MDC continues efforts to return elk to the state

(Editor’s note: This is the third in a four-part series about Missouri’s efforts to bring elk back to the state.) 

January 17

• 8:00 a.m. – Briefing – updated all troops as to accomplishments to this point. Identified supplies needed to gather from town. 

Had a detailed discussion about what needs to be done between now and 2:00 p.m.

The one Chevy truck that is connected to the gooseneck is not running well. We have decided to chain up the other Chevy 3/4-ton truck and connect it to the trailer and drive the other one back and forth to our lodging to determine if the problem is just fuel or something else. 

It has been sitting and only driven short distances, and I know how I feel when I am done that way! 

We then all went to eat in town. While eating we were joined by Sam Mars III and his brother who own several businesses in Middlesboro, KY. 

Sam is the Vice President of the National Wild Turkey Federation. He is aware of what we are doing here and was very appreciative of our efforts. 

He said, “The elk in Kentucky came from somewhere, it is only right that we as Kentuckians return the favor.”

• 12:00 Noon – All crew members were onsite making repairs and getting things fixed and tidied for the next shift. 

Pens were put back to the correct shape and trailer-pulling trucks changed out. Tractor refueled and made ready.

• 10:05 p.m. – Report came over the radio that Trap #2 had been sprung and elk were captured. Hasenbeck, Cordell, and McLain were on-site and several elk were in the pen.

Dalbom, waiting at the forks of the trail, fired up the truck with the gooseneck and headed to the trap. Elk were loaded and moved to the holding pen.

Eight elk total were caught; four cows and four calves. Probably the calmest bunch captured to this point. 

Gates at the holding pen were locked, truck and trailer returned to the forks of the road and Trap #2 was readied for the next shift.

January 18

Dalbom took the Suburban to the Williamsburg airport to meet the flight bringing Ziehmer, Draper and Dent.

They were driven to the project site and toured the facility. Twelve o’clock briefing was attended by all MDC staff and 10 Kentucky F&G folks. A memento of the project was given to Bob.

Bob, there are three good reasons for this gift (an elk antler with all the names of the crew with a leather strap for hanging).
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1. Allowing us to be involved with this project.

2. The support you have shown to us for this project.

3. You told me you wanted one of these.

• Noon – Darren Peddit and Grant Gelly came over from Missouri and set up some surveillance video equipment to provide a view of inside the traps, day and night.

Scott McWilliams flew home today. He will be back late Thursday.

• 7:30 p.m. – Fog set in, making trapping impossible. The troops continued for several more hours, but the decision was made at 10:00 p.m. to abandon trapping efforts for the night. Briefing at 08:30 tomorrow.

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