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April 2017

Trophy Elk for Display

Left, to right, WCOs Dan Murray, Dave Stewart and Mark Gritzer, and Northcentral Region Law Enforcement Supervisor Rick Macklem pose with the antlers seized in the poaching investigation that has led to charges against three Centre County men.
The 10- by 9-point rack at right initially was measured at 432 7/8 inches, based on standards set forth by the Boone & Crockett big-game scoring program. Only two bulls legally harvested in Pennsylvania have scored higher. The rack from the 5-by-7 bull is at left, and the sawed-off antlers from the 4-by-5 can be seen in front of it.
(GANT News File photo)


Clearfield County Historical Society    Receives Trophy Elk for Display

CLEARFIELD – The board of directors of the Clearfield County Historical Society have announced that it will receive and permanently display the head and antler rack of the largest poached bull elk in Pennsylvania history.

The display has been made possible through the generous efforts of Clearfield County District Attorney, William A. Shaw Jr., the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, which mounted the head and antlers.

On Sept. 15, 2014, Mark Gritzer, a wildlife conservation officer with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, witnessed the poaching of the bull elk, near a reclaimed strip mine in Karthaus. Gritzer had been patrolling the area after previously discovering two, separate illegal killings of bull elk on Sept. 9, 2014. 

While monitoring the area, Gritzer observed multiple bull elks bugling in the field.  Around 9 p.m., Gritzer witnessed an approaching Ford F-150 crew cab. The pick-up stopped, turned on a spotlight and fired a single gunshot from the vehicle killing the trophy elk.

Gritzer immediately activated his emergency lights and conducted a high-risk vehicle stop. Three men were removed from the pick-up and taken into custody. At the time, no weapons were located in the vehicle.

Upon questioning, the outlaws admitted to killing the three bull elk using a 7mm Remington Magnum.  The firearm was tossed from the vehicle when emergency lights were activated by Gritzer. 

A necropsy conducted on each of the animals resulted in the recovery of evidence consistent with a 7mm bullet.  During a search of the area, Gritzer located the firearm used in the killings.   Evidence further established the three poachers were consuming alcohol while poaching the elk. 

When the three suspects came to court, Shaw pursued criminal charges, which had recently been amended in Pennsylvania, for the unlawful killing of big game.

Under the amended law, a violation may result in a misdemeanor conviction and the imposition of a jail sentence, significant fines and a reimbursement fee to the Commonwealth for the cost of replacing the illegally killed animal.

Shaw secured guilty pleas from the poachers, and each culprit was required to serve 30 days in the Clearfield County Jail and to pay more than $10,000 in costs and fees. 

The sentences received in this case are of historical significance. The pleas mark the first time in Pennsylvania history that a jail sentence was imposed for the unlawful killing of an elk.

Prior to changes in the law that enabled Shaw to obtain jail sentences, guilty offenders were subject to a summary violation of the game cade, required to pay a fine and suffer the loss of hunting privileges for a period of time.

After the criminal charges had been resolved, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation volunteered to have the trophy elk mounted, and they took the mount on tour around the country.

Following a year-long venture, the beautiful animal was returned to Clearfield County and donated to Shaw in recognition of his efforts to vigorously pursue game code violations. 

Because of the historic significance of the animal, Shaw felt it appropriate to donate the animal to the county historical society for public display.

The Clearfield County Historical Society is currently renovating a second-floor room, previously used as a museum office, to house the trophy elk.

This remodeling will create the expansive area needed to display the mount, while maintaining the structural integrity of the historic Kerr House, which serves as the society’s museum. 

The dimensions of the mounted elk and antlers are immense. The entire trophy mount is 75 inches high, 61 inches wide and 39 inches in depth.  The shoulders, alone are 22 inches wide. The antler rack has 19 points and has a Boone and Crockett gross score of 460 1/8.

The society intends to have the renovation finished in time, with the elk head on display, for its museum’s opening for public visitation on Sunday, May 7.

The museum is open for both visitation and tours on Sundays and Thursdays from 1:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m., beginning the first Sunday in May through the last Sunday in October.

The museum is located at 104 E. Pine St., at the intersection with N. Front Street, Clearfield. Admission is free of charge. Group tours can be arranged by calling 814-378-5748. 

The society warmly welcomes visitors to view all of its historical displays to foster a better understanding of Clearfield County’s rich history.


December 2016

August 2016

Clearfield County Fair Parade entry,                      "260 years of the American Soldier."

depicted in period uniforms and clothing.


Click photos below for blow-up views and slide show presentation!

June 2016

New Historical Roadside Marker

Throughout Clearfield County many interesting drive-by historical markers are accessable for your purusal.

Each recites interesting facts about significant people, events at these locations.

Most recent is this placque remembering Catherine R. Hoyt for her part in our American Revolution.

Click images for blow-up photo and greater detail !

The Clearfield County Historical Society recently placed a new roadside historical marker in Penfield, Huston Township, commemorating the life of Catherine R. Hoyt, a patriot of the American Revolution.  She came to live with her children in Huston Township and died in this county. 

According to her obituary which appeared in the Democratic Banner newspaper, published in Clearfield: “She was a mother of the Revolution. She has spread the cloth before the chieftains and champions of our country’s rights and liberty – and day after day, and week after week prepared the table for the soldiers of our republic while recruiting under Col. Barns. Her compensation, she informed me, for six weeks service, brought her just one paper of pins. She heard the roar of the cannon on the plans of Bennington, and watched, with eager eye, the approaching messenger flying from the battle ground; and listened, with an anxious ear, to the tidings he bore from the field of danger.

 The marker is located on Bill and Deannie Levenduski’s property along Wilson Run across from the Penfield Elementary School on Route 153.  Pictured are Mr. Levenduski, land owner, with Abby Houston, summer intern from Clarion University, with the Clearfield County Historical Society. 


Clearfield County Historical Society

   511 Van Valzah Ave.
   Clearfield, PA 16830

Phone: 814-765-6125 for a brief recording... then leave your message after the beep.


    Our Clearfield  'Kerr' Museum and Alexander Research Center is open each Sunday and Thursday from  1:30 to 4:30pm weekly.

  ....hope to see you soon !

We'll continue Museum Hours every Sunday and Thursday through the last Sunday in October 2017.


It's a great way to spend a delightful afternoon!



 104 E. Pine St,

  Clearfield, PA 16830




  511 Van Valzah Ave.

  Clearfield, PA  16830

        (official business address)



3. 'Bloody Knox' Cabin MUSEUM

Route #453,

Village of Kellytown

(Madera, PA 16661)

    Courtesy guided group tours of our 'Kerr House' Museum can be arrainged year round by calling 814-378-5748.

Appointments for research at the Alexander Center can be arranged by calling 814-765-6125 and letting a request on the answering service.

Make requests well in advance as there are no regular hours from Nov. thru April.


Keep current by visiting this web site for updated information.

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