Sylvester Kronenwetter of St. Marys was the lone Elk County resident selected for an elk license in Friday morning’s drawing held at the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) headquarters in Harrisburg and broadcast live on the PGC’s website. Kronenwetter’s name was drawn for the 41st of 46 cow elk licenses awarded for this year’s hunt, which is scheduled to take place from Nov. 5-10 with an extended elk hunting period outside the elk management area for those with unfilled elk licenses from Nov. 12-17.
According to information on the PGC’s website regarding the Elk Hunt Zones, Elk Hunt Zone 9, for which Kronenwetter was selected, consists of a “mixture of private and public land comprised of the Elk and Moshannon state forests and state game lands 34, 90 and 94.”
Including Kronenwetter, there were a total of 65 hunters who were awarded elk licenses this year. Nineteen of those are for bull elk, and the other 46 are for cows.
Chris Rosenberry, Pennsylvania Game Commission deer and elk section supervisor, remarked at the beginning of Friday morning’s webcast that Pennsylvania’s elk hunt has continued each year since 2001, annually drawing about 20,000 applicants.
The annual drawing was conducted using a database containing all hunter applications.
“We received 19,320 applications, with 92 percent from Pennsylvania residents. With the new applications received this year and all the hunter preference points, for example there are a little over 3,000 hunters that have 10 preference points, we have in the database this year 97,238 entries,” Rosenberry said.
He also further explained the preference point system, which was implemented in 2003.
“Under the preference system, applicants who are not awarded an elk license are granted preference to be selected in future drawings. A preference point is awarded for each year since 2003 that a hunter has applied and not been selected,” Rosenberry said.
Rosenberry also noted that Pennsylvania’s elk population is continuing to thrive.
“The elk population across the entire range numbers more than 800, and during recent hunting seasons hunters have taken new state records for typical and non-typical categories. Last year, 56 elk licenses were awarded and 52 hunters harvested an elk. The heaviest bull taken in 2011 was a 930-pound 9x8 that was harvested in Clearfield County. This bull now tops Pennsylvania’s record book for non-typical elk with a firearm and ranks ninth all-time in Boone and Crockett records for all non-typical elk,” Rosenberry said.