Saturday, November 15, 2008

Camera Critters: The Rut Continues

The whitetail rut is in full swing in Pennsylvania and Virginia. I have been dividing my time between photographing the local whitetail herd and those in Shenandoah National Park. Since "Salty" has been posting a lot of Virginia photos, I will post some of Pennsylvania deer for this week's camera critters.

The does are smaller in our area than most of the Virginia does, which seems to be a hereditary factor as the food sources seem to be of equal quality. in our area fawns are almost never bred in their first autumn and most are two years old before they have their first fawn.

In the photo below a fawn which was born this past June, stands with its' mother and surveys the countryside.

Canon 30-D: 500mmF4

I love photographing the does and fawns while waiting for the bucks to appear. While I see yearling bucks each day, the larger ones do not always appear. Sometimes one may go a day or so without seeing one and it may appear too early or late for good photography, but in this case a decent seven point appeared in mid-afternoon.

Canon 30-D: 500mmF4

This buck is at least 2 1/2 years old and may even be 3 1/2. Deer in this area are small compared to those in states that produce a large number of trophy bucks. Many hunters from this area travel to the mid-western states such as Iowa where they seem to find some extremely large bucks. As for me, I no longer hunt and I am to content to photograph the local herd and what bucks I can find in the National Parks such as The Smokies and Shenandoah.

Click here to view more animal photos from Camera Critters.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pennsylvania Elk Hunt Results: 2008

Last week, Pennsylvania held it's eight modern day elk hunt. There was no elk hunting in the state for 70 years until 2001. 45 permits were issued for this years' hunt and 40 hunters were successful. I did not go to the elk range during the hunt and as of yet do not know which, if any of the bulls frequently seen at the viewing areas were shot.

The following is the official Pennsylvania Game Commission News Release . While the article is shown here for your convenience, it is recommended that you follow the link, if you wish to read more information on elk and other wildlife in Pennsylvania.

Source: Pennsylvania Game Commission News Releases
2008 Press Releases
Release #123-08


HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that 40 of the 45 licensed elk hunters harvested an elk during the season that was held Nov. 3-8. Additionally, of the 10 licensed elk hunters who participated in the September season, two harvested an elk.

“Elk are one of North America’s premier big game animals,” Roe said. “Pennsylvania is privileged to offer this unique hunting opportunity, a product of successful wildlife management that helps to finance wildlife conservation and supports Pennsylvania’s rich hunting heritage. It’s an unparalleled experience for hunters, particularly those who can’t afford to go on an expensive one- or two-week guided elk hunt out West.”

Along with extracting samples needed for disease testing, the agency also collected samples necessary to examine food preferences and habitat use by elk. Also, hunters collected liver samples that will be evaluated for mineral contents.

The largest antlered elk was taken by Susan Luse, of Aaronsburg, Centre County. She took a 799-pound, 7x7 on Nov. 3, in Covington Township, Clearfield County.

Those hunters rounding out the top five heaviest antlered elk harvested, were: William Kleppinger, of Quakertown, Bucks County, took a 653-pound, 7x7 on Nov. 3, in Bradford Township, Clearfield County; Tyler Rieder, of St. Marys, Elk County, took a 652-pound, 7x7 on Nov. 6, in Covington, Clearfield County; Darrel Maines, of North East, Erie County, took a 624-pound, 7x6 on Nov. 3, in Grove Township, Cameron County; and Kerry McAfoose, of Kittanning, Armstrong County, took a 591-pound, 7x7 on Nov. 4, in Benzette Township, Elk County.

The heaviest antlerless elk was taken by James Misti, of Lyndonville, New York, who harvested a 435-pound antlerless elk on Nov. 4, in West Keating, Clinton County.

Those hunters rounding out the top five heaviest antlerless elk harvested were: Leroy Byler, of Mercer, Mercer County, who harvested a 409-pound antlerless elk on Nov. 6, in Benezette Township, Elk County; Thomas Williams, of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, who harvested a 406-pound antlerless elk on Nov. 4, in Benezette Township, Elk County; Bernard Cossack, of Old Forge, Lackawanna County, who harvested a 400-pound antlerless elk on Nov. 5, in Benezette Township, Elk County; George Laudeman, of Minersville, Schuylkill County, who harvested a 395-pound antlerless elk on Nov. 3, in Gibson Township, Cameron County.

For the September 2008 hunt, which was held September 1-27, two elk were harvested. Dale Schmidt, of Germansville, Lehigh County, and Cark Kemp, of Leechburg, Armstrong County, each harvested an antlerless elk.

For more information on elk in Pennsylvania, visit the Game Commission’s website (, choose “Hunting,” then click on the photograph of an elk.

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Content Last Modified on 11/12/2008 9:21:01 AM