Quality, quantity on display during Pennsylvania elk hunt

Thirty elk were fitted with radio collars to study their movements and understand how the disease may spread.

More than 89 percent of the hunters participating in Pennsylvania’s 2017 elk hunt have taken home a trophy.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission announced 104 elk were taken by hunters during the regular one-week elk season that ended Nov. 4. And for those licensed to hunt antlered elk, the success rate was 100 percent.

The 2017 harvest included some large elk. Ten bulls each were estimated to weigh 700 pounds or more, with three of them going more than 800 pounds. The heaviest bull taken in this year’s hunt was estimated at 833 pounds. That bull, which sported an 8-by-7 rack, was taken Oct. 30 by Shawn Latshaw, of Franklin.

Meanwhile, an 832-pounder with an 8-by-9 rack was taken by Robert Cook, of Earlville, N.Y., and an 803-pounder with a 6-by-7 rack was taken by Alfred Hake, of Manchester.

Not all of the bull elk taken in the hunt were measured and green-scored by rack size, but Cook’s bull had the highest green score at 431-6/8 inches, according to Boone & Crockett big-game scoring standards. Official measurements of bulls taken in the hunt cannot be recorded until the antlers have air dried for at least 60 days after the animal was harvested.

There also were some large antlerless elk taken in the harvest – nine of of the 79 cows taken by hunters during the one-week season weighed more than 500 pounds.

Fifty-nine elk – 12 bulls and 47 cows – were taken on the opening day of the elk season Oct. 30.

To participate in the elk hunt, hunters must submit an application, then must be selected through a random drawing and purchase a license. The drawing annually attracts more than 30,000 applicants.

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