Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Truth About Pennsylvania's Elk Herd"-Benezette Elk

The Pennsylvania Game Commission Video, "Pennsylvania Elk: Reclaiming The Alleghenies" is a comprehensive overview of the re-establishment of the Pennsylvania elk herd, while "The Truth About Pennsylvania's Elk Herd", which I completed last year, was made from the point of view of an eco-tourist, serious photographer, and student of nature.

Filming a Pennsylvania Bull Elk

While "Reclaiming The Alleghenies" laid the groundwork for public acceptance of a modern day elk hunt, "The Truth About Pennsylvania's Elk Herd" questions how the hunt was implemented and covers many controversies surrounding the hunt.

Perhaps the most notable controversy was when the area immediately around the village of Benezette was to be opened to elk hunting during the 2006 hunt. (There was originally a significant area where no hunting was permitted to protect the elk around the public viewing areas). After a firestorm of public protest the decision was reversed.

Benezette Bulls

There are three basic options in dealing with elk that "move into town". One is a hands-off approach, while the second is trap and transfer of problem animals. The third is the "lethal" solution of opening the area to hunting. This is the most cost effective method, but is it the right thing to do?

Yearling Bull In No Hunt Zone

Is it more valuable to society as a whole to mange elk for hunting purposes, or as a viewable resource? Can these activities co-exist to the benefit of both sides? The film addresses these issues, and more!

Stay tuned for more about the controversies surrounding Pennsylvania's Elk Herd, along with information and photos on other Pennsylvania wildlife.


SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I can see the pro's and con's on both sides of this issue.

For many years we have had the same with the culling of elephants and the whole world has jumped on the bandwagon taking sides in the issue. The simple truth is that most of the people with the loudest voices have never been to Africa and do not really have a clue as to the actual things which should be taken into consideration.

Sometimes I think that too many people have too much to say about things which do not concern them. Us humans have created situations affecting the wild animals and should take the responsibility of fixing it keeping the animals in mind.

Sorry to run off like this Willard but it is something I feel very strongly about. :)

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Interesting post: I didn't even realize PA had an elk herd.

Willard said...

Your input is always welcome and you need not feel sorry about stating your views.

I will probably deal with the town issue a bit more soon and actually in a bit more depth in what it was covered in the film.

Anonymous said...

I would think they could have a controlled hunt in which the meat is distributed to needy families in the area or those on food stamps --things like that.

Abraham Lincoln
Brookville, Ohio

Shellmo said...

I'm conflicted as I agree w/ Joan above. We have created these situations. We have overdeveloped our lands and are surprised when we find a deer, elk, cougar or bear in our backyard, I look at a depressed neighborhood or building or subdivision and I think "redevelop that!" - don't go knocking down more trees and destroying habitat. My last thoughts - I loved your photos!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Keep us posted WIllard.

fishing guy said...

Willard: I love the photo in front of the little shack.

T and S said...

Your conservation tales are really riddled with the hardships of both the Elks and conservators like you.

Keep up the good work Willard.

The images of these massive bulls are awesome.

The Birdlady said...

They are wonderful creatures - thanks for the always great photos.

Anonymous said...

I'd love the opportunity to photograph the elk but alas, I am in the wrong part of the state for that. I will have to plan a trip out your way some day soon.

Judyyoder8 said...

Missed you on the hill this past year. Videoed numerous fights the second weekend I went up. Maybe see you at Middle Creek in spring or Winslow Hill in the fall. Millard Yoder