Pa Elk Season 2010

In the morning the Pennsylvania Elk season or hunt as many call it will begin. Seventeen persons were successful in obtaining bull tags along with thirty three others with antlerless tags.

I sit here wondering what the outcome of this years season will be. How many of the bulls that so many have come to know, animals who are very trusting of humans, will fall to the bullets and arrows that will come their way in to coming days.

I cannot condemn the PGC for the need to manage these majestic animals but neither can I agree with any program that portrays these trusting animals as fitting trophies for hunters to proudly hang on their wall.

There are other ways of managing the elk herd rather than selectively removing the best males from the herd with a trophy hunt. I cannot disagree that hunting is the best way to keep the herd within the management goals of the area but bull tags should at least for the most part be for animals who have passed their prime or who's genetics keep them from becoming dominate bulls at all. This could be done as simply as restricting the bull kill to branch antlered animals with 5 or less points per side. A slot restriction would get some younger bulls killed but we would be protecting the best breeding bulls at the time of their life where they can do the most good for this small isolated herd.

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