Massive Bull Taken Near St. Mary’s Expected to be New State Record

By Carol Mulvihill

Pennsylvania’s managed elk hunt, designed to thin the herd and provide a unique outdoor experience for a select few hunters whose names are drawn at random, has once again accomplished both objectives.The “regular” weeklong hunt winds up today and a special extended season runs from Monday through Saturday for hunters who do not fill their tags and want to pursue any elk that have strayed beyond the boundaries of the Game Commission’s designated management areas.

As of Wednesday, 11 bulls and 10 cows had been brought to the agency’ check station, located near the Quehanna Boot Camp. There were 50 licenses issued this year — 17 for bulls and 33 for cows.

A bull harvested by 37-yearold Domenic Aversa of Woolrich, N.J., is especially notable. The animal was taken in Spring Run, near St. Marys. This 7 x 7 bull, with “typical” or symmetrical antlers, was measured with a gross green-score of 403 and a net green score of 389 and 7/8 net. After the required drying period it will beat the state record of 369 and 4/8 that has stood for seven years.

As of Tuesday, Aversa’s bull is also the heaviest taken in the 2010 hunt. Dressed weight was 667 pounds, and the estimated live weight was 867 pounds.

Another bull that awed spectators at the check station was an 8 x 8 (some would say 8 x 9) taken by Richard Lundgren of Kittanning. The bull had been nicknamed “Crazy Legs Junior” this year by local elk-watchers for its similarities to an elk that was killed by poachers in 2000 after drawing attention in the Medix Run and Sinnemahoning area.

Lundgren’s bull had an outside antler spread of nearly six-and-a-half feet. The inside spread measured 63 and 5/8 inches. It had a dressed weight of 655 pounds, and an estimated live weight of 852 pounds. It likely weighed upwards of 952 pounds prior to the rut. The bull was taken with a rifle on private land in Spring Run.

A YouTube video that shows this bull, with its heavy treebranch antlers, has gone viral on the internet (titled “Elk Stampede on Winslow Hill”).

Also taken early in the season was a 7 x 7 bull nicknamed “Kisser” by local residents. Successful hunter Jack Murray of Grindstone, whose family has maintained a camp in the region for more than a half-century, took along his late father’s ELK HUNT orange hunting cap to symbolically “take my dad along” on the oncein a-lifetime hunt. The bull was taken near Devil’s Elbow in Grant, not far from the camp, and had a dressed weight of 667 pounds This animal had shadowed and imitated the famous Benezette town bull nicknamed Freddy. It carried the same genetic traits because of his massive antlers and huge pedicles or bases of the antlers. The circumference of each antler base was 14 inches.

The only woman to be drawn for the hunt was 63-year-old Mary Ann Zdarko of Warren. Her hunting guide, Janet Colwell of Hicks Run Outfitters, said, “This was the case of a grandmother guiding another grandmother on an elk hunt.”

At 4 pm n Monday, Zdarko harvested a 6 x 6 bull near Ridge Road. For the past 15 years, Zdarko has hunted deer in Pennsylvania. Her husband Dan accompanied her on her elk hunt.

As of Wednesday, Nicolas Draghi of Elmira, N.Y., had harvested the heaviest cow with a dressed weight of 452 pounds and an estimated live weight of 588.

Read this story and more in today’s edition of the Endeavor News. Available at your favorite local retailers.

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