DuBOIS – An education instructor with the Keystone Elk Country Alliance recently approached DuBois area high school science team coach Doug Brennan to host a day of workshops for the team at the Welcome Center visitors from Elk Country to Benezette.
Having the foresight, Brennan accepted this offer.
“Having visited the Elk Country Visitor Center and participated in the tagging of an elk calf a few springs ago, seeing what the center had to offer students, it was a no-brainer at mine experiences that could be leveraged to enrich students’ understanding and appreciation of the abundance of nature in our PA Wilds,” said Brennan.
Brennan noted that the students are studying for the Clearfield County Envirothon.
“The students were pleasantly surprised with the accommodations at the elk center,” Brennan said. “There was a lot to see in the great hall inside the elk center.”
Ben Porkolab, the education instructor, provided the students with a well-planned and organized event, Brennan said.
“Students learned about our elk herd and its history – elk returning from the brink of extinction to today’s robust and viable herd,” Brennan said.
During the experiment, Brennan said the students learned to mark deer and elk antlers using Boone and Crockett notation. They were also told that woodshed hunting can be a favorite pastime for friends to enjoy the outdoors.
Students also had the opportunity to ask questions about other mammals encountered in the PA Wilds.
“Just for fun, Mr. Porkolab had the students take a bunch of elk bones and told them to put them together,” Brennan said. “He (Porkolab) gave them 15 minutes and before the time was up the students had assembled a skeletal version of an elk. The day wasn’t over until the students had a chance to go to the 4D Elk cinema. You can still hear students talking about the experience at the Elk Country Visitor Center.