The bull elk rescue from the swing set at the old Benezette school has created a lot of interest. The blogs of Brad Myers, his son Shane, Willard Hill, my son James, and mine have all realized a lot of recent activity as people wanted to see the photos of this elk rescue. It was an amazing and incredible event to watch and photograph.
Today the Pennsylvania Game Commission circulated a news release that included three of the photos I took during this elk rescue. My blog activity has greatly increased and at last count I had over 1,100 visits to my blog just today. I am pleased that my photographs are getting broader exposure, but I am even happier that the elk rescue story is getting out to so many people.
The Pennsylvania elk herd is a resource that must not be taken lightly. We are privileged to have the elk in our state thanks to some people in our past who had the foresight to bring back the elk. After all, there was a day when elk roamed over nearly the entire state. Other animals have benefited from the increased interest and habitat protection provided for the elk herd. Turkeys, bear, rabbits, and many other wildlife species have increased over the past decade or so thanks to the improvements made to benefit the elk.
There are also a few lessons we can learn from this elk rescue. First, if you have a swing set in your yard please hang the swings up and out of the way of the elk. Bulls like to rub their antlers first to remove the velvet in mid-August, and then to mark and defend their territory in the rut. Keeping our swings out of their way just makes good common sense. Second, the Game Commission sometimes gets a bad rap. I think you know what I mean. But Doty and Mark not only handled this rescue very well, but they did so in a professional and mild-mannered way. They allowed us photographers to capture the rescue with our long lenses and even talked with us about what they found after the rescue was over. I was greatly impressed with these two guys and how they expertly rescued this bull elk. I might not always agree with everything the Game Commission says or does at times, but I have renewed respect for what these guys are willing to do and how well they handle some very difficult and potentially dangerous situations. They certainly have my complete respect after watching this amazing elk rescue and how beautifully they handled the situation. Thank you, Doty and Mark!