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Friday, September 2, 2016

ELK CAM GOES LIVE

Hear a bull’s ear-splitting bugle without leaving home.

Each September, thousands of visitors make their way to Pennsylvania's elk country to experience for themselves the wonder of the bugling season.

And while there's nothing quite like seeing a giant bull up close, or feeling your rib cage resonate as it lets loose an ear-splitting bugle, the opportunity again has come to get a glimpse of Pennsylvania's prime time for elk - without ever having to leave home.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has installed a camera on State Game Lands 311 in Elk County, in a field that typically is a hub of elk activity as the bugling season heats up. The camera was installed with help from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Bureau of Forestry and the Northcentral Regional Planning and Development Commission. Video and sound from the camera are being live streamed on the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.pa.gov, and some good-sized bull elk, not to mention turkeys, deer and other wildlife, already have made appearances.

The live stream, which is provided by the Game Commission’s partner, HDOnTap, is the latest in a string of real-time wildlife-watching opportunities offered by the Game Commission, including the ever-popular EagleCam that has attracted millions of viewers.

Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough said while there’s no substitute for visiting elk country in person, the camera gives viewers a taste of what the excitement is all about.

“People are fascinated with elk and, in Pennsylvania, they prove it year after by making the elk range a destination and applying in stunning numbers for their chance to live the dream of hunting a Pennsylvania elk,” Hough said. “This camera is just one more thing to get them excited. And while I’d recommend a visit to elk range to anybody, those bugles coming through your computer speakers are the next best thing to being there.”

The live stream can be accessed at the home page of the Game Commission’s website, by clicking on “Elk Country Live Stream” link in the “Recent Videos” section. The page also contains information on Pennsylvania’s elk, where to view them and provides a link to the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors website, which provides all sorts of handy information for anyone visiting elk country. The website can be accessed directly at www.visitpago.com.

The live stream is slated to run until the end of the bugling season, likely sometime in mid-October. The top time to see elk on camera has been late in the afternoon.

In the meantime, Hough urged people to give it a look – and a listen.

Even at times elk can’t be seen on screen, bulls can be heard bugling, calves and cows send sounds back and forth, turkeys talk, birds sing – you name it.

“Whether you’re planning a trip to the elk range this bugling season, or only just learning that we have elk here in Pennsylvania, keep the Elk Cam in mind and check in every now and then to see what the camera is capturing,” Hough said. “It’s only a matter of time before you see and hear the splendor of bugling elk, and get to a taste of what all the excitement is about.”

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