Hunt Zone Specific Elk License Allocations 2012

Bull Killed In 2011 Season: New State Record

Carol Mulvihill's column in the May 19th issue of Endeavor News, 65 elk licenses to be issued; herd at 800 strong,  lists the breakdown of the 2012 elk license allocations as to Elk Hunt Zone.  At this point it seems that hunting pressure will not be increased on the Winslow Hill  herd this autumn, although it remains to be seen if the No Hunt Zone will remain as it has been for the past several years, or if it will be further decreased as rumors have suggested.

As we pointed out in a previous post, the overall allocation is 1 bull and 8 cow tags  higher than last year.

The allocation is designed to focus attention on the herd in the Weedville area, with 4 bull tags and 4 cow tags issued for Zone 10, which includes the Spring Run/Weedville areas.  This contrasts to a 2011 allotment of  2 bull tags and 2 cow tags for this zone for an increase of four.  Hunt Zone 9 also directly impacts the Weedville area and license allocations for 2012 stand at 4 bull tags and 10 cow tags,  in contrast to 2 bull and 9 cow licenses in 2011 for an increase of 3 tags.

Largest Bull Seen On Winslow Hill  Rut 2011--killed in Jay Township
 On a positive note, the bull allocation in Zone 2 has been reduced from four to three tags, and cow allocations remain the same at 12 animals, but while one bull tag has been dropped, the two bull increase in Zone 10 will likely mean things remain much the same as it seems a lot of the mature bulls seen on Winslow Hill during the rut, spend the rest of the year in the Grey Hill, Spring Run, or Weedville areas--a case in point being that two of the largest bulls seen on the hill during the rut last year were killed during elk season in the Spring Run/Weedville area.

Breakdown by Zone: Source: C. Mulvihill-Endeavor News 05-19-2012

Hunt Zone     Antlered       Antlerless    Total Licenses

1                    Open                Open          
2                        3                      12                   15
3                        1                        2                     3
4                        1                        1                     2
5                     Closed              Closed                 0
6                     Closed              Closed                 0
7                        4                       10                   14
8                        2                         7                     9
9                        4                       10                   14
10                      4                         4                     8
Total                 19                       46                   65

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.


Pennsylvania Elk License Allocations Announced

Mature Bull on Winslow Hill 2005: Killed in elk season that year
In News Release 041-12 dated April 24th, the Pennsylvania Game Commission announced the 2012-13 hunting license year, seasons and bag limits.  We will consider only the elk license allocations in today's post.

19 Bull tags and 46 antlerless tags will be issued for a total of 65 licenses. The allocation does not include the one Conservation Elk Tag, which was auctioned by Safari Club International. We have one unconfirmed report that the tag sold for $37,000.00 this year. This effectively means 20 bull tags and a total of 66 tags. Contrast this with last years total of 56 tags which included tags for 18 bulls and 38 cows. As usual one must consider the Conservation Elk Tag which raised the total to 19 bull tags and a total of 57 licenses. This breaks down to 8 more antlerless tags and 1 more bull tag for this year.

It seems likely that there will be a substantial allocation for Hunt Zone 2, which surrounds the most popular tourist areas on Winslow Hill and it will come as no surprise if a significant  amount of hunting pressure will be focused on the elk around Weedville that received much attention in the media during the past winter and early spring.

According to Carol Mulvihill writing in the April 7th edition of Endeavor News, PGC deer and elk section chief, Chris Rosenberry commented, at a recent PGC workshop, “We are aware of the situation in Jay Township, so we may need to make some adjustment in number of cow licenses allotted for that area in the elk hunt this year.”  Mulvihill goes on to point out that this is what happens when complaints start coming in about the elk in a particular area.

Perhaps the best example of this was in 2003 when 100 elk licenses were issued with 20 of these being issued for bulls and 80 for antlerless elk.  This followed an incident in Sinnemahoning where an elk was killed for crop damage, which resulted in a confrontation between PGC officers, the landowner, and a private property rights group. Of the 80 antlerless tags issued in 2003 10 were for Zone 4 and 10 for Zone 7.  The 2003 Hunting and Trapping Digest specifically states that the Zone 4 and Zone 7 allocations were " to decrease elk densities and address conflicts in the Sinnemahoning area".  This was in the period that Vern Ross, PGC Executive Director  at the time, was excited about expanding elk hunting opportunities and supposedly said 70 licenses this year, 100 the next, and 150 the next.  Whatever the case, the move toward ever upward license allocations came to a screeching halt as a result of repercussions from the 100 license allocation, which was on a herd of 552 animals before the calves were born in 2003 and was estimated to be 650 to 700 by hunting season that year. (DeBerti: Results of Elk Survey)

It will be interesting to see where this all goes, but I think it is safe to predict that we are on a upward spiral again with the steadily increasing elk population and ongoing complaints from areas such as Weedville and Spring Run.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.


Jacob DeBerti's Tribute To His Father

John Deberti-Wild About Elk Workshop 2010
 Carol Mulvihill, well known elk enthusiast and outdoor writer attended elk biologist, Jon Deberti's memorial service and was especially touched by a tribute delivered by Jon's son.

Carol graciously agreed to share this with us, so here is the text of her e-mail:

Jon DeBerti, our beloved elk biologist, leaves behind his loving wife Misty and a nine-year-old son, Jacob. The most tender and moving tribute to Jon was delivered at the memorial service, when young Jacob courageously took the microphone and spoke through heartfelt sobs:

 “I just want to say that my dad was very special to me. He loved to take me hunting – especially deer hunting. “He’d want me to wait patiently for a deer to show up, and I’d pester him like heck to shoot the squirrels that were running around the tree stand. I got three squirrels. When we got home, I said, ‘That was great dad, when can we do it again?’ “As you saw in the pictures, I did get my first buck last year on the first day. It was a 6-point. My dad was so happy. It took every ounce of his strength to get into the tree stand, but he did it for me. We waited an hour and 15 minutes for the deer. “He gave all his energy and time to take me hunting.” As he faced the monumental health challenges of his shortened life, Jon kept his family and the time spent with them as his top priority, evidenced by a son who is growing in his image.

Thanks to Carol for giving permission to share this with us. Be sure to read an excellent article by Carol, about Jon DeBerti's career in elk management, which will be published in the May 5th edition of Endeavor News.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.