RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Virginia has opened a lottery for a bull elk hunt that will take place in three Southwest Virginia counties in October.

The Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) opened the lottery today for what will be the second annual hunt in the elk management zone in Buchanan, Dickenson and Wise counties. DWR will award five “antlered elk licenses” through the lottery and a sixth will go to conservation organization, which will be allowed to conduct its own raffle for that license.

Last fall, six hunters successfully harvested bulls, with the largest measuring 852 pounds.

“It was so rewarding to see all the work and effort that DWR, RMEF, and the Southwest Sportsmen (SWVA), along with many volunteers, had put in over the last ten years to make sure Virginia’s first elk hunt was a success,” said Leon Boyd, President of the SWVA and DWR member, in a news release.

Boyd met the lottery winners and their families and visited with hunters who enjoyed their first big game hunting experiences.

“The quality of elk in Virginia is amazing and I look forward to many successful elk seasons in the future,” Boyd said.

The 2023 hunt will be held from Oct. 14-20. The five licenses available via the lottery will be selected through a randomized computer drawing, and winners will be notified by May 30.

Applications are available at the DWR website under the “quota hunts” site and the “view hunt opportunities” tab, or by calling 1-866-721-6911.

Applications require a non-refundable fee of $15 for Virginia residents and $20 for out-of-state residents. Winners of the elk hunting application will then need to purchase a special elk hunting license for $40 for in-state residents, and $400 for out-of-state residents.

The licenses are not transferable to other individuals.