HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that 44 of the 60 licensed elk hunters were successful during the 2009 elk season. Of that total, 20 were antlered elk and 24 were antlerless elk.
“Elk are one of North America’s premier big game animals,” Roe said. “Pennsylvania is privileged to offer this unique hunting opportunity, a product of successful wildlife management that helps to finance wildlife conservation and supports Pennsylvania’s rich hunting heritage. It’s an unparalleled experience for hunters, particularly those who can’t afford to go on an expensive one- or two-week guided elk hunt out West.
“This year’s overall success rate was 73 percent, which is down slightly from the past year, which I believe that this can be attributed to the improved food conditions this year throughout the elk range, thanks in large part to the decline in gypsy moth defoliation.”
Along with extracting samples needed for disease testing, the agency also collected samples necessary to examine food preferences and habitat use by elk. Also, hunters collected liver samples that will be evaluated for mineral contents.
The largest antlered elk was taken by Reed Bamburger, of Graysville, Greene County. He took a 652-pound (dressed weight), 8×9 on Nov. 2, in Covington Township, Clearfield County.
Those hunters rounding out the top five heaviest antlered elk harvested, were: Lisa Banasick, of Connellsville, Fayette County, took a 643-pound, 9×11 on Nov. 5, in Gibson Township, Cameron County; Ronald Werkheiser Jr., of Hellertown, Northampton County, took a 617-pound, 7×7 on Nov. 4, in Karthaus Township, Clearfield County; Kenneth E. Hunter, of Muncy, Lycoming County, took a 604-pound, 8×8 on Nov. 3, in Jay Township, Elk County; and Alvin Hubler, of Munson, Clearfield County, took a 589-pound, 6×7 on Nov. 3, in Benezette Township, Elk County.
The heaviest antlerless elk was taken by Larry Davis, of Fairborn, Ohio, who harvested a 474-pound (dressed weight) antlerless elk on Nov. 3, in Benezette Township, Elk County.
Those hunters rounding out the top five heaviest antlerless elk harvested were: Gary Weikert, of Arendtsville, Adams County, who harvested a 444-pound antlerless elk on Nov. 4, in Covington Township, Clearfield County; Randolph Maus, of Halifax, Dauphin County, who harvested a 413-pound antlerless elk on Nov. 5, in Gibson Township, Cameron County; Ronald VanDyke, of Harrisville, Butler County, who harvested a 403-pound antlerless elk on Nov. 2, in Gibson Township, Cameron County; Scott Hite, of Port Republic, Maryland, who harvested a 398-pound antlerless elk on Nov. 5, in Gibson Township, Cameron County; and Adam Palyo, of Jefferson Hills, Allegheny County, who also harvested a 398-pound antlerless elk on Nov. 6 in Grove Township, Cameron County.
Roe also noted that Jim Nyce, of Green Lane, Montgomery County, who was the successful bidder for the first-ever Elk Conservation Tag, harvested an antlered elk, as well. Nyce harvested a 6×6 on Oct. 14, in Benezette Township, Elk County. Nyce purchased the Conservation Elk Tag during the National Wild Turkey Federation’s national conference in early 2009, and was able to hunt from Sept. 1-Nov. 7.
For more information on elk in Pennsylvania, visit the Game Commission’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), choose “Hunting,” and then click on the photograph of an elk.