The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

October 31, 2013

Bob Garrett's Talking Points: Be aware of elk in area

Over the past four years, there have been 91 vehicle crashes involving elk that have resulted in either human injury or property damage. To educate motorists about the potential for these types of crashes, PennDOT has erected two life-sized steel elk silhouettes that show motorists the size of these animals and the danger that they can pose.

According to Gregory Sayers, who is the PennDOT Maintenance Manager headquartered in Clearfield, "The silhouettes are up to allow the public to actually pull into our Ridgway parking area with their vehicle and see how large the animals truly are." Mature elk can range from 800-1,000 pounds and Pennsylvania's elk herd now contains more than 800 animals spread over parts of Elk, Cameron, Clearfield, Clinton and Potter counties.

If you're going to be traveling in these areas, you might want to know that elk tend to behave a little differently than deer.

Often times, deer that come upon a roadway will get spooked by a vehicle and take off or dart across the road. Elk, on the other hand, frequently don't move at all. Given how huge elk can be, they're alone at the top of "growth chart" for mammals in our state

Naturally, their instinct is to stand their ground. They obviously don't know that we humans have the advantage of being wrapped with a ton steel, thanks to our vehicles. Here's a good rule of thumb: When in elk country, the elk have the right-of-way.

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Turkey season opens

Fall turkey season opens in most of our state Saturday. Turkey hunters who are preparing to head out this weekend should double-check the opening dates, closing dates and other regulations that apply within the Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) where they hunt.

Nearly all of the Wildlife Management Units in our area, including WMUs 2C, 2E, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E have a November 2-22 and a November 28-30 season.

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