2018-11-03 / Front Page

Final ‘traditional’ elk hunt this year?


More than two dozen of the 125 hunters who will participate in the state’s controlled elk hunt next week are licensed to shoot an antlered animal. Hunters who fail to fill their tag by next Saturday are eligible to try again the following week in certain sections of the elk range. Pa. Game Commission photo More than two dozen of the 125 hunters who will participate in the state’s controlled elk hunt next week are licensed to shoot an antlered animal. Hunters who fail to fill their tag by next Saturday are eligible to try again the following week in certain sections of the elk range. Pa. Game Commission photo This year’s Pennsylvania elk-hunting season, which runs from Monday through Saturday, Nov. 5-10, may close the book on the traditional rules.

Pa. Game Commission (PGC) members are considering drastic changes that would take effect with the 2019 season.

For now, there will be 125 licensed hunters fanning out across their designated hunting zones, trying to fill the tags. Majority of the 1,000 or more elk in Pennsylvania’s herd inhabit Cameron and Elk counties, but some sections of the range are off-limits to hunters.

Twenty-six of this year’s hunters are pursuing antlered elk, while 99 cow Pa. Game Commission photo season over the last two weeks of September; the regular and extended seasons in the first two weeks of November; and an antlerless-only season for any kind of weapon in either late December or early January.

Banfield suggests that separate licenses – no more than 10 – be sold for the archery season. Based on a similar season that has been held in Tennessee, he anticipates not all of the bowhunters would fill their tags.

Banfield said his proposal would reduce overcrowding of hunters in some parts of the range, provide more flexibility in monitoring for chronic wasting disease, reduce elk/human conflicts that occur in September and late December, and reduce the elk herd’s habituation to humans. tags were issued. Most will use rifles but bows and muzzleloaders can also be used. Those who don’t kill an animal during the initial season can also hunt the following Monday through Saturday in certain areas.

Changes in the hunting season have been proposed by the PGC elk biologist Jeremy Banfield. He recommends breaking it into three segments: a two-week archery

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