53 Elk Harvested
Inside the Outdoors, November 18
, 2011

There is an age-old game people play. One person starts a sentence and another finishes it. It usually goes like this. “You know when it’s Halloween, because people dress up in costumes.” Or, “You know when its Easter, because that is the celebration when Jesus Christ rose from the dead." So, here we are in November, and I get a report from the Pennsylvania Game Commission pertaining to game harvest. So, if I were to play the game, the sentence would be stated, “You know when it’s hunting season when the PGC sends out results pertaining to game harvest in the Commonwealth.”

With that said, hunters harvested 53 elk during elk season in designated elk hunt zones occurring from Oct. 31 to Nov. 5 of this year. That’s not bad considering licenses were issued to 57 sportsmen. Of that total, 19 were antlered elk and 34 were antlerless animals.

According the PGC Executive Director Carl G. Roe, “Elk are one of North America’s premier big game animals. Pennsylvania is privileged to offer this unique hunting opportunity, a product heritage. It’s an unparalleled experience for hunters, without all the travel and expense of a one or two-week guided elk hunt out West.”

The heaviest antlered elk taken was in Clearfield County. It weighed 930 pounds. “It’s unofficial Boone and Crockett green score was 426 and five-eighths inches. If this score holds up after the required 60-day drying time, it would be ranked second on Pennsylvania’s Big Game Records for non-typical elk,” the Commission said.

The heaviest antlerless elk harvested was a 601-pounder, taken in Elk County.

Elk meat is a nutritious, heart-healthy source of protein. The meat is not available in most grocery stores, but it can be purchased from online meat vendors. A serving of elk meat contains 130 calories, 15 of which are from fat. There are 25 grams of protein per serving of elk. The meat contains 60mg of cholesterol in each serving. It is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.

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By the way, last week I received an email from Steve Kowatch, president of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, announcing the date for the 2012 Banquet. It will be held March 10th at Lakeview in Greensburg.

“We now have a Facebook page whereby one can get updates as to the auction and raffle items we will be having. They can be found on: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Greensburg-Pennsylvania-Chapter-of-Rocky-Mountain-Elk-Foundation/170222386403411,” he said.

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Did you know that the white tailed deer has a relative that looks almost exactly like it? They are called the Key deer and live in the Florida Keys in an area known as the National Key Deer Refuge.

Here are the facts that separate the animal we are so accustomed to seeing around here to this animal. According to the website, www.keysdirectory.com, “The shoulder height of Key deer is between 24 to 32 inches. Does weigh 45 to 65 pounds while bucks weigh 55 to 80. They feed on native plants such as red, black and white mangroves, thatch palm berries and over 160 other species of plants. They can tolerate small amounts of salt water, but fresh water is essential for their habitat.” If one were looking at them, one would swear they were sighting a white tailed deer.

I talked to a student from Steubenville University who is from that area where these animals live and he said these animals have no white tails if any tails at all. Now that certainly is a marked difference.

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Want to learn the latest Steelhead fishing techniques and what tackle to use? The Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited will hold a steelhead mentor orientation at its monthly meeting, Nov. 16, for those wishing to volunteer with the chapter’s youth group which will be taking a trip to Elk Creek, Nov. 18-19. FTTU holds its monthly meetings at the Winnie Palmer Nature Center, the third Wednesday of every month beginning at 7 p.m.

To travel to this destination, take the road directly across from the Dairy Queen on Rt. 981 in Latrobe. It will take you right to the parking lot beside the building.


- Paul J. Volkmann
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