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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy of Missouri Department of ConservationMichael Buschjost, of St. Thomas, took this 6-by-6 bull elk Dec. 15, 2020, outside of the refuge portion of the MDC Peck Ranch Conservation Area.

All five of the hunters selected for permits to harvest bull elk in the first season of its kind in Missouri harvested a bull during the firearms portion this month, the Missouri Department of Conservation announced Tuesday.

Michael Buschjost, of St. Thomas, was among those first five. Buschjost took a 6-by-6 bull elk Dec. 15 on private property outside the refuge portion of the MDC Peck Ranch Conservation Area, near Fremont.

The firearms portion of the inaugural MDC elk season ran Dec. 12-20. An archery portion also ran Oct. 17-25, resulting in no harvests.

Buschjost told MDC over the summer he grew up on a dairy farm and has hunted and trapped most of his life, with his passion being bowhunting.

He has hunted elk in Montana, Colorado and Wyoming — which has resulted in his taking two bulls and a cow. He had not drawn a Wyoming tag this year, and was looking at Idaho elk tags when MDC contacted him.

The first five hunters of MDC's bull elk season were selected for permits through a random drawing of more than 19,215 applications, including 33 for one resident-landowner antlered-elk permit and 19,182 for four general permits.

The other four hunters who also took a bull elk this year are: Joe Benthall, of Mount Vernon; Sam Schultz, of Winfield; Gene Guilkey, of Liberty; and Bill Clark, of Van Buren.

Clark was drawn for the resident-landowner antlered-elk permit. At least three of the elk were taken in Shannon County, and Clark's was on 80 acres of land east of Peck Ranch Conservation Area, which is also in the vicinity.

Years of elk restoration efforts by MDC preceded this year's hunt. More information on those efforts is available at short.mdc.mo.gov/ZYJ.

More information on elk hunting in Missouri is available at huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/ hunting-trapping/species/elk.

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