Kentucky’s first state park was established at Pine Mountain in 1924. The cabins built by the CCC’s located on the ridge above the grand lodge offer an excellent base for an Eastern Kentucky elk hunt. Sadly, the park itself is not open to elk hunting but there are private and public lands within the Elk Hunting Unit 2 Area within easy driving distance to the park.
Kentucky’s success in re-establishing a huntable elk population is the envy of the entire Eastern United States. Another positive recognition deserved by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has to do with the exhaustive amount of information on everything associated with hunting elk in Kentucky available on the organization’s website. As an example, I learned for the first time while researching this subject; black pepper should be part of your hunting pack during the early season so as to keep flies off your quartered up kill before wrapping the exposed meat in either cheesecloth or bed sheets for transport.
Something not so positive concerning elk quota drawings in Kentucky was exposed by my friend and WHAS outdoor radio talk show host Jim Strader. Far too many elk tags have been issued repeatedly to Kentucky politicians and other such “special” hunters. We hope Strader’s exposure of such practices have resulted in reforms in the elk tag drawing process.
Given elk hunting is akin to western sheep hunts with lots of rugged vertical terrain to be covered; I’d prescribe a light scout rifle from either Steyr, Ruger, or Savage chambered in .308 and loaded with whichever weight Nosler Partition topped bullet your rlfe shoots best. For a backup handgun, I again vote for a light .22 LR “Kit”-type revolver. In the hunting fields, a finishing shot (per KRS 150.172) to the ear canal is sometimes necessary to humanely conclude the hunt for a deer (of which, elk is the second largest) broken down through the shoulders.
Next Week: Current Events
And another happy birthday wish this week; this time to daddy’s firstborn precious little girl.
Opinions expressed on the Columns Page are not necessarily those of the Jackson County Sun, its owners, or its publishers.