Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pa Elk Season

In the morning the Pennsylvania Elk season or hunt as many call it will begin.  Seventeen persons were successful in obtaining bull tags along with thirty three others with antlerless tags.

I sit here wondering what the outcome of this years season will be.  How many of the bulls that so many have come to know, animals who are very trusting of humans, will fall to the bullets and arrows that will come their way in to coming days.

I cannot condemn the PGC for the need to manage these majestic animals but neither can I agree with any program that portrays these trusting animals as fitting trophies for hunters to proudly hang on their wall.

There are other ways of managing the elk herd rather than selectively removing the best males from the herd with a trophy hunt.  I cannot disagree that hunting is the best way to keep the herd within the management goals of the area but bull tags should at least for the most part be for animals who have passed their prime or who's genetics keep them from becoming dominate bulls at all.  This could be done as simply as restricting the bull kill to branch antlered animals with 5 or less points per side.  A slot restriction would get some younger bulls killed but we would be protecting the best breeding bulls at the time of their life where they can do the most good for this small isolated herd.

7 comments:

Montanagirl said...

What an absolutely beautiful photo! Great lighting, composition, etc. I hate to see any of them shot, but guess that's how they keep the populations under control. Good thing we aren't Elk, huh?

JimB said...

Very good topic for today!! Joan and I just returned from there. We got within 15-20 feet of many elk and within 35 yards of two large bulls that were being watched by two hunters and their guides. We were in the hunt area. One guide tried to explain to me how it was fair chase because he was going "way back in"---yeah 1/2 mile from parking lot were the tame bulls were spending the afternoons.

Jim

Ann Nichols said...

Beautiful photo! I don't agree with hunting especially in area's we have developed with building huge homes for families of four... so I really like your reasoning. This animal is magnificent. Thank you for documenting such great wildlife. Will be very happily following along!
Ann

Carol said...

It doesn't make sense to kill off the best of the herd..I never did like "trophy hunters"..nothing wrong with putting food on the table though

HANNIBAL said...

I love this photo Coy! And well said! I understand the need, but don't ever understand wanting a head by those who wish to partake. What a dispicable waste! How would they like their head on a wall,oh, and for the most part, dispose of the rest, because we all know that bulls full of testosterone is not good meat. I mean... REALLY!?!

Brad Myers said...

Coy, I am hoping for the best but expect many of the bulls we have come to know and enjoy to be taken. Last year it was the 8X9 on day one and #40 on day two. I was hoping for rain this week to dampen there spirits but that seems very unlikely at this point.

I guess at this point I wil root for poor shots or misfires, LOL.

The Early Birder said...

Coy, I totally agree with you. Herd management should be very selective and not ad hoc otherwise how can you assure survival of the fitest to ensure continuance of a species. FAB.