Of 65 hunters who were awarded elk licenses by the Pennsylvania Game Commission this year, 52 were successful.
Of that total, 19 hunters killed bull elks, while 33 bagged an antlerless elk during the hunt, which ran No. 5 through 10.
The largest elk was an 840-pound (estimated live weight), Jr., of Scott Township, Lackawanna County. Tratthen killed his elk in Jay Township, Elk County.
Other large antlered elk (all estimated live weights) were: Robin Carleton of Mansfield, Tioga County, took a 775-pound 7x7 Nov. 7 in Covington Township, Clearfield County; Roger Rummel of Nanty Glo, Cambria County, took a 758-pound, 7x7 Nov. 8, in Covington Township, Clearfield County; Charles Ulrich of Allenwood, Union County, took a 729-pound 7x7 Nov. 5 in Karthus Township, Clearfield County; and Charles Cahill Jr., of Upper Darby, Delaware County, took a 720-pound 6x6 Nov. 7 in Covington Township, Clearfield County.
The largest antlerless elk was a 616-pound animal killed in Huston Township, Clearfield County killed by Sylvester Kronenwetter of Saint Marys, Elk County. He took an antlerless elk that weighed 616 pounds Nov. 9 in Huston Township in Clearfield County.
The 52 elk killed this year brought the state’s total to 523 since elk hunting was brought back to Pennsylvania in 2001.
n If you think you’ve had some tough days hunting, you’ve likely not had a day like James Yoder of Johnstown had last week.
The 63-year-old Yoder was hunting from a tree stand near Brush Valley when a strap on the stand broke.
Fortunately for Yoder - who could have suffered a nasty fall – one of his feet got caught in a strap. The only problem was that he flipped upside down and was left dangling 15 feet above the ground by one foot.
Fortunately, his hunting partner found him soon thereafter and after a call to 911, Yoders was finally down out of the tree. He was taken to a local hospital for minor injuries, treated and released.
Last week, I wrote about the dangers of hunting out of a tree stand – particularly when a stand is sabotaged.
But I will again mention that tree stands have become one of the most dangerous parts of hunting, much more so than accidental shootings.
With the traditional rifle season set to begin next week, please be careful out there, especially if you are hunting out of a tree stand.
n There have been sightings of bald eagles at Cherry Valley reservoir. This week, I received another report of a sighting at Canonsburg Lake.
Neither would surprise me if true, especially since both Washington and Greene counties are listed as having nesting pairs.
Bald eagles have made a tremendous comeback in Pennsylvania with well over 200 nesting pairs across the state.
Please remember, however, that if you do see a bald eagle nest, do not disturb it. While the birds have made a great comeback, their numbers are still precarious.
Outdoors Editor F. Dale Lolley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org