2006 Press Releases

1/1/2000
Release #165-06

CAPOUILLEZ NAMED WILDLIFE HABITAT MANAGEMENT BUREAU DIRECTOR
1/1/2000
Release #164-06

HUNTERS CAN BEGIN TO APPLY FOR SECOND SPRING GOBBLER TAG
1/1/2000
Release #163-06

VENANGO COUNTIAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SHOOTING BEAR IN RESIDENTIAL AREA
1/1/2000
Release #162-06

BOARD OF GAME COMMISSIONERS TO MEET ON JAN. 21-23
1/1/2000
Release #161-06

HUNTING DEER OVER BAIT LEGAL IN FIVE COUNTIES AFTER CHRISTMAS; AGENCY PROVIDES GUIDANCE ON USING BAIT IN
DEVELOPED AREAS
1/1/2000
Release #160-06

FIVE NONRESIDENT POACHERS APPREHENDED IN CRAWFORD COUNTY
1/1/2000
Release #159-06

PRELIMINARY BEAR HARVEST MOVES TO SECOND PLACE
1/1/2000
Release #158-06

HUNTING AND TRAPPING OPPORTUNITIES FOR WINTER
1/1/2000
Release #157-06

GAME COMMISSION OFFERS ADVICE TO PREVENT HYPOTHERMIA
1/1/2000
Release #156-06

BEAR HUNTERS POST IMPRESSIVE HARVEST
1/1/2000
Release #155-06

SECOND-DAY BEAR HARVEST RESULTS RELEASED
1/1/2000
Release #154-06

GAME COMMISSION OFFERS 'WILD' GIFT GIVING IDEAS
1/1/2000
Release #153-06

BLACK BEAR SEASON HUNTERS HAVE FINE OPENING DAY
1/1/2000
Release #152-06

SCI MAKES DONATION TO GAME COMMISSION DEER RESEARCH
1/1/2000
Release #151-06

TWO CLINTON COUNTY INDIVIDUALS INJURED IN DEER ATTACK
1/1/2000
Release #150-06

GAME COMMISSION PREPARES TO COLLECT SAMPLES FOR CWD TESTING; GAME COMMISSION TO CONDUCT CWD RESPONSE
DRILL
1/1/2000
Release #149-06

WMU 4E SELLS OUT OF ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES
1/1/2000
Release #148-06

ELK HUNTERS HAVE GREAT SEASON
1/1/2000
Release #147-06

PENNSYLVANIA'S FIREARMS DEER SEASON PROVIDES SUSPENSE; LOCAL DEER INFORMATION AVAILABLE ONLINE; GAME
COMMISSION REMINDS HUNTERS TO HUNT SAFELY; RESEARCH DEER AND HUNTERS; DON'T FORGET TO SUBMIT A HARVEST
REPORT CARD
1/1/2000
Release #146-06

CITIZENS HELP END FULTON COUNTY TROPHY-DEER KILLING SPREE; BRADFORD COUNTY DEER POACHING CHARGES FILED
1/1/2000
Release #145-06

WMU 5A SELLS OUT OF ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES; GAME COMMISSION 2007 CALENDAR ON SALE
1/1/2000
Release #144-06

PENNSYLVANIA'S BLACK BEAR SEASONS EXPECTED TO BE GOOD; LOCAL BLACK BEAR INFORMATION AVAILABLE ONLINE;
ARCHERS PREPARE FOR STATE'S FIRST BLACK BEAR ARCHERY SEASON; BEAR CHECK STATIONS TO OFFER HARVEST
CERTIFICATES; GAME COMMISSION OFFERS BEAR HUNTING TIPS
1/1/2000
Release #143-06

RABIES CONFIRMED IN FISHER IN CAMBRIA COUNTY
1/1/2000
Release #142-06

TRAPPERS AND HUNTERS HELP LANDOWNERS KEEP FURBEARERS IN CHECK; NEW LAWS AID FURBEARER HUNTERS/TRAPPERS;
GAME COMMISSION OFFERS TRAPPING TIPS AND BRIEFS
1/1/2000
Release #141-06

GAME COMMISSION INTENSIFIES EFFORTS TO HELP ENDANGERED BIRDS
1/1/2000
Release #140-06

GAME COMMISSION RELEASES STATEWIDE FALL FOODS SURVEY; HUNTERS/TRAPPERS ENCOURAGED TO SUBMIT PHOTOS FOR
SCRAPBOOK
1/1/2000
Release #139-06

GAME COMMISSION'S PROJECT WILD HELPS EDUCATORS WITH WILDLIFE CONSERVATION CURRICULUM
1/1/2000
Release #138-06

CHECK FOR A TAG, GET INVOLVED AND MAYBE CASH IN; WILD TURKEY MANAGEMENT PLAN POSTED FOR PUBLIC COMMENT
1/1/2000
Release #137-06

PLAINS MAN CHARGED WITH POACHING; YORK COUNTY AND MARYLAND RESIDENTS PLEAD GUILTY
1/1/2000
Release #136-06

FALL TURKEY HUNTING SEASON OFFERS PROMISE; WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT UNIT WILD TURKEY FORECASTS; LOCAL WILD
TURKEY INFORMATION ALSO AVAILABLE ONLINE; TURKEY HUNTERS URGED TO BE SAFE AND WEAR ORANGE
1/1/2000
Release #135-06

SMALL GAME SEASON IGNITES FALL EXCITEMENT
1/1/2000
Release #134-06

YOUTH HUNTING SEASONS JUST AROUND THE CORNER; CLUBS URGED TO SPONSOR MENTORED YOUTH SPRING TURKEY
HUNTS
1/1/2000
Release #133-06

FALL FIREARMS ANTLERLESS DEER SEASONS APPROACH;HUNTERS URGED TO REPORT RESEARCH DEER; WARM-WEATHER
VENISON CARE; CONSIDER SHARING YOUR VENISON; PROPER DISPOSAL OF DEER REMAINS IS A RULE OF HUNTER ETHICS
1/1/2000
Release #132-06

BOARD APPROVES ACQUISITION OF NEARLY 160 ACRES; BOARD APPROVES MINING LEASE AMENDMENT IN DAUPHIN COUNTY;
BOARD APPROVES MINERAL LEASE IN LEHIGH COUNTY
1/1/2000
Release #131-06

BOARD APPROVES USE OF BAIT FOR DEER HUNTERS IN SOUTHEAST; BOARD TAKES STEPS TO PREPARE FOR ELECTRONIC
LICENSE SALES; BOARD MOVES RESIDENT CANADA GEESE DEPREDATION PROPOSAL
1/1/2000
Release #130-06

GAME COMMISSION AWARDS FUNDING FOR PRIORITY WILDLIFE PROJECTS; GAME COMMISSIONERS APPROVE CONSERVATION
EASEMENTS; BOARD TAKES ACTION ON OTHER ITEMS
1/1/2000
Release #129-06

WMU 2A SELLS OUT OF ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES; CHARGES PENDING AGAINST FAWN GROVE AND MARYLAND RESIDENTS
1/1/2000
Release #128-06

PENNSYLVANIA BIRDERS STILL NEEDED TO HELP WITH ATLAS
1/1/2000
Release #127-06

GROUSE ACTION EXPECTED TO IMPROVE FOR HUNTERS THIS FALL; SQUIRREL HUNTING IS A CAN'T-MISS PROPOSITION;
PLEASE HUNT SAFELY THIS FALL; GAME COMMISSION OFFERS WOODCOCK UPDATE
1/1/2000
Release #126-06

GAME COMMISSION TO OFFER STREAMLINED HTE CLASS FOR ADULTS
1/1/2000
Release #125-06

GAME COMMISSION ADVISES MOTORISTS TO WATCH FOR DEER
1/1/2000
Release #124-06

RABIES CONFIRMED IN COYOTE KILLED IN BERKS COUNTY
1/1/2000
Release #123-06

GAME COMMISSION OFFERS ADVICE TO HUNTERS HEADED OUT OF STATE
1/1/2000
Release #122-06

NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY CELEBRATES CONTRIBUTIONS OF SPORTSMEN AND SPORTSWOMEN
1/1/2000
Release #121-06

GAME COMMISSION AWARDS ELK LICENSES TO 50 HUNTERS; ELK GUIDE PERMIT APPLICATION DEADLINE IS OCT. 13; FIRST-
EVER SEPTEMBER ELK HUNT RESULTS IN HARVEST OF TWO ELK; WMU 5C EXHAUSTS ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSE ALLOCATION
1/1/2000
Release #120-06

GAME COMMISSION POSTS OFFICER GAME FORECASTS ON WEBSITE; GAME COMMISSION FIELD REPORTS ADDED TO WEBSITE
1/1/2000
Release #119-06

GAME COMMISSION OFFERS ADVICE ON AVOIDING BEAR CONFLICTS
1/1/2000
Release #118-06

GAME COMMISSION EMPLOYEES CONDUCT UNIQUE RESCUE OF ELK
1/1/2000
Release #117-06

END-OF-SUMMER DEER POACHERS NABBED NEAR MARYLAND BORDER; OCTOBER MEETING AGENDA POSTED ON GAME
COMMISSION WEBSITE
1/1/2000
Release #116-06

GAME COMMISSION TO HOLD OPEN HOUSE TO EXPLAIN DEER HARVEST ESTIMATING PROCESS
1/1/2000
Release #115-06

DEER ARCHERY SEASON KICKS OFF STATE'S BIG GAME HUNTING SEASONS; DON'T FORGET TO SUBMIT A HARVEST REPORT
CARD
1/1/2000
Release #114-06

FALL PHEASANT STOCKING PLANS ANNOUNCED
1/1/2000
Release #113-06

GAME COMMISSION TO HOLD STATE GAME LAND TOURS FOR PUBLIC
1/1/2000
Release #112-06

MIDDLE CREEK EVENT TO MARK NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY; NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY AT STATE
CAPITOL SET FOR SEPT. 26
1/1/2000
Release #111-06

WMU 3B SELLS OUT OF ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES
1/1/2000
Release #110-06

WMU 5B SELLS OUT OF ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES
1/1/2000
Release #109-06

AND WASHINGTON COUNTY MAKES 23; GAME COMMISSION TO HOLD BOARD MEETING OCT. 2-3
1/1/2000
Release #108-06

GAME COMMISSION DRAWS BOBCAT PERMITS FOR UPCOMING SEASON; YOUTH ESSAY CONTEST DEADLINE APPROACHES
1/1/2000
Release #107-06

GAME COMMISSION TO STOCK 16,700 PHEASANTS FOR YOUTH-ONLY SEASON; TWO ADDITIONAL WMUS SELL OUT OF
ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES
1/1/2000
Release #106-06

PUBLIC DRAWING FOR 720 BOBCAT PERMITS TO BE HELD SEPT. 8; ELK APPLICATION DEADLINE APPROACHES
1/1/2000
Release #105-06

FEDS RECOGNIZE STATE'S WILDLIFE ACTION PLAN
1/1/2000
Release #104-06

MIDDLE CREEK TO HOST WILDFOWL SHOW SEPT. 16-17; PYMATUNING WATERFOWL EXPO SCHEDULED FOR SEPT. 16-17
1/1/2000
Release #103-06

WMU 2C SELLS OUT OF ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES
1/1/2000
Release #102-06

COLLARING FISHERS
1/1/2000
Release #101-06

FIVE ADDITIONAL WMUS EXHAUST ANTLERLESS LICENSE ALLOCATIONS
1/1/2000
Release #100-06

WMU 2E SELLS OUT OF ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES; GAME COMMISSION POSTS BEAR MANAGEMENT PLAN ON WEBSITE
1/1/2000
Release #099-06

WMUS 3C AND 4D SELL OUT OF ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES
1/1/2000
Release #098-06

BOBCAT APPLICATION DEADLINE APPROACHES
1/1/2000
Release #097-06

ELK APPLICATION DEADLINES APPROACH; ELK GUIDE APPLICATION DEADLINES SET; ELK APPLICANTS CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE
OF VIDEO OFFER; SIXTH ANNUAL GREAT OUTDOORS ELK EXPO SCHEDULED FOR SEPT. 22-23
1/1/2000
Release #096-06

GAME COMMISSION BEGINS DRAFTING REGULATIONS TO EXPAND CONTROL OPTIONS FOR NUISANCE CANADA GEESE
1/1/2000
Release #095-06

GAME COMMISSION OFFERS SPECIAL EDITION PATCH TO COMMEMORATE MILESTONE OF 100 BALD EAGLE NESTS
1/1/2000
Release #094-06

UNSOLD ANTLERLESS DEER APPLICATIONS TO BE ACCEPTED AUG. 28
1/1/2000
Release #093-06

GAME COMMISSION POSTS DMAP INFORMATION ON WEBSITE; BUCKS COUNTIANS FOUND GUILTY OF ILLEGAL POSSESSION
OF MONKEYS
1/1/2000
Release #092-06

GAME COMMISSION PAYS $1.7 MILLION TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
1/1/2000
Release #091-06

2006-07 WATERFOWL SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS SELECTED
1/1/2000
Release #090-06

NONRESIDENT ANTLERLESS DEER APPLICATIONS TO BE ACCEPTED AUG. 21; BOBCAT APPLICATION DEADLINES APPROACH
1/1/2000
Release #089-06

WMU 2G SELLS OUT OF ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES
1/1/2000
Release #088-06

GAME COMMISSION CANCELS FALL TAXIDERMISTS EXAM
1/1/2000
Release #087-06

ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSE APPLICATION PROCESS BEGINS FOR HUNTERS; GAME COMMISSION POSTS DMAP INFORMATION
ON WEBSITE
1/1/2000
Release #086-06

DOVE AND EARLY CANADA GOOSE SEASONS TO BEGIN SEPT. 1; GAME COMMISSION POSTS AVIAN INFLUENZA INFORMATION
ON WEBSITE
1/1/2000
Release #085-06

MENTORED YOUTH HUNTING PROGRAM TAKES EFFECT JULY 22
1/1/2000
Release #084-06

BACKYARD BIRD OASES
1/1/2000
Release #083-06

GAME COMMISSION SAYS BOBCAT ATTACK PROMPTED BY RABIES
1/1/2000
Release #082-06

GAME COMMISSION REMINDS ISSUING AGENTS OF NEW LAW TO INCREASE PROTECTION OF LICENSE BUYERS' SOCIAL
SECURITY NUMBERS
1/1/2000
Release #081-06

NATURAL CHALLENGES CONFRONT ELK CALF STUDY TEAM
1/1/2000
Release #080-06

GAME COMMISSION TO HOST ANNUAL WATERFOWL BRIEFING; 21ST ANNUAL WILDLIFE ART SHOW SET FOR AUG. 4-6
1/1/2000
Release #079-06

BALD EAGLE NESTS TOP 100 FOR FIRST TIME IN MORE THAN A CENTURY
1/1/2000
Release #078-06

GAME NEWS MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION RATES TO INCREASE SEPT. 1
1/1/2000
Release #077-06

DUNKERLEY RECOGNIZED BY NWTF FOR OUTSTANDING WORK
1/1/2000
Release #076-06

18 INDIVIDUALS ORDERED TO PAY MORE THAN $42,000 IN FINES
1/1/2000
Release #075-06

SETH RECOGNIZED BY NWTF FOR OUTSTANDING WORK
1/1/2000
Release #074-06

GAME COMMISSION REMINDS LANDOWNERS THAT DMAP APPLICATION DEADLINE IS JULY 1
1/1/2000
Release #073-06

BEDFORD COUNTY MAN PLEDS GUILTY TO KILLING GREAT BLUE HERONS
1/1/2000
Release #072-06

2006-07 HUNTING/FURTAKER LICENSES TO GO ON SALE; ELK APPLICANTS CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF VIDEO OFFER
1/1/2000
Release #071-06

GAME COMMISSION TESTIFIES BEFORE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON THE NEED FOR AN INCREASE IN REVENUES
1/1/2000
Release #070-06

MINING SUPPORT LEASE HELPS FLIGHT 93 NATIONAL MEMORIAL, WILDLIFE; BOARD APPROVES GAS LEASE AGREEMENT IN
CRAWFORD COUNTY
1/1/2000
Release #069-06

BOARD APPROVES MENTORED YOUTH HUNTING PROGRAM; BOARD OPENS DISCUSSION ON BAITING IN SOUTHEAST; GAME
COMMISSION HONORS 25-YEAR EMPLOYEES; BOARD TAKES ACTION ON OTHER ITEMS
1/1/2000
Release #068-06

PILOT CITIZEN ADVISORY COMMITTEE MUSTERS FOR DEER MANAGEMENT
1/1/2000
Release #067-06

THE WARBLER WAVE
1/1/2000
Release #066-06

GAME COMMISSION PARTNERS CELEBRATE PRESERVATION OF LAND
1/1/2000
Release #065-06

GAME COMMISSION ANNOUNCES BOBCAT HARVEST RESULTS; GAME COMMISSION TO ISSUE 720 PERMITS FOR 2006-07
BOBCAT SEASON; SPRING GOBBLER HUNTERS REMINDED TO REPORT HARVESTS
1/1/2000
Release #064-06

BARN OWL CONSERVATION INITIATIVE EXPANDED TO NORTHERN REGIONS
1/1/2000
Release #063-06

GAME COMMISSION POSTS FINAL URBAN DEER MANAGEMENT PLAN; GAME COMMISSION POSTS JUNE MEETING AGENDA ON
WEBSITE
1/1/2000
Release #062-06

GAME COMMISSION BANDS STEEL CITY'S PEREGRINES
1/1/2000
Release #061-06

EXCITEMENT 15 FLOORS UP
1/1/2000
Release #060-06

PENNSYLVANIA HUNTERS SET NEW SAFETY RECORD IN 2005
1/1/2000
Release #059-06

GAME COMMISSION PYMATUNING AND MIDDLE CREEK WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREAS TO HOST WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
PROGRAMS
1/1/2000
Release #058-06

HARTLESS NAMED CONSERVATION OFFICER OF THE YEAR
1/1/2000
Release #057-06

GAME COMMISSION TO PROVIDE WILDLIFE WORKSHOPS FOR TEACHERS
1/1/2000
Release #056-06

SETH RECOGNIZED FOR OUTSTANDING WORK
1/1/2000
Release #055-06

GAME COMMISSION TO BEGIN ACCEPTING DMAP APPLICATIONS; GAME COMMISSION BOARD TO MEET ON JUNE 5-6
1/1/2000
Release #054-06

GAME COMMISSION ADVISES MOTORISTS TO WATCH FOR DEER; SPRINGTIME ALERT: DO NOT DISTURB YOUNG WILDLIFE
1/1/2000
Release #053-06

GAME COMMISSION UPDATES ELK MANAGEMENT PLAN; ONLINE APPLICATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR ELK LICENSE
DRAWING
1/1/2000
Release #052-06

INCREASE IN PILT COULD JEOPARDIZE FISCAL SOLVENCY OF GAME COMMISSION
1/1/2000
Release #051-06

SPRING GOBBLER HUNTERS WILL BE PERMITTED TO USE CROSSBOWS
1/1/2000
Release #050-06

16,500 PHEASANTS SET ASIDE FOR YOUTH PHEASANT HUNT; DOG TRAINING LIMITED TO BENEFIT YOUTH PHEASANT HUNT
1/1/2000
Release #049-06

GAME COMMISSION ANNOUNCES EFFORT TO PROTECT NESTING COLONY OF GREAT EGRETS AND BLACK CROWNED NIGHT
HERONS ON WADE ISLAND
1/1/2000
Release #048-06

BOARD MOVES TO ESTABLISH MENTORED YOUTH HUNTING PROGRAM; BOARD APPROVES ACQUISITION OF NEARLY 49 ACRES
IN BERKS COUNTY; BOARD APPROVES SURFACE MINING COAL LEASE AMENDMENT; BOARD TAKES ACTION ON OTHER ITEMS
1/1/2000
Release #047-06

GAME COMMISSIONERS GIVE FINAL APPROVAL TO 2006-2007 SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS
1/1/2000
Release #046-06

DEER SEASONS FINALIZED FOR 2006-07; BOARD APPROVES ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSE ALLOCATIONS; CHANGES TO RED-
TAG PROGRAM BENEFIT HUNTERS AND LANDOWNERS
1/1/2000
Release #045-06

GAME COMMISSION OFFERS ADVICE ON HOW TO AVOID ATTRACTING BEARS
1/1/2000
Release #044-06

TWO MEASURES ADDED TO GUIDE DEER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM; AGENCY POSTS DEER HARVEST ESTIMATING PROCEDURE
ON WEBSITE
1/1/2000
Release #043-06

HOWARD NURSERY TAKING FINAL SEEDLING ORDERS FOR THE SEASON; GAME COMMISSION PROBE UNCOVERS DEER
SLAUGHTERING SPREE
1/1/2000
Release #042-06

