Missouri elk population grows, but no hunts yet
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri's elk population is growing, but the state's conservation agency isn't quite ready to start issuing hunting permits for the herds.
The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports that the state has about 125 elk after reintroducing the animal to Missouri in 2010.
The Missouri Department of Conservation Department has said it would start issuing a handful of permits if the herd grows to about 200 elk. That target remains several years away based on current reproduction rates.
The number of permits could increase to about 30 annually if the herd grows as large as 400 to 500 elk.
Elk were common in Missouri before European settlement but had been eradicated from the state by the end of the Civil War.