This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Five elks were harvested in Missouri throughout 2021.

Hunters harvested three elk during the firearms portion of the elk-hunting season this December, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. The firearm portion ran from December 11 to December 19.

Two elk were harvested during the archery season that ran from October 16 to October 24.

A random drawing selected the five Missouri hunters.

2020 was Missouri’s inaugural elk hunt. It ended with all five hunters harvesting bull elk during the firearms season. No elk were harvested during 2020’s archery season.

“We couldn’t be more excited for these five hunters,” said MDC Deer and Elk Biologist Aaron Hildreth. “After a decade of restoration efforts, the hard work these hunters put in was rewarded with five truly magnificent bulls. This is a conservation success story, and Missourians can be proud of the healthy, growing elk herd we have in our state.”

Elk are native to Missouri but they were hunted to extinction through unregulated hunting in the late 1800s. MDC said they were brought back to Missouri “after years of restoration efforts.”