OUTDOORS: Elk harvest set at 72
Nearly 85 percent of the hunters participating Pennsylvania’s 2013 elk hunt have taken home a trophy.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission today announced 72 elk were taken by hunters during the regular one-week elk season that ended Nov. 9. And for those licensed to hunt antlered elk, also known as bulls, the success rate was a perfect 100 percent.
In calling the season a success, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe offered congratulations to the hunters lucky enough to participate in this year’s hunt.
“Our annual elk hunt has become quite a tradition here in Pennsylvania and it’s a hunting opportunity we’re proud to provide,” Roe said. “The fact we’ve been able to expand the hunt in recent years is a testament to the health and management of our elk herd, and hunts like this year’s are something to get excited about.
“Congratulations to all of the hunters who took part in the season, and for those of you still awaiting your chance, rest assured more great elk hunting opportunities await in 2014,” he said.
The 2013 harvest included several large elk. Nine bulls each were estimated to weigh 596 pounds or more, with the heaviest bull taken in this year’s hunt weighing 652 pounds.
That bull sported a 6-by-7 rack that initially was measured with a Boone & Crockett score of 340 1/8 inches.
The largest bull in terms of the number of points on its rack was an 8-by-8 harvested Nov. 4 by Jeffrey G. Trought, of Muncy, Pa. That bull weighed an estimated 520 pounds and its rack initially scored 389 7/8 Boone & Crockett points.
The bull scoring the most Boone & Crockett points in its initial scoring was a 7-by-7 harvested Nov. 4 by Thomas R. Schneider, of Conshohocken, Pa. The bull was scored initially at 403 inches.
Other large bulls taken during the hunt include: a 7-by-7 bull weighing 624 pounds harvested Nov. 5 by Donald E. Christy, of Hermitage, Pa.; a 7-by-6 bull weighing 617 pounds harvested Nov. 6 by Donald E. Campbell, of Butler, Pa.; a 7-by-7 bull weighing 610 pounds harvested Nov. 4 by William K. Gifford, of Catawissa, Pa.; a 6-by-7 bull weighing 604 pounds harvested Nov. 4 by Edward Thomas, of Marianna, Pa.; a 6-by-6 bull weighing 603 pounds harvested Nov. 4 by Mark W. Kopar, of Mars, Pa.; a 7-by-7 bull weighing 596 pounds harvested Nov. 4 by Randolph L. Caldwell, of Export, Pa.; and a 6-by-6 bull weighing 596 pounds harvested Nov. 6 by Ronald G. Wildfire, of Kersey, Pa.
The largest antlerless elk, weighing an estimated 478 pounds, was harvested Nov. 4 by Timothy J. Mazol, of Danville, Pa.
In total, nine of the antlerless elk harvested in this year’s hunt weighed an estimated 400 pounds or more.
Thirty-three of the 72 elk harvested were taken on the opening day of the elk season Nov. 4. Twenty-five of the 72 elk harvested were bulls.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission typically doesn’t release information about license holders, but those who are drawn to participate in the annual elk hunt often give their consent to release their names or other information. Information on successful hunters who do not sign and submit a consent form prior to the hunt is not released.
To participate in the elk hunt, hunters must submit an application, then must be selected through a random drawing and purchase a license. The drawing typically is held in September and annually attracts more than 20,000 applicants.