"We're currently not allowed to do that," Taylor said. "The Legislature would need to change the law before we could start collecting application fees."
Securing land where sportsmen could hunt for elk is another issue.
"If we're going to spend hunting- and fishing-license money on [elk], we will have to guarantee that the public will have access to them. I have heard there are land-holding companies agreeable [to allowing free access], and that's good news, but we'll need to get solid, long-term commitments," Taylor said.
A few years back, the DNR got burned on a similar situation. A mining company that earlier had agreed to allow access to wild-boar hunters was sold, and the company that bought the land chose not to honor the agreement.
"If we're going to invest a lot of money and sweat in elk, we definitely don't want that to happen again," Taylor said.
Then there's the question of where to obtain disease-free elk. Chronic wasting disease has never been detected in Kentucky's herd, and Taylor said he'd be more comfortable obtaining animals from Kentucky than from anywhere else, but still would worry.
"Until there's a live test for CWD, you just can't be 100 percent sure," he said.
Taylor acknowledged that Tomblin's support for an elk program could go a long way toward making one actually happen.
"If Curtis Taylor had gone to the Legislature asking to stock elk, I would have been stopped in my tracks," Taylor said. "In my opinion, having [support from] the governor's office and the leadership of the Legislature would make it a lot easier to get things done."