Through the early 1800s, elk inhabited much of Pennsylvania. The population declined as more of the state was settled and, by the late 1800s, elk were totally eliminated from their last stronghold in areas around Elk County.
With elk gone from the state for about 50 years, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, in 1913, began a challenging effort to reintroduce them. In less than a decade, at least 190 elk were released into Pennsylvania's elk range from Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and several other Pennsylvania locations.
The effort to provide excellent habitat for elk continues today. Pennsylvania's elk herd now contains more than 800 animals spread over parts of Elk, Cameron, Clearfield, Clinton and Potter counties and the Commonwealth hosts the largest elk herd in the northeastern United States.
We hope you'll enjoy this 13-minute film on how the restoration of the state's elk herd began.