Enhance it and they will come.
The southern stretch of the Cumberland Mountains is Tennessee elk country, and Hatfield Knob is its epicenter.
About 50 miles north of Knoxville, the knob and its viewing tower is the most popular spot in the state for elk and those who like to view them.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has a long history with the Volunteer State, all for the benefit of its elk population.
As its most recent example, RMEF distributed funding to improve forage openings on Hatfield Knob for elk and other wildlife.
RMEF dollars bought a lot of big game groceries in the form of tons of seed – 1,200 pounds of oats, 1,100 pounds of wheat, 750 pounds of winter peas, 850 pounds of clover and nearly eight tons of fertilizer to help it all grow.
Combine that with other partner-funded work like mowing, invasive weed spraying and seeding, and it creates great forage and great elk viewing opportunities like these.
In 2000, RMEF supplied support for the successful restoration of elk onto their historic Tennessee range.
Two years later, RMEF provided $100,000 to help buy 74,000 acres of forestland, streams and mountains that eventually became the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area, site of the elk viewing tower.
And that opened the door for an annual elk hunt beginning in 2009.
Since then, the public interest in those hunts generated millions of dollars that biologists put back on the ground to improve elk habitat.
Plus, in 2022, RMEF contributed more funding to expand the WMA by another 850 acres.