CWD NOT FOUND IN PENNSYLVANIA HUNTER-KILLED DEER SAMPLES; HUNTER-KILLED DEER FROM WEST VIRGINIA TESTS
NEGATIVE FOR CWD
1/1/2000
Release #041-06

YORK COUNTY WOMAN FOUND GUILTY OF HARASSING HUNTERS; PARENTS URGED TO THINK TWICE ABOUT EASTER PETS
1/1/2000
Release #040-06

PUBLIC COMMENT SOUGHT ON URBAN DEER MANAGEMENT PLAN; GAME COMMISSION POSTS AGENDA ON WEBSITE
1/1/2000
Release #039-06

GOT HUMMINGBIRDS?
1/1/2000
Release #038-06

GAME COMMISSION DELIVERS TESTIMONY BEFORE HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETING ON DEER DAMAGE
1/1/2000
Release #037-06

SPRING GOBBLER SEASONS JUST AROUND CORNER; TURKEY HUNTING SAFETY TIPS; WILD TURKEY FIELD REPORTS
1/1/2000
Release #036-06

GAME COMMISSION/RUFFED GROUSE SOCIETY REMOVE DEER FENCE
1/1/2000
Release #035-06

DERR NAMED GAME COMMISSION ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES DIRECTOR; BOARD OF GAME COMMISSIONERS TO MEET ON
APRIL 17-18
1/1/2000
Release #034-06

FIVE-YEAR INVESTIGATION NETS 22 PEOPLE WITH 117 VIOLATIONS OF GAME AND WILDLIFE CODE
1/1/2000
Release #033-06

GAME COMMISSION OFFERS TESTIMONY BEFORE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON STRATEGIC PLAN
1/1/2000
Release #032-06

GAME COMMISSION RELEASES 2005-06 DEER HARVEST ESTIMATES
1/1/2000
Release #031-06

GAME COMMISSION STATES LBFC REPORT SUPPORTS NEED FOR INCREASED REVENUES
1/1/2000
Release #030-06

GAME COMMISSION PARTICIPATES IN WILD TURKEY BANDING PROGRAM
1/1/2000
Release #029-06

GAME COMMISSION/FISH AND BOAT COMMISSION WILL AWARD FUNDING FOR HIGH-PRIORITY HABITAT CONSERVATION
PROJECTS
1/1/2000
Release #028-06

ANOTHER RECORD-BOOK BLACK BEAR TAKEN IN PENNSYLVANIA
1/1/2000
Release #027-06

DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR SECOND SPRING GOBBLER TAG APRIL 1
1/1/2000
Release #026-06

SPRING APPROACHES AND SNOW GEESE ARE, TOO
1/1/2000
Release #025-06

PENNSYLVANIA'S CREP LEADS THE NATION
1/1/2000
Release #024-06

BLUEBIRD BLUES
1/1/2000
Release #023-06

BARN OWL CONSERVATION INITIATIVE EXTENDS TO SOUTHWEST REGION; AGENCIES ISSUE REMINDER ON SWG PROPOSALS
1/1/2000
Release #022-06

YOUTH HUNTER ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS HONORED; MENTORED YOUTH HUNT PROGRAM TO BE ON BOARD'S APRIL AGENDA
1/1/2000
Release #021-06

GAME COMMISSION ANNOUNCES THAT SECOND "WOLF" CONTAINED BY OWNER IN ADAMS COUNTY CASE
1/1/2000
Release #020-06

GAME COMMISSION SEEKS INFORMATION ABOUT ILLEGAL RELEASE OF WOLVES IN ADAMS COUNTY
1/1/2000
Release #019-06

EXPANDED AERIAL SURVEY EFFORTS UNDERWAY TO BETTER GAUGE DEER POPULATIONS
1/1/2000
Release #018-06

NRA-SPONSORED YOUTH SUMMIT DEADLINE EXTENDED TO FEB. 28
1/1/2000
Release #017-06

GAME COMMISSION FILES CHARGES AGAINST UNLAWFUL DEER FARM AND HUNTING OPERATION
1/1/2000
Release #016-06

NEW TOOLS PROVIDED TO FURBEARER HUNTERS AND TRAPPERS
1/1/2000
Release #015-06

GAME COMMISSION SUPPORTS FEDERAL AND STATE EFFORTS TO REMOVE SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER REQUIREMENT FOR
LICENSE BUYERS
1/1/2000
Release #014-06

GAME COMMISSION DELIVERS ANNUAL REPORT TO LEGISLATURE
1/1/2000
Release #013-06

HOWARD NURSERY OFFERS GUIDANCE TO LANDOWNERS SEEKING TO IMPROVE WILDLIFE HABITAT
1/1/2000
Release #012-06

FEEDING BIRDS IN YOUR BACKYARD
1/1/2000
Release #011-06

PENNSYLVANIA HUNTERS POST INCREDIBLE BEAR HARVEST RECORD
1/1/2000
Release #010-06

NEW ROUND OF SWG FUNDING FOR CONSERVATION PROJECTS ANNOUNCED; GAME COMMISSION TO PRESENT ANNUAL
REPORT TO HOUSE COMMITTEE
1/1/2000
Release #009-06

BOARD APPROVES ACQUISITION OF MORE THAN 418 ACRES; COMMISSIONERS APPROVE OIL/GAS LEASES IN WESTMORELAND
COUNTY
1/1/2000
Release #008-06

FINAL ADOPTION OF SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS POSTPONED TO APRIL; BOARD ELECTS BOOP PRESIDENT; GAME
COMMISSIONERS APPROVE IMPORTANT FISHER PROJECT; RECREATIONAL SPOTLIGHTING RESTRICTIONS ADOPTED; BOARD
TAKES ACTION ON OTHER ITEMS
1/1/2000
Release #007-06

CWD NOT FOUND IN ELK SAMPLES; COTTRELL IS GAME COMMISSION'S NEW WILDLIFE VETERINARIAN
1/1/2000
Release #006-06

FIRST YEAR OF DOE STUDY COMES TO A CLOSE
1/1/2000
Release #005-06

GAME COMMISSION ENCOURAGES CLUBS TO PARTICIPATE IN PHEASANT CHICK AND EGG PROGRAM
1/1/2000
Release #004-06

HUNTERS REMINDED TO SUBMIT DMAP REPORT CARDS
1/1/2000
Release #003-06

GAME COMMISSION OFFICIALS TO APPEAR ON PCN "CALL-IN" PROGRAM
1/1/2000
Release #002-06

DEADLINE FOR TAXIDERMY EXAM IS MARCH 15; SNOWMOBILERS CAUTIONED AGAINST WILDLIFE HARRASSMENT; GAME
COMMISSION ANNOUNCES DEADLINE FOR ADS IN DIGEST
1/1/2000
Release #001-06

GAME COMMISSION POSTS AGENDA FOR JAN. 22-24 MEETING ON WEBSITE
Release #001-06

GAME COMMI SSI ON POSTS AGENDA FOR J AN. 22-24 MEETI NG ON WEBSI TE

HARRISBURG - The agenda for the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners meeting, which is slated for J an. 22-24, was
posted on the agency's website today, and can be viewed by clicking the "Next Commissioners' Meeting" box in the center of the
homepage and then on the agenda link.

The Board meeting will be held in the auditorium of the agency's Harrisburg headquarters to collect additional recommendations
on the 2006-07 seasons and bag limits, and to conduct a workshop and formal meeting. The headquarters is at 2001 Elmerton
Ave., just off the Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81 in Harrisburg.

On Sunday, J an. 22, beginning at 1 p.m., the Board will hear public recommendations for the 2006-07 hunting and furtaking
seasons and bag limits.

On Monday, J an. 23, the Board will gather any additional public comments, and will hold a workshop meeting involving Game
Commission staff reports beginning at 8:30 a.m.

On Tuesday, J an. 24, beginning at 8:30 a.m., the Game Commission will consider items in the prepared agenda that, among
other things, includes giving final approval to hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits for 2006-2007. Antlerless deer license
allocations will be considered at the April meeting, after deer harvest results from the 2005-06 seasons are released in mid-
March.

Dates for the Board's April, J une and October 2006 meetings, and for the J anuary 2007 meeting, will be set by the Board as
well.

"In the past, we printed and mailed copies of the agenda to 130 sportsmen's club representatives, outdoor writers and
legislators," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "However, in our ongoing efforts to cut operational costs,
we have decided that it would be better to post this information on our website providing a wider and more uniform distribution,
while saving money for important conservation work."

A limited number of copies of the agenda, which is 56 pages, will be made available to those who attend the meeting.

Once the J anuary meeting ends, Roe also noted that a copy of the J anuary meeting minutes will be posted on the website as
soon as they are transcribed, which generally takes between two to three weeks. Previous meeting minutes are posted on the
website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) in the "Reports" section of the homepage.

"Posting the minutes on the website allows us to cut the costs of printing and mailing copies of this document, which averages
around 140 double-sided pages, and reach a wider audience," Roe said. "It's a cost-savings move that makes Game
Commission actions and decisions more accessible to the public."

# # #
Content Last Modified on 1/12/2006 9:09:26 AM
Release #002-06
DEADLINE FOR TAXIDERMY EXAM IS MARCH 15;
SNOWMOBILERS CAUTIONED AGAINST WILDLIFE HARASSMENT;
GAME COMMISSION ANNOUNCES DEADLINE FOR ADS IN DIGEST;
DEADLINE FOR TAXIDERMY EXAM IS MARCH 15
HARRISBURG -- Those interested in becoming a taxidermist in Pennsylvania have until March 15 to submit a
completed application for the upcoming exams that will be conducted in Huntingdon. Exam fees are $300 for an
initial examination and $50 for any re-takes of the exam. Applications may be obtained from the Game
Commission's Harrisburg headquarters by calling 717-783-8164. All applications must be returned to the Game
Commission, Bureau of Law Enforcement, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.
After an application is received, individuals will be sent a letter containing the date and time to report for the
exam, which is scheduled for the week of April 10, at the agency's Southcentral Region Office in Huntingdon,
Huntingdon County.
The examination consists of three parts, including the presentation of five specimens prepared by the applicant
within the past three years. Required specimens for the general category permit include: an antlered white-
tailed deer head; a small mammal; one upland game bird; a duck or other waterfowl; and a fish. Birds must be
mounted with feet and legs visible. All specimens must be representative of wildlife found in Pennsylvania.
The second phase of the testing process is a written examination on taxidermy methods and procedures. The
third portion requires applicants to actually perform some part of the taxidermy process on a selected specimen.
Passing scores must be attained on all three parts of the examination. In Pennsylvania, state law also requires
all persons performing taxidermy work for others must have a permit issued by the Game Commission.
SNOWMOBILERS CAUTIONED AGAINST WILDLIFE HARASSMENT
As snowmobilers wait for more snow to get out and enjoy the state's winter landscape, Pennsylvania Game
Commission Executive Director Carl Roe is reminding them that winter is a very stressful time for wildlife.
"The Game Commission annually cautions snowmobilers that running their machines near, through, or around
winter habitat such as thickets, lowlands, cattails, evergreen stands, spring seeps and wooded areas, may
inadvertently scare wintering wildlife, causing them additional and unnecessary stress or injury," Roe said. "We
ask snowmobilers to take this into consideration, and to give wildlife a little comfort space when out enjoying
their sport."
Roe urged riders to use lawful designated trails to avoid situations that could disturb wildlife. Snowmobilers may
ride on State Game Lands from the third Sunday in January (Jan. 15) through April 1 on designated snowmobile
areas, roads and trails marked with appropriate signs, so long as the snowmobiles are registered and display a
valid registration decal from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The Game Commission, Allegheny National Forest and state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources,
with the assistance of local clubs, maintain hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails across the state. Trails may
be found in other areas as well.
"It is the rider's responsibility to know where they are riding, and to know the dates of trails openings, as they
are different on each public land in the Commonwealth," Roe said. "Those witnessing harassment or chasing of
wildlife with snowmobiles are encouraged to call and report the unlawful act to the nearest Game Commission
Regional Office."
Phone numbers and a listing of counties that each office serves can be found on the agency's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us) by clicking on the "Regional Information" map in the right column or on page 3 of the
2005-06 Pennsylvania Hunting and Trapping Digest.
Roe also emphasized that all-terrain vehicles are not legal anywhere on State Game Lands, except for certain
disabled hunters on select roads on specific State Game Lands.
GAME COMMISSION ANNOUNCES DEADLINE FOR ADS IN DIGEST
Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl Roe today announced Liberty Press Publications,
publisher of the Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting & Trapping Regulations, has set April 1, as the deadline for
advertising copy in the 2006-2007 Digest.
"To offset costs, the Game Commission went to a magazine-sized Digest and began accepting paid advertising,"
Roe said. "Ad revenues have saved the agency more than $435,000 over the past five years. In addition to
improving Digest content by going to a larger, full-color format, the ad revenues also enabled the agency to
begin including in the Digest a 'Hunting Annual' insert filled with valuable information on wildlife and its
management."
A copy of the digest is given to every license buyer, and a current copy is posted on the agency's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us) under the "Hunting-Trapping" section. The 2006-07 Digest will be posted on the website
on July 1.
Liberty Press serves as publisher and handles all advertising accounts for the digest. Ad rates range from
$10,300 for a full-color page to $495 for a classified box ad. Promotional advertising does not constitute
endorsement by the Game Commission or Liberty Press.
For additional advertising information concerning the Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting & Trapping Regulations,
contact Guy Van Dyke at Liberty Press Publications. The toll-free telephone number is 1-800-296-6402.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 1/12/2006 11:09:17 AM
Release #003-06

GAME COMMI SSI ON OFFI CI ALS TO APPEAR ON PCN " CALL -I N" PROGRAM

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission officials - Dr. Christopher Rosenberry, Deer Management Section Supervisor,
and Jerry Feaser, press secretary - will appear on Pennsylvania Cable Network's "PCN Call-In" program on Thursday, Jan. 26,
at 7 p.m. Viewers of the hour-long program can call in questions to PCN toll-free at 1-877-PA65001 (726-5001). (Please check
local listings for the PCN channel in your area.)

Available on nearly 150 cable systems throughout the state, PCN is a nonprofit, nonpartisan cable television network that airs
unedited live and same-day coverage of Pennsylvania House and Senate sessions, press conferences, speeches and other
public forums where the business of the state is debated, discussed, and decided.

The live interactive "PCN Call-In" program allows viewers to speak directly with government officials, newsmakers, and other
knowledgeable parties on current Commonwealth issues. For more information, visit PCN's website (www.pcntv.com).

# # #
Content Last Modified on 1/13/2006 2:37:11 PM
Release #004-06

HUNTERS REMI NDED TO SUBMI T DMAP REPORT CARDS

HARRISBURG -- With the 2005-2006 deer seasons coming to a close this month, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive
Director Carl Roe reminded hunters that they must complete and submit their Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP)
report cards either by mail or through the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) by Feb. 7. Just click on "DMAP" icon in the
center of the homepage and follow the instructions.

Under DMAP, all hunters are required to submit a report card, even if the hunter did not take a deer. This is being done so the
Game Commission can measure the effectiveness of the program. All reports must be submitted by Feb. 7.

Hunters will need to provide: their application number, DMAP unit number, coupon number, and birth date; the date of the
harvest; the Wildlife Management Unit, county and township of the harvest; and what type of sporting arm they used. DMAP
permits only may be used to take antlerless deer, however, hunters still will need to identify whether the deer was male or
female. Hunters also can report that they did not harvest a deer simply by checking a box at this website.

Those hunters who harvested an antlered deer using their general hunting license or a Wildlife Management Unit (WMU)
antlerless deer license must mail their harvest report card to the agency within 10 days of harvest.

Roe noted that deer harvest numbers for the 2005-06 seasons won't be available until mid-March, as in the past. In addition to
hunters still submitting harvest report cards, which must be sent out for data entry, the agency's Deer Management Section is
compiling the data collected in the field by the deer aging teams.

While the late flintlock muzzleloader and archery seasons closed on Jan. 14, antlerless deer seasons in WMUs 5C and 5D run
until Jan. 28.

For the 2004-05 deer seasons, 34,135 DMAP antlerless deer permits were issued to hunters, of which 7,946 hunters reported
that they harvested a deer and 19,874 reported that they did not harvest a deer. However, 6,315 hunters did not submit any
report card.

# # #
Content Last Modified on 1/17/2006 1:14:52 PM
Release #005-06

GAME COMMISSION ENCOURAGES CLUBS TO PARTICIPATE IN PHEASANT CHICK AND EGG PROGRAM

HARRISBURG -- Sportsmen's organizations with qualified propagation facilities can augment the Pennsylvania
Game Commission's pheasant propagation efforts and increase localized recreational hunting opportunities by
raising day-old pheasant chicks supplied free-of-charge by the agency.

Applications to participate can be downloaded from the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), by clicking on
"Forms & Programs" and then selecting "Pheasant Chick & Egg Program." In order to plan and set hatches to
accommodate requests, the Bureau of Wildlife Management must receive completed applications by March 31.

"We invite interested clubs, in fact, we urge clubs, to participate in this program," said, Carl F. Riegner, Game
Commission Pheasant Propagation Division chief. "All pheasants propagated by organizations must be released
on lands open to public hunting."

In 1929, the Game Commission began the propagation of pheasants on an extensive scale with the
establishment of two game farms. Over the next six decades, to off-set the increasing demand for pheasants
from hunters, three other farms were placed into operation, and the day-old pheasant chick program was
implemented and made available to sportsmen's organizations, 4-H clubs, farmers, and other cooperators for
rearing and release on areas of public hunting.

In 1959, the number of pheasant chicks distributed to cooperators reached 229,685, an all time high, in addition
to the more than 88,500 pheasants raised and released by the agency at its four game farms. Unfortunately,
cooperator participation has dwindled significantly over the last few decades; in recent years only a dozen or so
clubs have participated raising and releasing 3,000-4,000 birds.

Because of budgetary constraints, the Game Commission was forced to reduce its annual pheasant stocking
allocation from 200,000 to 100,000 for the 2005-06 small game seasons, which were produced at three game
farms. The Game Commission expects to keep pheasant production at 100,000 for the 2006-07 small game
seasons and for the foreseeable future until a license fee increase is approved or other financial resources are
made available.

Riegner said that the agency provides, free of charge, day-old pheasant chicks to clubs entering into an
agreement with the Game Commission to propagate birds and promote recreational hunting on lands open to
public hunting. Gender is not determined as the chicks are boxed for distribution, but are generally at a one-to-
one ratio. The number of chicks received depends on the size of the club's facility. The agency will provide
enrolled clubs with plans for a brooder building, covered pen, and guidelines for rearing pheasants.

"The agency also offers enrolled organizations technical assistance and advice at the club's facility, and a training
session and overview of agency game farm operations is scheduled during the off-season to assist development
of the club's program," Riegner said.

To be eligible to receive pheasant chicks, a sportsmen's club is required to have a minimum of 25 square feet of
covered pen space available per bird. In addition, 72 square inches of floor space per chick is recommended in
the brooder building. All feed and expenses incurred in the work of constructing covered pens and raising
pheasants will be the responsibility of the club.
Pheasant chicks can be raised at the cooperators facility or by a designated caretaker with the proper facilities.
Maximum returns are attained by releasing pheasants as close to the opening of small game season as possible
and no later than the end of the second week of the season.

"Our hatches come off once a week during the month of May, and the chicks for clubs will be scheduled into
those hatches," Riegner said. "Game farm superintendents will send notification to approved organizations when
chicks will be ready for pick-up."

The Game Commission requires a complete report of the production and release results. Renewal applications
will not be processed unless a complete report has been filed for the prior year.

In addition to the cooperating sportsmen's club program, the agency also sells surplus day-old hen pheasant
chicks and eggs in lots of 100 chicks for $60 or 300 eggs for $180. Early requests receive top priority and
orders are processed until the last scheduled hatch, which usually is the first week of June. While day-old hen
pheasant chicks may be purchased by anyone, pheasant eggs will be sold only to licensed game propagators.
Both eggs and chicks must be picked up at the supplying Game Commission game farm.

Applications to purchase surplus day-old hen pheasant chicks or pheasant eggs can be downloaded from the
agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), by clicking on "Forms & Programs" and then selecting "Pheasant Chick
& Egg Program."

The pheasant is native to Asia. Recorded attempts to establish pheasants in North America date back to the mid
1700s. These early attempts were unsuccessful; it wasn't until 1881, in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, that
pheasants first became established.

During the early 1890s, private Pennsylvania citizens purchased pheasants from English game keepers and
released them in Lehigh and Northampton counties. For several decades, many other small releases were made
across the Commonwealth to establish pheasants for sport hunting.

