Pennsylvania Game News - July 2017 - 3
LTHOUGH IT WAS the thirdlargest pool of applicants in the 16
years Pennsylvania has had an elk hunt,
only 30,635 hunters entered the Game
Commission's drawing for a chance to
take Pennsylvania elk in 2016.
That's only about 6 percent of the
Commonwealth's more than half-million
Maybe they don't realize how good the
state's elk hunting really is.
It costs less than $11 for a chance at
a license, and every year, bulls taken in
Pennsylvania make the Boone & Crockett record book and place near the top
in the Pennsylvania Big Game Scoring
The odds of being drawn to take part in
the hunt aren't nearly the longshot some
More than 20 percent of the hunters
awarded elk tags in 2016 were in the
drawing three years or less.
First-time applicants are drawn every
year, and their odds of securing a tag with
an either-sex application are 1 in 863.
Unsuccessful applicants earn a bonus
point for each year they're in the drawing
and aren't selected, and applicants with
10 or more bonus points face odds of 1
in 78, or better.
Slightly more than 30 percent of 2016
elk hunters were in the drawing for 13 or
Success is high for all who are awarded
All 25 bull hunters in the 2016 hunt
managed to hit pay-dirt. About 80 percent
of 99 antlerless elk hunters took an elk.
In total, hunters took 97 elk in the fall
of 2016. Fifty-six of them, including 10
bulls, were shot on the opening day.
After the fall season concluded, an
additional seven elk were taken in a firsttime extended season held in January to
offset a reduced fall harvest in Elk Hunt
Zone 5. The 15 participating hunters, who
had been unsuccessful in the one-week
season, also could hunt in EHZ 1.
In 2017, 118 elk licenses - 25 of them
antlered tags - are available for the hunt,
which runs Oct. 30 through Nov. 4.
BIG BULLS ABOUND
Big bulls remain a fixture on Pennsylvania's elk range, said Jeremy Banfield,
the Game Commission's elk biologist.
In the 2016 season, two bulls exceeded
800 pounds. A dozen others were over
"There are plenty of good-sized bulls
in our population, and every year hunters
take elk scoring more than 400 Boone
& Crockett points," Banfield said. "The
greatest challenge in taking one of these
bulls is keeping track of them prior to the
hunt. They have a tendency to wander
across large areas, especially during the
The largest bull from the 2016 hunt
measured for the Pennsylvania Big
Game Scoring Program was a nontypical
7-by-7 taken in Centre County by Josh
Fuqua, of Clymer, who guided himself.
It scored 406 4/8 inches, placing it fourth
in the state record book, according to Bob
D'Angelo, who coordinates the program.
The largest typical bull measured was
an 8-by-7 taken in Elk County by Steven
Armburger, of Guys Mills. It scored 339
6/8 inches and is ranked 20th in the state
book, D'Angelo added.
HUNT LIKE OUT WEST IN THE EAST!