A lucky upstate New York hunter won his second Pennsylvania elk lottery tag and took a huge bull elk sporting a massive 8×9 rack.Robert Cook is currently the only two-time lottery winner of a Pennsylvania elk tag, and he took elk both times, scoring with a huge bull elk Nov. 1. Cook, a 67-year-old Madison County resident, won one of only 25 tags offered in the Pennsylvania lottery. His was one of more than 24,000 entries into the contest.
In addition to his $10.90 winning lottery ticket, Cook also had to purchase a $100 out-of-state hunting license and a $250 elk hunting tag. “Believe me, $350—that’s the cheapest elk hunt you’ll ever go on,” Cook said. “You can’t go out anywhere else near that price.” Cook also had to hire a guide on his hunt.
Cook won his first Pennsylvania elk tag in the 2002 lottery, when he took a 7×7 bull that grossed 381. The recent bull that he took was an 8×9 that green scored at 431 6/8. It’s his biggest bull to date. Cook has also hunted elk in Montana, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. “I’ve taken four others including my first one in Pennsylvania, which was the largest before this one,” he said.
Cook was joined on this hunt by his son Jason and his guide, Dean Carper of Trophy Rack Lodge. He’s giving his European skull mount to his son to display in his Montana home. “I don’t have a place left to put it at my house,” he said. Cook’s first Pennsylvania bull was shoulder-mounted and hangs in his home in upstate New York. His bull weighed in at 832 pounds, and he said he ended up with close to 400 pounds of meat. The Pennsylvania elk herd is estimated to be at around 1,000 animals, which reside in ten different counties. The state’s lottery is the only way to get a chance to hunt elk in Pennsylvania.