During the early 1900s, the Game Commission set aside a special appropriation of funds to purchase and
propagate game. Pheasant eggs were purchased and given to agency refuge keepers, sportsmen's organizations
and private individuals interested in raising pheasants. The first stocking of pheasants by the Game Commission
occurred by 1915.

For more information on pheasants and the history of the agency's pheasant propagation program, visit the
Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on "Wildlife" then choose "Pheasant."

# # #
Content Last Modified on 1/18/2006 11:44:31 AM
Release #006-06

FI RST YEAR OF DOE STUDY COMES TO A CLOSE

HARRISBURG - The first year of a mid-state study focusing on female white-tailed deer survival and behavior during hunting
seasons recently concluded. The three-year research project is a cooperative venture between the Pennsylvania Game
Commission and the Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Penn State University.

The study, which is being conducted in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 2G and 4B, is designed to answer the following
questions: What percentage of female deer survive from one hunting season to the next in both big woods and mixed habitats?
What factors influence survival of female deer? What is hunter density on public and private lands? How do female deer
respond to hunting activity on public and private lands? Do environmental factors influence the harvest of female deer?

In recent years, results from a series of research projects on white-tailed deer have been used to guide and refine deer
management decisions made by the Game Commission. These studies include: a fawn survival study (2000-2001); a buck
survival and movement study (2001-2005); a rut timing and conception study (2000-present); an antler measurement study
(2000-2001); an evaluation of deer harvest estimates and reporting rates (2003-2004); and chronic wasting disease surveillance
(1998-present). Information on many of these research projects can be found on the agency's website at (www.pgc.state.pa.us)
by clicking on "Wildlife" and then choosing "Deer."

"This current study was designed to address a number of needs in our deer management program," said Dr. Christopher
Rosenberry, Game Commission Deer Management Section supervisor. "Getting a clearer picture and better understanding of
female white-tailed deer survival will help us in monitoring deer populations at the WMU level and making management
decisions to adjust the size of WMU deer herds through the issuance of antlerless deer licenses. Previous research and an
independent scientific review have confirmed our harvest estimates are valid. However, survival outside of hunting seasons and
the factors affecting it are not well-known for Pennsylvania deer."

In the spring of 2005, the first year of the ongoing study, deer capture efforts were concentrated on public lands. Field crews
captured nearly 250 deer. In WMU 2G, radio collars were put on 76 female deer, while 48 female deer were fitted with radio
collars in WMU 4B. Survival and movements of radio-collared does were then monitored throughout the summer and fall.

From the time they were captured to the beginning of the hunting season, preliminary survival rates for female deer were about
85 percent. Collisions with vehicles, starvation and undetermined causes accounted for most deaths.

Going into the hunting seasons, 92 deer (54 in WMU 2G and 38 in WMU 4B) were being tracked by researchers. Seven
percent of the WMU 2G study deer were taken by hunters compared to 21 percent of the WMU 4B deer. Similar to results from
the buck and fawn studies, illegal harvest was minimal and, to the researchers' knowledge, none of the radio-collared deer were
illegally killed this past year.

"Although we have confirmed 15 percent of study deer were taken by hunters, we would not say these results should be applied
to other areas of Pennsylvania, let alone the statewide harvest," noted Dr. Duane Diefenbach, Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish
and Wildlife Research Unit assistant leader. "Unlike the buck study where we had hundreds of marked bucks scattered across
large, diverse areas, these results involve fewer deer from specific areas."

In Pennsylvania, antlered deer and antlerless deer harvests are managed differently. Every hunter who purchases a hunting
license can legally harvest a buck. To harvest an antlerless deer - including young males, or button bucks - hunters must obtain
an antlerless license. The antlerless license allocation has been a central part of the Game Commission's deer management
program for decades and is used to adjust the harvest of antlerless deer at the WMU level.

"The antlerless deer license allocation changes from year to year and by WMU to reflect changes in antlerless deer populations
over time," Rosenberry said. "Because of these changes, it's more difficult to apply study deer harvest rates across WMUs. For
this reason, we focused on estimating non-hunting season survival of female deer, their movements and response to hunting
activity, and hunter distributions when we developed this study."

Bret Wallingford, Game Commission biologist, noted that the antlerless deer study differs from the recently completed buck study.

"The buck study was designed to estimate harvest rates and monitor the effects of antler restrictions across large areas with
similar regulations," Wallingford said. "We now are focusing on hunter densities and distribution and how they may differ on
public and private lands.

"Furthermore, we are interested in documenting how land ownership and other environmental factors are related to when and
where female deer are harvested. Over the course of our research on female deer we hope to monitor their survival outside of
the hunting season and movements on both public and private land and in a variety of landscapes."

Although analysis of movement data during the hunting season is ongoing, some interesting anecdotal movements have been
observed.

"In the buck study, we monitored more than 450 yearling males and the largest dispersal movement was 26 miles," noted
Matthew Keenan, a graduate student at Penn State University. "In this study, we actually had one doe travel more than 30 miles
in WMU 4B. This doe was uncooperative when captured and kicked off her collar once while we were handling her. We were
able to fit her with a radio-collar and monitored her movements after release. Then, in May she took off. Her desire to travel
caught up to her when she was hit by a car on U.S. Route 22/322 last fall.

"In WMU 2G, we had one doe travel about 11 miles, but on average, most does remained within a mile of where they were
captured. Given the relatively few number of females handled so far in this study, we were surprised to document such long-
distance dispersal movements."

Efforts to estimate hunter densities across the study areas were hampered by poor weather early in the regular firearms season,
but a number of flights were flown during the weekends and second week. Analysis of these data has not been completed, and
more flights will be conducted next hunting season.

"The first year of this study went well," noted Wallingford. "Our field crews, led by biologist aides Walter 'Deet' James, and Jason
Kougher did an excellent job all year. We had good capture success and gathered important data on doe survival outside of the
hunting season, movements, response to hunting activity and hunter densities. Future work on this study will continue to focus on
meeting these objectives."

New trapping crews have started field work for the 2006 capture season. Capture efforts this year will result in radio-collared
deer being monitored on public and private lands in expanded areas of both study areas.

# # #
Content Last Modified on 1/20/2006 3:58:21 PM
PGC Photo/Hal Korber
Dr. Walter Cottrell, the Pennsylvania
Game Commission's new wildlife
veterinarian, offers comments to the
Board of Game Commissioners.
Get Image
Release #007-06
CWD NOT FOUND IN ELK SAMPLES
COTTRELL IS GAME COMMISSION'S NEW WILDLIFE VETERINARIAN
CWD NOT FOUND IN ELK SAMPLES
HARRISBURG -- Samples taken from hunter-killed elk during the state's 2005 hunting season have all tested
negative for chronic wasting disease (CWD), according to Dr. Walt Cottrell, the Pennsylvania Game
Commission's new wildlife veterinarian.
Based on a significant increase in the number of deer samples collected for
testing, Cottrell noted that the Game Commission still is awaiting the results of
the more than 3,800 hunter-killed deer samples collected during the 2005
seasons. In 2004, the agency collected samples from 3,699 hunter-killed deer,
and all results came back negative for CWD.
"Currently, there are no confirmed or suspected cases of CWD-infected deer or
elk in Pennsylvania, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that it stays
that way," Cottrell said. "By conducting these random tests on hunter-killed deer
and elk, we will help to assure ourselves and the general public that it is unlikely
that CWD is present in wild deer and elk in the state.
"With CWD confirmed in New York and West Virginia, we obviously need to keep a
watchful eye on our wild and captive deer and elk. Working closely with the state
Department of Agriculture and other agency representatives on the state's CWD
Task Force, we are doing all that we can to protect our state's herds from this
always-fatal disease."
CWD tests on the elk samples were conducted by the New Bolton Center, which is
the University of Pennsylvania's veterinary diagnostics laboratory. Under a
contract with Penn State University, the elk samples also were tested for
brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis and found to be free from these diseases.
The New Bolton Center is conducting the CWD tests on the deer samples. Results
are expected in March.
All costs for conducting these tests are covered by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture; any Game
Fund dollars spent are reimbursed. The federal grant covers all testing, materials, supplies and some of the
agency's personnel costs for sample collection.
Samples were submitted from 3,848 randomly selected hunter-killed deer from the two-week rifle deer season,
and 34 of the 35 hunter-killed elk in 2004. This marked the fifth year for testing hunter-killed elk and the
fourth year for testing hunter-killed deer.
"The test results are good news," Cottrell said. "Although CWD has not been found in Pennsylvania, we must
continue to be vigilant in our CWD monitoring efforts. The surveillance information we are gathering is
important for the early detection of CWD, and we already are planning to continue random testing of hunter-
killed deer and elk during the 2006-07 seasons."
Cottrell added that, since 1998, the Game Commission, in cooperation with the state Department of Agriculture,
has tested more than 400 deer that have died of unknown illness or were exhibiting abnormal behavior. No
evidence of CWD has been found in these samples. The Game Commission will continue to monitor and collect
samples from deer and elk that appear sick or behave abnormally.
The Game Commission, with the assistance of the Department of Agriculture, has conducted tests on 162 elk
and 6,259 deer killed by hunters in Pennsylvania over the past four and three years, respectively. No evidence
of CWD has been found in these samples.
First identified in 1967, CWD is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) that affects cervids, including
all species of deer and elk. It is a progressive and always fatal disease, which scientists theorize is caused by an
unknown agent capable of transforming normal brain proteins into an abnormal form.
There currently is no practical way to test live animals for CWD, and there is no vaccine to prevent an animal
from contracting the disease, nor is there a cure for animals that become infected. Clinical signs include poor
posture, lowered head and ears, uncoordinated movement, rough-hair coat, weight loss, increased thirst,
excessive drooling, and, ultimately, death. There is no evidence of CWD being transmissible to humans or to
other non-cervid livestock under normal conditions.
Deer harboring CWD may not show any symptoms in the disease's early stages. As it progresses, infected
animals become very emaciated and their hair has a very disheveled appearance. Drooling is sometimes
apparent. Deer often hang out near water, which some consume in large amounts. They also may use an
exaggerated wide posture to stay standing.
Hunters who see deer behaving oddly, that appear to be very sick, or that are dying for unknown reasons are
urged to contact the nearest Game Commission Region Office. Hunters should not kill animals that appear to be
sick.
"We count on hunters to be our eyes when they head out to hunt deer," Cottrell said. "With the help of the
nearly one million deer hunters who go afield, we can cover a lot of ground.
"Hunters should be mindful of wildlife health issues, but no more so than in recent years. We must keep the
threat posed by CWD in perspective. At this point, we have no evidence that CWD is in Pennsylvania, or that it
poses health problems for humans. Remember, we've been living with rabies - which does affect people - in
Pennsylvania since the early 1980s."
Hunters should shoot only animals that appear to be healthy and behave normally. It also is recommended that
they use rubber gloves for field dressing. These are simple precautions that hunters can follow to ensure their
hunt remains a safe and pleasurable experience.
CWD is present in free-ranging and captive wildlife populations in 14 states and two Canadian provinces.
However, the Game Commission has been working with other state agencies to protect the Commonwealth's wild
and captive deer and elk.
Recently, the Game Commission issued an order banning the importation of specific carcass parts from states
and Canadian provinces where CWD had been identified in free-ranging cervid populations.
The ban closely mirrors a similar ban issued on Sept. 21 by the state Department of Agriculture, with the
support of the Game Commission. Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff used his emergency powers to issue the
ban pending action by the Board of Game Commissioners to grant similar emergency powers to the agency's
executive director.
Hunters traveling to the following states will need to abide by the importation restrictions: Colorado, Illinois,
Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming; as well as the Canadian provinces of
Alberta and Saskatchewan. The ban also impacts hunters traveling to Hampshire County in West Virginia, and
those hunting within any specified containment zones in New York proactively identified by that state's
Department of Environment and Conservation. New York DEC officials already banned hunters from removing
specific carcass parts from an area where CWD was identified early this year to prevent the possible inadvertent
spread of the disease within the state's borders.
Specific carcass parts prohibited from being imported into Pennsylvania by hunters are: head (including brain,
tonsils, eyes and retropharyngeal lymph nodes); spinal cord/backbone; spleen; skull plate with attached antlers,
if visible brain or spinal cord material is present; cape, if visible brain or spinal cord material is present; upper
canine teeth, if root structure or other soft material is present; any object or article containing visible brain or
spinal cord material; and brain-tanned hides.
Cottrell noted that the order does not limit the importation of the following animal parts originating from any
cervid in the quarantined states, provinces or area: meat, without the backbone; skull plate with attached
antlers, if no visible brain or spinal cord material is present; tanned hide or raw hide with no visible brain or
spinal cord material present; cape, if no visible brain or spinal cord material is present; upper canine teeth, if no
root structure or other soft material is present; and taxidermy mounts.
In September, members of the Pennsylvania CWD task force signed the state's response plan, which outlines
ways to prevent CWD from entering our borders and, if CWD is in Pennsylvania, how to detect it, contain it and
work to eradicate it. The task force was comprised of representatives from the Governor's Office, the Game
Commission, the state Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the state Department of
Health, the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management
Agency.
Initiated in 2003, a copy of the final plan can be viewed on the Game Commission's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us) by clicking on "Reports/Minutes" and then selecting "Pennsylvania CWD Response Plan."
"We know that Pennsylvania hunters are just as concerned about keeping CWD out of Pennsylvania as we are,
and we are confident that they will do all they can to protect the Commonwealth's whitetail and elk populations,"
Cottrell said.
Websites for all 50 state wildlife agencies can be accessed by going to www.wheretohunt.org, which is a website
maintained by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Additional information on CWD can be found on the CWD Alliance's website (www.cwd-info.org).
COTTRELL IS GAME COMMISSION'S NEW WILDLIFE VETERINARIAN
Dr. Walt Cottrell, the Pennsylvania Game Commission's new wildlife veterinarian, came on board in late
November, and now will be handling all animal health activities for the agency.
"With the growing concern about wildlife diseases - such as chronic wasting disease, rabies, Lyme disease, avian
influenza and West Nile Virus - the need for a wildlife veterinarian at the Game Commission has reached a point
at which we need to take action," said Carl Roe, Game Commission executive director. "We are excited to have
Dr. Cottrell on board, and we believe that he will be an invaluable resource in helping us monitor the health of
Pennsylvania's wild birds and mammals."
Cottrell is housed at the Penn State Animal Diagnostics Laboratory through a Facilities Use Agreement.
"We thank Penn State for generously providing an office at the lab, and use of the lab facilities for wildlife
necropsies and diagnostics, at no charge to the Game Commission," said Roe, who noted that Cottrell will
provide technical assistance to Penn State's staff. "Penn State has been an important partner in the Game
Commission's various wildlife research projects and we look forward to this continued partnership in wildlife
health issues."
Cottrell received a bachelor's degree in wildlife biology, and a master's degree in biological sciences from
Michigan State University, in 1974 and 1975, respectively. He worked for six years as a wildlife biologist in
various agencies, including the Maryland Wildlife Administration, the U.S. Forest Service on the Superior National
Forest in Minnesota, and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.
Cottrell then entered vet school at Cornell University, where he received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in
1985. Since then, he has been in private practice as a small animal and large animal veterinarian.
Cottrell is an avid grouse and woodcock hunter, has English Setters, and writes a canine health column for the
Upland Almanac.
From 1967 to 1972, Cottrell served his country in the United States Marine Corps, where he attained the rank of
captain.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/20/2006 11:10:01 AM
Release #008-06
FINAL ADOPTION OF SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS POSTPONED TO APRIL;
BOARD ELECTS BOOP PRESIDENT;
GAME COMMISSIONERS APPROVE IMPORTANT FISHER PROJECT;
RECREATIONAL SPOTLIGHTING RESTRICTIONS ADOPTED;
BOARD TAKES ACTION ON OTHER ITEMS
FINAL ADOPTION OF SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS POSTPONED TO APRIL
HARRISBURG - Awaiting further harvest data and information about deer, bear and turkey seasons from 2005,
the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners, at the recommendation of agency staff, voted to postpone
giving final approval to proposed 2006-07 seasons and bag limits until its meeting on April 17-18.
On Oct. 4, the Board gave preliminary approval to proposed 2006-07 seasons and bag limits. It was considered
that moving preliminary consideration of seasons and bag limits to late October would improve customer service
and reduce deadline pressures - when seasons proposed in January are adopted in April - to get Board actions
finalized through governmental processes and published.
"License buyers have asked for - and we attempted to provide - more advance notice of season dates to help
them select their vacation days," said Carl Roe, Game Commission executive director. "However, since deer
harvest data will not be available until mid-March and bear and wild turkey harvest results were just made
available, the Board and staff concluded more time was needed before taking final action on the 2006-07
seasons and bag limits."
Roe noted that the public may offer comments on these proposals between now and the next Board meeting,
April 17-18, at which time the Board will consider final adoption of seasons and bag limits for 2006-07 and set
antlerless deer license allocations. On April 17, the meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m., and open with public
comments. On April 18, the Board will begin voting on the meeting agenda at 8:30 a.m. Both days are open to
the public.
BOARD ELECTS BOOP PRESIDENT
The Board of Game Commissioners today elected new officers during its annual reorganization for 2006.
Commissioner Thomas E. Boop, of Sunbury, Northumberland County, was elected Board President. Boop, who
was appointed to the Board in 2003, previously served as Secretary in 2005.
Commissioner Roxane S. Palone, of Waynesburg, Greene County, was re-elected vice-president. Appointed to
the Board in 2000, Palone was first elected vice-president in 2004, and re-elected in 2005. She also was elected
to serve as board secretary in 2003.
Commissioner Gregory J. Isabella, of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, was elected secretary. Isabella was
appointed to the Board in 2003.
Other Commissioners are: John J. Riley, Pocono Township, Monroe County; Russell E. Schleiden, Centre Hall,
Centre County; H. Daniel Hill III, Erie, Erie County; and David W. Schreffler, Everett, Bedford County. Until a
successor is qualified, Commissioner Stephen L. Mohr, of Bainbridge, Lancaster County, is serving an extension
of up to six months of his eight-year term that expired Dec. 9.
Game Commissioners are nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the state Senate to serve an eight-year
term. They receive no salary, but are reimbursed for expenses to attend Game Commission quarterly meetings
and other functions.
GAME COMMISSIONERS APPROVE IMPORTANT FISHER PROJECT
The Board of Game Commissioners approved a project that will estimate Pennsylvania's fisher population size
and distribution. The work will be funded through the State Wildlife Grants program (SWG) of the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service and by matching funds provided by Indiana University of Pennsylvania. An advisory group,
comprised of Game Commission and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission staff, review and rank SWG
projects, and then secure Board of Commissioners approvals for selected projects.
SWG is America's - as well as Pennsylvania's - best hope for aggressively stemming the decline of threatened
and endangered species. The program's philosophy is that it's cheaper - and far more effective and responsible -
to invest now to protect or restore wildlife populations than waiting until populations reach critically low levels
and need expensive "emergency room care" through the Endangered Species Act.
In fiscal year 2005, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service distributed $69 million in SWG funding to states.
Pennsylvania's share of this funding package was nearly $2 million. State distribution of grant monies is
determined using a formula that appropriates funds based on a state's land area and population. No state
receives more than five percent or less than one percent of the available funds. The Game Commission is still
waiting to learn how much funding Pennsylvania will receive this year.
"Managing the state's wild birds and mammals is an ever-increasing responsibility that is supported by limited
funding, which restricts the Game Commission's ability to provide sufficient funding to all species," noted agency
Executive Director Carl Roe. "Since their inception, State Wildlife Grants have helped the Game Commission
accomplish much for a variety of species, and especially now because our revenues cannot adequately fund the
vast needs of Pennsylvania's wildlife.
"SWG projects do not cause a net reduction in the agency's general or "game" fund. They do, however, use
federal dollars to help us learn more about and better manage wildlife."
The fisher project will identify the geographic distribution of fishers in the Commonwealth, as well as population
densities and a minimum population size. In addition, the project will help Game Commission staff in developing
reliable field methods to monitor statewide population trends. Dr. Jeffery L. Larkin and Dr. Matthew R. Dzialak of
Indiana University of Pennsylvania will be spearheading this project. Game Commission biologist Matt Lovallo will
serve as an agency collaborator on the project.
Pennsylvania's fisher reintroduction got started back in 1994, when 22 fishers were released on the Sproul State
Forest in Centre and Clinton counties. Overall, 190 fishers were released in Pennsylvania as part of a
reintroduction partnered by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Frostburg State University and Pennsylvania
State University. The recovery effort followed about eight decades of fisher-less forests in Penn's Woods. The
furbearers, one of the largest members of the weasel family, disappeared in the state in the late 1800s and
early 1900s as a result of deforestation and unregulated trapping.
The fisher's decline was hastened by its dependency on large tracts of unbroken forest to accommodate its
nomad-like lifestyle. As large chunks of Pennsylvania were clear-cut in the latter 1800s, fishers became more
concentrated and the elusive animal became easy to find. The result was catastrophic to the species. Most
Pennsylvanians didn't notice the loss of the state's "black cats," or "tree foxes." Given their natural
uncommonness and penchant for inhabiting the more rugged areas of the state, that wasn't too surprising.
Fishers are about the size of a gray fox, have a dark brown coat, and are as comfortable scampering in a
forest's canopy as they are roaming the forest floor. Despite its name, fishers really aren't fish predators. They'll
eat fish if they happen upon a dead or discarded one. But they prefer squirrels, rabbits, porcupines and carrion.
Fishers, which weigh eight to 15 pounds, depending upon age and sex, are active all winter and have young in
March and April. Young fishers disperse from their family unit in late summer.
RECREATIONAL SPOTLIGHTING RESTRICTIONS ADOPTED
The Board of Game Commissioners today adopted regulatory language that extends the ban on recreational
spotlighting during the regular firearms deer seasons and will include the late firearms deer seasons in Wildlife
Management Units 2B, 5C and 5D. The Game Commission, for decades, has prohibited spotlighting anytime from
11 p.m. on the day before the opening of the regular antlered/antlerless deer season to the day after the
season closes.
Since additional firearms hunting seasons have been established in the state's urban/suburban WMUs, the
regulations had to be amended to prohibit spotlighting during these extended or late firearms seasons. The
change makes spotlighting unlawful during any rifle/shotgun season in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D that occurs after
the traditional two-week antlered/antlerless season. The remainder of the state will be unaffected. Spotlighting
is still allowed during the early archery, muzzleloader and special firearms antlerless seasons statewide.
BOARD TAKES ACTION ON OTHER ITEMS
In other action today, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners also:
- Gave final approval to allow hunters and trappers to apply over-the-counter at agency offices for elk licenses,
special wild turkey licenses, bobcat permits, and Deer Management Assistance Program harvest permits;
- Gave final approval to a measure to eliminate language that prohibits DMAP permit holders from being declared
ineligible if they fail to submit a report card during the previous license year;
- Gave final approval to a measure to permit licensed furtakers to take possession of furbearers killed on
Pennsylvania's highways throughout the year, except for river otters, bobcats and fishers. Except for the three
species identified as prohibited, all highway-killed furbearers picked up by licensed furtakers outside of hunting
and/or trapping seasons for that species must be reported to the Game Commission within 24 hours after the
individual takes possession of the furbearer. The regulation was established to reduce the waste of a valuable
resource;
- Gave final approval to a measure to clarify the six-person hunting party limit for small game hunters doesn't
apply to waterfowl or dove hunters when hunting from a blind or other stationary position;
- Gave final approval to action to expand the falconry examination period from the month of May to a period
from Jan. 1 to June 30 annually to provide apprentice falconers more opportunities to take the test. The exam,
which includes questions about basic biology, care and handling of raptors, literature and regulations, is provided
at each of the agency's six regional offices;
- Gave final approval to a measure to allow property owners to obtain a depredation permit to take threatened
or endangered birds that are causing economic loss or to protect their property, but only if the taking is
intended to reinforce and support ongoing non-lethal control methods as part of an integrated damage
management program. The permit will be denied if the taking of a specific species would be detrimental to the
population of that species as a whole, as determined by available biological data;
- Gave final approval to a measure to permit hunters to use crossbows for turkey seasons. Currently, crossbows
may be used to hunt bear, elk, during any statewide firearms deer season and during any established deer
season in Wildlife Management Units 2B, 5C and 5D. The change will permit crossbows to be legal to use as
early as the 2006 spring gobbler season. Under the new business portion of the meeting, Game Commissioner
Stephen L. Mohr asked that staff draft regulations for the April meeting to allow the use of crossbows in all
seasons, except for archery deer seasons;
- Gave preliminary approval to a regulatory change that clarifies electronic devices, including "e-collars," radio-
telemetry dog tracking systems and "beeper collars" may be used to locate dogs while training or hunting;
- Gave preliminary approval to allow hunters to use atlatls to harvest deer; and
- Announced the next scheduled meeting of the Board will be held April 17-18, in the auditorium of the agency's
Harrisburg headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Ave. Other meetings set by the Board, all of which will be held in the
agency's headquarters in Harrisburg, are: June 5-6; Oct. 1-3; and Jan. 21-23, 2007.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 1/26/2006 8:07:38 AM
Release #009-06

