Pennsylvania Game Commission Northcentral Region Director Barry R. Hambley today announced that he has organized a task force to review all the evidence related to the illegal shooting of an elk in mid-October, in Grove Township along Route 120 on the Clinton/Cameron county line. Hambley said the task force will be headed up by Northcentral Region Law Enforcement Supervisor Warren "Quig" Stump, and will be comprised of several Wildlife Conservation Officers.
"Pennsylvania hunters have been unanimous in their outrage over this senseless killing," Hambley said. "They want to see the person or persons responsible for this malicious and cowardly act brought to justice. The killing of this elk isn't just a slap in the face to hunters, though. It's a crime against all Pennsylvanians who care about wildlife.
"In order to move this case forward, we will conduct a comprehensive review of the evidence, including re-interviewing witnesses and others with information about the case."
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Game Commission's toll-free TIP Hotline at 1-888-PGC-8001, or the Northcentral Region Office toll-free at 1-877-877-7674. Any information received will be kept strictly confidential.
Hambley also stressed that the nearly $5,000 in reward monies still stands for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for illegally killing the elk, which was believed to be perhaps the largest bull in the state elk herd. Those contributing to the reward, and the amount they are offering, are as follows:
"This elk weighed more than 800 pounds and was especially impressive because of its massive non-typical antlers," said Rawley Cogan, Commission elk biologist. "For those who had the opportunity to see it, the thrill will last a long time. Unfortunately, no one else will have that opportunity again."
With an outside antler spread of more than six feet, this particular elk officially scored at 406 7/8 on the Boone & Crockett scale, and would have ranked in the top 30 for American elk in the non-typical antlers category (according to the 1999 Boone & Crockett "Records of North American Big Game" book). At 11 years of age, the elk was first captured and marked by the Game Commission in 1997. Its movements have been tracked over the past three years, and it was believed to be the largest bull elk in Pennsylvania's herd.
Generally a secretive and reclusive animal, the elk was last seen during the mating seasons. It was featured in the Game Commission's award-winning elk video, "Pennsylvania Elk: Reclaiming the Alleghenies ."