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Carousel Breeze

Where I stood at my station, awaiting my ride
I listened to the sounds of a carousel breeze
Twas a brisk winter day, the air full of chill
The clicking of the leaves on the pavement still
With horse-like grace the leaves did their dance
Then twirling in open circles, riding the wind
Riding the wind on a carousel breeze
As quickly as they started, the leaves then parted
Leaving me alone, awaiting my ride

written by Benjamin H., Academy student

Pennsylvania Elk

Elk on Winslow Hill

The famous breeding season for these massive mammals has just concluded. Now they will remain in their harems of about 15-20 animals throughout the winter. If you wish to view these amazing animals, the elk range in Pennsylvania encompasses about 835 square miles in Elk, Cameron, Clearfield, Potter and Clinton counties. In the approaching winter months the best places to run into elk or to observe their sign is in the forest. They seek evergreens for cover and deciduous trees as a source of food. Through my experiences they prefer their woods adjacent to open fields. The herd of elk in the photo was taken in Benezette on Winslow Hill last March. These elk are more ‘tame’ than others.

Rubbing of an Elk


The photo of the rubbed tree was taken last February on a Game Lands in Cameron County. Notice the size difference compared to a Whitetail rub. I ventured out to the Game Lands several times last year and saw rubs, trails, tracks, beds, and scat. But I never stumbled upon an elk. This herd is a little more wild than the herd on Winslow Hill, but I am bound and determined to catch a glimpse of some, one of these days. Jackie R.



Experiences with Birds

The other day, I watched a movie called The Big Year.  It was a comedy with Steve Martin and Jack Black as the good guys and Owen Wilson as the antagonist.  In the story, each of them was trying to complete and win a big year, which was to get the most bird species out of everyone else.  It was amusing and inspirational in the way that it made me want to try a bird count on a smaller scale.  And so I did, and at the end of my 15 minute bird count, I was happy that I had tried something new as well as that it had been really fun.  I sat just outside my house, which is surrounded by woods and while my friend and neighbor, Madi, did her homework with me, I counted 7 different species and then tallied up how many of each I had seen.  It was a rewarding experiment that broadened my experiences, even if it was just by a little bit.

Journal Entry by Sarah G. PA Bucktails Student and Assistant Team Leader,
photo by Brook M., PA Bucktails Student and Assistant Team Leader



At the field school, the students are trained to teach others about wildlife and their conservation.  They practice and learn how to present a PowerPoint and create educational tri-folds like the one in this photo.  Through these exercises they gain confidence and valuable leadership skills.  After field school, youth…

  • give educational presentations at their sportsmen’s clubs, school classrooms to other youth,
  • share their educational tri-folds at local locations like libraries and businesses, and
  • create new educational tools such as their own county plant collections.


An important part of being a conservation ambassador is continuing to learn and giving back.  The service category covers all of these areas.

Youth are encouraged to…

  • participate in activities with wildlife biologists –such as research assistance, shadowing, monitoring activities
  • assist local conservation organizations with service projects like stream clean-ups, food plot planting, hanging up blue bird boxes, and
  • assist local organizations with events.