Elk may only be hunted in designated Elk Hunt Zones. For 2013, the regular season will be November 4-9 with an extended season November 11-15. Eligible license recipients, who have not harvested an elk by November 9, may continue to hunt during the extended season. An Elk Hunting License is required with a limit of one elk per license year. A successful hunter must tag the elk immediately after harvest and mark the kill site before the carcass is moved. Within 24 hours, each hunter who harvests an elk must take it, along with his or her general hunting license and elk license, to the official Game Commission check station at the agency's Maintenance Building in Quehanna in Clearfield County.
There is a $10.70 application fee for the random drawing (held in September on a date yet to be determined) to purchase one of 86 licenses (26 antlered, 60 antlerless). Nonresidents have an equal opportunity in the drawing. If drawn, a Pennsylvania resident may purchase an elk license for $25; nonresidents $250. Individuals drawn for an antlered license are not eligible to apply again for five license years; this does not apply to individuals drawn for an antlerless license. Successful applicants must obtain a Pennsylvania general hunting license for the appropriate license year. Details about the drawing will be published on this website in the Newsroom when they become available in September.
Unsuccessful applicants will earn preference points for future drawings. In order to participate in the preference system, an applicant must provide a Social Security Number. If you don't have a Social Security Number, call the PGC at (717) 787-2084 for an alternate method.
Elk are large animals. An adult bull may weigh 600-1,000 pounds and an adult cow may weigh 400-600 pounds. Part of your hunt plan should include how to field-dress and move the animal from the kill site to your vehicle and on to the check station. Regulations prohibit the use of motorized vehicles, including ATVs on state-owned property, with few exceptions. The animal may be skinned and quartered and packed out by horses or mules or on pack boards. Hunters should bring plenty of help. Any number of unlicensed persons may accompany hunters as long as they wear the required fluorescent orange and do not participate in the hunt itself or carry a firearm. Persons just accompanying an elk hunter are not required to have an elk guide permit.
Elk Guides: Elk Guides are regulated by the Game Commission and the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and offer various services to the hunter. Those individuals drawn for elk licenses will be provided a list of permitted guides before the hunt, although they are not required to use a guide.
For more details see the 2013-14 Pennsylvania Hunting and Trapping Digest.