Winner of Pennsylvania elk tag raffle takes 850-pound 8×10 bull

Delbert Somerville was selected from 10,587 tickets sold in the Keystone Elk Country Alliance elk tag raffle drawing Aug. 20, at the Elk Country Visitor Center here.

On Sept. 28, the Bernville man harvested an 8×10 bull that weighed an estimated 850 pounds. The rut was in full swing that morning, and Somerville passed on six before settling on his trophy, which will score over 400 on the Boone and Crockett scale.

 “When I shot the bull that afternoon, he went down on his front end and flipped completely head over heels,” Somerville said. “With all that weight on the huge antlers, one brow point was broken. We found the point with no problem.”

The hunt he won from the Keystone Elk Country Alliance – which included guides, taxidermy services and the effort being videoed – was a fabulous adventure, according to Somerville.

“It was unbelievable non-stop bugling – I have never seen anything like this ever in my life,” he said.

“I was just taking it all in and working closely with my guide. I could have harvested any number of bulls, but he said to pass, so I did. Can’t tell you how hard that was!

“We were in the middle of the herd on public Pennsylvania state forest land. It was a fantastic experience.”

The alliance’s elk tag raffle provides a unique opportunity for one hunter to harvest a mature bull elk in Pennsylvania, but everyone who purchased a ticket is a true conservationist and a winner, noted Rawley Cogan, president and CEO of the organization.

“We sincerely thank everyone who purchased a ticket for their support of this unique raffle,” he said. “Pennsylvania’s elk herd and its habitat are the beneficiaries.”

The alliance’s 2017 KECA elk tag raffle generated $195,350 in gross tickets sales. Elk tag raffle proceeds from past years were used to complete the first two phases of an outdoor classroom at the Elk Country Visitor Center, which offers educational programs for thousands of students and guests.

Money from the raffles also fund habitat improvement projects totaling hundreds of acres and a permanent land protection project. The alliance, a nonprofit organization, completed its first permanent land-protection project last year.

It acquired a 9-acre tract adjacent to the Elk Country Visitor Center, which consists of white pine and hemlock with mixed oak and hickory overstory. The property has two small streams that merge on the property and flow into Bennett’s Branch of the Susquehanna River.

The water is clean and runs year-round. No mining or acid-mine drainage has occurred on the property.

Source: Keystone Elk Country Alliance