From The Archives

While I spent most of my Christmas vacation putzing around the house and playing with new toys (please welcome Rosie, my new Roomba, to the In The Sticks Cabins family), I did venture out into the crazy world one day. And that one day, I spent wandering around some local antique shops.

I was hoping to find an enamel wash basin to use in the camper during the winter months. Our sinks are pretty deep, so filling them with warm water takes a while when I’m heating the water from a kettle on the stove. Further, I think the wash basins are just pretty. I found an old dish pan at the first shop I went to. The enamel basins I found there were all too rusty.

As I was strolling the aisles, I came across a stack of Pennsylvania Game News Magazines from the late 1970s and early 1980s. I’m not sure if it was appropriate antiquing etiquette, but I sat myself down and flipped through each one. A few of them had articles about Elk County and the PA elk herd. The oldest one, from March 1972, talked about how the herd typically averaged 40 elk each year, but had doubled! in size (do the math, that’s 80 elk). According to the PA Game Commission website FAQ, as of April 2018 there are roughly 1000 elk in PA. Another article, this one from September 1976, was about a new Game Commission policy to maintain the elk herd, but didn’t talk about the animal count.

In April of 1983 the article was about 32 elk being removed from the herd. Of those, 11 were killed for damaging crops, nine were killed illegally, five died during the previous harsh winter, three were mistakenly killed during deer season (one was a mature bull – come on man. You knew that wasn’t a deer!), two died from illness and two were attacked and killed by dogs. The May 1984 article was the results of a 2-day census that counted 119 elk and proclaimed that the elk herd was stable.

It was neat to read the old articles and see how well kept these magazines were. It was also pretty incredible to see how the price has changed on the magazine over the years:

  • 1972 – 25 cents
  • 1976 – 30 cents
  • 1983 & 1984 – 50 cents
  • 2018 – $1.99 (best I can tell from the subscription website)

Now, I want to find more of them that talk about elk! I’ll be keeping my eyes open for them at the flea market this Spring! (Also, I did find an enamel basin like I was looking for.)

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