In January 2007, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) was awarded a grant from Southern & Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development Association (SEKTDA) and Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). A requirement of the grant was to conduct an economic impact study of the 2006 Elk Hunt in Kentucky.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation teamed up with Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources, Western Kentucky University and We Make Things Happen Corporation and developed a survey instrument which was sent to all 200 hundred hunters selected in the lottery to determine how many visits they made to Southeast Kentucky for the hunt, how much they spent, what they experienced and what could be done to improve the hunts in the future.
This is a very preliminary review of the data compiled from questionnaires received the far. A second survey is being mailed out by KDFWR to each of the hunters who have yet to respond encouraging them to complete a questionnaire and send in.
PRELIMINARY SURVEY RESULTS OF THE 2006 KENTUCKY ELK HUNT
In 2006, 26,000 people paid ten dollars each to be a part of a lottery. Two hundred hunters were selected to participate in the 2006 Fall Elk hunt. In February, each of these hunters was sent a questionnaire. 103 hunters of the 200 hunters completed a survey. Below is a breakdown of their responses.
ABOUT THE HUNTERS
1. Of the 103 surveyed, 90% reside in Kentucky.KY(93), TN(3), OH(3), IN(2), MO(1), VT(1), IL(1)
2.Five out of the 103 chose not to hunt. Two did not hunt due to health reason and two because they did not draw a bull tag.
3. Twenty-one of the 103 had hunted elk before. CO(17), MX(2), WY(2), ID(2), MT(1)
4.Twenty-two had never seen an elk before being drawn for the hunt.
5. Photos and comments from the hunters in 2006 and 2007 hunts.
1. Fifty-three of the 98 who actually participated in the hunt scouted 1 to as many as 20 days before the actual hunt with the average number of days being 2.3 days. Seventy-one percent (53 of the 98 hunters) scouted with at least one other person with a few bringing as many as four people to scout with them. Twenty of the hunters did not scout at all before the hunt.
2. Hunters spent 86 total nights in the area while they were scouting. This does not include those hunters who actually live in East Kentucky. The majority of them stayed in hotels.
Hotels: Days Inn in Hazard (7), Super 8 (3), Hampton Inn in Hazard (3), Super 8 in Prestonsburg (2), Motel in Hazard (1), Motel 8 in
London (1), Best Western in Middleboro (1), Holiday Inn in Harlan (1), Holiday Inn in Middleboro (2), Motel 6 (1), Paul’s in Jackson (1),
New hotel in Prestonsburg (1), Best Western in Barbourville (1), Boone Trail in Middlesboro (1), Best Western in Prestonsburg (1).
State Parks: Jenny Wiley (2), Buckhorn (1), Pine Mountain (1), State Park (1). Camped on private property (3) or in the back
country (3). Stayed at home or in someone else’s home (16)
An estimated $23,723.00 was spent by those who scouted.
1. $6,165 was spent on food
2. $8,730 was spent on gas
3. $8,828 was spent on new equipment
1. A total of $11,090 was spent on food while on the actual hunt, the majority $8,200 (74%) was spent in Southeast Kentucky.
2. Nearly 100% of the $7,833 spent on lodging was spent in Southeast Kentucky.
3. Thirty-seven percent of the 98 hunters stayed at a hotel for at least one night Hotels: Hampton Inn in Hazard (3), Best Western (3), Super 8 (5), Super 8 in Hazard (2), Motel in Hazard (2), Hwy 80 in Hindman
(2), Holiday Inn Express (2), Days Inn in Hazard (2), Super 8 in Prestonsburg (2), Motel (2), Motel 8 in London (1), Best Western in
Middlesboro (1), Days Inn (1), Holiday Inn Express in Middlesboro (1), Combs (1), Motel 6 (1), Daniel Boone Motor Inn (1), Comfort
Suites (1), Paul’s in Jackson (1), Day’s Inn in Hazard (1), Hampton Inn (1), Microtel (1), Prestonsburg Inn (1), Jackson Hotel (1). State Parks: Jenny Wiley (8), Pine Mountain (2) Camped: Camped in the back country (7), private camping area (2), private property (2), Begley property (1), Blue Diamond (1),
Jenny Wiley State Park (1)
Twenty-five noted they stayed at home or with friends/relative and three slept in an RV or in their truck.
