Another Elk Found Illegally Shot in Carter County- MDC Asks for Public Help

Bull elk calling in grassy meadow.

Bull elk calling in grassy meadow.

On November 18 a female adult elk was found killed and left for dead National Park Service property in Carter County, near Van Buren, Missouri. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is now asking the public for any information concerning the dead elk or anyone who killed her.

Elk Poachers

On Monday morning, conservation agents found the dead female elk near the end of Highway H in Carter County. [1] The cow had been shot and, left for dead on National Park Property, no meat or other parts had been removed from her when she was found. By the time the MDC agents found her, the meat was no longer salvageable for donation.

According to MDC, this is the sixth elk that has been killed by poachers since they began breeding the elk a few years ago. MDC Protection Division Chief Randy Doman has reported that investigations into each case remain ongoing before urging the public to share what they know of these elk poachers. “The restoration of elk in Missouri is appreciated by many people, businesses, and organizations in the area,” Doman said. “A healthy, growing elk population brings significant economic, recreational, and cultural benefits to these communities. The senseless waste of the people’s resources should not be tolerated.”

If you have any information about poachers or the elk that were killed, report it to Operation Game Thief at 1-800-392-1111 or the MDC Ozark Regional Office in West Plains at (417) 256-7161.

Elk Season

From 2011 through until 2013 MDC introduced elk onto Peck Ranch Conservation Area in the Missouri Ozarks. Since then, the elk herds have grown and free-range throughout Carter, Shannon, and Reynold County. If the elk continue to prosper in Missouri, MDC plans on designating an elk hunting season in 2020- limited permits will be available, however. [2]


  1. ^MDC needs information on elk illegally shot in Carter County.” Missouri Department of Conservation, 21 Nov. 2019, (go back↩)
  2. ^MDC announces initial plan for Missouri elk hunting.” Missouri Department of Conservation, 21 Nov. 2019, (go back↩)

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