According to final Pennsylvania Game Commission statistics, 52 elk were taken by the 65 hunters awarded elk licenses for the 2012 elk hunt, which was held Monday-Saturday, Nov. 5-10. Of that total, 19 were antlered and 33 were antlerless.
Taking the heaviest antlered elk was Richard Tratthen, Jr., of Scott Township, Lackawanna County. He took a 840-pound (estimated live weight), 8x8, November 7, in Jay Township, Elk County.
Other large antlered elk (all estimated live weights) were: Robin Carleton of Mansfield, Tioga County, took a 775-pound 7x7, November 7 in Covington Township, Clearfield County; Roger Rummel of Nanty Glo, Cambria County, took a 758-pound, 7x7, November 8, in Covington Township, Clearfield County; Charles Ulrich of Allenwood, Union County, took a 729-pound 7x7, November 5 in Karthus Township, Clearfield County; and Charles Cahill, Jr., of Upper Darby, Delaware County, took a 720-pound 6x6, November 7 in Covington Township, Clearfield County.
Taking the heaviest antlerless elk was Sylvester Kronenwetter of Saint Marys, Elk County. He took an antlerless elk that weighed 616 pounds, November 9 in Huston Township in Clearfield County.
"Since 2001, when the first modern-day elk season was instituted, 523 elk have been harvested," PGC executive director Carl Roe said. "In 2013, the Game Commission will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the elk restoration project."
Successful deer hunters are encouraged by the Pennsylvania Game Commission to consider participating in the state's Hunters Sharing the Harvest program, which channels donations of venison to local food banks, soup kitchens and needy families. Pennsylvania's HSH program is recognized as one of the most successful among similar programs in about 40 states.
Started in 1991, HSH has developed into a refined support service for organizations that assist the Commonwealth's needy. Each year, Hunters Sharing the Harvest helps to deliver almost 200,000 meals to food banks, churches and social services feeding programs.
As part of the program, hunters are encouraged to take a deer to a participating meat processor and identify how much of their deer meat from an entire deer to several pounds that is to be donated to HSH.
For more information about the program and obtain a list of participating meat processors and county coordinators, visit the PGC website at http://www.pgc.state.pa.us .
Sunday's edition of "Experience The Outdoors," hosted by award-winning Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz, at 7 a.m. on 1410 WLSH and 9:30 a.m. on Magic 105.5, will feature Hunters Sharing the Harvest chairman John Plowman.
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary's annual Holiday Open House is to, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and among the attractions is an art exhibit by wildlife artist David Hughes. As part of the day, the visitor center will remain open until 5 p.m. and trail fees will apply for those who walk to scenic overlooks. For more information, visit the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary website at http://www.hawkmountain.org  or call 610-756-6961.
Schuylkill Spurs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will meet, Thursday, Dec. 6, beginning at 7:30 p.m., at 633 Hancock St., McAdoo. For information, call Kevin Titus at 570-668-5903.
First Frontier Militia, a Pennsylvania Federation of Blackpowder Shooters-affiliated organization, will hold its final muzzleloader shoot of the year, Sunday, Dec. 9, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Bowmanstown Rod and Gun Club, Gun Club Road , off Route 248. For information, call Roger Fisher at 610-377-2812.