BOARD APPROVES ACQUISITION OF MORE THAN 418 ACRES;
COMMISSIONERS APPROVE OIL/GAS LEASES IN WESTMORELAND COUNTY

BOARD APPROVES ACQUISITION OF MORE THAN 418 ACRES
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today approved five options that will increase
the State Game Lands system by more than 418 acres. The options were two land purchase agreements, one
donation and two land exchanges.

"The Game Commission's ability to purchase and preserve lands for wildlife and for public hunting and trapping
has always been limited by rising property values and, during certain tight financial times, the limited availability
of funds," said Carl Roe, agency executive director. "The agency's last license fee increase was in 1999, and
since that time we have been forced to make considerable cuts in the agency's budget in an attempt to keep
pace with inflation. One of the budgetary line items that we 'zeroed-out' was funding for land acquisition.

"For the foreseeable future, the only land purchases we will approve are those being funded through land
acquisition escrow funds and donations. However, if we receive a license fee increase, we hope to restore our
land acquisition line item."

In addition to relying on the agency's land purchase escrow funds, Roe noted that the agency has maximized
land acquisition efforts by working closely with conservation partners, such as the various land conservancies.

"Conservation-minded individuals are helping the Game Commission leave a legacy for all Pennsylvanians to
admire," Roe said. For more information on how to contribute either land or money, visit the Game
Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on "Wildlife Donations" on the homepage.

The Game Commission has been purchasing State Game Lands since 1920. The State Game Lands system
currently contains more than 1.4 million acres. Under state law, the Game Commission is authorized to
purchase property for no more than $400 per acre from the Game Fund, with certain exceptions regarding
interior holdings, indentures and for administrative purposes. Any purchase that equals or exceeds $300,000
must be approved by the General Assembly and Governor through the capital budget appropriation process.

Including today's actions, the Board has approved the acquisition of more than 49,318 acres of State Game
Lands since July 1, 1999, when the last license fee increase took effect.

"State Game Lands represent a tangible asset that hunters and trappers of this state can literally point to as a
product of their license fees," Roe said. "In addition to the bountiful wildlife in our state, this is one more reason
to view the price of Pennsylvania hunting or furtaker licenses as a bargain."

CENTRE COUNTY: The Board approved the purchase of a 223.7-acre parcel of land in Ferguson and Halfmoon
townships, which is an indenture into SGL 176, from Gerald J. and Shirley P. Brown, of Warriors Mark, for
$974,000. Acquiring this large indenture will ensure greater protection for the Barrens, as it is known locally.
The Barrens area has been identified as an Important Bird Area by Pennsylvania Audubon, as an Important
Mammal Area by the Mammal Technical Committee of the Pennsylvania Biological Survey and as a Biological
Diversity Area in the "Centre County Heritage Inventory" prepared by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
There is a timber reservation for the tract for an ongoing timber operation that will expire on Dec. 31. Also,
the current owner will have the right to remove a cabin from the property prior to Dec. 31. The purchase price
will be paid with Penn State University escrow monies, and will require approval by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service. SGL 176 currently contains 6,007 acres in Centre County.

CENTRE COUNTY: The Board approved the purchase of a 100-acre parcel of land and a right-of-way in Marion
Township, which adjoins SGL 323, from Thomas and Laura Gardner, of Bellefonte, for $176,336, with a plus or
minus five percent allowance based on appraisal. This tract will provide additional access to this portion of SGL
323 along Bald Eagle Mountain from the south off Route 26. The purchase price will be paid with escrow monies
from Penn State University, and will require approval by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. SGL 323 currently
contains 2,361.27 acres in Centre County.

McKEAN COUNTY: The Board approved a donation of two parcels in Eldred Township that adjoin SGL 301. The
tracts are being purchased by Dominion Transmission Inc., as required compensatory mitigation by the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers for wetland impacts associated with constructing a pipeline and will be deeded directly
to the Game Commission. The two tracts, comprised of 35.82 acres and 37.56 acres, include 50 acres of
wetlands: 35 acres of forested wetlands; 10 acres of emergent wetlands; and five acres of scrub-shrub
wetlands. In adding to the existing wetlands on SGL 301, the new parcel consists of a rare stand of trees
comprised of balsam fir, swamp white oak and black ash. The donation also will improve access from State
Route 1011. SGL 301 currently contains 2,905.2 acres in McKean County.

HUNTINGDON COUNTY: The Board approved a land exchange that will improve SGL 67. In the Carbon
Township, Huntingdon County exchange, John and Linda Chomko, of Ligonier, have agreed to exchange a 22-
acre tract adjacent to SGL 67 for a six-acre portion of the existing game lands. Staff had determined the land to
be received was of equal or greater value to the land offered for exchange.

ADAMS COUNTY: The Board approved a land exchange that will improve SGL 249. In the Huntingdon
Township, Adams County exchange, Franklyn and Carol Geist, of York Springs, have agreed to convey a 30.8-
acre tract that will help protect an important wetlands restoration project on State Game Lands 249 in exchange
for two portions of the existing game lands totaling 18.2 acres. No buildings may be constructed on lands
conveyed to the Geists. Staff had determined the land to be received is of equal or greater value to the land
being exchanged. Since tracts the Geists seek were acquired with Project 70 funds, this exchange will require
the additional approval of Pennsylvania's General Assembly.

COMMISSIONERS APPROVE OIL/GAS LEASES IN WESTMORELAND COUNTY
The Board of Game Commissioners approved a five-year oil and gas lease with Texas Keystone Inc. of
Pittsburgh, involving a 6.7-acre portion of agency property, upon which its Southwest Region Office is built, in
Ligonier Township, Westmoreland County.

TKI has started a well-drilling/development program on properties adjacent to the agency's regional office
acreage that had the potential of draining oil/gas from the reserve beneath the Game Commission's land.
Agency staff consequently entered into negotiations with TKI to safeguard and capitalize on the Game
Commission's energy holdings.

In exchange for a five-year lease, TKI has agreed to pay the Game Commission a 12.5-percent royalty for every
Mcf (one thousand cubic feet) of gas or oil produced or sold from the leased premises. TKI also has agreed to
provide, at no extra charge, for the use of 500,000 cubic feet of gas from the well drilled and to install the gas
line, high/low pressure tanks, and a tap so the region office can utilize the gas to heat the office at no extra
charge. TKI must drill a well by March 30, and the agency will provide a waiver for the company to drill within
200 feet of the region office.

All oil/gas development conducted on state property must comply with the state's oil and gas regulations, as well
as the Game Commission's standard oil/gas lease agreement. The lease includes a performance bond and
environmental protection measures, as well as agency-developed plans to restore the property's vegetative
cover.

The Board also approved a five-year coalbed methane gas lease with CDX Gas, LLC, of Dallas, Texas, involving
the coal rights to an about 1,500-acre portion of the Game Commission's Loyalhanna Estate Mineral Reserve in
Derry and Unity townships and Latrobe, Westmoreland County. The rights to this coal were deeded to the
agency as a gift from the Loyalhanna Coal & Coke Company in 1969.

CDX Gas has acquired a majority of the privately-held coalbed methane reserves in the area. Staff has concluded
that this lease offers the best chance for the agency to maximize the recovery of the coalbed methane gas.
Neglecting to act now could drastically reduce the Game Commission's recovery of the gas.

CDX Gas has agreed to pay the Game Commission a 15 percent royalty for all coalbed methane gas produced
and sold from the leased site, as well as a $5 per acre rental upon execution of the lease agreement. The lease
allows CDX Gas a maximum of three wells, and the company is required to drill at least one well within one year
or surrender the lease. CDX Gas also must unitize all 1,500 leased acres within three years with agency
approval.

In addition, the CDX Gas lease will provide a 350,000-cubic-feet per year free gas clause with payback to the
Game Commission for nonuse. Finally, CDX Gas will provide the agency a copy of all title work relative to the
Game Commission's ownership of oil, gas, mineral and surface holdings within the Loyalhanna Coal and Coke
Mineral Reserve.

# # #
Content Last Modified on 1/24/2006 4:32:30 PM
Release #010-06
NEW ROUND OF SWG FUNDING FOR CONSERVATION PROJECTS ANNOUNCED;
GAME COMMISSION TO PRESENT ANNUAL REPORT TO HOUSE COMMITTEE
NEW ROUND OF SWG FUNDING FOR CONSERVATION PROJECTS ANNOUNCED
HARRISBURG -- Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl Roe and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat
Commission Executive Director Douglas Austen today announced an invitation for project applications to the
State Wildlife Grants Program. These projects will help address conservation needs for high-priority
conservation projects for endangered, threatened and at-risk species across Pennsylvania.
The federal dollars for this program are awarded to the two agencies from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
through the State Wildlife Grants Program (SWG). Pennsylvania has yet to receive notification of its 2006 award
from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, thus funding of any selected projects will be contingent upon this award.
The project applications are due by 1 p.m. on April 7. The agencies hope to finalize project selections as soon
as possible, and contracts later this year.
"Based on the limited resources of our agencies, nongame species are greatly underfunded," Roe said. "SWG
funding, as well as the former Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program, has provided a much-needed
infusion of federal funds for wildlife conservation in Pennsylvania."
Roe also noted that, because distribution of funds is based upon land area and population size, Pennsylvania has
received a large proportion of these funds, ranking among the top six states in funding received to date.
"We look forward to working with our conservation partners across the state to develop the best projects for
long-term conservation benefits to the Commonwealth," Austen said. "This program provides us with a great
opportunity to protect these animals which are important indicators of environmental health."
In 2005, the two agencies awarded more than $1.14 million in State Wildlife Grants funding. Since 2001,
Pennsylvania has received $11.9 million through this program.
For more information and an application packet, visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on "Wildlife" and choose "State Wildlife Grants Program" in the "Wildlife" box in the
right-hand column.
GAME COMMISSION TO PRESENT ANNUAL REPORT TO HOUSE COMMITTEE
Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl Roe will present the agency's annual report to the House
Game and Fisheries Committee on Thursday, Feb. 9, tentatively scheduled for 9:30 a.m., in Room 140 of the
Main Capitol, Harrisburg.
The agency will post the report on its website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) at 1 p.m., Feb. 9.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 1/31/2006 9:53:39 AM
Release #011-06

PENNSYLVANI A HUNTERS POST I NCREDI BLE
BEAR HARVEST RECORD

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania's hunters crushed the Commonwealth's all -time black bear harvest when they took 4,164 bruins in
the regular and extended 2005 bear seasons in November and December, according to the official final tally released today by
the Game Commission. Hunters set the previous record of 3,075 bears in 2000.

"Any time Pennsylvania hunters exceed the state record bear harvest by 25 percent, you have to figure they had some things
working in their favor," noted Mark Ternent, Pennsylvania Game Commission black bear biologist. "Five factors that helped were
that hunters had more opportunity to take bears in the extended season; bear populations continue to remain high; we had a
record number of bear hunters; a tremendous mast crop kept bears on the move and out of dens; and weather cooperated.

"For the first time in the Game Commission's history, 100 black bears or more were taken in 18 counties; four counties - Clinton,
Lycoming, Potter and Tioga - posted harvests in excess of 200; and Lycoming County became the first county to record a bear
harvest exceeding 300 with a kill of 313. To place things in perspective, the statewide bear harvest in 1969 was 295."

Since 1999, more than 20,000 black bears have been harvested in Pennsylvania, making it one the top bear hunting destinations
in the eastern United States. Further sweetening the state's attraction to hunters is that 800-pound-plus black bears have been
taken by hunters in recent years.

Hunters took 3,354 bears during the three-day season held the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and 810
during the extended season held in five Wildlife Management Units (3B, 3C, 3D, 4C and 4E) during the first week of the firearms
deer season, which began the Monday after Thanksgiving.

"We had a record three-day kill," Ternent pointed out. "But, the three-day total exceeded the previous record by only 278 bears,
which would be expected given the favorable hunting conditions this year. Consequently, we are comfortable with the three-day
season harvest, despite it being above-average in some areas. Hunters subsequently went on to report 810 bears in the
extended season, which ultimately led to high harvests in some WMUs."

To address these areas, Ternent has recommended a few changes for the next season. Specifically, he recommended to close
the extended season in WMUs 3B, 4C and 4E, and to shorten the extended season for WMUs 3C and 3D to the Wednesday
through Saturday of the first week of the rifle deer season.

Ternent stressed that the traditional, statewide three-day bear season would remain unchanged. He also noted that the
recommendation to offer a two-day archery bear season (Nov. 15-16) in WMUs 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 4A, 4B and 4D has not
changed.

The Board of Game Commissioners will consider these recommendations and others to seasons and bag limits at its meeting set
for April 17-18.

Bears were taken in 52 counties. The largest bear taken was a 733-pound (actual live weight) male taken in Dunbar Township,
Fayette County, by Andrew Seman Jr. of Dunbar on Nov. 22. Other large bears included a 694-pound male taken in Gregg
Township, Centre County, by Charles W. Homan Jr. of Spring Mills on Nov. 21; a 689-pound male taken in Harris Township,
Centre County, by Joel J. Kuhns of Centre Hall on Nov. 23; a 657-pound male taken in Cogan House Township, Lycoming
County, by Wesley J. Springman of Montgomery on Nov. 21; and a 657-pound male taken in Paupack Township, Wayne County,
by Lawrence J. Schultz of Hawley on Nov. 23.

In all, 17 bears taken by hunters weighed 600 pounds or more. In addition, female hunters took 47 bears during the seasons.

Hunters who harvested a bear reported that 4,107 used a rifle; 15 used a shotgun; 15 used a muzzleloader; 12 used a handgun;
and nine used a bow. There were six that did not report the type of sporting arm used.

The bear harvest by WMU for the statewide three-day and extended seasons, including 2004's harvest results in parentheses,
were: WMU 1A, 9 (6); WMU 1B, 37 (21); WMU 2A, 4, (0), WMU 2C, 313 (187); WMU 2D, 127 (103); WMU 2E, 115 (67);
WMU 2F, 259 (195); WMU 2G, 908 (632); WMU 3A, 289 (163); WMU 3B, 542 (321); WMU 3C, 303 (200); WMU 3D, 394
(419); WMU 4A, 148 (40); WMU 4B, 41 (22); WMU 4C, 202 (278); WMU 4D, 309 (247); WMU 4E, 160 (69); WMU 5C, 1
(1). There were three additional bears for which harvest location information was not available.

In addition to three unknowns, following is a breakdown of county harvests by region with 2004's harvest figures in parenthesis:

Nor t hw est : Warren, 78 (48); Forest, 68 (50); Jefferson, 62 (45); Venango, 38 (36); Clarion, 30 (31); Butler, 10 (5); Crawford,
10 (3); Mercer, 4 (0).

Sout hw est : Somerset, 107 (51); Fayette, 75 (57); Indiana, 65 (53); Westmoreland, 45 (44); Armstrong, 33 (35); and Cambria,
30 (21).

Nor t hc ent r al : Lycoming, 313 (244); Tioga, 242 (119); Clinton, 227 (218); Potter, 214 (87); Cameron, 172 (95); Clearfield, 159
(94); Centre, 150 (95); McKean, 146 (103); Elk, 112 (73); and Union, 35 (26).

Sout hc ent r al : Huntingdon, 127 (73); Bedford, 94 (25); Blair, 47 (26); Mifflin, 29 (25); Fulton, 21 (6); Snyder, 14 (11); Juniata,
11 (11); Franklin, 7 (2); and Perry, 7 (1).

Nor t heast : Wayne, 165 (135); Bradford, 159 (72); Pike, 158 (155); Luzerne, 137 (138); Sullivan, 134 (56); Susquehanna, 114
(80); Monroe, 107 (82); Columbia, 81 (57); Carbon, 73 (95); Wyoming, 67 (59); Lackawanna, 34 (54); Northumberland, 15 (14);
Montour, 4 (0).

Sout heast : Schuylkill, 66 (66); Dauphin, 40 (50); Berks, 10 (16); Lehigh, 6 (5); Lebanon, 5 (19); and Northampton, 4 (14).

