Thursday, December 2, 2010

More Thoughts On "Kissser" aka "Odie":

Regular readers of this blog know that one of Pennsylvania's few surviving character bulls known as "Kisser" or "Odie" was killed during the past elk season.  I first filmed and photographed this bull in Benezette during the summer of 2007 when he was already a beautiful 7x7.

"Kisser" aka "Odie" in Benezette: July 2007

While most referred to him as "Kisser", our close circle of photographers and elk watchers named him "Odie" There is of course a story behind this.  Ron "Buckwheat" Saffer and Odie Swartz were photographing this bull and several other elk during the rut of 2007 when he had a fight with another bull and broke one of his tines.  Odie Swartz found the tine and from then on Buckwheat referred to the bull as "Odie's Bull".  In time we simply referred to him as "Odie"

"Odie"In Woodlands On Winslow Hill Rut of 2007: Note Missing Tine On Left Antler
By 2010 most of the character bulls were gone.  The famous town bull "Fred" was in declining health, and most of the others had been poached (Club Horn 2005), killed in elk season, or died of natural causes. "Kisser" was positioned to replace Fred (bull #36) as the most observed and photographed Pennsylvania bull elk, but this was not to be.

In the Saturday November 27, 2010 edition of  Endeavor News, Carol Mulvihill features this bull in her  "Elk Watcher's Journal "column  - "Remembering bull elk "Kisser".  The story covers the life history of the animal, especially the early years and reveals that he was named by a local resident and elk guide when the young bull walked up to his house in 2005 and touched noses with a puppy dog standing on the porch.  A photograph of this encounter is featured on the front page of the print edition of the paper.

 The story in its' entirety is available initially only to subscribers, but is available to the general public after three weeks.  I  recommend that those who are seriously interested in the elk herd and issues impacting the elk range such as Marcellus shale drilling subscribe to this paper.

For more on this animal read "A Gentle Giant" by Coy Hill ( March 11, 2010). The story of this animal is yet one more reason why we need an expanded No Kill Zone!

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill


Anonymous said...

These are beautiful pictures of Odie. I especially like the first one.

V.L. Locey said...

Lovely pictures of Odie Willard.

EG CameraGirl said...

You have wonderful photos to remember Kisser.