A Growing Elk Herd in Virginia

pict0249Since restoration efforts to restore this once-native species began a few years ago, Virginia’s Elk have been thriving!  DGIF Biologists estimate the total number of elk in Virginia to be between 150 to 200 animals.  Our Virginia bulls are growing impressive antlers and are now “bugling” to assert their dominance, and to impress their harems.  The sound of the elk bugle is one of the most unique sounds in nature.  These magnificent animals provide a great viewing opportunity–Elk Cows can weigh up to 600lbs and Bulls can grow to a whopping 700lbs!

ek000591Elk Viewing Opportunities:

Elk viewing opportunities are available via bus tours offered by Breaks Interstate Park until November 19th.

Another public viewing opportunity exists at Poplar Gap Park in Buchanan County—Elk are often seen around dusk.

If you go:  Take binoculars and a camera to capture photos.  If elk are bugling, you may want to try to record a video of their unique call.

Read more about Virginia’s Elk herd in an upcoming issue of Virginia Wildlife MagazineSubscribe today!

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  • September 30, 2016