The OFAH is a founding partner and ongoing supporter of the elk restoration program in Ontario. Native elk populations were extirpated (locally extinct) in the late 1800’s due to pressures from human settlement and unregulated and excessive harvest. By 1996, there were only 60 elk left in Ontario. Recognizing that elk provide many ecological, traditional, social and economic benefits to the province, the OFAH became a key partner in the Elk Restoration Program led by the MNRF. Through significant financial contributions, technical support and volunteer services, the OFAH and its members played an important role in restoring elk to Ontario. Between 1998-2005, 460 elk were transferred from Alberta to Ontario and released in four different regions: Nipissing/French River, Bancroft/North Hastings, Lake of the Woods and Lake Huron North Shore. OFAH funded the collaring of hundreds of animals so that they could be monitored, while OFAH wildlife biologist provided technical support and OFAH members spent countless volunteer hours on the ground helping with local tasks. Today, the Ontario elk population is growing and estimated at 600 to 1000 animals, with the Bancroft/North Hastings population stable enough to support a licensed hunt that began in September, 2011.