Elk are one of the coolest members of the deer family and one of the most popular animals in North America. Believe it or not but their range once spread hundreds of miles further than it does today, where they are mostly found out West. They used to be found in a ton of different places, such as states like West Virginia and Virginia where they are now trying to re-establish them.
They are beautiful animals, make extremely cool noises when they bugle, and are a high quality source of protein. I had quite a bit 2 weeks ago while I was in Montana filming some stuff with Meateater and it tastes amazing. Increasing their numbers across the nation seems like something that would bring a valuable member of the ecosystem back. I'm not an ecologist or going to say with all certainty that there are no downsides to repopulating them back across the United States, but from a surface level, it seems like an AWESOME idea and I admire the people that are putting the work in to make it happen.
Let's take a quick second to talk about Ward Burton. Look at this guy...
WHAT A LEGEND.
There's nothing cooler than a guy like Ward Burton who had a successful career and then has dedicated himself to conservation of wildlife. I couldn't respect it more and it is super cool to see the fruits of his efforts paying off. Obviously there were a ton of people involved in a project as big as this, but you can tell Ward really cares about it. Its easy to root for people like this, and organizations like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
I would love to meet up with Ward and learn about all of the conservation projects he has going on.