Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce. Bull elk

LOGAN COUNTY, W,Va. — Elk management tours return to Logan County this September and October. Reservations are being taken now for guided tours of the elk reintroduction site at the Tomblin Wildlife Management Area, where elk from Kentucky and Arizona were released in 2016 and 2018. The four-hour tours start at Chief Logan Lodge and are led by Park Naturalist Lauren Cole, who will focus on the history and management of elk in West Virginia, past, present and future.

West Virginia’s last native elk was seen in Webster County in 1875.

“These elk are not in pens or enclosures. They are free roaming, breeding and reestablishing a population,” said Cole. “Although there is no guarantee of seeing elk, the overall goal is to understand the terrain and vegetation of sustainable elk habitat, to observe tracks and signs not only of elk but also other big game and nongame wildlife in the area. We will approach the tour from more of a hunting aspect – tracking and observation.”

Participants are required to wear boots or sturdy closed-toe footwear. The tour can involve up to 2 miles of walking on rough terrain with inclines. Scented products, food and pets are discouraged.

Morning or evening tours are offered at 5:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Advance registration is required, with payment made at the time of registration. Tours are limited to 12 persons.

The cost is $30 per adult and $27 for youth under 15 and includes breakfast or afternoon snack, the educational program, transportation and a tour souvenir.

An overnight package of $150 includes accommodations for two at Chief Logan Lodge and two elk tour tickets. All available tour dates, details, and reservations can be made at https://wvstateparks.com/things-to-do/elk-management-tours. To book a tour only, please select the date you’d like to reserve. For tours and lodging packages, please select the “Book a Lodging and Tour Package” button.

Chief Logan Lodge is near Chief Logan State Park in Logan County. The facility features a 75-room lodge, restaurant and conference center.

Scheduled dates and times for the 2019 Elk Management Project Tour programs are:

September
Thursday, Sept.19 — Evening
Saturday, Sept. 21 — Evening
Sunday, Sept. 22 — Evening

October
Thursday, Oct. 3 — Evening
Saturday, Oct. 5 — Evening
Sunday, Oct. 6 — Evening
Thursday, Oct. 10 — Evening
Saturday, Oct. 12 — Evening
Sunday, Oct. 13 — Evening
Thursday, Oct. 17 — Evening
Saturday, Oct. 19 — Morning
Saturday, Oct. 19 — Evening
Sunday, Oct. 20 — Evening