This live cam is situated on an overlook located in the mountains of the Cumberland Plateau in Buchanan County, a well known elk viewing area with three wildlife viewing stations overlooking 400 yards of grassland, surrounded by woodlands. This area was formerly the location of a strip mine, but grasslands were restored to provide sanctuaries for native wildlife, namely elk, who thrive in theses lands. A variety of wildlife can be seen from the overlook viewing station including elk, grassland birds, wild turkey, deer and an occasional black bear! Wild flowers cover these hills in the spring through September, a beautiful appalachian site to see! This Virginia live cam offers one of the most beautiful scenes, panning between the expanisve hills and the outline of the blue ridge mountains in the background.
History of Elk in Virginia
Native Virginia Elk (Cervus elaphus) once actively roamed across east Virginia to the Fall Line, the summer habitat was on mountain rides and winter in valley bottoms. There are many places in Virginia that carry the Elk's history as well as their name, like Elk Island in Goochland County or Elk Garden in Russell County. Due to hunters harvesting elk faster than populations could recover and loss of grazing habitat, the last native Elk was killed in 1855 in Clark County before the Civil War. For 60 years there were no elk grazing in the state of Virginia, the first reintroduction of elk began between 1913-1922 when elk were imported and released in Augusta, Bath, Botetourt, Cumberland, Giles, Montegomery, Princess Anne, Pulaski, Roanoke, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Russell, Warren and Washington counties. In 1917, 125 Rocky Mountain elk were released into the Virginia area from Yellowstone National Park. Unfortunately, these release efforts were largely unsuccessful due to poaching and overhunting but some elk heards did succeed and expand into further counties. Due to Elk grazing on farms causing significant crop damage, the public support for controlled hunting increased dramatically. By 1926, only two herds survived in the wild, to revive the population in 1935, more elk were imported from Yellowstone National Park.
The elk viewing stations are made possible by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources.
The best times to see elk are between September and October, at around dusk and dawn hours.
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