Below is part of a news release from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC).

Wes Wright, AGFC elk program coordinator, updated the Commission on the 2023 elk harvest and subsequent elk population monitoring efforts.

According to Wright, 27 elk were harvested during the 2023 hunting season. Twenty-three came from Searcy County, three from Newton County and one elk was harvested in Boone County. No elk were harvested from outside the Core Elk Management Zone.

Wright said 18 bulls were taken by hunters and nine antlerless elk were harvested. As with most years, hunters pursuing bulls were much more avid in their efforts, while those who drew antlerless elk tags tended to not fill their tag as often.

Overall, the harvest has returned to roughly the same level as it was immediately preceding the discovery of chronic wasting disease in the state.

“We increased limits to reduce the population when CWD was discovered,” Wright said. “Now we’re at a point where we should return to more conservative harvest practices like we had last year to conserve the resource.”

Wright also briefed commissioners on improvements to Lick Mountain, which was acquired by the AGFC in 2017 and was under a conservation easement with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation from previous landowners. The 311-acre property has seen extensive management with the help of an additional 20 acres of wildlife food plots, 3 miles of fire line restoration and prescribed fire implementation to reduce invasive vegetation.

Wright highlighted the importance of the RMEF, which also contributed $25,000 to the habitat work.

“It’s kind of a showcase of what we can do through partnerships,” Wright said.

Since 1992 the RMEF has contributed more than $5.4 million toward the completion of 110 projects, enhancing more than 80,000 acres of habitat and 514 acres of public access in The Natural State.

The Commission also recognized AGFC Deputy Director Brad Carner, who announced Luke Naylor, AGFC wildlife management division chief, and Jason “Buck” Jackson, AGFC wetlands program coordinator, as the recipients of the Ducks Unlimited Wetlands Conservation Achievement Award for their leadership in wetland planning, restoration and habitat management for the benefit of waterfowl and waterfowl hunters on a national and international level.

(Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)

The post RMEF Lauded for Conservation Work in Arkansas appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

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