Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Pa Elk Rut Revisited

As I sat here tonight looking through recently captured images my mind drifted back to my adventure a month ago shooting the Pennsylvania Elk Rut.

The 2008 Elk Season is now underway. Tags were drawn for seventeen antlered (bulls) and twenty eight antlerless (cows). The season began Monday morning and will conclude Saturday evening.

The success rate of this hunt typically is nearly 100% but then how could we expect any different when so many of these animals are habituated to humans from the nearly constant contact with viewers, photographers etc.

On the morning I captured this image I overheard an individual ask a local elk guide how that he could sleep at night. The guide shrugged his shoulders stating that each elk hunt was $2000 bucks.


Brad Myers said...

Salty, I agree with your view on the Pa. Elk hunt. I do not see the sport in it at all. Don't get me wrong I am not against hunting, I was brought up in a hunting family. I have not hunted in almost 20 years because I found more enjoyment in viewing the animals than shooting them.

I also got the impression it was like shooting a tame animal after visiting Elk County earlier this year. And after watching Willard's DVD set I was more convinced.

I guess we can hope for many miss fires, or Elk fever during the hunt.

You mentioned heading south next week, I had hoped to go this weekend but that will not happen. With work and a 12 year old son that is into everything my trip is now planned for the first weekend in January. Good luck, I am looking forward to see the photos.

Unknown said...

I was in Maryland this past weekend, and heeded your advice: we saw several road kill deer. So I had a watchful eye out while driving.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Salty: What a great view of the Bull Elk. This is worth much more than any hunt.

Shelley said...

How much sport can it really be to shoot an elk that would walk up on you - this is sad. I prefer to view them as well. I let the hubby deer hunt - but hoping he tires of it in the future.

Anonymous said...

Elk hunting is not allowed in the areas where the elk are habituated to human presence. That is why the few people lucky enough to be drawn for an elk license need a guide.

In the areas open to elk hunting, the elk are as wild and wary as any whitetail or other game animal.

The elk that you see in the Benezette/St. Marys/etc. areas are rightly protected and valued as a tourist attraction.

Willard said...


Your statement is partially correct, but in some instances, hunting is allowed quite close to the viewing areas and result in some very habituated animals being shot. (A good example is that hunting is allowed only .3 mile from the buildings at the Gilbert Viewing Area, and just across Winslow Hill from The Dents Run Viewing Area) Many of the elk that are hunted are quite acclimated to humans, in particular those in Elk Hunt Zone 2,and Zone 8.

The elk near St. Mary's are protected only if they are on posted ground. See the PA Hunting Digest on page 61, nd read the information about the open area. There is no area around St. Marys that is not open to Elk Hunting if the property owner so desires!

Ivar Østtun said...

I read in a local newspaper that a hunter shot 4 deers in 19 sec. Here in Norway this is unusual. The deers came on a line and when he started shooting they did not run away, they just kept walking :-)

Janet said...

You really are out in the country! What a great photo!

Ken Conger Photography said...

Good bugle image. Interesting comments as well.

Your titmouse image below on the sunflower head is awesome. I have been attempting to something similar in the past but has never worked out well for me.

Blue Skies.

Anonymous said...

Your views on the hunt are from emotion and not from logic. The elk have gotten to a place in your mind and heart that does not let you look at the elk hunt clearly. You and your brother only seem to report what goes on around the Winslow Hill viewing area. One can tell this by your constant assessments that the hunt is hurting the mature bull populaton. Believe me when I tell you not only are there more elk now then ever but also more mature bulls. Your brother's statement about hunting taking place just .3 miles from the Gilbert Farm is a good point of illogical thinking. Let's say that the no hunt zone was enlarged, there would still be a line that on one side you would not be able to hunt and one foot away you would. Have you guys ever seen video or pictures of elk herds out west, they habituate into towns, around ranches, etc. What we must remember is that these are not the same animal the the majority of us here in Pa are used to seeing , ie the whitetail. Whitetail are much more flighty than elk and even they on rare occasion will linger after detecting danger or something foreign. As for the guide you over heard in the restaurant, I can tell you this there is no one guiding or outfitting for the Pa elk hunt that does it to make money. We (Elk Co. Outfitters)charge the hunters $1,500.00 for meals, lodging, guiding, getting the animal out of the woods, and usually caping and quartering it. We had twenty-five guides licensed this year. I personally from Sept 20 to Nov 8 put over eleven thousand miles on my vehicle, with fuel costing what it does I hope this shows we charge to cover expenses. We haven't even talked about the food, the time away from family and work, the licensing, the insurance, etc. We do this to help someone with what is a hunt of a lifetime, and because we enjoy it. Just because you don't agree with something you shouldn't pass judgement on those that have different thoughts than you. I personally don't sgree with killing animals for the sake of killing them.
I believe this is you, with a bunch of carp that you shot with your bow. Did you eat these fish? I'm not passing judgement on you this is a legal practice you had the right by law to do this. The same thing can be said about ground hog hunting most guys shoot ground hogs as practice they don't eat them, legal but is it ethical?
We all should think before we start swiping the ethical paint brush around.
Jack E Manack Jr. (Elk Co. Outfitters)

JACK MANACK JR. (Elk Co Outfitters) said...

Sorry I had trouble with the photo.

JACK MANACK JR. (Elk Co Outfitters) said...