# # #
Content Last Modified on 2/1/2006 9:20:31 AM
PGC Photo/Joe Kosack
Just tossing sunflower seeds on the
ground or around shrubs will attract
white-throated sparrows.
Get Image
PGC Photo/Jake Dingel
Berry-producing shrubs and trees are
very attractive to cardinals.
Get Image
Release #012-06
FEEDING BIRDS IN YOUR BACKYARD
By Joe Kosack, Pennsylvania Game Commission, Conservation Education Specialist
Many Pennsylvanians are interested in attracting wild birds to their yards. But when they head to the store to
buy a birdfeeder or simply birdseed, uncertainty and inexperience - even sticker shock - replace their desire to
do something more for songbirds.
Getting involved in backyard conservation, however, doesn't have to be a
challenge, frustrating or expensive. But if you're inexperienced, and/or know very
little about birds, there are some things you can do to improve your success and
make a difference for birds.
There are varying degrees of involvement in birdfeeding and providing for birds.
Your effort can be as simple as tossing a few handfuls of sunflower seeds on the
ground or buying special blends of seeds and using a variety of feeders to attract
seed- and insect-eating birds.
Backyard plantings are incredibly beneficial to songbirds, but since it's the middle
of winter, aren't exactly a timely pursuit. However, it's not too early to begin
thinking about what you can do to make your yard more attractive to songbirds.
"Winter is a good time to get out the seed and
garden catalogues to plan your spring plantings,"
noted Doug Gross, Pennsylvania Game Commission
ornithologist. "When it comes to attracting
feathered wildlife, providing food, water and cover
are always guaranteed winners. But remember,
almost any endeavor that provides cover, increases
habitat diversity, or even a water source, will be
recognized and utilized by songbirds. Certain
plantings - shrubs, trees, groundcover, etc. - will
greater appeal to some species than others.
"Berry-producing shrubs and trees are particularly
attractive to many species, including cedar
waxwings, American robins and eastern bluebirds.
Virtually all winter birds eagerly seek out wild
berries and fruits, even chickadees, cardinals and
sparrows, birds that people commonly recognize
only as seed-eaters. Even ruffed grouse like
winterberries and staghorn sumac berries.
Cardinals and blue jays gobble up dried grapes
from arbors as long as they last. A bird enthusiast
can 'cheat' a little by offering raisins at feeders; a favorite of lively Carolina wrens. Garden flowers also can
benefit birds, as finches feed on the dried seeds of zinnias, marigolds, coneflowers, and, of course, sunflowers."
Evergreen shrubs and trees provide the cover and thermal protection birds seek on a cold or windy day. The
birds that visit your feeder in the day likely slip into a juniper, spruce or Douglas fir near your house all night.
Many ground-foraging birds like the protection of a shrub overhead where they scratch the ground for food. It
gives songbirds such as the white-throated sparrow protection from being attacked by a Cooper's or sharp-
shinned hawk while foraging.
"There's no secret to being successful at attracting birds to your yard," noted Dan Brauning, Pennsylvania Game
Commission Wildlife Diversity Section supervisor. "There is not a backyard in Pennsylvania in which a variety of
birds don't visit or pass through. So the challenge - and typically it really isn't much of one - is to hold them
there. Equipped with feeders and the right seeds and/or suet, your yard will pull in birds.
"Weather and the comforting cover provided by nearby trees and shrubs often will
influence the frequency and number of birds at your feeders. But if you have what
they want, they'll sit and wait in a nearby tree or forsythia bush until an opening
PGC Photo/Jake Dingel
Downy woodpeckers readily come to
suet cakes throughout the day.
Get Image
PGC Photo/Joe Kosack
Birds such as this dark-eyed junco hit
the ground below feeders hard during
winter storms.
Get Image
appears at the feeder. Wild birds are opportunists that rarely pass up a table that
is set."
Setting the table for birds depends upon what species you'd like to attract.
Contrary to popular opinion, there is no universal seed mix that attracts
everything. Some seed mixes include less-attractive seeds, such as milo, wheat
and hulled oats, which many birds have a tendency to pass over. Black-oil
sunflower seeds are the best seed on the market for attracting the widest variety
of songbirds. Other good offerings include: striped sunflower, peanut chucks,
hearts or kernels, white or red proso millet, and niger thistle.
Setting up a smorgasbord of seeds and suet will lead to relatively nonstop bird
action during daylight hours in your backyard. Feeders filled with black-oil
sunflower, proso millet, peanut chunks or hearts and niger thistle will create a
stir, and that commotion will pull in other birds, especially as migrants begin to
start north in early spring. If you add a couple of suet feeders to the line-up,
you'll pull in woodpeckers, which also are fascinating to watch. And if you're
lucky, maybe a strikingly handsome red-headed or pileated woodpecker will drop by. Pileated woodpeckers are
attracted to trees with large trunks and decomposing tree stumps.
"The power of food to draw songbirds in winter, especially when there's a crusted
snow or icing, is remarkable," emphasized Brauning. "That magnetism is directly
related to the fact that many small birds can't go more than a few days without
food, given their high metabolic rates and inability to store energy reserves in
their bodies. It's a physiological compromise that keeps birds flight-ready, but it
forces them to forage almost incessantly for food."
Hanging and elevated bin birdfeeders are used primarily by small songbirds, such
as finches, titmice and chickadees. Platform and fly-through feeders, which are
the most accessible feeders, will attract the widest variety of seed-eating birds,
including ground feeders such as cardinals, mourning doves and dark-eyed
juncos. Wire cage suet feeders will lure woodpeckers, nuthatches, titmice and
chickadees. Corn ear spikes will attract red-bellied woodpeckers, blue jays, crows
and, of course, red, gray and flying squirrels.
Feeder placement is critically important to bird health and viewing success. The
chief concern when placing a bird feeder is locating it at least 20 feet away from
any windows to avoid bird collisions. Millions of birds die annually throughout the
United States when they crash into windows. The collisions are directly related to
birds spooked from feeders placed too close to windows and the inability of birds
to detect windows. If you would like a front-row seat for watching birds at your
feeder, ornithologist Daniel Klem, a professor at Mulhenberg College recommends
placing a feeder within inches of a window. Doing so, he reasons, will reduce their chances of hitting the window
with great force when flushed from a feeder.
People who feed birds - particularly in urban and suburban areas - are encouraged to continue feeding through
early spring, because birds can and do become dependent on feeders where there are few alternative food
sources. Feeders are increasingly important to birds as winter progresses and the availability of natural foods
declines. They also are critically important whenever deep or crusted snow or icing separates birds from natural
foods, given their almost daily need for provisions.
During periods of deep snow, birds flock to feeders because a meal can be obtained there with minimal effort.
It's a great time for a new birdwatcher to add to his or her growing checklist of species seen, as well as a
satisfying experience to see your feeding efforts making a difference for birds threatened by bad weather.
People who feed birds also are advised that their feeders can be a magnet for more than just songbirds. In
addition to squirrels, feeders also may attract anything from mice to black bears, as well as predators such as
hawks and cats. If a bear begins frequenting your yard, it's usually better - and less expensive - to pull your
feeders for a couple of weeks, rather than trying to match wits with the bear, which quickly can become an
unwelcomed daily visitor and quite destructive. Bears may show up at a feeder at any time after early April once
they emerge from winter dens.
Avoid storing your birdseed - and particularly black-oil sunflower - in heated areas, because it commonly
contains grain moth pupae cocoons and they will hatch at a faster rate and escape into your heated structure.
Place the seed outside in a metal ashcan or waterproof container that rodents, such as mice and squirrels, will
not gnaw through. If the container is air-tight, it also will reduce it powers of attraction to bears. Bay leaves can
be used as a natural repellent for grain moths.
Practicality and durability are more important that aesthetics when buying a bird feeder. Remember, birds and
the weather will hog up anything you place in your yard, so don't buy something that can't withstand the
elements or daily bird activity. Feeders constructed with cedar and containing plastic and/or glass panes can
take considerable abuse. So, too, can those made of metal with plastic or glass panes. Buyers should look for
well-constructed feeders with simple designs that are easy to load.
"Although it's fair to say that when buying feeders you get what you pay for, it's also important to point out that
you can buy more than the birds need," Brauning said. "The market offers feeders for $100 to $200, and others
for $5 to $10. Quite frankly, the birds don't care whether the feeder is expensive or inexpenseive, or whether
you paid $20 a bag for sunflower seeds or $15. They're there for the food. Everything else is a statement of
your personal preferences!"
Providing a water source also is an excellent way to attract birds to your backyard. It plays on their natural
tendency to visit streams, springs, and pools in the winter according to Gross.
"Traditional birdbaths now can be equipped with heaters, even solar-powered units, to keep them from freezing
in winter," he explained. "The biggest wildlife magnet you can add to your yard is a small pond, especially one
with running water. It will draw all kinds of birds in all seasons and provide many hours of entertainment for
outdoor-oriented families.
"You might even attract a rarity or out-of-season migrant with this addition to your yard," Gross noted. "I have
enjoyed seeing hermit thrushes and robins at our backyard pond in deep winter with snow on the ground. The
water, wild berries, and cover drew them into our yard."
For more information on bird conservation and songbird natural history, visit the Game Commission's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on "Wildlife" in the left column.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/20/2006 11:11:39 AM
Release #013-06
HOWARD NURSERY OFFERS GUIDANCE TO LANDOWNERS SEEKING TO IMPROVE WILDLIFE HABITAT
HARRISBURG - Landowners seeking to plant tree species beneficial to wildlife are encouraged to begin making
plans now. For guidance, as well as placing orders for seedlings, landowners are encouraged to visit the
Pennsylvania Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on the "Forms and Programs" section
and choose "Howard Nursery Seedling Program."
The Game Commission's Howard Nursery produces bare-root seedlings for wildlife food and cover on State Game
Lands. Landowners who have 50 or more acres of land open to public hunting and are enrolled in one of the
Commission's public access programs are eligible to receive up to 500 free seedlings annually, as available.
Those cooperators with enrolled acreages exceeding 500 acres are eligible for one free seedling per acre enrolled
up to a maximum of 10,000 seedlings annually, as available. Cooperators are provided an order form each fall
for following spring delivery. Free seedling orders are only taken in the fall through local Wildlife Conservation
Officers (WCOs) and Land Management personnel.
However, new this spring, Pennsylvania landowners may purchase seedlings for wildlife food and cover,
watershed protection, soil erosion control, and for reclamation of disturbed areas, such as surface mine site and
utility right-of-ways.
"The goal of the Howard Nursery is to provide the finest tree seedlings available of those species that best
provide for the various needs of wildlife, including food and shelter," said Cliff Guindon, Howard Nursery
superintendent. "All of our stock is inspected annually by the state Department of Agriculture and certified to be
disease-free."
Guindon noted that the nursery provides landowners the ability to purchase seedlings for 15 cents each in
bundles of 50 (plus sales tax). The following species are available for this spring: white pine; mugo pine; red
pine; Norway spruce; white spruce; silky dogwood; black locust; sawtooth oak; buttonbush; Chinese chestnut;
Washington hawthorne; crabapple; American mountain ash; and pin oak. A description of each, along with size
information, is available on the website.
In addition to making arrangements for landowners to pick up their seedling orders, the nursery does ship via
United Parcel Service (UPS). Shipping and handling charges do apply. This is very efficient and most orders are
received next day.
"Due to conditions beyond our control, such as ice and snow, wet weather, frozen ground, we may not be able
to ship trees as early as we would like," Guindon said. "We will do everything we can do at the nursery to
ensure timely shipping and arrival of trees."
For more information, contact Cliff Guindon at the Howard Nursery, 197 Nursery Road, Howard, PA 16841,
telephone (814) 355-4434.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 2/7/2006 2:22:08 PM
Release #014-06
GAME COMMISSION DELIVERS ANNUAL REPORT TO LEGISLATURE
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today delivered the agency's
annual report to the House Game and Fisheries Committee at an informational meeting in the State Capitol. To
view a copy of the annual report, go to the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on
"Reports/Minutes," then select "2005 Legislative Annual Report." Following is the text of Roe's prepared
statement.
"Thank you Chairman Smith, Chairman Staback and members of the House Game and Fisheries Committee,"
Roe said. "We appreciate the opportunity to offer our presentation today.
"While this is not the first time I've appeared before this committee to offer testimony or assist in making a
presentation on behalf of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, it is the first time I've come before you as
executive director.
"With more than 30 years of my professional experience having been spent outside the agency, many people
have asked why I was interested in being selected for this position. Personally, it was a very easy decision.
What better mission can an organization have than to manage our wildlife resources and preserve our great
hunting and trapping heritage for current and future generations? We also have a tremendous workforce who is
engaged everyday trying to conserve and protect our resources. Additionally, we have great partners who assist
us in many ways to support our wildlife endeavors. As a hunter and someone who enjoys wildlife, the
opportunity to serve this agency and the public is, indeed, an honor.
"As I have stated to the Board of Game Commissioners and the staff of the agency, I have made it our goal to
make the Pennsylvania Game Commission the preeminent wildlife agency in the country. Working with the
members of this Committee, the General Assembly, our license buying hunters and trappers, conservation
partners and the general public, I have no doubt we can make that possibility a reality.
"As we already have presented each member of the Committee with a copy of our Legislative Annual Report,
which provides a review of the past year, I now would like to offer some comments about the challenges and
goals that we have before us.
"Habitat improvement has long been a major objective of the agency, and members of this Committee.
However, it must be noted that the Game Commission controls roughly five percent of the Commonwealth's
landscape spread out in more than 600 parcels in 65 of our 67 counties. While 1.4 million acres may seem like
a lot, when viewed in this light, it is easy to see how the agency's ability to manage wildlife just on State Game
Lands is far more difficult than many understand. DCNR, with its state forest holdings of 2.1 million acres,
accounts for slightly more than seven percent. As a landowner, DCNR has different goals and objectives for its
land than we do for State Game Lands.
"Also, the Allegheny National Forest's roughly 500,000 acres comprises nearly two percent of the state's land
mass. And, as with DCNR, they too have a different set of goals and objectives for their land. In the grand
view of our state, any habitat-related work that the Game Commission implements on our five percent of land
mass in Pennsylvania is certainly not enough to have a wide-spread impact on wildlife populations, especially
when you consider the impact of so many hunters. Therefore, it is imperative that more work be done on
private lands, as this is the only way to significantly impact populations across the landscape.
"We view the habitat work done on State Game Lands as the model for other public and private lands, and we
very much would like to share this information with interested landowners to benefit wildlife. In the future, we
plan to unveil information on our website that landowners can use to construct food plots, plan tree and shrub
plantings and prepare other blueprints for habitat improvement on their land whether they own one-half of an
acre or 100,000 acres. We plan to ask sportsmen to take control of their own lands to create wildlife habitat
using our habitat expertise and plans. We need to increase the public's awareness that their activities and
involvement can have an impact. We need to engage the general public to assist in habitat development
whether it is backyard, municipal parks, major conservation projects or large privately-owned tracts of land.
"We also would like to offer our habitat improvement experts to work with DCNR on projects geared toward
helping wildlife on state forestlands. Using the elk habitat partnership launched in 2001 as a model, we can
work together to improve habitat throughout the state forest system, especially those large, contiguous parcels
in northcentral Pennsylvania.
"Another habitat improvement tool we are looking to make greater use of is that of controlled burns on State
Game Lands. Presently, the Game Commission has treated 329 acres of State Game Lands by conducting
controlled burns, each without a mishap. While we recognize public concern about such projects, given the past
success and attention to safety precautions, I believe we can expand our use of this tool to greatly improve
habitat in other areas of the state.
"Customer service is another area in which the agency has been seeking to improve its offerings. Building on
our current online license and merchandise sales, the next step the Game Commission would like to take is the
implementation of point-of-sale.
"With point-of-sale in place, hunters would swipe their driver's license through a magnetic reader and all of their
personal information would be filled in on the application automatically. Hunters would then select the licenses
and stamps they wanted to purchase. After the first time a hunter purchases a license this way, he or she could
be assigned a permanent number that would be stored in an electronic file so in subsequent years the hunter
would only need to enter changes for their personal information and the types of licenses or stamps wanted.
The process time would be much faster for the license buyer.
"What will this mean for the average license issuing agent? First, by having a system that audits while they sell,
point-of-sale will eliminate the time intensive need to audit and report under the old paper system. Additionally,
they will have reports automatically generated for their own accounting purposes. It eliminates much of the
burden on the agents.
"What will such a system mean to the Game Commission? Besides fulfilling our goal of making the agency and
its programs more user-friendly, we will finally, after all of these years, have a computer database of all of our
license buyers. Such a database would enable the agency to conduct more surveys of our license buyers on a
regular basis. We would no longer need to pay to have the names, addresses and telephone numbers data-
entered. Or we could conduct random surveys of every license buyer by asking them one or two questions. We
also will use the database to have a real retention program. We would know the churn rate of our hunters and
be able to notify them and find out why they did not purchase a license. There are many other uses for the
database, and we will explore many opportunities.
"Of course, implementation of the point-of-sale license system is based on our ability to find the necessary
revenues to move forward. Without a license fee increase, we may be forced to make additional cuts in
programs and services that will affect other stakeholders.
"Obviously, deer management is a continuous challenge. We have heard from the public, both pro and con, on
the deer situation. All public lands comprises approximately 20 percent of the land in the Commonwealth, and
80 percent of the land is in private hands. When I hear the observation that there are more deer on private
land than public land, I respond: "Of course." I believe we have areas where the deer herd may have been
reduced too much, and I know we have areas where there are too many deer and are not in balance with their
habitat. Once deer harvest data is available in late March, the Board will be able to consider making changes to
various season lengths by WMU.
"Later this winter, we look to gather current deer sighting data from a series of aerial flights over a number of
State Game Lands thanks to an appropriation approved by the Legislature to DCNR. The goal was to select
State Game Lands of differing sizes, topography, proximity to populated areas and regions. It is important to
remember that FLIR data represents those deer sighted on a particular parcel, on a given day and time.
However, it represents the minimum number of deer that may be present and shows grouped deer numbers
that are then used to calculate a per square mile number.
"The Game Commission also is looking to better serve all our stakeholders and to continue to get our message
out about our wildlife management successes, such as the turkey, bear and elk programs and the reintroduction
of bald eagles, peregrine falcons, otter and fishers. I could go on with many more examples, but I will add one
more not so glamorous species for which we are responsible. On State Game Land 51 in Fayette County, we
closed down and sealed off the Casparis Mine, which had become a public safety concern. As part of the final
stages of the project, we placed two separate bat gates at the top of two of the entrances to allow bats to enter
the deep mine during the fall of the year to hibernate, while still excluding the public from dangerous conditions
inside the mine.
"During a recent inspection, bats and wood rats have returned, including the Indiana bat, which is on the state
and federal endangered species lists. The wood rat is on the state's threatened species list. I know these are
not viewed in the same light as game species, but it is a reminder that the Game Commission is responsible for
a total of 465 wild birds and mammals. Why did the bats and rats come back? The answer is habitat.
"Thanks to the Legislature, Administration and Pennsylvania voters, the Game Commission is able to financially
benefit from a $625 million bond issue. As part of the annual report, I have included two appendixes. The first
provides an allocation plan detailing the projects to be funded for the first year, including the amount of each
project and the anticipated environmental benefit. The second appendix is an anticipated listing of projects to be
funded during year two of the bond. We plan to present another report on the agency's use of these bond
monies by June 30.
"Our financial situation is perhaps the greatest near-term challenge we face. By the end of the 2005-06 fiscal
year, we anticipate that the Game Fund will have around $20 million in it. And, while that may seem like a
sufficient reserve, that figure can be somewhat misleading. For example, in the first two months of the 2006-07
fiscal year, right after licenses go on sale and before revenues are placed into the Game Fund, the agency will
need a minimum of $14 million to keep our doors open. That is the reserve we need to pay salaries and pay
utilities until license sale monies flow into the Game Fund in late August.
"So, the real estimated unreserved Game Fund balance at the end of this fiscal year will be closer to $6 million.
Again, while sizable, the agency is lucky to have that $6 million, which is the result of our timber revenues
coming in at $4 million more than anticipated and a $2 million one-time, upfront payment for a coal lease in
Lycoming County received at the end of the 2004-05 fiscal year. Without this extra $6 million, we may have
been without sufficient funding at the beginning of the 2005-06 fiscal year.
"Lastly, in the upcoming 2006-07 fiscal year, personnel costs, which are set by the Commonwealth's current
state employee contract and not the Game Commission, will increase nearly $2.8 million. This increase will, in
effect, cut the Game Fund balance of $6 million in half. If the new in lieu of tax rate is passed, it would mean
an increase of $3.4 million in payments. This would move the total required payment to municipalities from
$1.7 million to $5.1 million. If you add the in lieu of tax increase of $3.4 million to the increased personnel
costs it comes to $6.2 million and wipes out the unreserved fund. The problem is exacerbated because the in
lieu of taxes are due prior to September 1. The amount of money required in the Game Fund to open the doors
on July 1 will then increase by $3.4 million to almost $17.5 million. This problem may be eased somewhat by
the point-of-sale system that will improve our cash flow. However, the increased costs and payment for the
system also must be taken into consideration and may cancel the affect of improved cash flow.
"The following Game Fund summary will provide an overview of the information I just covered.
Beginning Balance June 30, 2005: $23,169,919
Revenues July, 2005-January, 2006: $54,066,930
Expenses July, 2005-January, 2006: $42,969,238
GAME FUND BALANCE -January 31, 2006: $34,267,611
Anticipated Revenues February-June, 2006: $13,595,159
Anticipated Expenses February-June, 2006: $27,135,762
PROJECTED GAME FUND BALANCE JUNE 30, 2006: $20,727,008
"These figures also take into account two assumptions: first, that all estimated revenues for fiscal year 2005-06
will amount to $67,662,089; and second, that expenditures will not exceed our authorized limit of $70,105,000.
"For fiscal year 2006-07, assuming that we balance the budget next year, we may have insufficient funds to
meet requirements on July 1, 2007. I am sure you are concerned about what would happen if we do not get
increased resources. Basically, it would result in a considerable reduction in services. We would not be able to
conduct a much-needed training class for Wildlife Conservation Officers. We currently have more than 10
percent of WCO districts vacant, and I anticipate that it will increase in the next few months. We would reduce
hours of operation in our regional offices, limiting our ability to respond to constituent calls. Programs also may
be reduced or eliminated, which could require placing personnel on furlough.
"In closing, I believe that the immediate challenge facing this agency is its financial situation. However, the
long-term and more important challenge is recruitment of our youth into the outdoors, especially into hunting
and trapping. We - and I mean all of us - have some significant challenges ahead of us in order to keep our
hunting and trapping heritage alive and well for future generations. The Game Commission will increase
communication with our partners, sportsmen's clubs and the general public. We need to stand together and not
let immediate individual program issues get in the way of our long-term goals of managing all wildlife resources
and insuring our grandchildren have the same opportunity to pass on our love for the resource and our hunting
and trapping heritage to their grandchildren.
"I look forward to working with this committee on our wildlife and fiscal issues, and building a relationship where
we can look back and be proud of the legacy we leave. Remember, wildlife needs your support."
# # #
Content Last Modified on 2/9/2006 2:04:13 PM
Release #015-06

GAME COMMI SSI ON SUPPORTS FEDERAL AND STATE EFFORTS TO REMOVE SOCI AL SECURI TY NUMBER
REQUI REMENT FOR LI CENSE BUYERS

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today offered his praise and support for two
recent efforts to remove the current federal and state requirement that the agency collect Social Security Numbers from hunting
and furtaker license buyers.

