The province said a three-and-a-half year-old bull elk submitted as part of the voluntary CWD surveillance program tested positive. | Flickr/Larry Lamsa photo

CWD found in new area of Sask.

Chronic wasting disease has been discovered south of Melfort, Sask., marking a new area of the province for the disease. The province said a three-and-a-half year-old bull elk submitted as part of the voluntary CWD surveillance program tested positive. It was found in wildlife management zone 42E. CWD has now been confirmed in 45 of […] Read more

Many elk producers left the business in the early 2000s when meat and antler velvet prices were low, but prices have since risen to the point where money can be made, says official.  |  File photo

Alta. elk producers needed to fill growing demand

EDMONTON — The Alberta elk industry is shrinking at a time when cervid products are in good demand. The number of elk farms in the province dropped to 162 last year from 391 in 2005. These reductions in production are coinciding with a period in which meat and velvet antler for the health supplement market […] Read more

Regulations designed to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease caused many producers to get out of elk production despite strong prices.  |  File photo

Demand soars for Canadian elk despite CWD

Americans and Europeans are eager to put elk meat on the plate but it is difficult to attract producers back to the industry

If one word could summarize the state of the Canadian elk industry, it would be “shortage.” American customers are desperate for elk meat, but Canadian ranchers have been unable to satisfy the de-mand as elk numbers plummeted over the last decade. Ian Thorleifson, an elk rancher from Minnedosa, Man., said one of his American clients […] Read more

Terry Elkow, of Lloydminster (with mustache and no hat) and Barry Harrison, of New Sarepta, Alta., demonstrate how to score an elk antler during the Alberta Elk Commission annual meeting. Accuracy is very important when scoring the antler. It’s important for a hunter’s bragging rights, but many of the hunts are paid on size of the antler. Elk producers also get paid more for elk antler size.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Elk antler prices on the rise: Photos

EDMONTON, Alta. — Elk antler prices are expected to rise almost 20 percent and reach some of their highest prices in years, said the head of an elk co-op focused on selling antler. “We’ve got reason for optimism from a long hard downturn,” said Blaine Weber, with Norelkco. Elk producers can expect $50 a pound […] Read more

Ninety-five elk roam the 80-acre Shooting Star Ranch near Edmonton. Owners Christine and Barry Harrison have experienced booms and busts in the industry. They process elk velvet into velvet capsules for the pharmaceutical market and sell elk meat and jerky and antler products at area farmers markets. | Mary MacArthur photo

Shooting Star Ranch rides roller coaster elk market

There is enthusiasm and optimism in the industry after years of hard times

NEW SAREPTA, Alta. — One year ago, Christine and Barry Harrison were two years into their five-year exit plan from the elk industry. After a dozen years of tough financial times, the couple no longer wanted to stay in the elk business. Then the price of elk antler jumped, the price of meat jumped and […] Read more

Alberta producers say elk are damaging property and eating feed intended for cattle.  |  USDA photo

Hunter access to army base expands to reduce elk

An elk hunt on Canadian Forces Base Suffield and surrounding areas will be expanded in coming years in efforts to reduce a herd estimated at 6,600 to 8,000 animals. Duncan MacDonnell, public affairs officer with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resources, said his department is working with the base on a longer-term management plan. It will […] Read more