More than 78 percent of the hunters participating in Pennsylvania’s 2016 elk hunt have taken home a trophy.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission announced Tuesday that 97 elk were taken by hunters during the regular one-week elk season that ended Nov. 5. For those licensed to hunt antlered elk, also known as bulls, the success rate was 96 percent.
The 2016 harvest included some large elk. Fourteen bulls each were estimated to weigh 700 pounds or more, with two going more than 800 pounds. The heaviest bull taken in this year’s hunt was estimated at 824 pounds. That bull, which sported a 9-by-8 rack, was taken Oct. 31 by Stephen Winter, of Perkasie.
The other 800-plus-pound bull (813 pounds), which had a 7-by-8 rack, was harvested with a bow on Nov. 4 by Steven Armburger, of Guys Mills.
The largest bull in terms of rack size was a 9-by-8, harvested Nov. 2 by Joshua Fuqua, of Clymer. Its rack initially was measured at 418 6/8 inches, according to Boone & Crockett big-game scoring standards.
The second-highest-scoring bull, taken on Oct. 31, by Donald Newman, of Andreas, had an 8-by-9 rack initially measured at 407 2/8 inches. That bull weighed 776 pounds.
Official measurements of these bulls cannot be taken until the antlers have air dried for at least 60 days after the animal was killed.
Other large bulls taken include a 6-by-7 weighing 797 pounds taken by Michael Baer, of Waynesboro; a 6-by-7 weighing 761 pounds taken by Mark Butcher, of Newport; a 6-by-7 weighing 745 pounds taken by Israel Messinger, of Palmerton; a 6-by-6 weighing 741 pounds taken by Paul Scansaroli, of Downingtown; and a 6-by-6 also weighing 741 pounds taken by Eddy Stamm, of Jersey Shore.
There also were some large antlerless elk taken in the harvest. Eleven of the 73 cows taken by hunters during the one-week season weighed more than 500 pounds.
Fifty-six elk— 10 bulls and 46 cows — of the 97 harvested were taken on the opening day of the elk season Oct. 31.
To participate in the elk hunt, hunters must submit an application, then must be selected through a random drawing and purchase a license. The drawing annually attracts more than 30,000 applicants.