Missouri recently concluded its first-ever managed elk hunt. The Missouri Department of Conservation issued five tags and caught up with one hunter, Bill Clark of Van Buren, to document his experience.
Go here to watch a video about it.
Van Buren, drawn for the resident-landowner antlered-elk permit, harvested a bull elk on his property Dec. 19. Clark is a life-long hunter of deer, turkey, and small game. He has also pursued elk in Colorado and Wyoming in the 1990s. He and his family own 80 acres east of Peck Ranch Conservation Area where they conduct timber-stand improvements on the heavily forested property and also plant clover and native grasses for elk and other wildlife. Clark says he applied for the elk hunt because he supports MDC’s elk restoration and management efforts, wildlife management in general, and wanted to help the herd by thinning a bull.
“I see elk on our land all the time,” Clark said. “I’m nearly 80 and use a cane and a crutch so I’m limited in my mobility. I was standing on my back deck and saw a group of cow elk about 100 yards through the trees in the yard with a spike bull with them. He stopped, and that was the shot I had and the shot I took. We then broke down the carcass and are processing it ourselves.”
Clark added, “I’m really happy to represent what I believe to be one of the most important hunts of my life. This program is an example of one of the best things to happen for the people of Missouri in years, and I’m nearly 80 years old.”
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provided funding and volunteer manpower to assist with the successful restoration of wild, free-ranging elk to their historic Missouri range in 2011. Since 1991, RMEF and its partners completed 130 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Missouri with a combined value of more than $2.9 million. These projects enhanced 9,484 acres of habitat.
(Photo credit: Missouri Department of Conservation)