We will miss our annual trip to the Pennsylvania Elk
Range this year. I hope you will forgive me for
reliving past trips. The following is
from our first trip in 2013...
We were up early on day four, and didn’t waste any
time heading for the elk viewing areas in Benezette.
The road mostly followed creeks and bottom land,
but we could see fog on the mountains.
We encouraged each other with the notion that
Winslow Hill wasn't all "that high".
Alas, when we arrived the viewing area was
blanketed in fog causing very limited visibility…
It was eerie to stand in the heavy fog, listening to bull elk bugle all
around us. Occasionally, a ghost-like figure would emerge briefly
from the fog and then disappear again just as quickly…
At one point a large bull elk came within 25 yards and bugled as he
passed by. Having never experienced anything quite like it before,
I am sure it was something I will never forget…
Various cows and bulls moved through the fog as the photographers and
wildlife watchers waited for the fog to burn off…
Suddenly a bull bugled very close to us. He was chasing a cow that
was trying to escape his control to join another harem. When he
ran after the cow we could hear each hoof beat, and even the
contents of his stomach sloshing, as he made sharp stops and turns
to keep her in his herd…
When the fog finally moved off, the elk had moved
to a nearby hillside to bed down and chew their cuds
out of the direct heat of the sun…
Several hours passed before the elk re-emerged into
the grazing area where many onlookers waited…
Bulls were kept running as they tried to keep their
harems together and away from other bulls…
It was all just for show. When the dominant bull pressed the
subordinate one he just walked off and bugled his frustration...
As the sun began to set, the light on the field changed to a warm
We left soon thereafter to return to the campground for our last
night in Pennsylvania.