The 11th Annual Buffalo River Elk Festival Has Something For Everyone
While the award-winning festival focuses on the reintroduction of elk to Arkansas and Arkansas’s elk season, it also is a great celebration of the Ozark Mountain lifestyle and the community of Jasper.
The festival features some of the best creative talent in the Ozarks, with an extensive arts-and-crafts area where artisans demonstrate their skill and sell one-of-a-kind handcrafted items. Live music throughout the day will showcase the best talent the area has to offer.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will hold educational seminars during the two-day festival for those interested in learning more about these woodland giants. Of course, the highlight of the festival is the drawing of Arkansas’s public land elk hunting tags, held each hour starting at noon on Saturday. One lucky attendee of the festival also will walk away with a chance to hunt one of Arkansas’s elk in the on-site drawing. Registration for this special tag is 1 p.m.-5 p.m., Friday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday. The winner must be present at the 4 p.m. Saturday drawing to win.
The elk calling contest is a perennial favorite, with professionals and amateurs trying their hand at mimicking the bugle of the bull elk.
The Dutch oven cook-off is a special treat. Contestants set up camps, dress in Old West style and cook over the coals, just as they did in the 1800s.
There will be plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained. The kid’s fishing derby, for children under 12, is always a lot of fun. The Buffalo National River Park Service and the AGFC will host several educational and fun projects.