Rest In Peace Limpy - A Pennsylvania Elk

November 06, 2014  •  8 Comments

PA ELk (Oct 2014)PA ELk (Oct 2014)Bull known as Limpy As a wildlife photographer, even a part-time one, we have certain animals that we get to know very well.  Take the Elk as an example.  We follow their hardships over winter, watch the birth of new calves in the spring, watch antlers grow during the summer as well as the calves growing up, and then the ever-popular rut in September and October.

Then comes our most challenging time of the year when we hope to get through the elk hunt without losing a "friend".

This year, with a heavy heart, I say we lost an old buddy.  He was an old, distinguished, king of the hill, bull, known in the Benezette, PA area as Limpy.

This photo was made on October 2nd of this year and it is my last photo of Limpy.  He was killed on the second day of the elk hunt.

I could go on and on about what I think of the elk hunt, but I won't.  I've said enough, along with several others that share my feelings, on Facebook.  These majestic animals in the Benezette area become acclimated to humans and have no fear.  How can anyone be proud of this kill?

We may never see him walking the hills of Benezette or hear his deep, distinctive bugle in the fall, but he will live on in our memories, photos, videos, and most importantly, our hearts.

If you would like to see more of Limpy read or re-read my September 22, 2014 blog post An Evening With Limpy - A Pennsylvania Elk.

Also, a good friend of mine, Willard Hill, has been photographing Limpy longer than I have, wrote a nice post in his blog @ Pennsylvania wildlife photographer.  Please check it out.

Rest in peace old buddy.  Sorry it ended this way.

 


Comments

Laney Bryant(non-registered)
Great piece Dan!!! I am forever sadden by the senseless kill of the beloved Creature we call friend. I was looking forward to next July when he would pass through my yard again on his way up the hill. That will now just be a memory I will cherish. Living in around the heart of Elk Country is hard most days now until the lottery has passed and the elk come back to the valley. I am hoping we will find that some of the other large bulls have made it another season. Limpy will forever live in the hearts that were honored to meet him and watch in awe over the years. Hopefully his legacy will live on and one day his off spring will show some sign of how great their father really was to those who loved him. RIP ole Friend Limpy.
Willard Hill(non-registered)
An excellent post, Dan. Also thanks so much for linking to my post.
Woody Meristem(non-registered)
It's one thing to pursue a truly wild and wary animal, it's quite another to shoot one that is less wary of humans than many domestic cattle.

Limpy gave so much pleasure to so many people over the years that to have him die for one person's enjoyment borders on the immoral.

And yes, he was nearing the end of his life and may not have lasted through the winter but he should have died a natural death.
Melinda(non-registered)
Dan,
Beautiful tribute to such a magestic animal although I never seen Limpy ( or if I did I didnt know it was him ) I did however know him by all the phots and the love from all of you photographers . May he rest in peace and all of you find peace with this ! I am not a hunter nor do I condem anyone who does but, agree with all of you on this one the big hunt should be only in certain areas !!!!!!! How do you walk up to a near tame animal and shoot it ?
RIP LIMPY
Dan Gomola Wildlife Photography
I would like to add that the kid who shot Limpy probably didn't know of his iconic stature. He was probably thrilled he won the lottery and a chance to harvest an elk. Now, Big Bull Outfitters, the guide that was hired to lead him, probably knew who Limpy was. It's all about the money.
Although I don't want to kill anything myself, this isn't a bash towards hunting. Over-population, disease, and starvation would be a sure result, and a much worse death, if population wasn't controlled. I hate saying that because since when are we supposed to control nature. So, my biggest problem is not the hunt but where the hunt is allowed. The elk that are seen around the town of Benezette are fearless and are a tourist attraction. Hunting should be restricted from those areas.
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