1.10.2011

Fred-Bull 36, Dies As Result Of Accident

Fred In 2002-His Largest Classic Rack: Courtesy of Ronald Saffer
Today I am sorry to report that Bull 36, know to most as "Fred" or "Fred Jr." had to be put down by PGC officials on Friday January, 7th, 2011, after he fell down on the ice and was unable to regain his footing. The fall causes a bone or bones to be broken and this along with his age and the condition of the knee joints, made any chance of recovery impossible.

Reports have been circulating all weekend on Facebook about this unfortunate circumstance, but I have been hesitant to make a definitive post about the matter until this point.  I wish to thank noted elk columnist for Endeavor News, Carol Mulvihill, and Benezett Store Manager, Beth Hoffman,  for confirming that initial reports are true.

Estimates of his age range as high as 20 years, but an analysis of his rack size in in 1997, 1998 makes it seem likely he was born no later than 1994 and it is possible he was born somewhat earlier, with 1992 being the earliest likely year..  This was when Claude Nye, more commonly know as "Dr. Perk" was heavily involved with the elk on Winslow Hill and he, Tom Murphy, and Ron Rishel would be most likely to know the true age of the animal.

According to Pennsylvania"s leading elk photographer,  Ron "Buckwheat" Saffer, he first heard people using the name "Fred, Jr". in 1998. That year, Saffer photographed him in mid-August, with a dog leash tangled in his antlers and he and his circle of friends name him "Dogrope", a name which he has used to this day.

Fred or Dogrope  In 1998 With Dog Leash In Antlers: Courtesy Ronald Saffer
I too did not hear the name, Fred Jr. until 1998, when it came into wide usage among the elk watchers and I specifically recall Dr. Perk using that name.   Since I mostly shot video during my early years in Elk County, I have no still images from that period other than frame captures from video.  I am reasonably certain that I did record Fred, Jr. in 1997 and have written about an encounter with him in the saddle that year and used footage from this in "The Truth About Pennsylvania's Elk Herd".

Bull 36 is gone now, but he will be talked about for years to come.

Originally posted on Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.

3 comments:

  1. I am devastated but the loss of this gentle giant. My girls and I spent countless hours with Fred, our trips to Benezette will just never be the same :(

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  2. Willard,
    Thank you for always treating Fred, and all of the elk, with respect. They are better off because of you. And, we are better off because of you. Thank you for your help in trying to save these gentle giants.
    How wonderful to know that Fred will live on in your photos!

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