It saddens me to think that this bull and many others like him will soon be legal game in front of the guns. Although portrayed in hunting magazines as a challenging and difficult to hunt wild animal, my experience with the Pennsylvania elk has been quite different. The animals I encountered here were unconcerned with human presence. They are “wild” as in free ranging and not penned but they have a great deal of tolerance for people. Speaking as a life long hunter, I cannot imagine finding any more challenge killing one of these elk than I would find shooting the family milk cow.
I do understand that the herd cannot be allowed to increase to the point that it is damaging its habitat or creating undo human conflict. To effectively control the herd size cow numbers must be kept in check and the most cost effective (profitable) method is through public hunting. The current Pennsylvania Game Commission regulations allows a considerable number of trophy bulls to be taken in the area where tourist access is available while at the same time the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is attempting to build a viable Eco-tourist industry in Pennsylvania’s north woods designated Pennsylvania Wilds with elk viewing being one of the main attractions.