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The Wild Elk of PA

posted Oct 21, 2018, 6:29 AM by Phil Spitze   [ updated Oct 21, 2018, 7:00 AM ]
Yes, you read correctly - Wild Elk in Pennsylvania!  Shooting partner Rod had told me about this a few years ago: a region in PA where wild elk roamed around and people went to see and photograph them.  Since the foliage season of 2018 has been so unpredictable, we decided to head south and try our luck with the elk.  Boy, were we lucky!!  Enjoy these photos and put this spot on your travel to-do list.

The PA DCNR has an extensive signage program and designated viewing areas throughout the region.

Before we got to Elk County, PA (its real name!), we found this cool little train yard where they run sightseeing and dinner train excursions on the weekends.  (http://tiogacentral.com/)



We also made a stop at the George B Stevenson Dam/Reservoir which looks like a fantastic little recreation site.



Even the local lunch hot spots get into the elk theme.

This display was useful in understanding the size of the elk we'd be seeing.

The PA DCNR do a great job catering to the needs of the wild elk herd.

Our first sighting!  A younger bull enjoying an afternoon snack.  He was about 50-75 feet from the car.

Having a rest before starting their evening routine.

A nice grouping with several bulls.  We were surprised at how many bulls there were with a much higher ratio than what you see with white-tailed deer.  We estimated a 3-5 ratio of bulls to cows.

Another train scene, just to mix things up.  As you can see, the foliage this year was very lacking in color.

The evening call to taps... a military joke, since the calls they make is called bugling.

A nice sunlit portrait of a big bull elk.

Once evening hits, they come out of the woodwork and just wander around the village!

The next morning we started out early and were treated to a lovely coating of frost for some different scenes.

Once again, lots of big bulls running around.  This guy has seen his share of battles.  Rod noticed that the antler tips are much sharper on Elk than on deer.

The morning bugle call.  (I'm having a camera issue, so some shots were a little fuzzy.)

3 bulls in the morning.

A close-up of the morning bugle call.

Finally, the sun came all the way up and gave us some great light.  However, that was also the signal to the elk to retreat back in the woods and this was one of our last sightings.

On the way home, we stopped at yet another train site - this is the Horseshoe Curve National Historic Site.  It's worth a quick read online, since it's a cool feat of engineering.  (http://www.railroadcity.com/visit/world-famous-horseshoe-curve/)

Wouldn't be a train site without a clock!

The final shot from PA on the way home.  Just a windy road through the fall foliage.

Another great trip and experience for us and I hope you enjoyed the photos.  I'm sure I'll have more to come as we get back into the winter months!

-PHIL