Saturday, September 5, 2009

Camera Critters: Outlook For Injured Bull

During several recent posts, we have dealt extensively with the elk that was tangled in the swings at the old Benezette school. As a result, the supporting structure for the right antler, known as the pedicel, was broken loose from the skull. Many have speculated what this will mean for the animal in the future.

How Will This Affect Future Antler Development?

Similar problems have occurred in the past, and one in particular stands out. I did not keep records on this incident so I do not recall the manner in which the animal featured today was injured, but he also ended up with a broken pedicel and the antler had to be removed. This was sometime in the late 1990s or early 2000s. The local elk watchers named him "Clubhorn".

This was before the days of DSLRS and while I do have a few still photos of the animal from this period, it would require research to locate the negatives and they need to be scanned to digital files before they can be posted.

Suffice it to say that for several years, this particular animal had a completely normal right antler, but the left one was very deformed and small. To everyone's amazement he showed up as a large mature bull in 2004. While the rack was still not balanced looking it was very impressive.

I photographed and videotaped him extensively in 2005. He looked almost normal if he stood at the correct angle. There is a story about him in a recent issue of Pennsylvania Game News, where a tourist relates how he approached him too closely to photograph him. The bull knocked him down, and the tourist required medical attention. although he was not seriously injured. The following photographs were taken the following week and the bull is only a short distance from where that incident occurred.


Clubhorn: 2005

Clubhorn: 2005-Side View Shows Deformity

He was featured on the cover of the Pennsylvania Game Commission Hunting Digest that year, but unfortunately was shot by poachers either later that year or in early 2006.

For detailed reporting on the recent incident, visit Bradley Myers Photo Blog, and Bob Shank Photography.

Also congratulations to Bob Shank for having his photos published by Endeavor News and in a Pennsylvania Game Commission News Release.

For more Camera Critters photographs, Click Here!

12 comments:

Jedediah said...

He was impressive, although it does look a bit weird. It's a shame he was killed!

JD and Max said...

What a shame he was killed by poachers as he did look magnificent despite eveything! Sometimes we don't understand humans AT ALL.... :( Schnauzer snuggles - JD and Max.

Babooshka said...

You have covered many incidents where human kind has let the animal world down. Such a terrible waste of such a magnificent animal, but we do need people like you to continue showing us the damage caused.

alwaysbcmom.com said...

Clubhorn was a handsome one - deformity or not.

Dina said...

After all he went through, to be shot by a poacher. :(

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Willard: Thanks for sharing this story about the bull.

sweet bay said...

Thank you for your account of Clubhorn. Certainly he was magnificent. What a shame he was shot by a poacher. :(

Larry D said...

Video was excellent, sad to see the older bull was poached, such a waste.

HANNIBAL said...

Wonderful shots of a very regal Clubhorn!

Moobear said...

Willard, thank you for sharing this so sad ending for Clubhorn. I have waited until now in my old age to enjoy wildlife. It is so interesting, I only wish my health would permit me to help in some small way. God Bless you for you work and Bless all of our creatures that we have learned to love.

eileeninmd said...

It is a sad story about such a beautiful animal. They are awesome to see in the wild.

Leedra said...

Enjoyed this post, but hated to hear about the poachers. Another thing that shows some people only think about themselves. Great photos to go with the story.