Area elk hunters find success
James Queer didn’t draw an elk license the first time he applied for one. Didn’t get one the second time, either. Or the third.
But he kept at it, and that persistence finally paid off this year.
Queer, 71, of Stahlstown, killed a 7×6 bull elk in Clearfield County on opening day of the state’s 2010 elk season. The animal weighed an estimated 786 pounds and sported a rack that green-scored 354 gross.
Queer, who was guided by Elk County Outfitters, said it was “a hunt of a lifetime with many memories and stories shared with his boys and other family members.”
Several other hunters have similar stories to tell.
Forty-one of the 51 hunters awarded an elk license for the season that ran from Nov. 1 to 6 took animals. Eighteen took bulls – including one that might be the new state record typical elk – and 23 took cows.
The potential record was taken by a non-resident hunter. Domenic V. Aversa Sr. of Woolwich, N.J., took an 867-pound, 7×7 on Nov. 1 in Jay Township, Elk County. It was the third-heaviest bull shot this year, but what made it really stand out were its antlers.
They green-scored 389 and seven-eighths on the Boone & Crockett Club’s official scoring system, according to Carl Roe, executive director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
If that score holds after the required 60-day drying time, it will set a new record for Pennsylvania state typical elk taken with a firearm, he said. The current record is held by John A. Polenski, of Meyersdale, Somerset County, who harvested a 6×7 antlered elk that scored 370 in 2009.
Western Pennsylvania hunters did pretty well, too.
John A. Murray Jr. of Grindstone, Fayette County, took the heaviest bull, a 7×7 that weighed an estimated 880 pounds. He got it in Benezette Township, Elk County, on opening day.
The fourth-heaviest bull was killed by Richard R. Lundgren of Kittanning. It was an 852-pound 8×9 taken in Jay Township, Elk County, also on opening day.
Area hunters took three of the five heaviest cow elk, led by Mark E. Gowarty, of Johnstown, Cambria County, who harvested a 582-pound elk Nov. 2, in Benezette Township, Elk County.
Checking in with the third-, fourth- and fifth-heaviest cows, respectively, were George R. Shupe of Scottdale, with a 571-pounder Nov. 1 in Jay Township, Elk County; Russell P. Krut of Beaver Falls, with a 555-pounder Nov. 3, in West Keating Township, Clinton County; and Timothy J. Conners of Monroeville, with a 549-pounder Nov. 4, also in West Keating Township.
‘Conservation’ hunter bags one
The man who paid $35,000 for an elk tag also took a bull. Robert Ehle, of Orefield, Lehigh County, took a 5×6 bull Oct. 7 in Shippen Township, in Cameron County.
Ehle purchased his ‘conservation tag’ at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s national conference in early 2010 and was able to hunt from Sept. 1 to Nov. 6. The money he spent will go to the Game Commission for elk habitat and to the Elk Foundation for its ongoing conservation efforts.
Samples from all of the elk harvested this year will be tested for chronic wasting disease. Results are expected in early 2011.