- Associated Press - Friday, February 12, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Fifteen years after elk made their return to western North Carolina, the once overhunted animals will now be targeted for hunting in the state again.

News outlets report that the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission voted unanimously at a meeting Thursday in Raleigh to set the stage for a future elk hunting season, but did not specify what year the season would be expected to begin.

The newly approved elk-hunting guidelines would have the season running Oct. 1 through Nov. 1. District 9 Commissioner Neal Hanks Jr. says there wouldn’t be any permits issued this year.

Commissioners also voted to remove elk from the list of species of special concern.

Prior to their 2001 reintroduction into Great Smoky Mountains National Park, elk had been missing from the mountains for two centuries.

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