Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bugling




One of my favorite shots from the excursion was of this massive bull bugling.

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.


12 comments:

Kerri said...

Wow! This is a Fantastic Picture! I have never seen one of these in the wild before. PA Dept of Conservation and Natural Resources should use this on a brochure to entice elk viewing!

Old Wom Tigley said...

What a shame that these fine beasts could soon be in the sights of a gun.

Willard said...

After reading your post, I decided to visit the web page of a prominent Pennsylvania Elk Hunting Guide. He advertises a 100% success rate on seven bull hunts and one cow elk hunt. These pictures tell why his success rate is so high and note that he has guided one cow elk hunt and seven hunts for bulls (or so one would infer from his advertisement). This appears that the trophy bulls are singled out for special attention.

photowannabe said...

Fantastic picture of a beautiful creature. It seems too magnificent to be shot just for "fun".

oldmanlincoln said...

Hunting should be a crime except when people need the meat to eat to keep from starving. And then, if I made laws, politicians in Washington would be legal game for all the rest who call themselves "sportsmen."

Scarlet said...

The only town I remember visiting in PA was Eldridge, and I don't even remember if that was the exact name of the town because it was over 25 years ago and I spent one night in an old remodeled school house...one of the scariest nights of my life!

Anyway, the pic of the bull is fascinating. It doesn't look real, it's that perfect.

Living in Miami, I'm going to have to return with my coffee and relax with your wonderful stories/photos. I hope you don't min.

ASH said...

So much for the thrill of the hunt. I can't imagine walking up to something like this and purposefully ending its life. At this point in my life, I don't even like to think about the chickens and cows that go into my dinners.

Tourists create problems, too, but their dollars help prove the elk are worth more alive!

oldmanlincoln said...

I left this answer to your post or comment on my blog. I don't know if you will come back so I came back here to leave it here also.

I used to go deer hunting every October. I fished most of my life. I hunted rabbit with sling shot and with bow and arrow. I caught pigeons with burlap sacks and ate everything I caught, shot, or hooked. If I can't eat it or don't need it I don't kill it. I am against "killing for sport."

Faye Pekas said...

Simply beautiful.. very emotive. Well done Salty.

I stole your title for my spider photo. Deadly Embrace was much better :)

TRM said...

I grew up hunting in Montana, and there was nothing easy about hunting elk. They are incredible animals, and you've got some nice shots here. I still get the itch around this time of year, but think that shooting with the camera is more what I'm up to these days. I haven't hunted since I moved to Oregon.

Willard said...

Although I have no personal experience, I believe that it is different in the western states where Elk are hunted regularly and are not as acclimated as our eastern elk.

The herd is small and sees so many humans in non-threatening situations. Only a few elk are shot each year in a one week season. The problem is that this is not enough disturbance to make them truly a challenge to hunt, but if is enough to make the true trophy bulls of a few years ago quite rare. Officials reaction to this problem seems to be to want to make the elk wilder by any means possible. I think that in this situation they are of more value to many more people as watchable wildlife than the object of a trophy hunt. If what elk we have are truly wild, then photography and tourism suffers. Another who has the same outlook as trm is a retired biology professor who loves to hunt elk in Colorado were they inhabit a vast amount of territory and the herd is quite large, but he considers the Pennsylvania hunt to be a terrible waste of a valuable resource and a detriment to the genetic structure of the herd. He refuses to hunt elk in Pennsylvania.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Hi again Salty
Jane asked me to let you know how much she as enjoyed these last few pictures and what you have to say about them, she finds it very interesting to see so many that have hunted with the gun, now more than happy to use the camera, she sides with Abraham about hunting for food only and hunting for sporting saddens her.