Hunters spent a total of $11,267 on transportation during the hunt with over half (58%) of this amount being spent in Southeast Kentucky.
Only 19 of the 98 hunters hired a guide with five paying guides anywhere from $40 to $600.
Sixty-four noted they hunted on public lands. Twenty-six noting they hunted on private land. Only one person paid an access fee ($100) to hunt on public land. Five people spent between $40 and $500 to hunt on private land.
Fifty-three of the 98 hunters surveyed who actually hunted were assisted by KDFWR biologists or conservation agents during the hunt.
Eighty-seven of the 98 hunters who hunted responded that they were successful in getting an elk. Six responded that they were not.
$28,603 was spent on taxidermy and processing of which $7,095 was spent in Southeast Kentucky.
$714 was spent on books and magazines, $324 in Southeast Kentucky.
$2,674 was spent on dues or contributions to National, state and local organizations.
$1,414 was spent on other expenditures not noted before.
Only one person said they did not plan to apply for an elk tag in 2007.
Eighty-four people said they would come back to the area to view elk, hunt turkey or other game, view the scenery or visit friends they made during the hunt.
Nine people were members of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation before the hunt. Thirty-one are now members or have sent in their application to become members.
HOW HUNTERS WERE CHOSEN FOR THE 2006 ELK HUNT IN KENTUCKY.
Over 26,000 hunters paid $10 each to participate in the 2006 Elk Hunt Lottery and 200(+) names were drawn.* Once selected, out-of-state hunters paid an additional $300 to purchase their elk permit. In-state hunters pay only $30 for the elk permit. Thirteen individuals who were drawn never picked up their elk tags. (see below for details)
*A few additional tags were given out to landowners who provided 5,000 acres or more where people could hunt.
2006 HUNTERS THAT DREW ELK TAGS BUT DID NOT HUNT.
Of those 200 drawn, five were never located and five out-of-state and three in-state hunters never purchased their cow tags and therefore did not participate in the hunt. All bull tags were purchased.
Click here for a larger map showing the breakdown of where the hunters selected came from by county and by state in 2006.
Click here for a downloadable PDF file of Map-2006.
Click here for a larger map showing the breakdown of where the hunters selected came from by county and by state in 2007.
“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that was amazing, awe inspiring and awesome! Elk hunting is like turkey and deer hunting, put together and multiplied by 100. I look forward to future opportunities of elk hunting in Kentucky. Also, the KDWFR, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and others involved have done a wonderful job in all their efforts! The bull elk was taken in Floyd County on October 7, 2006 at 4:30 pm. The hunting party included David Wilson (my father), Adam Lawson (friend) and guide Joe David Taylor. The bull was taken with a Remington .270 and was called in with a cow call by myself.”
- Michael Wilson, Campbellsville, KY
Killed an 800 lb (estimated weight), 8-1/2 year old cow elk from the original released stock with a metal tag in its ear. Her proud father, Ricky Pearson, accompanied her. Jordan is 16 years old and a High School Junior.
- Jordan Rena Pearson, Louisville, KY
Ear tag reveals elk was transported from Utah and released as a calf at the Czar Coal Co. in Martin County, Kentucky in April 2002. Elk was harvested by bow on October 7, 2006. The approximate age of the elk would be 5-1/2 years. It is the current state record for bow kill with a gross scorer of 321-6/8 and a net score of 314-2/8. Significant features: the right antler measures 50-3/8” in length. Circumference between first and second point measures 8-2/8 inches. Circumference at the base measures 10 inches. Outside spread measures 43-2/8 inches. Received certificate from the North America Bowhunting Big Game Records for American Elk Pope and Young Club, Martin County, Kentucky.