"We have heard from hundreds, if not thousands, of hunters and trappers who told us that they refused to purchase a license
during the 2005-06 license year based solely on the fact that they were required to provide their Social Security Number when
purchasing a license," Roe said. "While no one argues with the objectives of this effort, we all certainly believe that there are
better ways to accomplish this goal."

On Feb. 8, the state House of Representatives unanimously approved House Resolution 461, sponsored by House Game and
Fisheries Committee Chairman Bruce Smith (R-York) and supported by the Game Commission. HR 461 urges the President and
Congress of the United States to revise the requirement that applicants for hunting and fishing licenses provide their Social
Security numbers; and asks the Unites States Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and
Families to grant an exception to the state Department of Public Welfare for the current requirement that license buyers provide
their Social Security numbers.

"We are pleased that state legislators are supporting federal efforts to relieve the Game Commission from being placed in the
undesirable position of having our issuing agents ask license buyers for such personal information," Roe said. "The Game
Commission never wanted to be placed in this position just as much as our license buyers don't want to provide this sensitive
information."

On Feb. 10, U.S. Senator Rick Santorum appeared at the Eastern Outdoors and Sports Show to outline his introduction of
Senate Bill 2249, the Sportsmen's Privacy Protection Act, that would repeal the federal mandate that requires the Game
Commission to collect Social Security numbers from license buyers.

"We firmly believe that enactment of Sen. Santorum's legislation will resolve this issue once and for all," Roe said. "We urge all
U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives to support this measure and we would ask that President Bush promptly sign it into law
once it reaches his desk."

On Oct. 4, the Board of Game Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution, offered by Game Commissioner Gregory
Isabella, that directs the Game Commission staff to continue working to remove the federal and state requirements that the
agency demand Social Security Numbers from license buyers.

There are three components to Isabella's resolution. First, agency staff is asked to continue to seek a waiver from the
Department of Public Welfare excusing the agency from the need to collect Social Security Numbers from license buyers until the
agency implements an electronic license sale system, commonly referred to as "point-of-sale."

Second, the Game Commission's staff is asked to continue to pursue any initiative to have the U.S. Congress and state General
Assembly enact legislation to remove the Game Commission from being legislatively-mandated to collect Social Security
Numbers.

And, third, the Game Commission staff is directed to give license buyers' Social Security Numbers the highest degree of security
and confidentiality, and purge the information from license records as soon as legally possible.

"It must be clearly understood that collecting Social Security Numbers from our license buyers was not something the Game
Commission wanted to do or asked to be responsible for," Isabella emphasized. "As an agency, we must continue to pursue all
means possible to be removed from this requirement."

On July 29, former Game Commission Executive Director Vern Ross sent a letter to Pennsylvania's U.S. Congressional
delegation, including Sen. Santorum, urging reconsideration of the federal requirement that state's collect Social Security numbers
from our license buyers.

# # #
Content Last Modified on 2/13/2006 8:04:12 AM
Release #016-06

NEW TOOLS PROVI DED TO FURBEARER
HUNTERS AND TRAPPERS

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl Roe noted that, beginning Feb. 20, furbearer hunters
and trappers, especially those pursuing coyotes, will be able to take advantage of new tools provided through recent changes in
the Game and Wildlife Code (Title 34).

Under the new law, the list of legal methods and devices was amended to allow licensed hunters and trappers to use any natural
or manmade nonliving bait used to attract coyotes; any electronic or mechanical device used to attract coyotes; and any decoy
used in the trapping or hunting of furbearers.

Roe pointed out that the new law does not permit hunters and trappers to use any natural or manmade nonliving bait used to
attract furbearer species other than coyotes, or to use any electronic or mechanical device used to attract furbearer species other
than coyotes. Current regulations permit the use of electronic callers for hunting bobcats, coyotes, foxes, raccoons and crows.

Additionally, the law allowing trappers to use any natural or manmade nonliving bait to attract coyotes still does not permit the
bait to be visible from the air. Current law (Section 2361 of Title 34) states that it is unlawful for any person to bait a trap with
meat or animal products if the bait is visible from the air. Those hunting coyotes, however, may hunt over bait visible from the
air.

Roe noted that the coyote season, when compared to other game species seasons, is the most liberal season in the
Commonwealth.

"A properly-licensed Pennsylvania hunter can hunt coyotes year round, from July 1 to June 30, including Sundays, with either a
general hunting or furtaker license, 24-hours-a-day, and the bag limit is unlimited," Roe said. "We also permit hunters to use
electronic callers, and the Board of Game Commissioners recently finalized a regulatory change to permit hunters to use up to #4
buckshot to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their shotgun loads."

As for trapping coyotes, Roe pointed out that the annual seasons run from mid-October through mid-February, and the bag limit
also is unlimited. In addition, this year a new measure approved by the Board took effect to permit coyotes and foxes to be
taken by trappers using cable restraints from Jan. 1 until the end of the trapping seasons. To use cable restraints, a licensed
trapper must take and pass a one-day certification program, which was developed and is being implemented with the assistance
of the Pennsylvania Trappers Association.

"Hunters are telling us that they are seeing a lot of coyotes, and that they believe the coyote population is having an impact on
deer mortality," Roe said. "The Game Commission and Legislature have provided the most liberal seasons possible for the
hunting and trapping of coyotes, and we encourage licensed hunters and trappers to take advantage of these tools.

"Even prior to these new tools being made available, coyote hunting has become an event in itself. The challenge has become
quite popular amid a very large segment of our sportsmen and a unique and enjoyable event in its own right."

House Bill 1690, sponsored by House Game and Fisheries Committee Chairman Bruce Smith, was signed into law on Dec. 22,
and now is designated as Act 86 of 2005.

# # #
Content Last Modified on 2/22/2006 10:41:20 AM
Release #017-06

GAME COMMI SSI ON FI LES CHARGES AGAI NST UNLAWFUL DEER FARM AND HUNTI NG OPERATI ON

HARRISBURG - As part of an ongoing investigation, Pennsylvania Game Commission officials have filed more than 2,300
wildlife-related and criminal charges against Jeffrey Dean Spence, of Cemetery Road in Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, for
operating an illegal white-tailed deer farm and hunting operation. On Feb. 14, charges were filed in the office of District Justice
Richard Beck of Brookville, and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for March 31. If convicted of all counts, Spence faces
fines and penalties in excess of $16 million.

Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Roger Hartless, who filed the charges and led the investigation, noted that other
charges may be filed as the investigation continues. All charges were filed after consultation with Jefferson County District
Attorney Jeffrey Burkett.

Following is a breakdown of the 2,318 charges filed against Spence.

Spence was charged with 1,284 counts for allegedly selling or bartering, offering for sale or barter, conspiring to sell and barter
and having in possession for sale or barter white-tailed deer or the edible parts of white-tailed deer. It also is alleged that
Spence propagated these deer at an unpermitted facility. If convicted of these violations of the Game and Wildlife Code, Spence
faces fines up to $1,027,200.

It is alleged that Spence unlawfully used a computer to sell or offer for sale the white-tailed deer being propagated at the
unpermitted facility, resulting in 960 counts of unlawful use of a computer and other crimes. If convicted of these violations of the
Pennsylvania Crimes Code, Spence faces up to seven years in prison and $15,000 in fines for each count.

Lastly, it is alleged that Spence unlawfully obtained payment for selling white-tailed deer he was not lawfully permitted to sell and
that he raised at an unlawful facility, resulting in 74 counts of theft by deception. If convicted of these violations of the Crimes
Code, Spence faces up to seven years in prison and $15,000 in fines for each of 10 counts, five years in prison and $10,000 in
fines for each of 34 counts and two years in prison and $5,000 in fines for each of 30 counts.

"The Commonwealth imposes certain requirements and restrictions on those who raise, breed, sell and import cervids, such as
deer and elk, to protect the health and welfare of our state's wild and captive deer and elk," Hartless said. "These restrictions are
designed to ensure the prevention, detection and interception of wildlife-related diseases, such as chronic wasting disease
(CWD), from entering the state and impacting our wild or captive cervid herds. By operating outside the system, Mr. Spence was
placing at risk our state's wild deer and elk herds and legally-permitted facilities."

In September, members of the Pennsylvania CWD task force signed the state's response plan, which outlines ways to prevent
CWD from entering the state's borders and, if CWD is in Pennsylvania, how to detect, contain and work to eradicate it. The task
force was comprised of representatives from the Governor's Office, the Game Commission, the state Department of Agriculture,
the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the state Department of Health, the state Department of Environmental Protection and the
Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. A copy of the final plan can be viewed on the Game Commission's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us) by clicking on "Reports/Minutes" and then selecting "Pennsylvania CWD Response Plan."

Since 2001, the Pennsylvania Agriculture Department has provided a nationally-recognized CWD Herd Certification Program to
enable the cervid farming industry to certify its deer and elk herds CWD-free.

Recently, the Game Commission issued an order banning the importation of specific carcass parts from states and Canadian
provinces where CWD had been identified in free-ranging cervid populations. Hunters traveling to the following states must
abide by the importation restrictions: Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York (CWD containment area only),
South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia (Hampshire County only), Wisconsin and Wyoming; as well as the Canadian provinces of
Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Specific carcass parts prohibited from being imported into Pennsylvania by hunters are: head (including brain, tonsils, eyes and
retropharyngeal lymph nodes); spinal cord/backbone; spleen; skull plate with attached antlers, if visible brain or spinal cord
material is present; cape, if visible brain or spinal cord material is present; upper canine teeth, if root structure or other soft
material is present; any object or article containing visible brain or spinal cord material; and brain-tanned hides.

The order does not limit the importation of the following animal parts originating from any cervid in the quarantined states,
provinces or area: meat, without the backbone; skull plate with attached antlers, if no visible brain or spinal cord material is
present; tanned hide or raw hide with no visible brain or spinal cord material present; cape, if no visible brain or spinal cord
material is present; upper canine teeth, if no root structure or other soft material is present; and taxidermy mounts.

First identified in 1967, CWD is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) that affects cervids, including all species of
deer and elk. It is a progressive and always fatal disease, which scientists theorize is caused by an unknown agent capable of
transforming normal brain proteins into an abnormal form.

There currently is no practical way to test live animals for CWD, and there is no vaccine to prevent an animal from contracting
the disease, nor is there a cure for animals that become infected. Clinical signs include poor posture, lowered head and ears,
uncoordinated movement, rough-hair coat, weight loss, increased thirst, excessive drooling, and, ultimately, death. There is no
evidence of CWD being transmissible to humans or to other non-cervid livestock under normal conditions.

Deer harboring CWD may not show any symptoms in the disease's early stages. As it progresses, infected animals become very
emaciated and their hair has a very disheveled appearance. Drooling is sometimes apparent. Deer often hang out near water,
which some consume in large amounts. They also may use an exaggerated wide posture to stay standing.

Additional information on CWD can be found on the CWD Alliance's website (www.cwd-info.org).

# # #
Content Last Modified on 2/17/2006 10:22:38 AM
Release #018-06

NRA-SPONSORED YOUTH SUMMI T DEADLI NE EXTENDED TO FEB. 28

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission officials today announced that the Friends of the National Rifle Association
has extended the application deadline for its upcoming Pennsylvania Youth Education Summit (YES) in Harrisburg.
Pennsylvania high school sophomores and juniors have until Feb. 28, to sign up for the event, which is set for April 6-9, at the
Holiday Inn East, 4751 Lindle Road, just off the Route 441 exit of Interstate 283.

To register or for more information, e-mail Kory Enck, NRA Pennsylvania Field Representative (East), at kenck@nrahq.org, or
call at 717-665-0600

Enck noted the Pennsylvania YES provides youth attendees with an opportunity to gain a hands-on education of the history of
Pennsylvania and the democratic process. The program is designed help youth develop: an awareness and desire to participate
in all levels of government; an appreciation and knowledge of the history and unique heritage of Pennsylvania; an understanding
of volunteer networks and how young citizens can serve their communities; and an understanding of the history, mission and
programs of the NRA.

Friends of the NRA banquet proceeds cover nearly all costs for those youth attending Pennsylvania YES, including: three nights
lodging; all fees to YES-related activities and excursions; all scheduled meals, snacks, tips and gratuities; workshops, seminars,
and expert briefings and lectures; program materials, brochures, and/or texts; 24-hour chaperones and security; and a final
banquet and awards ceremony. The only expenses not covered are travel expenses to and from the summit, and any other
personal purchases.

# # #
Content Last Modified on 2/17/2006 3:07:20 PM
Release #019-06

EXPANDED AERI AL SURVEY EFFORTS UNDERWAY
TO BETTER GAUGE DEER POPULATI ONS
State Game Lands Included in Flights Covering
more than 500,000 Acres of Woodlands

HARRISBURG -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today said Pennsylvania will be able to get a better grasp of the size of its white-
tailed deer population now that an infrared camera-equipped plane is flying over more than 500,000 acres of Pennsylvania
woodlands.

"We are working together to build a better understanding of how to both improve the health of the deer herd and regenerate our
forests," Governor Rendell said. "This second round of aerial flights will build on our knowledge of how many deer are currently
in our forests, and the number that the habitat can support so we can preserve our hunting heritage, as well as the economic
and ecological future of our forestlands."

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission have identified more than
505,000 acres of state forest and game lands for flights in 2006 -- more than twice the acreage covered in 2005, the first year of
flights.

Sections of six state forest districts, seven State Game Lands, and two wildlife management units will be surveyed in aerial flights
continuing into early spring. Results will be compared to on-the-ground measures of deer density and habitat conditions to
provide a clearer picture of deer browsing impact on the forest ecosystems.

"In addition to acreage, the scope of the aerial survey will be broadened to include for the first time private woodlands in McKean
County, where sportsmen met with me and requested state assistance," Governor Rendell said. "We will be surveying portions of
the Kinzua Quality Deer Cooperative, a project between hunters and land managers aimed at improving deer, wildlife habitat and
forest management."

The survey contract was awarded to Vision Air Research Inc., an Idaho-based independent wildlife research firm. Operating out
of University Park Airport, Centre County, the firm's crew and a specially equipped plane will fly over sections of north central
Pennsylvania where hunters say there are few deer, and foresters say there is little forest regeneration.

Targeted acreage includes the PGC's doe and fawn mortality study areas, as well as portions of the state forestland enrolled in
the Game Commission's deer management assistance program allowing hunters to kill additional deer.

"Until we have the best consensus around the deer population and habitat destruction, we will be forever locked in a battle of too
few versus too many," DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis said. "We are committed to working with the Game Commission
and others to build a better understanding of how to both improve the health of the deer herd and restore forest habitat."

"It is important to remember that forward-looking infrared data represents those deer sighted on a particular parcel, on a given
day and time," said Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe. "It represents the minimum number of deer
that may be present and shows grouped deer numbers that are then used to calculate an average per square mile number for an
area.

"In selecting which state game lands to include in these flights, the agency chose areas with differing sizes, topography,
proximity to populated areas and regions," Roe said. "While the data is unable to be used to make deer management decisions
across entire wildlife management units, we do believe that this data will help in demonstrating deer dispersion at the time of the
flights and provide another source of information to help us understand deer and their activities."

To maximize areas surveyed and minimize costs, the Game Commission had requested that flights cover 50 percent sampling of
its selected game lands, and an even smaller sampling of the two wildlife management units.

The scope and duration of the aerial operation remains dependent on weather conditions and the emergence of spring foliage.
Last year 300,000 acres were targeted, but bad weather only allowed for 200,000 acres to be surveyed before leaf cover ended
the operation.

In the 2005 survey, the highest concentrations of deer were found in the Promised Land area of the Delaware State Forest, Pike
County, where 23.69 deer were found per square mile. The second highest whitetail concentration was 20.29 deer per square
mile in the Denton Hill area of the Susquehannock State Forest, in Potter County. Lowest concentrations were in the Cedar Run
section of Tioga State Forest, Tioga County, 9.64; followed by the southern section of Sproul State Forest, in Clinton County,
10.69.

Vision Air Research was founded to specialize in wildlife surveys using advance aerial infrared sensor technology (commonly
called forward looking infrared - FLIR). A leader in use of FLIR for wildlife surveys, it has monitored elk, deer, bighorn sheep,
moose and sage grouse since 1996. More information can be found at www.visionairresearch.com.

State forestland tracts included in the 2005 and 2006 surveys can be found at www.dcnr.state.pa.us (select State Forests).

# # #

EDITOR'S NOTE: State forest districts, game lands, and acreage targeted in the survey include: Moshannon, Clearfield and
Centre counties; 61,689; Elk, Elk and Cameron counties, 23,175; Tioga, Tioga and Bradford counties, 69,301; Susquehannock,
Potter and McKean counties, 42,519; Sproul, Clinton and Centre counties; 140,542; and Tuscorora, Juniata, Perry, Mifflin,
Huntingdon, and Cumberland counties, 54, 747.

State Game Lands: 13, Sullivan County, 53,563; 14 and 311, both in Elk County, 16,635; 37, Tioga County, 23,228; 75,
Lycoming County, 25,674; 210, Dauphin County, 10,856; and 211, Dauphin, Lebanon and Schuylkill counties, 40,940. Also, a
total of 2,773,415 acres in the Game Commission's wildlife management units 4B and 4D, in the north central section of the
state.
Content Last Modified on 2/22/2006 8:55:46 AM
Release #020-06

GAME COMMI SSI ON SEEKS I NFORMATI ON ABOUT I LLEGAL RELEASE OF WOLVES I N ADAMS COUNTY

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission officials today announced that they are seeking information about the person
or persons who may have illegally released a pair of gray or timber wolves or wolf-hybrids that have appeared in Straban
Township, Adams County, in recent days. Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO) Darren David is investigating,
and any information should be provided to the Southcentral Region Office at 814-643-1831.

According to WCO David's investigation, on Feb. 19, an individual shot one of the wolves. After killing the animal, the individual
contacted the Game Commission Southcentral Region Office and turned over the carcass to officers.

"The animal is a male and appears to be around 120 pounds, and was not neutered or collared," David said. "We are going to
have it examined and tested to verify whether this is a pure-bred animal and to see if there are any indications about where the
animal originated."

WCO David also received reports that a pet collie in the area was attacked on Feb. 16, and injured by repeated bites, which is
indicative of an attack by another canine, and possibly one of these wolves. The dog later died at a veterinarian's office from its
injuries.

