Hunters harvest 13 elk on opening day

KARTHAUS – The 2011 elk hunt opened on Monday, with hunters harvesting 13 elk - five bulls and eight cows. There were a total of 56 elk licenses awarded this year in a drawing held at the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Harrisburg headquarters on the afternoon of Wednesday, Sept. 14. Of those 56 licenses, 18 were for bulls, while 38 were for cows. Chris Rosenberry, supervisor of the deer and elk section for the PGC, indicated that Monday's harvest was typical for the first day of the season.Last year, a total of eight elk were harvested on the opening day of the hunt. Each hunter awarded a license was also given a designated zone in which they are permitted to hunt. There are 10 such zones throughout the elk range, as well as an open zone; however, two of the zones are closed to elk hunting this year. On Monday afternoon, Rosenberry remarked that a number of elk harvested on the first day came from the same hunt zone. "A lot have come out of Hunt Zone 2," Rosenberry said.According to information listed on the PGC website, a total of four antlered and 12 anterless licenses were issued for Hunt Zone 2, which consists of public land administered by the PGC and Bureau of Forestry. Rosenberry also indicated that the hunt is used, in part, to help control the elk population in certain units of the range. "Other units are closed [to hunting] to allow the population of elk that are in there to grow and provide recreational opportunity," Rosenberry said. It is estimated that there are currently over 750 elk living in Pennsylvania's elk range.