Tuesday, November 24, 2009

PA Elk

Joan and I spend a lot of time in the outdoors photographing animals in the wild.  We have been visiting the Benezett area for the past two years through the year to photograph the Pennsylvania elk.  We have found this elk herd for be very docile and acclimated to humans.   Opening and closing of car doors, people talking and laughing, babies crying do not seem to disturb or bother them at all.  We last visited on the weekend of October 24 and 25 just before Pa Elk Season opened.  I was amazed that the bulls were so docile.  We watched four different bulls.  They were what most hunters would consider trophy quality.   These bulls seemed oblivious to people being around.  They were in the kill zone and we photographed them eating, resting, fighting.  All the while we stood and watched the bulls, people were parking their cars along the road, slamming doors, talking and it did not phase the elk at all. 

Hunting these elk is not a fair chase hunt and creates an image of hunters and hunting that is not in the best interest of hunters.  Just to be clear, I am a hunter and I am a firearms manufacturer.  I believe in the fair chase and harvetsing of  wild animals.  I do not however, believe in, or support killing of animals that are ranging in the wild but have become acclimated to humans.  I am hoping that efforts that are underway by a group of individuals with a like interest in this subject will be successful expanding the Pa Elk no kill zone to better protect the animals that show no fear of humans.


Marci said...

I really appreciate your comments. I totally agree with you. This is not hunting, it is killing. I don't see how anyone can be heartless enough to shoot an animal that has walked right up to them, so trustingly. These elk on Winslow Hill deserve to be treated well by humans, because they do so much for the town and the tourists. The main thing that draws people to Benezette is the ability to see the elk up close. Another big draw is being able to view monster bulls. You can't really do this out west because most are killed before they reach "monster" status.
I was one of the last people to see the dominant 9x8 alive. He spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the yard of the place we were renting. He was so kind and trusting. It was such an amazing experience to be able to view him throughout our days there. We wondered why he did not return on Monday. When we got home, I learned that he was killed. At first, it made me feel sick....then I was sad. I never wanted to go back to Benezette again. Now, in memory of him (and the many other tame elk we lost), and in hopes of protecting the ones who remain, I want to do anything I can to help get the no-kill zone enlarged. I feel good that other people share my concern for these elk.
Thank you for visiting our group blog and for all of your supportive comments.

Coy said...

Well stated Jim, thanks for weighing in on the issue.

Willard said...

Your sentiments and sharing of your experiences are much appreciated, Jim. This is a prime example of why the NKZ needs to be expanded.