Frye: Record number of elk licenses could be issued
TribLIVE Sports Videos
This year's harvest has the potential to be the largest ever.
The intent is to drive the herd down, a bit if not too dramatically, at least in specific locations, to ease human conflict-type concerns. To do that, the Pennsylvania Game Commission may issue more licenses than at any point in the last 80 years.
Nope. We're talking elk this time.
Chris Rosenberry, head of the commission's deer and elk section, has recommended the agency issue a modern-day record 108 elk licenses for this fall's hunting season. That would include 27 bull tags, up from 26 last year, and 81 cow tags, up from 60 last year.
One-third of the additional cow tags would be directed to what's known as elk management zone 5, around the community of Weedville. The increase is meant to “address human safety concerns,” Rosenberry said.
The boost in cow tags particularly is a reflection of how much more difficult they are to harvest than bulls.
Historically, hunters with bull elk licenses have been successful more than 90 percent of the time. Hunters with a license to shoot a cow succeed at closer to 80 percent, Rosenberry said.
That might not be for the reason you think.
Some have long suspected that was because cow hunters went afield less often or avidly than those with a chance to bring home some giant antlers. Research revealed that's not true.
“It wasn't a lack of effort on their part. It was just circumstance,” Rosenberry said.
No one should worry that issuing 108 elk tags — if that's what commissioners approve when they next meet April 7-8 in Harrisburg — will harm the herd, said Cal DuBrock, director of the bureau of wildlife management. It still numbers more than 800 animals, he said.
As for white-tailed deer, commissioners will set the doe license allocation at their April meeting, too. It's unlikely they'll follow the recommendations of their deer team exactly. They never do.
In fact, at their working group meeting in Harrisburg this past week, commissioners indicated they'll go through the state, wildlife management unit by wildlife management unit, with each getting a chance to tweak the allocations — as in the past.
What they'll start with is a recommendation that the commission decrease the population in units 3C, 4A and 4B, allow it to increase in unit 3A and keep it stable everywhere else.
The recommended doe tag numbers for units with 12-day concurrent seasons (with last year's allocation in parentheses for comparison) are: 1A, 52,000 (49,000); 1B, 32,000 (31,000); 2B, 61,000 (62,000); 3A, 19,000 (23,000); 3D, 37,000 (32,000); 4A, 36,000 (28,000); 4C, 32,000 (27,000); 5A, 26,000 (19,000); 5B, 50,000 (50,000); 5C, 105,000 (103,000); and 5D, 18,000 (18,000).
The biologists' recommendations for units with split buck and doe seasons are: 2A, 54,000 (49,000); 2C, 50,000 (43,000); 2D, 69,000 (61,000); 2E, 23,000 (22,000); 2F, 30,000 (29,000); 2G, 24,000 (28,000); 2H, 6,000 (6,000); 3B, 50,000 (39,000); 3C, 40,000 (35,000); 4B, 31,000 (24,000); 4D, 37,000 (35,000); and 4E, 28,000 (26,000).
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Impounded portion of Allegheny proving hotspot for muskies
- Outdoor notices: May 24, 2015
- Frye: Taking aim at DMAP permits
- Fishing report: Trout still plentiful, but other action also beginning
- Fishing report: Stocked trout still plentiful; panfish action starting
- Mentored youth hunting program might be working