Saving America's Monarchs: The Story of North America's Elk is an original documentary from Petersen's HUNTING, written and produced by Petersen's HUNTING publisher Kevin Steele. The documentary, airing Monday, September 12 at 9 p.m. ET on Outdoor Channel, shares the tale of the conservation, preservation and re-introduction of the North American Elk.
Kevin Steele joins The Revolution this week to discuss this fantastic documentary, years in the making. The film is approached from a hunter's point-of-view, Kevin says, with a Rocky Mountain elk hunt in Wyoming as the centerpiece of the film. Viewers get to follow Adam Weatherby in his pursuit of an enormous, broken-horn old bull that is past his prime and breeding age. The footage from the hunt shows a traditional, tented elk hunt at the peak of the rut and the challenges that hunters face when going head-to-head against these remarkable animals.
In addition to the compelling hunt footage, Kevin says the documentary also focuses on the conservation story of America's elk. Drawing on the knowledge of experts, like those from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the history of elk in North America is laid out for viewers. From the recognition of the decline in the elk population in the west, to the first efforts to save them, the film highlights visionary men like President Theodore Rooselvelt, Aldo Leopold, and George Bird Grinnell - all of whom were invested in the conservation of this important species. The ideas of these men, and many others, brought about the creation of game departments, hunting seasons, the Pittman-Robertson Act and other initiatives that have saved not only elk, but most other North American big game animals as well. Elk truly are a remarkable conservation success story and it's evident as today elk once again exist from the Pacific coast all the way to the Atlantic coast, something that wasn't true 30 years ago. Reintroduction efforts have helped return elk back to their original ranges. "The tale of America's elk reintroduction, from remnant bands in the Rocky Mountains to today's thriving herds from coast-to-coast, is arguably America's most important conservation story," Kevin says. "It's both a compelling and amazing story that needed to be told from the perspective of hunters/conservationists that strived for more than a century to make it the success it has become."
The documentary also explores the role elk play in the livelihoods of people living in game and elk rich regions. It's not just hunters that benefit from a thriving elk population, but also outfitters, meat processors, hotels and motels, restaurants, and more. Kevin highlights the important role that elk play in keeping small, rural communities alive with the revenue that is generated from hunting.
Be sure to tune in to Saving America's Monarchs: The Story of North America's Elk, for a triumphant look at the role conservation has played in the resurgence and future of the North American Elk population. It's through the cooperation of biologists, hunters, conservationists, politicians, local and non-residents who all share a passion and common purpose, the North American Elk, as well as the lands they roam, are maintained and bountiful.
Watch Saving America's Monarchs: The Story of North America's Elk on Outdoor Channel, Monday, September 12 at 9 p.m. ET.