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3.04.2018

Wintry Views from PA's Elk Country

Pennsylvania's elk herd is awesome to see. The heart of it is in the village of Benezette, Elk County. We have seen the elk in every season and we highly recommend that you do the same. There is nothing quite like seeing majestic creatures like this. Seeing this herd is the closest thing that Pennsylvania has to offer to the free roaming herds of bison and elk that you see in places like Yellowstone National Park, and to the herds of Moose that you see in Denali National Park in Alaska. The elk are majestic animals, and seeing them throughout the varied seasons in Pennsylvania is so exciting. 
You can get more of a background on these guys from some articles that we wrote after a fall visit, and a spring visit. Due to overhunting and environmental degradation, native elk were all but eliminated from the state by the end mid to late 1800s. Progressive and forward looking politicians like Teddy Roosevelt and his Chief of the Forest Service, and future PA Governor, Gifford Pinchot, reintroduced Elk from Yellowstone, where their populations were actually exploding. With some effort, the elk took to the habitat in the areas of Elk, Cameron, and Clearfield Counties, and today the bulk of the heard resides within Elk County. 
During this winter visit, the bulk of the elk were grazing through the fields in the valley of the Bennett Branch of the Sinnemahoning Creek.
While they could be seen throughout the area, the highest concentration was located in the large fields across the creek from Benezette.
A pleasant snowfall began as the day wore on
Here is a pack of them at the beautiful Antler Shed Cabins. 

Note the unshed antlers on this bull. The bulls shed their antlers annually.
The snow beginning to collect. 

Nearby is the Marion Brooks Natural Area, home to one of the finest stands of birches. 

Dusk settling in with the snow collecting. We highly recommend going to see the elk in the PA Great Outdoors Region in the area of Benezette.

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