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Monday, August 15, 2016

LAST CHANCE TO HUNT WORLD-CLASS ELK IN PENNSYLVANIA

Raffle chances for once-in-a-lifetime bull-hunting opportunity available online through Friday.
It’s too late to enter Saturday’s drawing for one of the 124 Pennsylvania elk licenses to be issued by lottery this year.

But even for those who missed the deadline, there’s still one last chance to take part in the state’s 2016 elk hunt – and do so in style during a 57-day season.

Hunters have until 8 p.m. Friday to go online and purchase chances for a raffle, the lucky winner of which will receive an extended opportunity to hunt bull elk anywhere on Pennsylvania’s elk range, as well as a fully guided hunt to be filmed by a professional crew and, if the hunt is successful, the trophy mounted free of charge.

Raffle chances also will be sold at this weekend’s Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Elk Expo, to be held Saturday and Sunday in Benezette, with in-person sales to close at 11 a.m. on Sunday. The raffle drawing will take place on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Elk Country Visitor Center.

The winner does not need to attend the drawing to win.

Chances for the Elk Conservation Raffle cost $25 each, or six chances may be purchased for $100, but there is no limit on the number of chances that may be purchased.

The Keystone Elk Country Alliance (KECA), in partnership with the Pennsylvania Game Commission is conducting the raffle, which is authorized by legislation. All proceeds from the raffle go to conservation and education, and to improving elk habitat in Pennsylvania.

Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough said the Elk Conservation Raffle truly offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“Pennsylvania is world-renowned for its giant bull elk, and the tag awarded through KECA’s Elk Conservation Raffle provides an opportunity to hunt some of the biggest bulls the Keystone State has to offer, and at the peak of the rut,” Hough said. “It’s no wonder the winner of the Elk Conservation Raffle has brought home a 400-class bull in each of the raffle’s first two years, and another exciting opportunity awaits the winner to be drawn Sunday. And all participants in the raffle can feel good in knowing the chances they purchase work to benefit Pennsylvania’s elk.”

The raffle winner may not transfer the elk-hunting opportunity to another party. A Pennsylvania general hunting license, as well as an elk hunting license is needed to participate in the hunt. winner also is subject to a background check, and prior game-law violations might prevent the license from being awarded.

Pennsylvania Elk Conservation Raffle tickets may be purchased online by 8 p.m. Friday at KECA’s website; www.ExperienceElkCountry.com, with payment made by credit card. In the event of technical difficulties, plans are in place to conduct sales by phone at a number provided at the site.

The conservation license can be used from Sept. 1 to Nov. 5, 2016. The winner of the Pennsylvania Elk Conservation Raffle will be permitted to hunt in all elk management zones open to elk hunting.

The lucky winner can enjoy a six-day fully guided hunt donated by Elk County Outfitters. The guided hunt includes meals and lodging and guide service.

KECA will provide the raffle winner with a shoulder mount of the bull if the hunt is successful. And, as an added bonus, the hunt will be filmed by the camera crew from TomBob Outdoors, Friends in Wild Places Adventures Series to be aired on national TV. TomBob Outdoors operates out of Ridgway, Pa.

The guide service, taxidermy and film crew are available if the hunter chooses to participate. There is no obligation to use the guide service, taxidermist or the film crew; it is the hunter’s choice.

The regular drawing for 2016 Pennsylvania elk licenses also is scheduled as part of the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Elk Expo. The drawing is scheduled for Saturday 1 p.m.

While the drawing will not be livestreamed to online viewers, as it was in years past, plans are in place to record the drawing, with the video being posted to the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.pa.gov, likely by early next week.

Of the 124 licenses to be allocated, 25 are for antlered elk, or bulls.

More information on the elk expo is available at KECA’s website.

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