Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Elk Hunt: The First Day-A Report From Elk County

Reports Indicate This Bull Was Taken

Here is a first hand report as it were, of some of the action on the first day of elk season.

I met a couple during my first year or so in Elk County. They are dedicated outdoors people who love watching and photographing the elk. They were kind enough to e-mail me a report about their experiences of the first day of the 2009 elk season as they got to see it first hand.

They started the day by checking the parking lot at the end of Dewey Road and found 16 vehicles there. From this point I will go to their exact words: "Went to Gray Hill on top where the camps start on the left side of the road (about half way to apple orchard) there were 10 Bulls together around the camps but about 20 hunters and guides (so it seemed) NOT GOOD. No 47 (brown collar) which was the biggest bull in group, was there and we took last live pictures of him. We had stopped but was getting in their way. Anyway we left so they could carry out game plan, put hunter in front, then bulls walk right to them. No 47 went down and next biggest one. Not sure what it was. "

As I understand the hunting digest, this is Elk Hunt Zone 8 and should be all of the bulls allocated for Zone 8. I have no current photographs of bull 47, but he was featured in a post by Steve Friel on October 7, 2009. To see this photo visit Photos by Steve.

Dominant 9x8 At Gilbert Viewing Area

They also had news as to the dominant 9x8 bull that was seen almost daily at The Gilbert Viewing Area this fall. They had seen hunters walking a road toward game lands as they (my correspondents) were heading out in the morning. When they returned to the area after being on Gray Hill, they saw the 9x8 being hauled out on the back of a truck. This is in Elk Hunt Zone 2.

They then went to the check station from 12:30 until 3:00. There were 6 cows and 6 bulls checked by that time.

It is important to note that this is the situation as I understand it and as it was reported to me. It will be interesting to hear or read the accounts of these hunts from the perspective of those that participated in them.

Something I do know is that during the period from September 20, through October 2,2009, the 9x8, had no fear of humans. Absolutely none!

No Fear

It is a difficult task for wildlife managers to arrive at a management policy that considers the concerns of hunters, tourists, property owners and other interested parties, while at the same time safeguarding the resource itself. Progress has been made in addressing some of the more critical problems, but it is time to strongly consider increasing the size of the No Hunt Zone to protect more of the large bulls.


Anonymous said...

I hope the people eat the meat they kill and they didn't kill for sport. The photographs are nice.

Gretchen said...

Beautiful photos. I was invited to go along on the hunt to photograph it, but I couldn't force myself to watch. I do believe in hunting, if it's for the meat and not just the trophy. It makes me ill to see animals slaughtered for their antlers, horns, gallbladders, etc..

Coy Hill said...

It does appear that progress is being made but it still is saddening to think that this fine bull that so many enjoyed has been killed when he could have went on to thrill viewers for years to come.

Brad Myers said...

Willard, you know I am not against hunting, BUT after being in Benezette three times in the last year and getting around the Elk like I did during the rut I guess the best way to put it is I am just plain pissed off the 8X9 or any others like him were taken during the hunt.

I can also say that this animal was not concerned or scared of humans one bit. He was still a wild animal but very much acclimated to people and it just makes me sick to think that someone shot him like a pet for enjoyment.

Shane and I are planning a Christmas trip back up to photograph the Elk in the snow, I guess he will not get to enjoy this bull the way we did.

I just hope the push continues towards tourism and less for the hunting of the Pa. Elk.

Heather said...

I was lucky enough to have a wonderful encounter with the 9x8 and am deeply saddened that he was taken during this hunt. I understand that sportsmen enjoy hunting, but where is the "sport" in shooting an animal so trusting of humans. I could go on for pages but will leave it at that, I only wish my daughter that loves the elk so much could have admired him as I did.

Helen said...

That doesn't sound like sportmanship for the Elk to not be afraid and just walk to a hunter. Helen

Anonymous said...

We just arrived home from Benezette and the 9x8 spent many, many hours in our yard. He was VERY, VERY tame. I spent time in the yard with him and watched him from our windows Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For someone to shoot him is a crime. I can't see how anyone could be so heartless.
Benezette will lose repeat visitors if this act continues. It's tough to enjoy these awesome animals and then learn they were killed. I am sick about this.
Also, if this practice continues, Benezette will no longer have the healthy monster bulls.
This has really hurt my view of Benezette.

Tom said...

I have just come from your Salty's blog and what I read there and read here now really saddens me.... I commented on Salty's about taking the best of the best... in time that can only weaken the herds... I do hope this 'No Hunt Zone' can be enlarged sooner than later....


Tom said...

I have just come from your Salty's blog and what I read there and read here now really saddens me.... I commented on Salty's about taking the best of the best... in time that can only weaken the herds... I do hope this 'No Hunt Zone' can be enlarged sooner than later....


Kekiinani said...

Hi Willard. It's been a long time since I have been to the blog's that enjoy. (HA.. including my own). If I read your post correctly it seems that the animals are not afraid of the hunters and almost walk up to them???.... Doesn't sound to sporting to me. I though am not a hunter so perhaps I read incorrectly. How sad.. Anyway on a happier note.. Your images are beautiful. Hope you are enjoying your new camera... I will be visiting with more frequency.. Glad to see that you are still posting. Aloha, Renee :)

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Willard: I hope your voice is heard.