Elk hearing draws a crowd

A minor adjustment to elk depredation rules brought 70 people — about 40 of them college students — out to Haywood Community College last week for a public hearing with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

Planning begins for logging project in Haywood

out frRound tables and large, neon sticky notes characterized last week’s kickoff of a planning process to cut timber and create elk habitat in a remote corner of northeastern Haywood County.  

About 50 people representing groups including the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, MountainTrue, The Nature Conservancy, the Ruffed Grouse Society and Haywood County government — among a host of others — found their way to the room at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville, taking a seat on the large circle of chairs waiting for them.

Four elk dead in Jonathan Creek

haywoodAfter three elk were shot on the Ross dairy farm in Jonathan Creek for eating winter wheat, a follow-up visit from wildlife officials revealed the remains of a fourth elk as well.

Wildlife Commission OKs elk hunting rules

elkElk hunting could be on the way to becoming legal in North Carolina following the N.C. Wildlife Resource’s Commission unanimous vote in favor of a rule change last week, though any actual season on elk is likely still a good ways in the future. 

To hunt or not to hunt: Elk season proposal debated at public hearing

out frShould North Carolina start thinking about a hunting season for elk? 

If the crowd that turned out to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s public hearing last week is any indication, it depends who you ask. Farmers, hunters, biologists, wildlife enthusiasts and everyone in between filled the seats at Haywood Community College’s auditorium, waiting for the chance to give their two cents on the Wildlife Commission’s proposal to pave the way for an elk hunting season in the future.

Charting the future: Wildlife Commission proposes hunting season on elk

coverFifteen years ago, a herd of 52 elk set foot in their new home — the Great Smoky Mountains National Park — for the first time, the start of an experimental attempt to restore the long-absent species to its rightful place in the North Carolina mountains. 

These days, the elk herd is quite a bit larger, with groups of the animals pinching off the original herd in the Cataloochee area and even taking up residence outside park boundaries. In anticipation of the herd’s continued growth, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has come out with a proposal to pave the way for an elk season, putting up the legal framework to make hunting possible once it deems population levels high enough. Often, proposals related to hunting and wildlife management are controversial, but this one appears to have support from a broad spectrum of people representing a range of wildlife and conservation interests.

Elk hunting by permit being debated by wildlife commission

elkAs the elk herd in Western North Carolina continues to grow, an elk-hunting season could become a possibility under a proposal being considered by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

Agencies join forces to address elk concerns

fr elkforceElk and humans are still trying to figure out how to cohabitate in Western North Carolina since the herd was re-introduced to the Cataloochee Valley in 2001.

Wandering elk in Nantahala falls victim to wildlife ‘stand your ground’ rule

fr itsanelkA property owner in the remote Nantahala area of Macon County shot an elk that was eating his corn, upsetting neighbors who liked having an elk among them.

House hunting for elk: Conservation project seeks to attract elk, tourism

out frThings have gone well for the Smokies elk, and they’ve risen from reintroduction experiment to established population. But meanwhile, they’ve outgrown Great Smoky Mountains National Park, spilling over into private lands to find pasture on agricultural fields not intended as gifts to the elk. A land protection project by The Conservation Fund seeks to provide some more suitable places for the elk to go. 

“The reason the elk have come out of the park is there are now more elk than there is habitat to sustain them, so the [N.C.] Wildlife [Resources] Commission is going to need to work to create some habitat that both elk and people will enjoy,” said Bill Holman, state director of The Conservation Fund. 

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