Elk are native to Pennsylvania and at one time they roamed across the entire state. But as proof of just how vulnerable any species is without the proper protection and management, elk were erased from the Pennsylvania landscape by the 1860s.
It’s hard to believe such a mighty creature could be wiped out, but it can happen. Elk are kind of like Pennsylvania’s version of the buffalo in the West — both species decimated by unregulated hunting.
But there is good news when it comes to the elk. They’re back.
Gregory Smith of Mountain Top sent in a bit of proof. Last October, Smith made a trip to the Elk County Visitor Center in Elk County and photographed this impressive bull feeding with several cows. This bull is just starting to fill out for the fall rut.
It’s good to see. Today, thanks to reintroduction efforts by the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, there are more than 850 elk in the state.
Capture anything interesting on your handheld or trail camera? A nice buck, bear, coyote or any other wildlife? We’d love to see it. Each week, we’ll run photos from a reader’s trail camera on the Sunday Outdoors page. Email your photo, along with date and area it was taken (township is fine), and any other details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Tom Venesky