Looking for a more nearby, mid-day diversions when the elk are typically least active? During most of the year, the best time to see elk is at dusk and dawn. They were released in six counties: Cameron, 24; Carbon, 24; Potter, 24; Forest, 10; Blair, 7; and Monroe, 6. The Game Commission seemed inclined to believe it was a habitat deficiency, because its biologists speculated the herd was suffering from suppressed reproduction. Please enable scripts and reload this page. Another change that occurred in 2003 was a discontinuation on the limit of nonresident licenses that may be awarded. How many elk do we have in Pennsylvania? Rusty Glessner is an award-winning photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel and adventure guide. That the state's elk had endured two score and a handful of years without any management assistance -- save closed season protection -- was a credit to their perseverance and a blessing for Pennsylvanians, who have come to truly appreciate this unique resource. An interesting roadside attraction between Miller Run Viewing Area and Driftwood is this Tom Mix plaque, dedicated to the locally-born film star of the early 1900s, Tom Mix. The effects of disease and parasites are totally unknown. And that means there are PLENTY of places to locate elk year-round. In addition, strip-mined areas were reclaimed in the herd's primary stomping grounds. Though just outside of Clearfield County PA, most people who come to this area of Pennsylvania are here to see herds of Elk. A year later, the agency considered restocking elk after several were shot in mistake for deer. By strategically locating these areas, many elk were persuaded to stay off farmlands, where they'd likely have been killed if they caused crop damage. Keystone State. Pennsylvania is home to the largest free roaming elk herd in the northeast United States (currently estimated at a herd of approximately 1,400), and visiting Pennsylvania Elk Country to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures has become an annual tradition for many people. The photo above was posted recently to the Facebook page of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Succulent legumes -- alfalfa and clovers -- were also planted on food plots to attract and hold elk on public lands. But the proposed elk hunt, as appealing as it was to most hunters statewide, was not popular in Elk and Cameron counties, the elk herd's stomping grounds. Today the elk herd in the north-central part of the state numbers about 900, and the Elk Country Visitor Center is a popular attraction. Albany — Neighboring Pennsylvania’s elk restoration effort is a modern-day success story, with the Keystone State’s elk herd attracting thousands of elk-viewing visitors annually and a limited hunt drawing widespread interest for the coveted tags. Hunters and nature lovers marveled at the large timid beasts. “Elk’s original settlers were Iroquois Indians and by 1798, Quakers from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting had established a school for them, at the request of Chief Cornplanter, on their grant along the Allegheny River,” Boozer wrote. A large viewing blind offers a sheltered view of the food plot at Hoover Farm where elk, deeer, and a variety of wild birds are regularly seen. Your “Bucket List” articles and destinations are so helpful to so many. This year, there were five archery bull elk tags allocated. The tall red pines along the Woodring Farm Nature Trail are a great place to be at sunrise! The Game Commission pledged to do habitat improvement work beneficial to elk. The 15 Best Elk Viewing Destinations in Pennsylvania, hike to the abandoned nuclear jet engine testing bunkers, “The 20 Best Scenic Overlooks in PA Elk Country”, “The 5 Best Roadside Attractions in the Quehanna Wild Area”, The 20 Best Scenic Overlooks in PA Elk Country, Exploring Hyner View State Park in Clinton County, Exploring the Elk Country Visitor Center in Benezette, The 10 Best Things to Do in Huntingdon County PA, Exploring the 1806 Old Log Church in Bedford County, Exploring Dunkle’s Gulf Station along the Lincoln Highway in Bedford, Exploring the Bedford Coffee Pot along the Lincoln Highway. A wonderful place to experience the elk herd in the Wilds of Pennsylvania. On the opposite side of the Quehanna Highway, you’ll find Table Falls. When combined with other mortality for the year, a record 35 elk had been lost. The Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmens Clubs joined the discussion. Elk crop damage around St. Marys, however, didn't dissipate with the loss of 35 animals. They were chased with dogs, jack-lighted, tracked whenever snow provided a trail, and shot on sight. Elk once freely roamed all over Pennsylvania but the rapid settlement and exploitation by early immigrants threatened the herds. State Game Lands 100 comprises 21,054 acres spread across Centre and Clearfield counties. During the season, hunters could not conduct organized drives for elk, which was