The Jamestown Audubon Center and Sanctuary is offering an opportunity to take a field trip to learn about and possibly see or hear elk.
At noon Wednesday, Sept. 19, the Audubon van will depart for Benezette, Pa., to visit the beautiful new Elk Country Visitor Center and dine at the Benezette Hotel.
Elk once roamed much of North America but began to disappear from the East in the 1800s due to overhunting and habitat destruction. Reintroduction programs beginning in the early twentieth century brought wild stock from western populations back east. One strong population can be found in Benezette, Pa., a 2-hour drive from Audubon.
On Sept. 19, the Audubon Center and Sanctuary is taking a field trip to Elk Country Visitor Center in Benezette, Pa., where participants will learn about and possibly see or hear elk.
Photo by B. N. Singh
By September, males have regrown antlers and are attracting females with a bugling call. It is possible to observe skirmishes between males for territory and mates at this time of year, as well.
The field trip will be hosted by Rick Rupprecht, who has observed the elk in this area since he was in high school and tries to make an annual trip back to see them.
In addition, the group will meet Eric Perlock, elk biologist aide, in Benezette and he will describe his work with elk biologists who are tracking the animals using radio collars. Some participants may recognize Perlock from his assisting in bird banding at Audubon.
Participants should dress for comfort in the van and for the weather. Bring binoculars, cameras, snacks and money for dinner.
For more information about the Elk Country Visitor Center, with its 4-D Disney-inspired theater, visit www.ExperienceElkCountry.com.
The trip is limited to 10 people in the van. Others are welcome to carpool. The group will return to the Audubon Center by 11 p.m.
The cost is $20 for members and $30 for non-members. Reservations with payment is required by Sept. 15. Those interested should call 569-2345, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the online form by clicking on Calendar of Programs/Events under Quick Links at jamestownaudubon.org and following the links.