Elk NetworkInaugural Virginia Elk Hunt Generates $600K+ in Conservation Funding

Conservation , News Releases | October 6, 2022

Photo c/o Mike Roberts

MISSOULA, Mont. — Hunters supporting Virginia’s first-ever managed elk hunt scheduled to take place October 8-14 generated more than $606,000 to bolster wildlife and management projects within the state’s elk management zone. 

“This funding is an indicator of the significant contributions of hunters who support Virginia’s elk and elk country,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We also salute our partners at the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) for their diligence in successfully managing the state’s growing elk herd. Those efforts open the door for this first, historic hunt.” 

DWR awarded its first elk conservation license to RMEF which conducted a raffle that generated more than $93,000 for conservation. That came on the heels of DWR’s initial lottery of five antlered elk tags that raised more than $513,000.  

“That’s approximately half a million dollars that will go right back into wildlife conservation because of the contributions of these hunters,” said Ryan Brown, DWR executive director. “Though a small hunt, it’s significant in marking the early success of the restoration of this magnificent animal to Virginia, and also a tremendous opportunity to show the greater public the conservation benefits of hunting.”  

More than 31,000 people entered DWR’s lottery while both the lottery and conservation tag raffle drew applicants from all 50 states. 

RMEF has a long, active history in Virginia that includes providing both funding and volunteer support to help successfully restore wild, free-ranging elk to their historic range in 2012. Dating back to 1993, RMEF and its partners completed 82 conservation and hunting heritage projects in Virginia with a combined value of more than $2.1 million.  

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation: 

Founded more than 38 years ago and fueled by hunters, RMEF maintains more than 225,000 members and has conserved more than 8.5 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.