the most common way hunters pursued big game such as deer and bear. But with that herd of 1,400 elk spread out over 6 counties (Elk, Potter, Clinton, Cameron, Clearfield, and Centre counties), knowing exactly WHERE to look for the elk is a bit of a challenge, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. In 1912, the Game Commissioners and agency Executive Secretary Joseph Kalbfus began talking about re-introducing elk in Pennsylvania. While in Clearfield County, the section of SGL100 near Keewaydin is another frequently-productive elk viewing area. During the first season hunters took 23 legal bulls. The Penn State study, implemented in 1970 with help from the Game Commission, Department of Forests and Waters and North Central Pennsylvania Economic Development District, focused on the elk herd's ecology, population dynamics, movements and other biological factors. PA Bucket List | PA's Best AD-FREE Adventure Guide! All Rights Reserved. There are viewing areas, interactive experiences, plenty of parking and clean, flushable restrooms (important to me). This varies with geography. Box 448 • Ridgway, PA 15853 Throughout the '80s, the elk herd's size changed little; it comprised 120 to 150 animals. Conditions have to be right (rainy) for this waterfall to be flowing well, but if you catch it at its peak, it’s a splendid little waterfall! During the 90s, the elk herd experienced significant annual growth. Location: Winslow Hill Road, 3 miles from its intersection with Route 555 in Benezette. "Our effort to secure an appropriation through which to pay for [crop] damages done by ... protected wild creatures resulted in failure, many of the members of the Legislature refusing to support this position because, as they said, of the disposition of many farmers and fruit growers to present exaggerated claims, and the almost utter impossibility upon the part of the Game Commission to refute the claim as made," wrote Kalbfus in 1917. Researchers do not know exactly why the elk herd increased from 38 to 135 animals from 1973 to 1981. Approximately 0.8 miles east of Woodring Farm, you’ll find Dents Run Viewing Area along Winslow Hill Road. The first 5 are all in and around Benezette, the 6th is a bit further away (more on that one in a bit). Pa's elk herd is free roaming and they move around constantly. Elk beset by the stringy worm became incapacitated and very approachable. "Some range and movements of elk varied greatly between the sexes and seasons of the year," agency biologist Rawland D. Cogan reported in 1987. In 1992 and 1993, the RMEF contributed an additional $92,000 to help fund habitat enhancements and purchase and erect deterrent electric fencing on areas sustaining substantial elk crop damage. There are a few abandoned farms in the area which could be planted just for these animals, perhaps they would leave the farmers alone. The first elk census, conducted in 1971 under the Penn State study, showed there were about 65 animals. The Square Timber Wild Area is an 8,461 acre undeveloped portion of the Elk State Forest, and provides one of your best chances for a truly “wild” elk encounter. Elk taken to Clinton County were placed in a three-acre holding pen and released several weeks later after spring green-up was underway. That assumption quickly changed. Located 1 mile from “downtown” Benezette, the Elk Country Visitor Center is an immersive introduction into all things PA elk! The numbers: We are in the midst of a spike in positive cases. 15 locations, scatted among 6 counties, all with the potential to catch a glimpse of the Pennsylvania elk herd! Hoover Farm Wildlife Viewing Area is located along the Quehanna Highway at its intersection with Wykoff Run Road in Cameron County, near the Clearfield county line. Never Feed Elk. The county-level tracker makes it easy to follow COVID-19 cases on a granular level, as does the ability to break down infections per 100,000 people. The first 6 elk viewing destinations I’m going to talk about are all located in Elk County, which is where most first-time visitors PA Elk Country start out. Word of the proposed hunt, planned for either late 1983 or early 1984, spread like wildfire. However, did you know that prime elk viewing season in Pennsylvania also occurs in the fall? In 1976, the Game Commission expanded its meager elk management efforts. Keating Mountain Road is another spot where I’ve encountered elk, as it winds it’s way up (or down) the mountain between Keating and several roadside scenic overlooks. It was a proactive management approach to limiting elk conflicts and the potential for habitat deterioration. In subsequent years, the number of elk being shot for crop damage declined. About 50 elk are harvested annually. Others suggested fences. In 2000, the herd was an estimated 566, more than doubling its early 1990s numbers. But all of that changed briefly in the summer of 1982 when the Game Commission announced it was going to hold a lottery to pick 30 people who would be permitted