Elk are coming to Virginia! Seventy-five are being reintroduced in Buchanan County which is in Southwest Virginia. Tazewell County is between Buchanan and Bland, and is on the list for stocking along with Scott and Russell Counties if the Buchanan project is successful. Elk are native to Virginia and this is very exciting for those of us who love wildlife and appreciate the balance between man and animals.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has tirelessly worked to bring back the wild herds in the east. North Carolina’s herd has been very successful in the Great Smokies near Cherokee and Kentucky has the largest herd this side of the Rockies.
Can I just tell you that sitting on my front porch at the cabin and listening to the elk bugle would be one of life’s greatest pleasures for me. I am beyond excited. Elk are a migrating species, known to get as far as sixty miles in a single migration season. With the Jefferson National Forest joining our property, all I should need is a little time and an alert ear and this is one dream that should come true.
Many farmers in Bland aren’t as excited as I am though. They fear crop damage and fencing problems. Again, I have to salute the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its pledge to aid in the funding for repairs to fencing and reimbursement for crops lost to the elk.
In our current era of technology and skyscrapers, big rigs and urban sprawl, I am so happy to own a little piece of country heaven in a little known area that has so much beauty and fresh air. I tell my friends who ask what Bland is like, that it is like 1952. With elk on the way, it may be more like 1852. I can’t wait to be there again; hopefully this weekend. Although it’s only an hour and a half away by interstate 77, it feels like we travel back in time. There’s a peace and serenity that beckons. It calls me and soon the elk will be calling for me too. Meet me there!