We were at our camp in Benezette Pa this past weekend (7/31 – 8/02), and as usual we took several trips up to the designated elk viewing areas there. Here are some photos we took while at the Primary viewing area. (The one that has the visitors center, lecture area, benches…. If you are coming from the Benezette Store up Winslow Hill it is the second viewing area you get to and is located on the left hand side of the road.)
In this photo you can see the field off in a distance where you are most likely to see elk from this viewing area. On most days to get a close up look you will need a good set of binoculars or a spotting scope. On the good days you will have elk standing only a few feet away from you in the designated “Human Viewing Area” checking you out just as much as you are checking them out.
This is a photo from the right side of the viewing area looking back away from the lecture pavilion. This is actually only a small part of the actual viewing area where you can stand or sit, but since I had the wrong lens on my camera I could not get a wide shot. In any case there are several benches and picnic tables here and along the rock wall there are informational plaques as well. All in all it is a good place to come and relax and see some elk.
This is the Visitors Information Center, where (when open) you can speak with a Game Commission officer as well as collect elk pamphlets and fliers and get an up close look at a Pa bull elk by checking out the huge stuffed one they have in there. (See Photo Below!)
Although it is sad to see one of these beautiful creatures dead, this exhibit gives you a chance to get up close and personal with a true mature Pa bull elk. This fella was apparently killed (poached) by a hunter who mistook it for a whitetail (likely story) and instead of being discarded the Pa Game Commission decided to utilize him in their elk education programs.
You can see from this photo why you never want to get too close to one of thes guys in the wild. Their antlers are not only sharp, but are enormous. I am over 6 feet tall and around 200 lbs and this guy dwarfs me. If he wanted to use me to polish those bad boys and I was dumb enough to get this close to him while he was alive I would not stand a chance against him.
On this particular day the only wildlife we saw were these gobblers and jakes out strutting in the sun. It was a bad time to be out looking for elk since it was late afternoon and it was so hot. Even though we did not see any elk here we had fun watching thes fellas strut around and also met some really nice folks who were out with their families looking for elk too.