Pennsylvania Wild Elk Herd

Pennsylvania Elk Herd:
Pa. bull elk
Pa. bull elk (see video)

The elk in Pennsylvania are primarily located in Elk, Cameron, Centre, McKean, Potter, Clinton and Clearfield counties with the center of elk activity in Elk county. Elk are originally native to the state of Pennsylvania. Due to over hunting and no  solid regulations and encroachment pretty much decimated the herd by the late 1800’s. The current elk herd are descendants from actual Rocky Mt. elk brought here by the Pennsylvania Game Commission between 1913 and 1926.

Royal Elk
Royal Elk (see video)
Pennsylvania Elk Herd Population:

Between 1913 and 1926, the Pa. Game Commision captured 177 Rocky Mt. elk and tranferred and released them in the state. and they now total approximately 800 to 1000. Cows usually give birth to their young in late May or early June. Twins are born less than 1% of the time. The calves carry spots to help with camouflage. In short time the calves and the cows join as a family unit with immature bulls. Young yearling bulls usually only grow spikes their first year of life. Antlers on a mature bull are usually fully developed by August. A bull with 12 points is considered a “royal bull” and a bull with 14 points is considered a an “imperial bull” The mating call or bugling can be heard about September as this usually marks the beginning of mating season. The bull elk usually form harems of 15-20 cows, which are controlled by a single dominant bull. Dominant bulls earn their rank by challenging other bulls. Interesting to note the cows are only receptive or fertile for an 18 hour period, and come into heat in 21 day cycles.

Benezette Elk Viewing:
Benezette, Pa bull elk
Benezette, Pa bull elk (see video)

A great place to view elk is at the Elk County Visitor Center on Wislow Hill in Benezette, Pa. This place sets on 245 acres where you can view the largest elk herd in the north eastern part of the United States. This is an 8,400 sq. ft. eco-friendly building with a beautifull stone fireplace and a panorama of windows overseeing the the elk viewing areas. Elk County visitor Center has a gift shop and several viewing areas. They even offer a horse drawn wagon ride to view the elk!

More Resources for Pa. Elk:
Pa. Bull Elk Rivals
Pa. Bull Elk Rivals (see video)

Pa. Game Commission     

Pennsylvania Wilds

Facebook Pa. Elk Herd

I truly hope you enjoyed this post on Pennsylvania elk. We are truly blessed to have these majestic animals as part of our ecosystem. I would love to hear any and all comments on the Pennsylvania elk herd. Please feel free to leave any comments in the comment box below.


17 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Wild Elk Herd

  1. Love the website, i am really into this. great job and keep up the good work and great information.

    1. Hey John, have not heard from you in while. Please stop by soon as I will be doing articles on the Allegheny, Ohio, and the Monongehal rivers and will be trying to list the best places to fish these rivers, I will also try to capture as many fishing guides as possible. Hope to hear back from you. Have you done much fishing this year? Please let me know. Thanks Mike

  2. Hello Mike
    I came to this website by chance.. I enjoyed reading this topic about PENNSYLVANIA WILD ELK.. very interesting topic.. Also I had a look at your website, it’s amazing and unique.. Wishing you all the best!

    1. Hello Rania, have not heard from you in a while. Hope all is well. Please stop by my site and say hello. Hope all is well. Thanks Mike

  3. Hey Mike,

    I live in British Columbia, Canada. We too have elk populations that were reintroduced to our area by the government about 3-4 years ago. Although elk in not my mainstay (moose are!) I still enjoy the hunt from time to time. Great content and well put together website brother!

    1. I have actually had quite a fascination about Moose also. I would love to see one in the wild!! Thanks for the comment.

    2. Hi Ron, have not heard from you in a while. Please stop by. I will be doing articles on the Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongehala rivers soon. I will try to capture the best areas to fish and list as many fishing guides as possible. Thanks and hope your doing well. Mike

  4. First off, it makes sense that most of the elk population in PA is in Elk County…lol. I never knew that a bull with 12 points is considered a “royal bull” and a bull with 14 points is considered a an “imperial bull”. Great little tid bit of information there. You are absolute right by saying that these animals are majestic, I couldn’t agree more. They are truly magnificent beasts!
    Thanks for the info!

    1. First off Steve thanks for the comment. Also I did not know the difference between a royal and imperial bull elk either till I researched them. Thanks again Mike

  5. This was an awesome read for me, even If I don’t live in the states and have never seen a real elk with my very own eyes.

    You do have some stunning nature over there in America, I have to admit that. The native americans have been blessed to be born there, but also the european settlers because they obviously liked what they saw and decided to stay.

    These are majesric creatures indeed, but a rather sad chain of events if they were indeed extinct during the 19th century. I suppose this was during the early stages of the westernization of the continent?

    1. Thanks Simon for the comment. And I agree with you about the European settlers. God Bless. Mike

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