"Anyone who sees the remaining wolf should keep his or her distance from it and contact the Southcentral Region Office at 814-
643-1831," WCO David said. "Specific details will be very helpful in determining its possible location."

Mike Dubaich, Game Commission Bureau of Law Enforcement director, noted that there are 35 licensed facilities that are
permitted to either possess, breed and/or sell wolves and wolf-hybrids in Pennsylvania, and as part of their permit, must comply
with township, caging, public safety and record-keeping requirements. However, he also noted that there are other states with far
fewer restrictions or oversight on the sale or possession of exotic wildlife, including wolves and wolf-hybrids.

Agency officials note that this is not the first time an illegally released wolf has been found in the wilds of Pennsylvania. In 1999
and 2003, two different individuals in the Allegheny National Forest and Susquehanna County, respectively, killed wolves or wolf-
hybrids that later were determined to have been surgically neutered, demonstrating that these two animals were once held in
captivity.

Also, in 2004, two Pennsylvanians, one in Chambersburg and another in Philadelphia, pled guilty to illegally possessing wolves
or wolf-hybrids.

Game Commission officials also noted that wolves are not the only exotic or non-indigenous animals to have been possessed
illegally in the state. For example, in 2002, a Dauphin County resident was prosecuted for illegal possession of a cougar. A
binturong, a native of Southeast Asia that also is known as a bearcat, was found on a Beaver County family's porch in 2002.
The animal's owner later pled guilty to charges of illegal possession of wildlife.

In 2001, news reports detailed sightings of an African serval, resembling a small cheetah, which had been possessed illegally
and escaped from its Pittsburgh owner several times before being confiscated. Two wallabies escaped from their owners in
Ambler in 2001. Also, there have been alligators in Italian Lake in Harrisburg, emus in Clearfield and Dauphin counties and
piranhas in various rivers, ponds and streams in the Commonwealth.

Following decades of bounties, the last known Pennsylvania wolf is believed to have been killed in the 1890s. The nearest state
or provinces to Pennsylvania with a wild sustainable gray or timber wolf population are Michigan, and Ontario and Quebec,
Canada. No state in the northeastern United States has a wild sustainable wolf population. A small red wolf population is known
to exist in North Carolina. While the federal government has conducted wolf reintroduction programs in several Western states,
there has been no such proposal for Pennsylvania.

"Game Commission policy requires proposed species reintroductions to be appropriate and feasible," said Calvin W. DuBrock,
Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director. "We believe that any reintroduction program involving wolves or
other large predators would be impractical and inappropriate given the population distribution and density of people in our state.
We do not believe that there are any areas remote enough in our state where large predators could be reintroduced without
setting up a conflict situation for people or other wildlife valued by people."

# # #
Content Last Modified on 2/23/2006 3:52:15 PM
Release #021-06

GAME COMMI SSI ON ANNOUNCES THAT SECOND " WOLF"
CONTAI NED BY OWNER I N ADAMS COUNTY CASE

HARRISBURG - Information provided by a confidential informant helped Pennsylvania Game Commission officials today locate
the second of two animals that are suspected of being either gray or timber wolves or wolf-hybrids, and the animal has been
contained by its owner. Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO) Darren David is continuing with an investigation,
and will not be releasing further information until the investigation is complete.

According to WCO David's investigation, on Feb. 19, an individual shot one of two animals believed to be wolves or wolf-hybrids
after it displayed aggressive actions. After killing the animal, the individual contacted the Game Commission Southcentral Region
Office and turned over the carcass to officers.

"We are going to have the carcass examined and tested to verify whether this is a pure-bred wolf or some hybrid," David said.
"However, given public concern about the second animal's whereabouts, we wanted to let the public know that the animal has
been contained."

