Seeing a majestic bull elk with impressive backward sweeping antlers for the first time is an extraordinary event and something you’ll never forget. During fall love is in the air in Pennsylvania’s Elk Country. September and October is the breeding season or rut for Pennsylvania’s wild elk herd. Hearing the bugle and belly grunts of a bull as he defends his harem from other intruding bulls is very exciting.
If you are lucky you might even see two equally matched bulls fighting to determine dominance and breeding rights. Elk are most active after dawn and just before dusk as they move from sheltered woodlands into more open feeding areas.
When you’re looking for elk you need to pay attention to everything. Watch for the “wapiti” which is what the Shawnee Tribe call elk, literally meaning white rump. As a rule, when you see people looking in the same direction with cameras and binoculars in-hand, you can figure elk are near.
The best place to start your elk viewing adventure is at the Elk Country Visitor Center on Winslow Hill in Benezette. The Keystone Elk Country Alliance manages this stunningly beautiful conservation and education center. The center has touch screen displays, a sensory-surround theater, wildlife displays, elk viewing blinds, a panoramic mountain overlook, horse drawn wagon rides, and gift shop. The meadows around the center attract wildlife including elk, deer, and wild turkey. For more information and hours call (814) 787-5167 or visit ElkCountryVistorCenter.com
The Elk Scenic Drive is another great way to experience Elk Country. You can scout for elk along the 127-mile route through beautiful mountains. Twenty-three viewing sites along the drive offer safe and easy elk watching.
For a FREE Elk Viewing Guide to help plan your trip, including places to stay, where and when to see elk, and more call the PA Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau at (814) 849-5197 or online at VisitPAGO.com