Thursday, November 8, 2012

PA Elk Season Report 2012

For the past two years I have observed the first several days of the Pennsylvania elk season, but due to a variety of reasons I did not go this year. Most important was a significant conflict with photographing the peak of the whitetail rut as elk season was a bit later this year and I wanted to be in Shenandoah Park for most of elk season week,.  For reasons described in the last post ,that trip did not work out and it would have been better had I gone to elk country.

Upon returning from Virginia I learned from David Anderson that two of the character bulls that were favorites with the elk watching/photography community were killed during the first few days of elk season. I partially predicted this outcome in the post of September 30, 2012,"Will The Biggest and Best Be Lost?" In that post I predicted the loss of at least one, most likely two, and perhaps all of the bulls shown. I did not include the famous bull "Attitude" in this list as in my opinion he was not as large as the three shown, plus he often spent a lot of his time in downtown Benezette once the rut was over, which gave him a better chance of surviving than most. His luck ran out this year when he was killed on Monday morning, the first day of season well away from Benezette.

"Attitude" 2012
Another favorite bull known as "Uncle Bob" was killed on Wednesday. He first gained wide attention in 2011  when he was named in honor of Bob "Uncle Bob" Woodring ,who is a close friend to many in the elk photography community.  This came about when we photographed him extensively in August of that year in Mr. Woodring's meadow. This was his first year with an impressive rack and he would likely have been killed in the hunt that year, but he broke his left main beam during the rut, which destroyed his trophy value. This ensured his survival that year, but he had a beautiful set of antlers this year and no one was likely to pass him up.

"Uncle Bob" 2012
Today well known elk enthusiast Jeff Thomas sent me what information he has on the hunt as of late this afternoon and I will share it with you below as reported by him.

"Attitude was taken Monday morning on Rock Hill road. I dont' have other details on him. Uncle Bob was taken Wednesday near Weedville. He weighed 649 lbs field dressed and green scored 365. The guide was Eric McCarthy. I heard he got away from them on Tuesday and on Wednesday they spooked him, but the hunter made a good shot and dropped him. They brought a large bull in from Mason hill on Monday and he scored 405 green, it was the 6c bull, I never saw him before. Watch the Endeavor news for Carol Mulvihill's story on him, its a real human interest story.

There were 16 bulls in by 1 o'clock on Wednesday and at least 24 cows. A lot of the big bulls were coming from the New Garden area and below Karthaus near the Kuhn farm. I heard that on Tuesday evening there were 19 bulls in one bunch. They brought 5 cows and possibly 1bull out of the gates at the bottom of Dewey.I didn't actually see the bull brought out.

I spent Sunday afternoon on Dewey and saw a cow bred by a 6x6 with a brown collar. There were elk everywhere. I saw 75 on the big hill, 45 in the first field on Dewey Road and another 35 in the second field. They took a cow in the new field in front of the limestone pile on Monday morning."  Jeff Thomas reporting from Pennsylvania Elk Country.

A special thanks to Dave Anderson and Jeff Thomas for providing us with this important information.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.


V.L. Locey said...

Great images! Thanks for the news, Willard. =)

Bill said...

This was my first year photographing the elk, especially the bulls. Kind of a bittersweet moment to hear of them being taken. I'm happy for the hunters, but it makes for an odd situation when they become familiar faces to you.

Unknown said...

Fantastic composition of this Elk in its habitat. Awesome

Unknown said...