Sunday, February 14, 2010
Wintering PA Elk
We headed to Gray Hill from there and we found 11 bulls wintering together. This is in the hunt zone and is said by some to be more remote and that the elk there are more wild. My friend was amazed when I got out of the vehicle and set up my tripod and walked to where I could get some good pictures of some of the bulls. The bulls remained standing or laying where they were and paid no attention to me. My friend and I stayed with them photographing them for well over an hour and they were not the least bit afraid of us. The elk in Pennsylvania have not learned to fear humans and continuing to hunt them in the scale that has been done in the past few years will only deplete the population of large bulls and will not create real fair chase hunting.
Having hunted elk in the western states, I can say that the behavior of the eastern elk is very different than those found in the western states. The elk in the west, even those around Yellowstone Park are more wary of humans and are easily "spooked". My friend (who is also a hunter) asked me how anyone could hunt the elk that we saw and with good conscience kill one of them in the name of fair chase. I did not know how to answer his question.