|Approximate Map of Hunt Zones In Recent Years-2 More Zones Added This Year--Source: W. Hill-"The Truth About Pennsylvania's Elk Herd|
When pondering the license allocations for 2013, there were some things that just didn't add up though unless the EHZs were changed substantially in some areas as zones 5&6 were in the eastern part of the elk range where there is little controversy about elk/vehicle collisions and other elk related problems at this time. The new allocations really slammed the pressure on the elk in these zones with a total of 7 bull tags and 23 antlerless tags being issued for these two zones, but the elk/human conflict problem area was centered in the Medix Run--Weedville corridor.
Things became more clear when the April 27th issue of Endeavor News arrived. Well known elk writer, Carol Mulvihill's article, "Spring brings new life to Pennsylvania elk population" featured a small map of the new hunt zones. Paid subscribers to the online edition may read the article in its' entirety by clicking the link, while others must wait 3 weeks until it is available to the general public.
|2013 Elk Hunt Zone Map: Created by W.Hill based on map published in Endeavor News|
From this map though, it becomes clear why zones 5&6 have the high allocations. These EHZs now appear to be in the area from beyond Weedville to the west to possibly well past Benezette on the south side of RT 555 to the east. In addition EHZ 10 has been moved from the western edge to the east.
It is very clear that the PGC and a very vocal portion of the public do not want elk in town, or have to deal with them on the highways. While at present the majority of the complaints about elk seem to be centered around the Medix Run to Weedville and the Rt 255 corridors, the photo below, taken in Benezett, shows the type of situation that many are unhappy about.
|Large Herd In Benezette|
I emphasize at this point that I will not guarantee the accuracy of any of this, but as more information becomes available it seems that things are going to change and the change will likely be very significant. Assuming that EHZ 7 with its' 0 allocation is the replacement for the No Hunt Zone, it will not surprise me at all if the size of area is drastically reduced. The bottom line is that time will tell and it should become clear by the time the Hunting/Trapping Digest is published, but I would not even assume that this is a given, as there seems to have been much tighter control on the release of information pertaining to elk management and the elk hunt in the past few years.
Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.