**FILE** Two male elk are shown in Jan. 15, 2003, at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Cataloochee, N.C. With the return of elk to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, local business owners and town officials have carved a new niche: elk marketing. Elk were hunted out of existence in the Smokies in the 1800s, but were reintroduced to the half-million-acre park on the North Carolina-Tennessee border in 2001. Their return is attracting tourists to the Maggie and Cataloochee valleys in droves - and causing a growing demand for elk information, pictures and memorabilia. (AP Photo/The Citizen-Times, John Fletcher, File)
**FILE** Two male elk are shown in Jan. 15, 2003, at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Cataloochee, N.C. With the return of elk to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, local business owners and town officials have carved a new niche: elk marketing. Elk were hunted out of existence in the Smokies in the 1800s, but were reintroduced to the half-million-acre park on the North Carolina-Tennessee border in 2001. Their return is attracting tourists to the Maggie and Cataloochee valleys in droves - and causing a growing demand for elk information, pictures and memorabilia. (AP Photo/The Citizen-Times, John Fletcher, File)
**FILE** Two male elk are shown in Jan. 15, 2003, at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Cataloochee, N.C. With the return of elk to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, local business owners and town officials have carved a new niche: elk marketing. Elk were hunted out of existence in the Smokies in the 1800s, but were reintroduced to the half-million-acre park on the North Carolina-Tennessee border in 2001. Their return is attracting tourists to the Maggie and Cataloochee valleys in droves - and causing a growing demand for elk information, pictures and memorabilia. (AP Photo/The Citizen-Times, John Fletcher, File)

N.C. elk hunting approved for mountains

February 11, 2016 09:29 PM