Elk hunting in Missouri could become a reality

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Elk hunting in Missouri could be a reality down the line.

It will all come down to whether or not the Missouri Department of Conservation continues to see growth in the elk population in the state.

Elk are large members of the deer family and typically weigh over 500 pounds.

Many of Lanell Lange's childhood memories include mornings in the deer blind.

"I hunted when I was young with my dad," Lange said. "Getting out there at the crack of dawn and my brother going you see that little object coming up there."

Now, it's something she shares with her family.

So when she heard elk hunting could be thing in the show-me-state - she thought it would be great.

Elk are native to Missouri and were reintroduced in 2011 thanks to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

"Right now, our herd is a 175," MDC Media Specialist Candice Davis said.

If the population surpasses 200, biologists will consider a limited hunting season.

"That doesn't mean it's going to be 201 and we're going to have a hunt," Davis said. "But that means that it's going to get past that the number of 200, then they're going to consider it and look at what options are."

She said it would likely be a managed hunt, which mean hunters would be selected by a random drawing.

"They're reproducing pretty well and if they sustain this, they continue to do well, it could be a couple of years," Davis said.

As for Lanell Lange, she said husband has snagged an elk in the past.

She said it filled her freezer with 90 packs of meat and she would love to be able to do it again.

"You get a lot of meat of it and it's just so good for you," Lange said.

Conservation officials are set to meet Friday, October 20th to get on update on the elk herd's status.

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