Virginia’s resurgent elk population is being highlighted in the Department of Wildlife Resources’ 2022 “Elk Cam,” which will provide a glimpse of the majestic animals through autumn.
“Elk are able to share their charismatic presence with all Virginians from the valleys of Appalachia through this live viewing camera,” state wildlife officials said, touting the two years of work by donors and volunteers to make the project a reality.
Moving forward, the Elk Cam will run annually from mid-August (when calves and cows to rejoin the herd) through November.
“Elk rut peaks between late September and early October, and will have the greatest amount of all-day elk activity,” state officials said.
The Elk Cam can be accessed at https://dwr.virginia.gov/elk-cam/. In addition, three viewing stations have been opened on Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority property, located near Poplar Gap Community Park. Each station was built on a different area of the property overlooking individual “viewing zones,” roughly within a one-mile proximity.
Elk are a native part of the Virginia wildlife community. A lack of regulations and over-hunting, however, led to the last elk in Virginia being harvested in 1855.
A restoration effort in the early 1900s eventually failed again in 1970. But today, elk can be found in a management zone comprised of Buchanan, Dickenson and Wise counties. The Department of Wildlife Management offers tours of elk areas, starting in Grundy, through October.