Area Fares Well in Draws for Elk Licenses
Frye, Bob, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
John Shields won the lottery last week, but he won't be cashing any big checks anytime soon.
This drawing pays out, potentially, in meat.
Shields, of Blairsville, was one of 50 hunters whose names were pulled for a Pennsylvania elk license at a drawing at the annual Elk Expo in Elk County.
Shields was awarded a tag to hunt a bull. He'll be heading north for the Nov. 5-10 season, trying to bag the first elk of his lifetime.
"I'm going to try for something really nice for the first few days, maybe the first three days anyway. After that, I might not be so particular," Shields said.
A total of 17,245 people -- the lowest total since the state re- instituted its hunt in 2001 -- applied for an elk license. With some people having their name in the drawing more than once because of preference points, however, the chance of being drawn for a tag was one in more than 50,000.
Overall, though, area hunters fared very well in the drawing. The southwest and southeast regions of the state each had 13 hunters drawn. Six more hunters came from the southcentral region, while five came from out of state.
Lancaster County hunters got four licenses, more than from any other county. Indiana, Allegheny, Armstrong, and Centre counties accounted for three each.
Hunters from the counties that fall -- in whole or in part -- into the state's elk range drew a half dozen tags total.
That's not surprising, said Denny Dusza, director of the commission's northcentral region office. Allegheny County accounted for more applications -- 841 -- than any other county. Westmoreland ranked second with 787, followed by York with 670 and Lancaster with 659.
By comparison, just 68 Cameron County residents applied for an elk tag. The total was 282 in Elk County and 333 in Clearfield.
Nonresidents from 49 states -- "I didn't have time to see which was the only state that wasn't represented,' Dusza said -- applied for elk licenses, too. A total of 463 New York residents applied, more than from any other state. Ohio wasn't far behind with 415 applications, though.
Shields is glad to be one of those awarded a license.
"It's still trying to hit me. It hasn't sunk in yet," Shields said.
The hunters who drew tags (15 for bulls, 25 for cows) for the November 2006 elk season, listed alphabetically:
1. Brian Alt, Lake Ariel, Lackawanna County, cow tag.
2. James Babco, Blairsville, Indiana County, cow tag.
3. John Barberio Jr., Ebensburg, Cambria County, cow tag.
4. Fred Baumgardner, Bethel Park, Allegheny County, bull tag.
5. Randy Behney, Myerstown, Lebanon County, bull tag.
6. Tindaro Bisbano, Birdsboro, Berks County, cow tag.
7. Chris Blough, Altoona, Blair County, cow tag. …