Pennsylvania Great Outdoors: Elk Smart

The Four Points of Being ELK SMART.

What is Elk Smart:

An educational campaign aimed at informing people about the negative aspects of habituation and reminding them that we have a shared responsibility to keep Pennsylvania’s elk WILD!

BE Elk SMART promotes the idea that people need to give elk space and allow them to maintain their wild and natural instincts as much as possible.

Elk Smart Top of Website

1) Give Elk Space: Elk are wild animals and completely un-predictable. Mature bulls can be extremely aggressive during the autumn breeding season (rut) and adult cows have attacked people defending their calves. Keep a safe distance of 100 yards and don’t approach elk under any circumstances.

2) Never Feed Elk: Feeding elk is illegal in Pennsylvania. Intentionally feeding elk teaches them to associate people, cars, or homes with food and they’ll readily begin approaching people looking for more. Feeding elk and other wildlife also promotes the spread of infectious diseases by un-naturally congregating animals into small areas.

3) Don’t Name Elk: Characterizing elk as people by giving them names and identities, degrades their naturally (inherently) wild essence. The very reason people are attracted to and inspired by elk is rooted in their unfettered independence from us. Personifying elk as people defiles the romanticism of our wild elk population.

4) If You See Something Say Something! The welfare of the elk population is the shared responsibility of everyone! If you see someone being intentionally reckless or even unintentionally careless toward elk, speak up and say something. We all have a duty to ensure the safety of people and the long-term security of our elk!

Do your part to help preserve the wild nature of Pennsylvania’s elk. Keep people safe and elk wild. BE ELK SMART!

Download or request a copy of the free Elk Viewing guides at

Find more fun things to do, see, and experience in Pennsylvania’s Great Outdoors region online at


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