to kill a Pennsylvania elk. But in the '90s, with the aid of better natural food conditions and deterrent fencing, elk flourished. If so, be sure to like and follow PA Bucket List on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Pinterest to stay up-to-date on my latest write-ups. In the Centre County portion of the Sproul State Forest, both the Yost Run Falls and Fields Ridge Road areas provide good opportunities to see elk. During the next several weeks, thousands of visitors armed with binoculars, spotting scopes or cameras will travel to the north-central Pennsylvania to view the wild elk living there. Brain worm apparently has not been a severe problem for the elk herd since 1973-74. Want to grab a great meal and an adult beverage in an elk-themed hotel/restaurant? World War II was a tough act to top. Keep an eye out for elk anywhere along this stretch of mountain forest road. Special Requests to Use State Game Lands Information, Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP). Today the elk herd in the north-central part of the state numbers about 900, and the Elk … Overall, it appears the increase was the product of several activities and changes. The hunting seasons no doubt made a dent in the states scattered elk herd. While the Elk Township area has a strong Swedish history, they were by no means the first people here. And speaking of views you’ll be glad you checked out, the parking lot of Saint James Church in Driftwood offers another stellar view of the Sinnemahoning Creek valley, from below rather than above as at Bucktail Overlook. Yost Run Falls is a great hiking destination in its own right. There was no reason to suspect they wouldn't, especially after they moved into the rich farming areas bordering big woods. Dents Run Elk Viewing Area features a small picnic area, a pavillion, and some benches, all overlooking a large food plot. Persons who failed to comply were subject to a $100 fine. Raymond H. Morningstar, the agencys northcentral division supervisor, wrote in a 1970 memo to Bowers, "Public opinion would be greatly against shooting the elk, except for a few farmers, but if this herd gets much larger perhaps a limited number of permits to kill bulls could be issued. Herbaceous openings and food plots were created and timber regeneration cuts made. From the early 1930s to the early 1970s, the Game Commission did very little with the state's remnant elk herd, which reportedly numbered between 24 and 70 head during that period. Great article and very interesting information on Elk viewing areas. You can access the Square Timber Wild Area from a few points, one of the easiest being Ridge Road. The most apparent remedy was to intensify habitat improvement work on state game and forest lands in the roughly 250-square mile elk range in an effort to keep the big beasts away from agricultural areas. Tom Ridge enacted Act 111, which created an elk hunting license, and fees and procedures for applying for the special permit. Records indicate that by 1930 elk were once again restricted to that area of Cameron and Elk counties where the state's last native elk had made their final stand. During 1982, 15 elk were shot illegally and 11 others were killed while causing crop damage. The project was started to accommodate the primary elk ranges steadily growing population, which had begun expanding on its own into western Clinton and northern Clearfield counties. In 1952, Pennsylvania Game News reported, "Today's elk population probably numbers less than 50," a proclamation that surely turned some heads. It was a move seemingly destined to take the gun -- and unregulated harvest -- out of the farmer's hands and place it firmly in the grip of wildlife managers. Efforts to restore elk to Pennsylvania started in about 1913 with the release of western elk. Miller Run Wildlife Viewing Area is another roadside elk viewing area along Route 555, southeast of Hicks Run Viewing Area. Something we’ve noticed at Winslow Hill has been the lack of seeing any elk on the last two visits. The grounds are maintained beautifully and the staff has always been friendly and … Some sought compensation for losses or implementation of artificial feeding programs. Elk are one of the largest species within the deer family and range in forest and forest-edge habitat. Day use areas close at dusk. The commissioners, however, eventually chose not to. "We expect that we will see fewer conflicts with humans if the elk are on public land," Cogan noted. During the rut (mating period) in September and October, the elk are more active throughout the day as well, which is why this is the most popular time of year for people to visit to PA Elk Country. Not only is it illegal to feed elk in Pennsylvania, but it teaches them to associate people, cars or homes with food and can lead to dangerous situations. Follow new cases found each day and the total number of cases and deaths in Elk County, Pennsylvania. 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