Bennezette is essentially a petting zoo and I'm actually surprised someone hasn't been gored yet.The same is also true in areas where there's a lot of camps.It really isn't like that everywhere though.The elk can have a big range and they're as wild as any deer in some places.I live at the very edge of of what would be considered the elk range.I get them on trail cams on my property,see the tracks and rubs all over and even hear them bugling occasionally from my house.To date,I've never laid my eyes on an elk within 5 miles of my house,even though they're frequent visitors.Before his untimely death,I knew the one elk biologist.He said he had a few collared cows that they never saw again after being collared,despite being able to find them quite easily.About 5 years ago,we had a herd of 14 move into my neighbors corn field for a week or so,right in the beginning of archery season.i only talked to two people that actually saw them and both times,it was at night with a spot light.They claimed as soon as the light him them,they were gone.The closest I ever came to seeing them was on a saturday morning.It was still dark in the morning as I sat in a climber.I heard a bunch of commotion above me and then a short bugle.A bull came walking past me,within 50 yards, grunting and groaning but it was still too dark to see anything.Even in areas where the elk aren't habituated,it's still relatively easy to kill one,as long as they're there.These elk are grazers and they seek out opening,many of which are old strip jobs and meadows created for habitat.Those are easy to find and as a result,so are the elk.Don't take this the wrong way, not criticizing. Just an observation.. Been to Bennezette many times in the fall. I've walked to within 20 yards of massive bulls on many occasions. Tame as a little puppy dog right around town there. They walk right up to the houses, and stroll through traffic on the roads. Have also gone backwoods on horseback , same thing they just stand there even when you dismount. They are pretty conditioned to human interaction.
Just about every year one or two hunters get my name from someone and call to see if I'll pack them out with my horses.I'd gladly do it pro bono but not one single hunter has every agreed to actually quartering them up and packing them out.For some reason Pa hunters expect them to be taken out whole and I'm not dragging an elk with my horses.