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Pennsylvania's general elk season starts Monday for just more than 100 lucky hunters

STAFF REPORT
A group of elk, including a large bull, stand alert in a field in Elk County in this file photo.

One of the annual highlights of the Pennsylvania hunting season is about to begin.

The general elk season starts Monday, Nov. 2, and ends Saturday, Nov. 7.

The general elk season comes on the heels of a memorable archery-only elk hunt, when 21 of 26 bowhunters harvested elk. All 10 bowhunters who hunted bulls were successful.

The general elk season in the state will feature 104 license holders, 26 for bulls and 78 for antlerless.

Game Commission executive director Bryan Burhans thanked all who participated in Pennsylvania’s annual elk-license drawing and wished good luck to those hunters who were drawn for 2020-21 elk licenses.

“Pennsylvania’s world-class elk provide hunters a one-of-a-kind — and often once-in-a-lifetime — opportunity to experience thrills like none other in Penn’s Woods, but it all starts with submitting an application before the July 31 deadline each year,” Burhans said in a news release. “Those hunters who did so this year and were lucky enough to be drawn for a license all will have unforgettable hunts, and I wish them all success.”

Elk licenses for the general season have been allocated in 12 Elk Hunt Zones, which are geographic elk-management units dispersed throughout the northcentral Pennsylvania elk range. Maps of the zones can be found on the elk page at www.pgc.pa.gov.

Many other hunting seasons, including archery deer and bear, and most small-game and turkey seasons, occur simultaneous to the general elk season.

Hunters participating in the general elk season, in which firearms are permitted, must wear, at all times, 250 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange material on the head, chest and back combined, visible 360 degrees.

A successful hunter must attach the tag that comes with a license to the ear of an elk immediately after harvest and before the carcass is moved. In addition, within 24 hours, each hunter who harvests an elk must take it, along with his or her hunting license and elk license, to the Game Commission check station, where samples are collected to test for Chronic Wasting Disease, brucellosis and tuberculosis.

The elk check station remains open to the public, but spectators should follow COVID-19 guidelines, including social distancing and the use of face-coverings. The check station is located at the Elk Country Visitor Center in Benezette and its hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day of the season.

Following completion of the general elk season, one more opportunity exists for Pennsylvania elk hunters. Thirty-four hunters will participate in the antlerless elk-only late season that runs from Jan. 2 through Jan. 9, 2021.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission provided information for this report.