I wanted to drive to Benezette, PA for my birthday this year. Benezette is known for its elk population and as I noted in earlier blogs I did not get to see elk in Yellowstone, Tetons, or Rocky Mountain National Park!! The elk just seem to elude me.
I have previously taken the trip to Benezette with my parents over 10 years ago. We saw NO ELK on that drive! A few deer, but no elk. Even though Benezette bosts of thousands of elk, we saw none!! But I hoped this trip would be different.
We woke around 5:30 so we could get going and arrive in Benezette just after sunrise. It was overcast and foggy as we started the trip, we immediately saw a few deer in the dark, this always makes us nervous! It took about 2 hours to get to Benezette.
I had done some research as to where elk had been seen in the last week, so I had a list of stops: farms, fields, pull-offs etc. The first few stops, didn’t see anything. But the fall colors were spectacular. Eventually, we were in luck and saw one just as we got close to the town. It was a nice big male with a large rack.
A few more stops yielded no elk… Then one of the other elk spotters told me about a spot where they had just seen some elk, it was down a service road. This was not on my list. We decided to take a chance that they were still there.
We parked and walked a little way up a dirt road – we saw a few photographers standing in the grass. We stepped up on the grassy bank that overlooked a field area and two very large male elk were about three yards away!! WAY TOO CLOSE! We backed up a bit and stayed and watched these two for a while. Behind us was another one up on the ridge. Every now and then we heard some bugling, probably from the one on the ridge.
A few more stops and a few more elk at a distance. We stopped at the Benezette Visitors’ center. It had some nice animal displays. Then started the trip back to the cabin. We decide to have some lunch in Lockhaven at my favorite restaurant, Stella A’s. It was great as usual, but too cold to sit outside.
We relaxed the rest of the afternoon and enjoyed a birthday Facetime with the kids. Wonderful to have them all on the call at once!