JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Five hunters harvest elk during first modern Missouri elk hunt.
“What an exciting gift right before the holidays to see all five hunters harvest elk in this first inaugural elk season in Missouri,” said MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley. “This success also showcases the hard work and collaboration of our commission, staff, partners, landowners and citizens. One of the hunters called me personally just a few minutes after he harvested an elk full of excitement and thanks, but the real thanks goes to the bigger team for making this happen.”
Joe Benthall of Mount Vernon, who was drawn for an antlered-elk general permit, harvested a 5x5 bull elk Dec. 12 on National Park Service property near Log Yard in Shannon County. He was the first of five Missouri hunters selected for elk permits to harvest an elk. Benthall has been deer hunting off and on for 25 years and had not hunted elk before.
Michael Buschjost of St. Thomas, who was drawn for an antlered-elk general permit, took a 6x6 bull elk Dec. 15 outside of the refuge portion of the MDC Peck Ranch Conservation Area. He has hunted elk in Montana, Colorado, and Wyoming with two bulls and a cow elk harvested from those efforts.
He said he was excited to hunt elk in Missouri and to take his three kids with him to scout the area before the season opened.
Sam Schultz of Winfield, who was drawn for an antlered-elk general permit, harvested a 5x6 bull elk Dec. 15 on private property in Shannon County.
Gene Guilkey of Liberty, who was drawn for an antlered-elk general permit, harvested a 6x7 bull elk on public land in Shannon County Dec. 16.
“I have never hunted elk before and this hunt was the dream trip of a lifetime,” Guilkey said. “I literally dreamed of taking a 6x6 bull but didn’t think it was possible nor would I be up to it, but the good Lord above had better plans than I did!”
Bill Clark of Van Buren, who was drawn for the resident-landowner antlered-elk permit, harvested a bull elk on his property Dec. 19.
Clark added, “I’m really happy to represent what I believe to be one of the most important hunts of my life. This program is an example of one of the best things to happen for the people of Missouri in years, and I’m nearly 80 years old.”