Why hunt elk out West when you can stay in the Keystone State and bag an 894-pound, 7×6 racked bull elk? That’s what Rodney Hoover of Martinsburg, PA did on Nov. 2 during Pennsylvania’s lottery draw elk hunt.
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, more than 73 percent of hunters taking part in the 2015 elk hunt took home a trophy elk. Of that, 85 elk were taken during the regular one-week elk season that ended Nov. 7. And those licensed to hunt antlered elk – or bulls – had a 95 percent success rate. That’s better than most high-priced elk hunts out West or New Mexico.
The PGC says the nine bulls each were estimated to weigh 700 pounds or more. The largest bull in terms of rack size, they say, was a 7×6 taken by Scott Martino of Cresson, PA whose elk rack measured 387 Boone & Crockett inches. That bull had an estimated live weight of 790 pounds.
The second-highest-scoring bull was shot by Timothy Iraca of Irvona, PA whose 8×7 rack initially measured 367 6/8 inches. It had an estimated weight of 842 pounds. Other large bulls taken were a 7×7 weighing 788 pounds taken by Edward Kerlin, Warfordsburg, PA; a 7×7 weighing 761 pounds shot by Ricky Sechrist, York, PA; a 7×7 weighing 758 pounds taken by Joe Fremer, Brockway, PA; a 7×7 weighing 751 pounds by David German, Shippensburg, PA; 7×8 weighing 749 pounds by Michael Simmers, Landisburg, PA; and a 7×7 weighing 703 pounds shot by Michael Chippie, Windber, PA.
There were also some large antlerless (cows) taken. Eight of the cows taken during the one-week season weighed over 500 pounds.
Thirty-three of the 85 elk harvested, says the PGC, were taking on opening day of the season (Nov. 2). The agency goes on record to say that they don’t release information about license holders, however those who are drawn and give their consent to release their names or other information, are listed.
To participate in the elk hunt, hunters must submit an application, then be selected through a random drawing and then purchase a license. The drawing annually has attracted more than 20,000 applicants, so getting one is not a sure deal.
TREE STANDS/BLINDS ON SGL MUST BE TAGGED
For hunters hunting deer on state game lands, a PGC regulation states that all tree stands and hunting blinds erected on game lands must be tagged and must be removed no later than two weeks after the close of the last deer season in that WMU. Stands and blinds must be conspicuously marked with a durable and legible identification tag that includes either the owner’s first and last name and legal home address, the CID number appearing on the owner’s hunting license, or a number issued by the PGC to the stand or blind owner.
Unique numbers identifying your stand or blind can be obtained at the Outdoor Shop on the PGC’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). Once at the Outdoor Shop click on “Permits,” then select “Tree Stand Identification Number” and fill out the electronic form. There is no cost to obtain a number. Keep in mind, failure to remove and tag blinds is punishable by a fine of $200.