It took a couple of years and some diligent work by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), local businesses, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation volunteers and other folks, but Virginia’s elk cam is now live and online.
“Elk in Virginia provide an opportunity for people to connect with nature that other wildlife doesn’t provide,” says David Kalb, VDGIF elk project leader. “They’re different from a whitetail deer. They’re more visible because they’re huge animals in the wide open.”
The camera is mounted on a viewing tower in Vansant, a small town in Buchanan County. Power to keep it online comes from a propane generator and solar panels mounted on the tower. It allows people in any location around the world to watch for elk, deer, turkey and other wildlife but those who worked on the project hope the elk will also draw more wildlife viewers and tourists to southwest Virginia.
“I hope that folks will see the work that’s been done for the wildlife,” said Leon Boyd, RMEF volunteer and president of the Southwest Virginia Sportsman’s Club. “I want them to travel here for a weekend stay and show them that there’s lots to offer in the coalfields just like anywhere else in Virginia.”
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(Photo source: Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries)