Things didn’t go exactly as planned for a man who made hunting history in Missouri, but they worked out in the end.
Chris Irick shot a mature bull elk with his bow in the evening of October 18, 2021, the first elk killed by archery methods in Missouri’s modern elk history. The thing is, he couldn’t find it.
It turns out that another hunter, one seeking a bear in the state’s first-ever black bear hunt, found it the next morning and reported it to conservation agents. Irick was also back in the woods and eventually found the elk as well. In an effort to report the kill as required by hunting regulations, he scaled a tree 16 feet in the air to get better cell service. By then, Conservation Agent Logan Brawley was on the scene. When he drove up, he couldn’t see Irick but head him yelling up in the tree.
Thanks to cool overnight temperatures, the elk meat was just fine and Irick was able to pack it out.
Missouri’s archery season continues through October 24 while the rifle season is December 11-19.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provided funding and volunteer manpower to help with the successful restoration of elk to their historic Missouri range in 2011. Since 1991, RMEF and its partners completed 133 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Missouri with a combined value of more than $2.9 million that enhanced 11,004 acres of habitat.
Missouri held its first-ever managed elk hunt in 2020.
(Photo source: Missouri Department of Conservation)