Pennsylvania Game News - July 2017 - 6
the way to find them.
Hunting in areas with light pressure
could work in your favor. Elk often stick to
their established travel patterns if they're
disturbed no more in hunting season than
in the preseason.
If you're looking for large areas of
public property that hold elk year-round,
Banfield recommends EHZs 13 and 10.
EHZ 13 has accessibility challenges,
because the only way into a lot of areas
is on foot, Banfield noted. But cows are
being under-harvested there, and there's
plenty of opportunity on EHZ 13's
178,475 acres - 60 percent of which is
Meanwhile, 84 percent of EHZ 10's
160,690 acres is public land.
IMPROVING YOUR ODDS
Of course, getting drawn is the first
hurdle a potential Pennsylvania elk hunter
faces. To improve your odds, Banfield
said, apply for an either-sex tag.
"It ensures you are in the pool for the
greatest number of draws - all of them!"
Those who are interested only in hunting bulls are included in fewer draws and
must be selected from a relatively large
Your choice of elk hunt zone does not
affect your odds of being drawn. If your
EHZ choice is filled before you're pulled,
you'll be bumped to the next open EHZ,
even if you didn't select it.
EHZ 1, more than 500,000 acres in
size, is open to all hunters. It's sort of a
buffer separating the elk herd's core from
areas outside the state's elk range. Competition there usually is limited.
Five elk, including two bulls, were
taken in EHZ 1 in the 2016 season.
So, if you're not feeling lucky in the
EHZ you're hunting, going to EHZ 1
always is an option.
In most any EHZ, you can expect your
hunt to concentrate on covering grassy
openings and regenerating chop-offs
where elk come to feed. Your deer rifle,
providing it's at least 27-caliber, should
get the job done, and the clothes you wear
for deer hunting should be fine.
Like bear hunting, you'll need to plan
for the possibility of having to bring out
a huge animal. Since weather has been
warm is recent years, you might have to
move quickly to retrieve your elk.
That's why having a plan matters.
Normally, Pennsylvania elk hunters
aren't taking long shots. Most are taken
in open areas and Banfield believes most
shots fall into the 50- to 150-yard range.
So finding good vantage points with
commanding views of herbaceous openings or regenerating forest flats or slopes
where elk are appearing regularly is a