|Fred In 2002-His Largest Classic Rack: Courtesy of Ronald Saffer|
Reports have been circulating all weekend on Facebook about this unfortunate circumstance, but I have been hesitant to make a definitive post about the matter until this point. I wish to thank noted elk columnist for Endeavor News, Carol Mulvihill, and Benezett Store Manager, Beth Hoffman, for confirming that initial reports are true.
Estimates of his age range as high as 20 years, but an analysis of his rack size in in 1997, 1998 makes it seem likely he was born no later than 1994 and it is possible he was born somewhat earlier, with 1992 being the earliest likely year.. This was when Claude Nye, more commonly know as "Dr. Perk" was heavily involved with the elk on Winslow Hill and he, Tom Murphy, and Ron Rishel would be most likely to know the true age of the animal.
According to Pennsylvania"s leading elk photographer, Ron "Buckwheat" Saffer, he first heard people using the name "Fred, Jr". in 1998. That year, Saffer photographed him in mid-August, with a dog leash tangled in his antlers and he and his circle of friends name him "Dogrope", a name which he has used to this day.
|Fred or Dogrope In 1998 With Dog Leash In Antlers: Courtesy Ronald Saffer|
Bull 36 is gone now, but he will be talked about for years to come.
Marci Geise has established a page on Facebook as a tribute to Fred, where persons may share photographs and stories of their experiences with the Icon of Pennsylvania's elk herd. If the link doesn't work, do a search of Facebook for Fred Jr.#36 and you should be able to find it. Also visit Marci on Facebook at Elk Scenic Drive for lots of elk photographs and discussions.
Originally posted on Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.