effort.
“These are wild animals,” he said. “They are highly susceptible to human disturbance. We stay away from the holding pen as much as possible, because the elk can become very nervous if they hear, see or smell humans nearby. They can injure themselves if they bunch up or try to jump the fence. That is why we do not allow news media or other visitors at the trapping site. The same will be true when we bring the elk to the holding pen at Peck Ranch
FOR RELATED PHOTOS visit our online Newsroom at http://mdc.mo.gov/newsroom
Born on a mountain raised in a cave Huntin and truckin is what I crave

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clfenimore
 
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RE: Kentucky to provide elk for Missouri restoration program

Postby clfenimore » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:29 pm

Ok Bill I'll call you I already have plans for spring turkey Let me think on it a couple days
Elk destined for Missouri are being tested for diseases while under quarantine in their Kentucky holding pen.
Please Credit "Courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation".

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bow_junky
 
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RE: Kentucky to provide elk for Missouri restoration program

Postby bow_junky » Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:26 pm

I am absolutely in love with the idea of a healthy elk population in MO.  I will deffinatey have my name in the pot when these things get established enough to pursue, (even if Im bound to a hover round).

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