Elk Expo 2013-Bulls Shed Velvet and Spar

Benezett Store Booth
There was great weather for last week's Elk Expo which was held at Elk Country Visitor Center near Benezette.  A steady stream of visitors passed through the grounds throughout the day on Saturday. It  is my understanding that there was not the overflow crowd that was expected, but it was still a successful day.  According to reports, most were able to park at the visitor center and the shuttle from Benezette received little use.

Founding members of Benezette Elk Camera Club, Richard Coy and wife discuss new elk photo book, "Pennsylvania Elk" with author/editor/photographer, Marci Geise

Benny The Elk Ambassador greets vendors

John Geissler, Chairman Of The Board Keystone Elk Country Alliance in his role as "The Sheriff"
After spending the majority of Saturday and  Sunday morning and most of Sunday afternoon at the Expo, it was time for some serious elk photography, but unfortunately the skies were murky that evening as a front started to move through the area. Most of the bulls I found this evening had already shed their velvet or it was mostly gone with strips of velvet dangling from the antlers.  I did see a few  that had not yet shed; however.

6x6 In Velvet: Canon 5D MK III-Canon 500mm F4- ISO 400, 1/500 sec. f4.5
As dusk settled over the countryside, I found a bachelor groups grazing and at one point two briefly locked antlers. 

Ron "Buckwheat" Saffer was also photographing in the area and I found him photographing three young bulls nearby.  These bulls were really into the sparring and Buckwheat got several still photos.  At this point I was taking video with the GH3 and 70-200mm f2.8 lens.  As sparring and fighting are ideal subjects for video I didn't take any stills of this encounter so the following images  are video still captures.

Young Bulls Sparring

Sparring is not to be confused with serious fighting
Soon the bulls stopped sparring and moved away.  The other bachelor group was still in the meadow behind me. Most of the bulls were grazing, but I  picked out two that were in an alert pose and took a few frames with the5D MK III  and the 500mm at ISO 6400. 

Bulls At Dusk: 5D MK III-Canon 500mm F4-ISO 6400, 1/100 sec. f4
We saw another small bachelor group somewhat later.  It was nearly dark by then, but I still took a few photos at ISO 12800 and 25600, but that is for another post, if I decide to process them.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.


As Elk Expo Nears, Bulls Shed The Velvet

While humans prepare for the Elk Expo to be held at Elk Country Visitor Center on Saturday and Sunday...

Elk Country Visitor Center
Benezett Store Workers Prepare Booth
...the elk continue with their daily lives--unaware of all the attention that is being directed their way by the outdoor community.

Bulls Are Now Shedding The Velvet

Be sure to stop by the Benezett Store Booth at the Expo  and check out their selection of merchandise including books and videos about the elk herd and Pennsylvania Elk Country.


New Elk Photo Book To Be Available At Elk Expo

Please stop by Benezett Store's booth at the Elk Expo  to see "Pennsylvania Elk", a 56 page photo book edited by Marci Geise and featuring work by nine photographers.  Marci Geise and other artisans will be on hand to discuss their work although  it is not certain at what times individual artisans will be there .  The expo will be held on August 17th and 18th at Elk Country Visitor Center located on Winslow Hill near Benezett.

You may read detailed profiles of the photographers at paelkartists.blogspot.com.

Also be sure to check out other merchandise offered by the store.  The store is not able to process credit cards at the Expo, but they are accepted at the store.  The book will be available for sale at the store after the  Expo is over.


Elk Films DVDs and Books to be available at Elk Expo-Artisans to appear

Elk DVDs to be available at Expo
PA Wildlife Photographer Films "Running Wild In Pennsylvania Elk Country" and "The Truth About Pennsylvania's Elk Herd" will be available at the Benezett Store Booth at the Elk Expo.
By now most elk enthusiast are aware that he Elk Expo will be returning on August 17th & 18th. after a five year hiatus. For the first time, it will be held at the Elk Country Visitor Center on Winslow Hill.  The theme of this year's Expo will be "Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the restoration of elk in Pennsylvania's Great Outdoors".

Be sure to visit The Elk Expo website for full details.  An important point to remember is that as best as I can understand it there will not be public parking at the Visitor Center as the parking areas will be occupied by exhibitors, etc.  Instead parking will be at the Benezette Municipal Building and visitors will be shuttled to and from the Expo Site.

The store will feature a variety of souvenirs and other elk related merchandise, both at the store in Benezette and at their booth at the Expo.  They will also feature appearances by some of the Artisans who produce products for sale at the store.   Artists scheduled to appear are Elk County natives Jim Burke and Ralph Harrison.

 Mr. Burke is known for writing, “Pioneers of Second Fork,” which traces the history of 16 families of early pioneers who came to settle in western Pennsylvania at  Second Fork, which is  known today as Bennett’s Valley.

Mr. Harrison was born in Dent’s Run in 1928 and has lived there most of his life except for a stint in the military.  Ralph went to work for what was then know as the Department of Forest and Waters in 1951 and worked for them for the next forty years. While "elk management" was not a part of his official job description, he dedicated his life to their re-establishment and was instrumental in sparking the resurgence of the elk herd which began in the 1970s.  Mr.  Harrison has written at least four books during his career,  two of which, "The History of Pennsylvania Elk" and his most recent book, "Quehanna: The Blemished Jewel Restored" are currently available at Benezett Store.

Also scheduled to appear is elk enthusiast and photographer Marci Geise.  Ms. Geise is well known for  her first photo book "Elk Scenic Drive" and for hosting several wildlife oriented Facebook Pages throughout her career.  Marci plans to release her newest photo book, "Pennsylvania Elk", at The Expo.  The book is a co-operative effort among several elk photographers, which has been edited and assembled by Geise. Photographers whose work appears include; David Anderson, Jim Borden, Richard Coy, Tom Dorsey, Marci Geise, Coy Hill, Willard Hill, Ronald "Buckwheat" Saffer and Paul Staniszewski.

Both of my DVD-films, "The Truth About Pennsylvania's Elk Herd" and "Running Wild In Pennsylvania Elk Country", are to be available for purchase at the Benezett Store Booth and I  plan on being at there for a significant period of time on both days.  At this point I am not sure if they will be able to play sample clips of the videos at the booth, but I will be glad to discuss the videos, elk, and photography and filming with you if you stop by.

Artisans will autograph your copy of their work upon request.

 Also be sure to check out the new blog page I recently added (Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer Blog) to display sample clips for the "Running Wild in Pennsylvania Elk  Country" film.  Look for the page in the tabs directly below the blog header.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.