Elk in Ohio? ….

Columbus –  Rumors of an elk repopulation at Shawnee State
Forest are just that – rumor.

While our bretheren to the south have rebuilt its elk
population  to a sizable herd, don’t look for the species to return
to Ohio anytime soon.

Kentucky’s elk repopulation program has been well chroniciled
for its success over the past decade.  The Bluegrass State’s 
program has been popular with hunters who are drawn from a lottery
for hunts in the eastern part of the state.  Since elk was opened
for hunting, Kentucky has nearly doubled its number of lottery
spots every year as the herd continues to thrive.

Could Ohio be next in the elk game?  It’s not likely, said Dave
Graham, chief of the DNR Division of Wildlife.

“There’s probably a real limiting factor (for elk) here in Ohio
and it’s 12 million people,” he said.

It has been mentioned that Shawnee State Forest, at about 60,000
acres  in Southwest Ohio,  would be a good candidate for elk
reintroduction.  Ohio Wildlife councilman Dominic Marchese,  in
particular, has questioned the possibility.

Graham says the idea isn’t bad, but it’s just not something he
would champion right now.

“If the (Ohio) Farm Bureau says it would allow elk to be stocked
in this state, I’ll look into the feasibility,” said Graham. “But,
I am not going to be the one that brings the idea forward … That’s
been my stand all along.”

The last time elk were recorded in Ohio was about 1900, about
the time deer and turkey were extirpated, said Graham.

Categories: Ohio – Mike Moore

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