- Michael Duncan, Georgetown, KY
Enclosed is a photo of my elk rack and also a copy of the photo that was published on the front page of our local newspaper. My elk and 8 x 7 was officially scored at Frankfort on January 29, 2007. It scored 342-3/8 non-typical. I held off and passed on several bulls wanting to get this bull. I had seem him scouting and knew he was a really good bull. Used a Browning A-Bolt 300 win mag at a range of 125 yards. The bull was taken in Knott County and I was unable to weigh the elk. I am a taxidermist and plan to mount my elk soon. Thanks for all you are doing to help our elk here in Kentucky. I plan to help as much as I can with the elk program and the RMEF.
- Danny Waldroup, Waynesburg, KY
Here are some photos of my elk that I shot and the landscape around. On the landscape photo on top of the green grassy hill is where I shot from inside a pop-up tent. The elk weighed about 600 lbs. and was one of the first elk originally released.
- Joseph Livers, Bardstown, KY
- Adam Ott, Louisville, KY
I do not think I have ever had a greater thrill. This was my hunt of a lifetime. The kill of an 800+ pounds Wapiti was on October 7, 2006 on the Czar Coal Company land in Martin County Kentucky. Had the hunt taken place in the great wild of Africa, the thrill to this septuagenarian would have been no greater. Thank you Kentucky Department of Wildlife for the great assistance given to me on this hunt.
- Bobby Vanderpool, Fort Thomas, KY
First of all, I would urge anyone to head down there and check out the elk. My wife and I went down 1 week before bull season came in to scout. We seen a herd of about 70-80 animals that included 8 bulls 6x6 or bigger. There were probably 30 bulls total in the herd. The bugling was constant from daylight until we left at about 11:00 am. I drew a cow tag so I waited until bull season was over to do some archery hunting. I really wasn't expecting to connect on a cow, just wanted to get out there and see what elk hunting was all about. I arrived on Friday afternoon, before my weekend hunt with my dad and brother. We headed out to the area and seen 4 bulls that afternoon, but no cows. The morning of my hunt was much of the same. On the way out for lunch, we spotted a lone cow feeding by herself about 300 yds away. We parked the trucked and the stalk was on. I was able to get downwind and walk within about 150 yds. From there we belly crawled, my brother right behind of me with the video camera. It took better than an hour, but we finally got within position. When she looked the other direction, I raised up on my knees, drew my bow, then released. It was approximately a 20 yd shot. We guessed her at 400-450 lbs. The hunt was absolutely wonderful, but more importantly was the time spent with my family.
- Jason Richardson
I was very excited to find out that I was one of the 200 successful applicants drawn for the 2006 elk quota hunt in Kentucky. According to the data, I was the only applicant drawn from Russell County, Kentucky. I was eligible to tag an antlerless elk within the 16 county elk zone. After making contacts with personnel from the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources, I found out I could hunt areas in and around Hazard Kentucky. The first day of gun season did not result in any herd sightings. So plans were made to go to another area the next day. On the second hunt day, a herd of 20 or so elk was sighted. Several hours were spent observing 7 large bull elk graze, push and fight near the opening of a ravine. It was like watching an elk show on TV except it was a real life experience. Finally in the late afternoon, at almost dusty dark, the cows in that herd began to move out of the wooded are4a toward a watering hole. After watching the cows through binoculars, I carefully picked out one and shot her at 186 yards. It was such an experience for my first time elk hunt. I'm sure to put in for the 2007 quota hunt and hope that I may be lucky two years in a row. I really appreciate the opportunity to have had such a wonderful hunt and meet some super nice people that love wildlife and successful game hunting. Special thanks to Dan Crank and Brandon Thomas who helped me so much.
- Bobby Hatfield, Russell Springs, KY
I got this 6x6 the first morning of 2006 rifle season in Knott County, Ky. He field dressed 620 lbs and scored 296. This bull was the herd bull and was with a herd of around 30 cows and bulls mixed. There was a 6 x 7 bull in this herd, but he didn’t have the mass and tine length and I passed on him. I had two other people with me and we videoed the kill. It was awesome!!! PSThanks for the gift pack, I love the cap and I used the call the help bring this bull in for a shot.
