September 07, 2022
Once driven to near extinction, the surviving population of North American Elk continues to thrive as a result of concentrated conservation efforts. Saving America’s Monarchs: The Story North America’s Elk (watch promo video here) is an original documentary from Petersen’s Hunting, written and produced by publisher Kevin Steele, that shares the tale of the conservation, preservation and re-introduction of the North American Elk, from the Ohio River Valley to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The documentary follows a traditional, tented elk hunt deep within the Rocky Mountains at the height of the rut, while delivering a historical look at the role hunters played in conserving this iconic American species. Saving America’s Monarchs will premier on Outdoor Sportsman Group’s Outdoor Channel on Monday, September 12 at 9:00 p.m. ET.
“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,” said Steele. “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.”
Interviews with staff from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation corroborate the tales of conservation and reintroduction. The documentary also explores the first efforts by American notables President Theodore Roosevelt; author, philosopher, teacher and conservationist Aldo Leopold and anthropologist, historian, naturalist and writer George Bird Grinnell calling attention to the decline of the elk population in the west.
The documentary continues with the challenges – the highs and lows – of elk hunting, the deep traditions of the American West and how the plains animal migrated to the mountains to escape the overhunting that nearly led to its extinction.
Finally, after taking a look at how many people make their livelihoods from these “American Monarchs,” the documentary concludes with a triumphant look at the role conservation has played in the resurgence and future of the North American Elk population. 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.
To learn more about the process of making this documentary with Adam Weatherby, check out Episode 25 of the Petersen's Hunting Adventures Podcast