A young bull elk was killed early Monday morning after being struck by a motor vehicle on U.S. Highway 71 near State Route M in Nodaway County.
Nathaniel Carr, Nodaway County conservation agent, said this is the first report of an elk hit by a vehicle in the county. The elk was struck two miles west of Barnard which is around 12 miles south of Maryville.
The adult bull elk was estimated to be 2 -to 3-years old.
“This was confirmed in the county but we have had sightings in the past,” Carr said. “Some of the cases were not confirmed although I do not doubt that people have seen elk over the years in Nodaway County. They are uncommon and we do not have an established herd here.”
Carr said there was no indication the elk was unhealthy but the Missouri Department of Conservation will test for disease. The agency will test for Chronic Wasting Disease though there has not been a confirmed case in the region.
He said there were no noticeable tags or marking on the elk.
The conservation department has reintroduced elk in the southern part of the state and there have been recent discussions by the agency in support of opening a limited hunting season in the state. The elk were released in Carter, Shannon and Reynolds counties.
Elk were originally native to the state of Missouri. By 1830, elk were becoming scarce and were eventually limited to just the northwestern and southeastern part of the state. By 1865, they were extirpated or absent from the state.
Carr said the origins of this elk are unknown.
“We do not know yet if this is one of our elk from southern Missouri,” Carr said. “The elk may have come from states up north or out west. It’s hard to say at this point where it came from.”
According to the conservation department, approximately 25 to 30 reported sightings have been documented annually since 2013 when MDC began tracking confirmed reports.
The reported sightings have occurred in over 44 of Missouri’s 114 counties and have been documented in all parts of the state. A single elk can generate multiple sightings. The 25 to 30 sightings are usually centered around 12 to 15 individuals annually.
Carr said those that spot an elk in Northwest Missouri are asked to notify their county conservation agent.