West Virginia elk herd increases to about 85 over summer

LOGAN, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia's elk herd has added at least 15 calves, bringing the total elk population to about 85, the Division of Natural Resources said.

Randy Kelley, the division's elk project leader, said in a news release it has been a good summer for elk in southern West Virginia. The state's elk restoration project is located at the Tomblin Wildlife Management Area in Logan County and is at the end of its fifth year.

Most of the elk that were transplanted from the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in western Kentucky and the Arizona Game and Fish Department have radio collars, but not all of the native born elk have tracking devices, the West Virginia agency said.

Tomblin includes reclaimed strip mines and open spaces with freshly seeded grass. Elk were once native in West Virginia but disappeared in the 1800s due to timbering and overhunting, the Division of Natural Resources said.