- Garry Partin, Rockholds, KY
Keep doing what you are doing - first class hunt. Everything with the elk hunt was handled well. I hope that I can do it again this year.
- Paul Morgan, Bardstown, KY
I enjoyed the hunt. Very glad to be able to hunt elk back in Eastern Kentukcy again. The men over the hunt and the countryside was great. The elk weighed 570 lbs. Hope I get to do it again sometimes.
- James Marshall Meade, Nippa KY
This was an experience that will never be forgotten.
- Donnie Allen, Bagdad, KY
I live in Floyd County, Kentucky. Most all of my elk hunting and scouting trips were on the Tim Goble Farm on Cow Creek, Prestonsburg, KY. I harvested my cow elk on the Goble Farm on the first day of gun season. I saw numerous elk while bow hunting the whole season prior to gun season. I was not successful in harvesting an elk with a bow, but finally had success. I did not have a paid guide, but was accompanied by Gary Garrett and Jerry Lowe who are very good friends and know the local area very well.
The morning of my success, I saw approximately 25-30 elk before my perfect shot presented itself. The cow weighed approximately 600 lbs (live weight) and I would guess around 3 years old.
Thank you for the chance to have this hunt. I feel it was probably a once in a lifetime thing for me and hope that all other local hunters get the chance to experience what I have right in their own hometown.
- Dallas R. Garrett, Prestonsburg, KY
It was the first time that I ever hunted outside the county in which I live. It was very exciting and a learning experience for me. The scenery was beautiful and the people were very friendly and helpful. Dan Crank of the KY Fish & Wildlife Department was so courteous and accommodating. The cow elk that I harvested was estimated to weigh around 500 lbs. It is excellent eating, very lean and tender. I was fortunate to have a friend who lives in Elizabethtown, Pat Elmore. He picked us up at the airport ... The next morning we went to Hazard to the Robinson Forest Camp. I was also fortunate that one of my brothers-in-law was able to assist me on the hunt. He had hunted on other occassions and was a big help. I hope to be able to come back to Kentucky to elk hunt again. I have already applied for a 2007 elk permit. Many thanks to Fish & Wildlife and Dan Crank for their hospitality.
- Elick W. Foster, East Hardwick, VT
Hi, my name is Sierra. I'm 10 years old. I really liked going and hunting on the trip. It was really fun for being the youngest elk hunter in Kentucky drawing. I killed a cow elk that weighed in about 620 lbs. We have over 380 lbs. of meat. I really had fun. Next year an idea for the hunt would be to draw 400 cow tags and 600 bull tags. It was really hard trying to find a big cow. So that's why I say 600 bull tags because there were so many bulls not many cows. Thank you.
- Sierra Thomas, 10 years old
- Jay Clutts
It was a fantastic hunt and an experience my dad and I will never forget!
- Ken Dzurenka
I think the hunt was one of the most incredible experiences I have had, just being in the woods when daybreak comes and seeing the elk in the skyline. Even if I had not killed an elk, I was just grateful to experience the outdoors with my family. The scouting and getting to view the elk in their habitat which ended in a hunt of a lifetime. I'd always joked with my husband during deer hunting that I was not going to shoot anything unless it had a tree on its head! So, I guess I got pretty close! I'll have a great story to tell my grandkids some day.
- Penny Cupp, Manchester, KY
This cow elk was harvested 12/10/06 by me, James Lewis, Sr. It was an overwhelming hunt of a lifetime. I was joined by my son Jamie Lewis and my nephew Jerry King. This was a hunt that will be remembered in our family. I would like to dedicate this in the memory of my brother, Carroll L. Lewis, wish you could have been there. We had spotted a nice bull elk as we were leaving the day before. We many many people on his hunt that were very kind and helpful. One hunter helped us move the large cow elk so we could load it. The cow weighed 550-600 lbs. My son spotted a small group of elk around 8 AM. There were 6 of them in this group 5 cow, 1 bull. It was a wonderful hunt and I hope there will be another chance to do this again. I have been hunting deer all my life so this was a new experience for me. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for picking me for this hunt.