Massive elk taken by poachers on display

Posted on: February 11, 2016 | Bob Frye | Comments

Elk 1Bob Frye / Tribune-Review
This is the Pennsylvania bull that was poached in 2014. It’s touring the country as part of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s “Great Elk Tour.”

What a waste it was.

Over two nights in September of 2014, three men in Karthaus Township, Clearfield County, illegally shot three elk. The plan, according to what they subsequently told Pennsylvania Game Commission officers, was to sell the antlers on eBay.

One bull was a modest 4-by-5 that green scored 178 /38, another a slightly larger 5-by-7 that green scored 243 1/8.

The third, though, was absolutely magnificent. A 10-by-9, its rack gross scored 460 1/8 inches.

Had it been taken legally, it would have ranked as the third biggest bull in state history.

The three poachers, all men from Centre County, each pleaded guilty to their charges, and their sentences included time in jail and fines totaling almost $39,000.

That doesn’t bring the elk back.

Sportsmen can at least see the largest of those bulls, though. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is again participating in the Great American Outdoor Show that’s going on at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg through Sunday. There, visitors can check out its “Great Elk Tour.”

It’s a traveling display of some of the biggest elk ever taken anywhere.

Three of those in the show were taken legally by hunters, in one case by a teenager. A couple others were found dead. The mount of the poached Pennsylvania bull is in there, too.

It’s actually the largest of them all, in fact.

When the Great Elk Tour is over – it’s scheduled to tour the West, from Oklahoma to Arizona to California to Idaho to Nevada, and points in between, through December – the mount will be returned to the Game Commission.

Tickets to the Great American Outdoor Show are available here.

Elk poaching casePennsylvania Game Commission photo
These are the antlers from the three bull elk poached over two nights in Clearfield County. From left to right are Game Commission wildlife conservation officers Dan Murray, Dave Stewart and Mark Gritzer and northcentral region law enforcement supervisor Rick Macklem.

Bob Frye is the editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or See other stories, blogs, videos and more at

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