HOLDEN, W.Va. — “Dart’s in! Let’s go!”
With that command, half a dozen men piled into pickup trucks and began making their way toward a freshly tranquilized elk.
It’s a scene that, if Division of Natural Resources biologists can swing it, will be repeated 17 times before the end of March. To better manage the hundred or so elk that roam the sprawling Tomblin Wildlife Management Area, DNR workers like to keep tabs on the animals.
With new calves being born every year, and with radio-transmitter batteries running out, it’s an ongoing struggle to keep tags and transmitters on as many elk as possible.
“By putting collars out there and by monitoring individual elk on a day-to-day basis, we can keep track of where the animals are and have an idea of what they’re doing,” said Randy Kelley, the DNR’s elk project leader…