Further announcements will be made when the results of the tests and investigation are finalized.
Content Last Modified on 2/24/2006 2:23:34 PM
PGC Photo/Hal Korber
James W. Oswald (center), of Sinking
Springs, Berks County, is presented
with his certificate and plaque for
being selected as the grand prize
winner of the Pennsylvania Game
Commission's Youth Hunter Education
Essay Contest. Joining in the
presentation are (from left to right):
Carl G. Roe, Game Commission
executive director; Philip
Luckenbaugh, Game Commission
Hunter-Trapper Education Division;
Oswald; Craig Kauffman, Safari Club
International; and John J. Riley, Board
of Game Commissioners.
Get Image
Release #022-06
YOUTH HUNTER ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS HONORED;
MENTORED YOUTH HUNT PROGRAM TO BE ON BOARD'S APRIL AGENDA
YOUTH HUNTER ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS HONORED
HARRISBURG - James W. Oswald, of Sinking Springs, Berks County, is headed for summer school and, unlike
most youngsters facing that task, he just can't wait to get started.
Oswald, 14, is the grand prize winner of the junior division (ages 12-15) of the
Pennsylvania Game Commission's 2005 Youth Hunter Education Essay Contest.
As the top entry in the junior division, Oswald was awarded a scholarship to the
Safari Club International's Apprentice Hunter Camp at the Indianhead Ranch in
Del Rio, Texas. Safari Club International Region 25 (Pa. chapters) donated the
grand prize.
First prize honors in the junior division, went to Matthew R. Martin, 15, of New
Holland, Lancaster County. He will receive a .50 caliber Traditions muzzleloading
rifle. Finishing second through fourth place in the junior division were: Zachary T.
Zatko, 13, Lower Burrell, Westmoreland County; Andrew M. Straw, 15,
Curwensville, Clearfield County; and Jared I. Smith, 15, Rome, Bradford County.
Due to an insufficient number of entries in the senior division (ages 16-18), prizes
were awarded for first through third this year.
Jeremy D. Horning, 17, Denver, Lancaster County, was the first prize winner of
the senior division. He also will receive a .50 caliber Traditions muzzleloading
rifle. Finishing in second and third places in the senior division were: Ronald J.
Brynarsky III, 16, Ephrata, Lancaster County; and Julie M. Vavreck, 16, Erie, Erie
County.
The theme for the 2005 contest was: "How I support wildlife conservation."
Prizes in both divisions include: second place, Sightron 8x42 binoculars; third
place, "Successful Hunting" KP book set; and fourth place, Buck Knives limited
edition knife.
First through fourth place prizes were donated by: Traditions, Sightron, KP Books and Buck Knives, respectively.
Every contest entrant received a Game Commission "Working Together for Wildlife" embroidered patch. Winners
were recognized at the January meeting of the Board of Game Commissioners in Harrisburg.
The Essay Contest is open to youngsters who are Pennsylvania residents, have successfully completed a hunter-
trapper education course and possess a current hunting or furtaking license.
Details for the 2006 Essay Contest will be included in the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping
Regulations, a future edition of Pennsylvania Game News magazine and on the agency's website at
www.pgc.state.pa.us.
MENTORED YOUTH HUNT PROGRAM TO BE ON BOARD'S APRIL AGENDA
With the recent enactment of legislation authorizing a "Mentored Youth Hunt Program," Pennsylvania Game
Commission staff is working to develop proposed regulatory language for the Board of Game Commissioners to
consider at its upcoming meeting on April 17-18.
On March 6, the Board of Game Commissioners' Law Enforcement Committee will be meeting to review a
preliminary draft of regulatory language to establish the Mentored Youth Hunting Program. After gathering the
Commissioners Committee input, the staff will finalize the proposal to be included in the agenda for the Board's
April meeting.
"The purpose of this program is to introduce new and younger people to Pennsylvania hunting," said Carl G.
Roe, Game Commission executive director. "The quality time that can be shared between a youth and a mentor
is immeasurable. There simply is no better way to introduce a young person to safe, ethical and responsible
aspects of hunting than with the close supervision of an adult mentor.
"Today, we all seem to have less and less free time, and we never seem to place the proper value on the truly
important things. There can be no greater way to instill values, provide the ideal time and place to teach
conservation, respect, ethics and the responsibilities that we all have as caretakers of our streams and forests,
than by adopting a Youth Mentored Hunting Program in Pennsylvania."
The committee of organizations promoting the Mentored Youth Hunting Program are: the National Wild Turkey
Federation, the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, the United Bowhunters of Pennsylvania, the
National Rifle Association, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Pass It On Program, the Quality Deer Management
Association, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance.
On Oct. 4, prior to the General Assembly's action on the measure, the Board unanimously approved a resolution
sponsored by Game Commissioner Gregory J. Isabella to endorse the Mentored Youth Hunting Program.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/20/2006 11:13:10 AM
Release #023-06
BARN OWL CONSERVATION INITIATIVE EXTENDS TO SOUTHWEST REGION;
AGENCIES ISSUE REMINDER ON SWG PROPOSALS
BARN OWL CONSERVATION INITIATIVE EXTENDS TO SOUTHWEST REGION
BOLIVAR, Westmoreland County - The Pennsylvania Game Commission is expanding its Barn Owl Conservation
Initiative into its Southwest Region by seeking information about active and historic barn owl nest sites. The
primary objective of this program is to locate and monitor barn owl nest sites and distribute nest boxes to
interested landowners with suitable habitat to help reverse the population decline of this species.
Barn owls are medium-sized owls with a white face surrounded by a heart-shaped border. They typically have a
white belly and a darker, tawny back. In Pennsylvania, barn owls primarily are associated with open grasslands
such as meadows, hayfields, and fallow croplands. Open grassland habitat is essential for barn owls because
meadow voles, which make up about 70 percent of their diet, are their primary food. Barn owls also eat other
rodents such as mice, rats, and shrews. In rare instances, when rodents are locally rare, barn owls may
occasionally take small birds, such as starlings and red-winged blackbirds, that roost in open habitats. Because a
typical family of barn owls will eat about 3,000 rodents over the course of the breeding and nesting season, barn
owls are exceptionally valuable to farmers.
As their name implies, barn owls commonly nest in structures such as barns, silos and abandoned buildings.
Barn owls will also nest in natural cavities such as holes in trees, rock crevices, and even burrows in riverbanks.
To determine if you have a barn owl on your property, look in barns, silos, abandoned buildings and below
possible roost sites for regurgitated owl pellets, which are dense pellets of undigested fur and bone about one to
two inches long. Also, after dark, listen for long hissing shrieks, which are very different from the typical
"hoots" of most owls.
"We are interested in expanding the initiative that was announced by the Game Commission last September for
the Southcentral and Southeast Regions," said Game Commission Southwest Region Wildlife Diversity Biologist
Tammy Colt. "I am specifically looking for information about barn owl activity in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver,
Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington or Westmoreland counties, but welcome information
for other counties as well."
If you have barn owls nesting on your property or would like to know how you can help conserve Pennsylvania's
barn owls, contact Colt through the Game Commission's Southwest Region Office at 724-238-9523 or by mail at
4820 Route 711, Bolivar, PA 15923.
AGENCIES ISSUE REMINDER ON SWG PROPOSALS
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl Roe and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat
Commission Executive Director Douglas Austen today reminded potential applicants about the recent call-for-
projects to help address conservation needs for high-priority conservation projects for endangered, threatened
and at-risk species.
The project applications are due by 1 p.m. on April 7. The agencies hope to finalize project selections as soon as
possible, thereafter and to develop contracts later this year.
Funded through the State Wildlife Grants (SWG) program, these projects will help address high-priority
conservation needs for endangered, threatened and at-risk species across Pennsylvania. For more information
on the program, application materials and each agency's priorities, please visit the Game Commission's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on "Wildlife" and then choose "State Wildlife Grants Program" in the "Wildlife
Reference Guides" section in the center of the webpage.
The federal dollars for this program are awarded to the two agencies from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Pennsylvania has yet to receive notification of its 2006 award from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, thus funding
of any selected projects will be contingent upon this award.
In 2005, the two agencies awarded more than $1.14 million in State Wildlife Grants funding. Since 2001,
Pennsylvania has received $11.9 million through this program.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 2/28/2006 3:24:36 PM
PGC Photo/Jake Dingel
Bluebirds have a complicated
existence, but their future is brighter
than it once was.
Get Image
Release #024-06
BLUEBIRD BLUES
By Joe Kosack
Wildlife Conservation Education Specialist
Pennsylvania Game Commission
HARRISBURG - Eastern bluebirds have long been the displaced darlings of Pennsylvania's spring, as well as the
poster bird for what can go wrong when people introduce non-native species to a new area.
Bluebirds suffered considerable - almost unrecoverable - losses in the twentieth
century as a result of the injudicious introductions of house (English) sparrows
and European starlings to New York City - and ultimately America - in the 1800s,
and the toxic toll DDT exacted on many songbirds and raptors for decades
beginning in the 1940s. Further complicating the bluebird's plight, particularly in
Pennsylvania, has been the loss of open spaces to development or reforestation.
Pennsylvania's bluebird population was probably its strongest ever in the late
1800s and early 1900s, before starlings and house sparrows became too plentiful,
and before the advent of DDT. It was the period just after large sections of the
Commonwealth's forests had been logged off and a time when farms covered
about two-thirds of the state. Pennsylvania's human population was half what it is
today. Combined, that translated into lots of open space - preferred habitat, few
environmental issues and limited competition with other cavity nesters. Bluebird
paradise.
With time, though, America's bluebirds began to lose their grip. The European
transplants began to dominate the nesting cavities bluebirds preferred. DDT and
other harmful pesticides hampered reproduction until they were banned nationally
in '70s. And Pennsylvania's open spaces slowly, but steadily, were reclaimed by
trees, or worse, buildings. The bluebird's perfect world was slipping away, and it
was helpless to reverse the troubling tailspin it found itself in.
Bluebirds needed help competing with the more aggressive European species, and
American ornithologists soon recognized this problem. By the 1930s, a national
movement had started to remedy the bluebird's "homeless" status. But whatever
gains were made for bluebirds likely were offset by the increased usage of DDT - and a general disregard for
many environmental concerns - during the war years of the '40s.
"Bluebirds were in deep trouble in the mid 1900s, just before America's environmental awaking in the '60s,"
explained Dan Brauning, Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Diversity Section chief. "Just about everything
seemed to be working against this handsome, and extremely popular songbird. But the situation started to
improve for bluebirds in the 1960s and '70s as more and more Americans rallied to help by placing nest boxes in
their backyards and creating bluebird nest box trails."
The Game Commission regularly campaigned for bluebirds by encouraging Pennsylvanians to consider getting
involved in the fight to make the state a friendlier place for them. But then the bluebird has always had
someone to champion its well-being in the Commonwealth, even before the creation of the Game Commission in
1895. In the state's second oldest songbird protection law, dated 1843, bluebirds were one of several species
listed specifically for complete protection in Allegheny and Franklin counties. The $2 fine for breaking the law
was equivalent to about a $50 fine today.
It's not hard to figure out why bluebirds were so popular in the 1800s, and probably well before that, given their
striking blue and orange plumage and willingness to nest close to homes and in the fence-posts that once
separated farms and agricultural fields. John J. Audubon referred to the bluebird as a "lovely bird ... full of
innocent vivacity," and surely countless Americans had similar feelings toward it.
The Game Commission's Howard Nursery, near Milesburg, has been manufacturing
bluebird nest boxes and box kits for more than a quarter century. Each year,
about 9,000 kits are manufactured there and sold or provided to Pennsylvanians
to help bluebirds. That annual influx of new nest boxes helps to ensure
Pennsylvania remains a "keystone state" in bluebird conservation.
PGC Photo/Jake Dingel
The Game Commission's Howard
Nursery manufactures thousands of
bluebird nest box kits annually.
Get Image
PGC Photo/Joe Kosack
Bluebirds are dependent on people.
Get Image
"That bluebirds currently nest in all of Pennsylvania's 67 counties is directly
related to the interest Pennsylvanians have shown toward bluebird conservation
and doing something more for wildlife in their yards over the past 50 years,"
explained Brauning. "But we should not consider the bluebird's comeback a done
deal, because their existence seems destined to hinge on the continued
involvement of people who care about the species. If people stop putting out nest
boxes for bluebirds, there undoubtedly will be serious repercussions."
Bluebirds have the unique distinction of being the only member of the thrush
family to nest in a cavity. But they get plenty of competition for nesting sites from
other wildlife. In addition to house sparrows and starlings, native species such as
the tree swallow, house wren, great-crested flycatcher, black-capped chickadee,
and tufted titmouse also use cavities. It's also not uncommon to find flying squirrels, white-footed mice, deer
mice, even yellow jackets and bumblebees using nest boxes.
Given the aforementioned list of possible tenants, it's not hard to understand why nest boxes are in such
demand. Add to that the diminishing number of fence-posts found in rural America - caused by field
consolidation, farm loss, and use of prefabricated plastic and metal posts - and the dwindling number of snags
and mature trees with cavities in Penn's Woods, and it hits you like a runaway train why bluebirds are so
dependent upon people and why their future will always be hazy.
Countless Pennsylvanians already are involved in bluebird conservation, because
they enjoy seeing bluebirds, or simply would like to lend a helping hand to a
songbird that could use all the help it can get. Most have bluebird nest boxes in
their yard; others maintain bluebird nest box trails. Casual conservationists
probably account for the biggest share of this ongoing outreach effort. They also
are responsible for putting nest boxes in locations that simply won't do much for
bluebirds.
"People frequently ask the Game Commission why bluebirds won't use a nest box
they've placed in their yard," said Doug Gross, Game Commission ornithologist.
"More often than not the reason is the box was placed in an undesirable location.
People often mistakenly place nest boxes in places where they'd like to see them,
rather than locations that satisfy bluebirds.
"A box is best placed on a post - not a tree trunk - four to six feet off the ground
in direct sunlight. Preferred locations are open backyards, meadows, near
fencerows or agricultural fields, and around cemeteries or athletic fields. Boxes
placed too close to houses and other buildings, waterways and wetlands, or
forested and brushy areas will attract nesting competitors and predators."
Of course, it should be pointed out that a bluebird nest box used by any species
other than a house sparrow - starlings can't access the entrance of a properly-constructed bluebird nest box - is
still a box that's serving wildlife and helping to fill a habitat deficiency. If helping bluebirds is your objective,
then place or relocate your nest box to an area where there will be limited nesting competition and predator
problems, and where bluebirds are more apt to find it. If you're reusing a box, remove old nesting materials
from inside before hanging it. Otherwise, recognize its worth to other wildlife and place it where it'll do some
good.
The best time to erect a bluebird box is right now. The earlier a nest box is placed afield or in a yard, the better
its chances are of attracting bluebirds. Males - the more vibrantly-colored ones - start shopping for nest boxes in
early to mid March. After attracting a female, they build a nest in the box. In late April - and often again in mid
June - the female lays eggs.
"Although Pennsylvania's bluebird population appears to be stronger today than any time over the past 50 years,
the species surely needs to remain in the public's eye to ensure its well-being and that it continues to prosper,"
emphasized Gross. "Probably nothing reinforces the need for bluebird nest boxes more than seeing bluebirds
scrapping with house sparrows over a box. It's a sight that inspires people to get a nest box and help make a
difference locally. So please do put out nest boxes, and put them where they can help. Please encourage your
neighbors to do the same."
The Game Commission's website - www.pgc.state.pa.us - offers additional information on bluebirds, as well as
nest box plans. The agency also will be selling bluebird nest boxes and nest box kits to the public in May in the
Harrisburg headquarters.
The Bluebird Society of Pennsylvania (www.thebsp.org), as well as the North American Bluebird Society
(www.nabluebirdsociety.org), have done much to promote bluebirds and the species' never-ending need for nest
boxes. Their websites offer a variety of features that will familiarize interested landowners with ways to make
their properties more attractive to bluebirds.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/20/2006 11:08:22 AM
PGC Photo/Beth Kobylarz
Mike Pruss, PGC private lands
biologist, inspects a tree buffer on a
Pennsylvania CREP project in Mifflin
County.
Get Image
Release #025-06
PENNSYLVANIA'S CREP LEADS THE NATION
More than 150,000 acres enrolled in state to improve watershed quality and wildlife habitat
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that private
landowners have enrolled more agricultural acres in the federal Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program
(CREP) - a voluntary land retirement program that provides tremendous benefits to local waterways and major
river systems and the wildlife that inhabit these watersheds - than any other state in the nation.
On the national level, Pennsylvania's 265,000 allocated CREP acres, and 156,157 contracted acres (as of
January 2006) lead all other states. The closest states to Pennsylvania's tallies are Nebraska with 200,000
allocated acres, and Illinois, with nearly 109,620 contracted acres.
"The Pennsylvania CREP has enrolled more than 150,000 acres since it was
started in 2000," Roe said. "It's a tremendous accomplishment and likely will
become as vital to our state's conservation history as the federal Soil Bank
program in the 1950s and '60s.
"CREP offers an arsenal of specific conservation and environmental objectives to
farmers and other landowners to restore and protect important natural resources
on their properties. In the process, this grassroots approach improves
Pennsylvania's ecological character, improves the environmental quality of the
Chesapeake Bay and Ohio River Basin, and ultimately makes the United States a
better place to live for Americans and wildlife."
Administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA),
CREP is a highly successful partnership involving states and the federal
government in an ambitious initiative that uses monetary incentives to help
conserve and rehabilitate environmentally-sensitive agricultural lands in water
quality-compromised river drainages by carrying out projects that reduce erosion,
restore degraded habitats and increase protections for ground and surface water.
Initiated in 2000, the Pennsylvania CREP is administered primarily by the Game Commission and U.S.
Department of Agriculture. Pennsylvania CREP aspires to render 265,000 acres in 59 counties into environs with
improved wildlife habitat and water quality, and reduced soil erosion, while monetarily compensating landowners
for their participation. In addition to participating landowners, hunters, trappers and anglers are direct
beneficiaries of CREP, as are neighbors of program participants, bird-watchers and others who care about
improving the environment.
Roe also noted that CREP is one of the many programs helping the agency in its efforts to improve wildlife
habitat on private lands.
"Improving wildlife habitat has long been a major objective of the Game Commission," Roe said. "However, the
agency's 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands comprise roughly five percent of the Commonwealth's landscape
spread out in more than 600 parcels in 65 of our 67 counties. While this may seem like a lot, when viewed in
context of the entire Commonwealth, it is easy to see how the agency's ability to manage wildlife just on State
Game Lands is far more difficult than many understand.
"We view the habitat work done on State Game Lands as the model for other
public and private lands, and we very much would like to share this information
with interested landowners to benefit wildlife. CREP is just such a program, and
it's no secret that wildlife's future improves whenever and wherever another
landowner chooses to do something for wildlife or to improve environmental
quality on his or her property."
The state Department of Environmental Protection has continued to provide
substantial funding for CREP through the state's Growing Greener initiatives.
Many other partners - including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Ducks Unlimited,
Pheasants Forever and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy - have contributed
to this program. CREP has become the largest water quality-wildlife habitat
partnership on farmland in Pennsylvania's history.
PGC Photo/Joe Kosack
Bobolinks are dependent on large
grassy areas for nesting. CREP caters
to the species needs.
Get Image
PGC Photo/Scott Singer
CREP acreage overlooking the
Susquehanna River in Columbia
County.
"CREP targets for retirement on 10- to 15-year leases any cropland or marginal
pasture within 180 feet of a stream; highly-erodible cropland, including hayfields;
and croplands where contour buffer strips, grassed waterways and wetlands are
established," said Mike Pruss, Game Commission Private Lands Biologist. "Farmers
aren't expected to offer their best farmland. CREP focuses on setting aside
marginal agricultural fields and providing technical experts to help participating
landowners establish conservation plans on their properties."
A landowner is eligible to participate in CREP if his or her property has an existing
resource concern that can improve wildlife habitat and water quality, and reduce
soil erosion. Using a local network of Game Commission biologists and staff from
the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly the U.S. Soil Conservation Service), a project
proposal is then developed with the landowner to meet their conservation goals and remedy the environmental
problems. Interested property owners must agree to sign a 10- to 15-year contract with the USDA Farm Service
Agency to keep lands out of agricultural production.
Payments for participating in the program vary and are dependent upon the environmental gains the project
provides. In addition, CREP generally offers a sign-up incentive for participants to install specific practices, such
as establishing permanent native grasses, or riparian, forested stream buffers. Average annual rental rates for
contracted acres range from $40 to $150, depending on the county of enrolled acreage and soil type.
At the conclusion of 2005, Pennsylvania had 153,929 acres enrolled in CREP in 7,762 contracts, which averaged
20 acres in size. The average annual rental rate per acre on these contracted properties was $102.
"The funding commitment made by USDA and Pennsylvania for this 59-county CREP program over the next 15
years is $556 million," noted Scott Klinger, Game Commission Bureau of Land Management director. "Under the
Pennsylvania CREP, for every Game Commission dollar currently spent on CREP, we receive $21 worth of habitat
improvements on private lands from other state, federal and non-governmental partners. That rate will increase
as more acres are enrolled in the program.
"The important thing to remember about the Pennsylvania effort is we're not done yet. Our wildlife habitat
biologists and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service staff have completed eligibility determinations for
an additional 3,000 applicants. When fully implemented we anticipate more than 10,000 farmers and rural
landowners will be enrolled in the program."
The federal government began providing farmers conservation incentives with the
Soil Conservation Act of 1935, and has been offering rewards for retiring
farmlands and making conservation improvements since then. In the early years,
the focus of the federal effort was crop supply control and rural growth, but it
would ultimately intensify its focus on conservation and environmental
rehabilitation. In the last year of enrollment, the Soil Bank had contracted to
remove more than 366,000 Pennsylvania farmland acres from agricultural
rotation.
The Soil Bank program removed from production about 29 million acres of
farmland nationally, albeit on a limited basis. But the idea was a step in the right
direction that set the stage for set-aside programs and other initiatives that would
foster substantial conservation gains. Pennsylvania and America have benefited
Get Image
PGC Photo/Joe Kosack
Cottontails appear to be benefiting
from the habitat changes CREP
produces.
Get Image
and continue to reap environmental gains from USDA programs and Farm Bill
initiatives. Some of the more recognizable ones include the Wetland Conservation
Compliance (Swampbuster) provisions of the 1985 and 1990 Farm Bills, which required farmers to protect
wetlands to remain eligible for USDA program benefits; the Grasslands Reserve Program; the Conservation
Reserve Program; the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program; Environmental Quality Incentive Program; and
Wetland Reserve Program.
CREP started in Pennsylvania in 2000, when it was offered to 20 counties in the lower Susquehanna and
Potomac river basins. It was a $210 million partnership between FSA and the state of Pennsylvania. In 2003,
that initiative was expanded to 23 additional counties ($200 million in additional project funding). Less than a
year later, 16 counties in the Ohio River drainage were added ($146 million in augmented funding). Only eight
Pennsylvania counties - all in the Delaware River Basin - do not participate in CREP.
Bradford County currently leads the state in CREP enrollment with more than 11,000 acres. Other counties with
substantial acreage include: Columbia, with more than 9,700 acres; Northumberland, 9,600; Somerset, 7,700;
and Tioga, 7,500.
"Many of the folks who have established native grasslands on their property through CREP are thrilled with the
unbelievable cover they now have growing," explained Scott Singer, NRCS/Game Commission Wildlife Habitat
Biologist. "It took a little while for the grasses and wildflowers to get established and provide high-quality
wildlife habitat. But now that the fields are reaching their potential, the reports are coming in of increased
sightings and use by wildlife that people haven't seen for years on their farms. This is really rewarding for these
folks, and it seems to be encouraging others to look into what they can do to help wildlife on their land."
To date, more than 25,000 Pennsylvania acres - 39 square miles - of native warm-season grasses have been
established under CREP. Equally significant are the more than 1,400 miles of forest riparian stream buffers that
have been placed under contract. As a result, these acres provide tough-to-acquire environmental security at a
time when Pennsylvania's open spaces continue to be consumed by the growing needs of its populace.
Grassland birds and eastern cottontails appear to be benefiting from the positive habitat changes that are
occurring on properties enrolled in CREP. Birds nesting in CREP fields had a higher nesting success rate than
those nesting in neighboring hayfields, according to a recent study conducted by Kevin Wentworth and Margaret
Brittingham of Pennsylvania State University. Moreover, CREP fields also exhibited a greater diversity of nesting
birds, including many of the state's sensitive species, such as the eastern meadowlark, grasshopper sparrow and
Savannah sparrow. The CREP fields - since they are not mowed during nesting season - provided a more stable
environment. The researchers concluded that CREP must target larger fields if the effort is to attract rare
Pennsylvania grassland nesters, such as the Henslow's sparrow and upland sandpiper.
Interestingly, cottontail response depended on field size. As expected from an
edge species, they displayed a propensity to inhabit CREP fields that were in close
proximity to woody areas. Study areas that had an average of 11 percent CREP
habitat were used by cottontails more than any other habitat, while the interior
portions of larger fields were used less than the edges.
"Since cottontails rely on habitats that can provide good food, such as woody
plants, as well as good escape cover, including brush-piles and thickets, a mixture
of grassland and wooded habitat is needed to support cottontails, especially those
areas with a larger amount of edge habitat," explained PSU researcher Richard
Fritsky, who performed this fieldwork for the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife
Research Unit at Pennsylvania State University.
Although the Pennsylvania CREP still has about 110,000 acres to enroll yet, its
partnership has already received national recognition from conservation
organizations. In 2004, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service presented the National Partners in Flight Stewardship
Award to the Game Commission and its many partners for the contributions the state's CREP is making to bird
conservation. And, in 2002, The Wildlife Management Institute presented its highest award, the Touchstone
Award, to Klinger for leading the charge to develop and implement CREP in Pennsylvania.
Landowners who are interested in participating in CREP are encouraged to call toll-free 1-800-941-CREP (2737)
to access a menu-driven recording that will provide a brief overview of the program and direct the caller to a
telephone number for their local CREP coordinator. Interested individuals also can visit the local U.S. Farm
Service Agency office in their county Agriculture Service Center.
CREP information also is available on the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) by clicking on the
"CREP" box on the center of the homepage or by selecting the "Forms & Programs" and select "CREP" under the
"Programs" section.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/20/2006 11:16:12 AM
PGC Photo/Hal Korber
At the height of migration 100,000 to
150,000 snow geese converge on the
Game Commission's Middle Creek
Wildlife Management Area.
Get Image
Release #026-06
SPRING APPROACHES AND SNOW GEESE ARE, TOO
KLEINFELTERSVILLE, Lebanon County - Pennsylvania Game Commission officials today noted that, with spring
just around the corner, the height of Pennsylvania's annual snow goose phenomenon is right around the corner.
Although their name connotes winter, and the possibility of snow still accompanies
most weekly weather forecasts, snow geese by the tens of thousands have been
converging on the Game Commission's Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area on
the Lebanon/Lancaster county line. Their arrival is proof positive of spring's
approach, but their presence doesn't guarantee an end to snow. However, it does
offer assurance that there is less to winter than there was and most
Pennsylvanians find great comfort in that thought.
Over the past couple of weeks, spring has been inching tantalizingly closer.
Daylight hours have been increasing. Temperatures briefly climbed into the 60s.
Migratory birds such as robins and red-winged blackbirds have returned. Even
groundhogs have been spotted occasionally, no doubt shadow-testing
Punxsutawney Phil's earlier forecast. All are true signs of spring. Now, the snow
geese are coming. Surely, the birds cannot be wrong. Could they?
"Although they sometimes head north prematurely, snow geese usually have their
migration timing down," explained John Dunn, Game Commission waterfowl
biologist. "Their movements north are generally triggered by photoperiod, or the
length of daylight in a day, and the availability of open water for resting, and snow-free fields for feeding. If
snow geese encounter difficulty finding food and open water, they may retreat southward until they find
accommodations more to their liking. Despite their name, snow geese apparently don't care much for snow.
Tundra swans, on the other hand, appear willing to tough it out and wait for the snow to melt."
As of today, an estimated 55,000 snow geese and between 2,000 to 4,000 tundra swans were hanging out at
Middle Creek. At the height of migration, 100,000 to 150,000 snows may converge on Middle Creek, creating a
"got-to-see-it-to-believe-it" spectacle. But there's never a guarantee the snow geese will ever show in big
numbers or stay within viewing distance from the network of roads that crisscross Middle Creek's rolling fields
and soggy settings.
Late last week the 35,000 snow geese staging at the Wildlife Management Area swelled to perhaps 95,000 for a
short period, noted Jim Binder, Middle Creek's resident manager.
"This morning 40,000 of them turned up missing," Binder said. "Reports indicate that the birds have abandoned
their wintering grounds in Delaware and that snow geese are showing up in New York. It is unclear whether the
birds that stopped here briefly and then left recently still are somewhere at this same latitude or if they have
pushed north. It would be somewhat early for large numbers of snows to be north of us but the movements of
these birds is hard to predict. As soon as conditions permit they will usually try to push north, but if they
encounter much snow or ice they will again retreat southward."
Potential visitors should remember that these numbers are estimates and are subject to rapid and dramatic
change.
"What is here today may be gone tomorrow, bird migration is a fluid thing and subject to weather conditions,"
Binder said. "The calendar will soon play a role, too; weather or not, these birds want to get north. The 'peak'
numbers of birds seen here are usually gone by mid-March.
"We're already hearing from some visitors about the low numbers of snow geese, but there's not much we can
do about that. They are, after all, wild animals. Currently, there just are not as many birds here as people
might have come to expect by this date. The problem is, we don't know when more will come, or if those
currently here will stay for long. And soon, it all will be over. If you're interested in coming to see the snow
geese and tundra swans, check the updates in the Middle Creek section of the agency's website. We'll keep the
latest information posted there."
The periodic updates about Middle Creek's snow goose and tundra swans numbers can be found on the Game
Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) by clicking on the "Watchable Wildlife" link in the right-hand
PGC Photo/Hal Korber
Snow geese each spring migrate to
the eastern Arctic region.
Get Image
column and then, under the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area menu, selecting "Waterfowl Migration."
Viewers should bear in mind that these are estimates and the numbers can change quickly, and the birds also
may fly off to feed during the day.
When they occupy Middle Creek, snow geese often can be observed working the fields for food and resting on
the large impoundment. They're usually rather vocal and aren't necessarily flighty. Wildlife watchers who keep
their distance and use spotting scopes or binoculars, generally get quite a show. If something spooks the geese,
they'll take to the wing, creating an incredible scene you soon won't forget.
Snow geese migrate north from states south of Pennsylvania to the eastern Arctic
region in spring. In the early 1990s, snow geese came to Middle Creek in
relatively limited numbers. Then, in 1997, a phenomenal 150,000 snows
blanketed the management area's fields and large impoundment, and the birds
have been visiting in large numbers pretty much ever since then. The Atlantic
Flyway population of snow geese currently numbers about 800,000. The growth in
the greater snow goose population has been phenomenal. In the 1930s, there
were only a few thousand. Now, the population is in excess of 800,000 and is
above the goal of 500,000 set by Canadian and United States waterfowl
managers.
The tundra swan's occupation of Middle Creek parallels that of snow geese.
Traditionally, swans leaving their wintering grounds further south used to stage on
the Susquehanna River and, when they were ready, headed north. Now, Middle
Creek - along with the Susquehanna River - has become a migratory staging area
that is used each spring by several thousand tundra swans.
Since its creation in the 1970s, Middle Creek, which is part of the larger State
Game Lands 46, in Lebanon and Lancaster counties just south of Kleinfeltersville,
has become a critically important migratory bird stopover and staging area. The
6,254-acre property also contains a 400-acre lake and a wide variety of
waterfowl-friendly potholes, ponds and wetlands.
In fact, the Game Commission created the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area specifically to help migrating
waterfowl and other wildlife. Middle Creek is now a critically-important Atlantic Flyway stopover for tens of
thousands of migrating waterfowl, as well as an over-wintering location for myriad waterfowl. It also provides
nesting grounds for many declining species of grassland-nesting birds, such as bobolinks and meadowlarks. It
also is home to bald eagles, beavers and a thriving whitetail population.
"What has made Middle Creek so vital to waterfowl is its habitat diversity," Binder said. "Middle Creek is a
shining example of progressive wildlife management. Through wildlife plantings, habitat enhancements, and
wetland creation and manipulation, Middle Creek has been molded into an area that now rivals the Susquehanna
River in waterfowl appeal. It has evolved into a waterfowl oasis in a section of the Atlantic Flyway dominated by
intensive farming and development."
Snow geese weigh six to eight pounds and have a four- to five-foot wingspan. Tundra swans weigh 14 to 18
pounds and have a six- to-seven-foot wingspan. Both species feed on waste grain, winter wheat shoots and
grasses, and aquatic vegetation.
"Toward sunset, waterfowl by the thousands converge on the main impoundment, so long as there's open
water," said Binder. "The sunset return and sunrise liftoff are about the only movements we can predict snow
geese and tundra swans will make. When they may arrive, where they go to feed and how long they stay at
Middle Creek are strictly up to the birds and closely related to weather conditions."
On weekends, Middle Creek draws a considerable number of spectators who come to see waterfowl. There are
driving routes to follow with plenty of roadside pull-offs, as well as trails to hike. There also are restricted areas
where public access is denied. Pending weather and road conditions, the driving routes may be closed.
"One of the reasons we're able to attract and hold large numbers of waterfowl is because we have large
restricted areas that are off limits to human activities," Binder said. "These areas are well-marked and
monitored regularly. Individuals who enter these areas will be fined. We are balancing protecting the birds from
disturbance and providing viewing opportunities for all."
Visitors planning to see waterfowl up-close should bring a pair of binoculars or a spotting scope. Sometimes the
birds will feed quite near roads. If you encounter a bird close to the road, approach slowly and keep noise to a
minimum. However, do not go beyond the "no entry" signs.
Middle Creek's visitor center, which houses a large wildlife exhibit, is a good first-stop for newcomers. Located
just off Hopeland Road near the lake's western shore, the visitor center is staffed and open to the public six
days a week. Its schedule is: Tuesdays through Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. The
center is closed on Mondays.
In addition to snow geese and tundra swans, Middle Creek offers opportunities to view other wildlife. Canada
geese can be found throughout the area. Black ducks, mallards and shovelers cruise the impoundments along
with many other ducks. Northern harriers, or marsh hawks, patrol the fields. A bald eagle pair hangs out along
the southern shore and eastern end of the lake. Bluebirds also are very busy inspecting roadside bluebird boxes
for the upcoming nesting season.
"If you come to Middle Creek, you will see wildlife," Binder said. "But it's always best to come early or late in
the day. That's when things are happening. That's prime time."
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/20/2006 11:16:56 AM
Release #027-06
DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR SECOND SPRING GOBBLER TAG APRIL 1
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania hunters interested in applying for a second spring gobbler tag have until April 1,
according to Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe. Applications are available on page 36 of the
2005-06 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is provided to each license buyer, or
by going to the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), and clicking on "Spring Turkey Tag App" in the "Quick
Clicks" box in the upper right hand corner of the homepage.
Fees for the special license are $21 for residents and $41 for nonresidents. Mailed applications for special wild
turkey licenses must be sent to: Pennsylvania Game Commission, Special Spring Gobbler License, P.O. Box
61317, Harrisburg, PA 17106-1317.
Applications also are being accepted at any of the six Game Commission region offices and the Harrisburg
headquarters. Applications will be processed and mailed from the Harrisburg headquarters.
The spring gobbler season is set for April 29-May 27, and the daily limit remains one bird. Hunters are allowed
to submit only one application for the special wild turkey license during a license year. So far, the agency has
received applications for more than 3,500 second spring gobbler tags.
Roe stressed that hunters still are able to take one spring gobbler as part of their general hunting privileges.
However, the special license enables the agency to afford those hunters interested in this additional opportunity
to take a second spring gobbler in any Wildlife Management Unit.
According to Mary Jo Casalena, Game Commission wild turkey biologist, research has shown that properly timed
and implemented multiple-bird spring limits have not caused population declines in other states.
To monitor hunter success, Casalena reminds hunters who receive the special spring gobbler license that they
are required to submit a report, regardless of whether they harvest a second spring gobbler.
Revenues from the special licenses could be used to implement and fund the Game Commission's turkey
management plan and further educate turkey hunters, thereby promoting additional recreation and safe hunting
practices.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 3/7/2006 3:50:05 PM
PGC Photo/Mel Schake
Andrew Seman Jr. of Dunbar took this
733-pound male in Dunbar Township,
Fayette County, at 3 p.m. on Nov.
22. This was the largest bear taken
during the 2005 bear seasons.
Get Image
Release #028-06
ANOTHER RECORD-BOOK BLACK BEAR TAKEN IN PENNSYLVANIA
New state record black bear taken in Fayette County
By Joe Kosack, Wildlife Conservation Education Specialist
Pennsylvania Game Commission
HARRISBURG - At more than 700 pounds, it moved across the leaf litter of a regenerating mountaintop clear-cut
as quiet as a rabbit running across a lawn. The huge black bear had been stirred by one of three brothers
working the Chestnut Ridge for bears.
In fact, Andrew "A.J." Seman, 40, of Dunbar, never knew what was coming until
this incredibly large black bear barreled into view. Two shots rang out and his
brother, Brian, who coaxed the bear Seman's way while still hunting the thickets
and laurel patches near the summit, smiled. He knew his brother had action.
"Brian never saw or heard the bear," Seman said. "But we're sure he chased it
my way. We were sort of still hunting and driving the ridge 50 to 100 yards apart
and heading around my other brother, Jim, who was on stand.
"I stopped by design to wait for Brian, looking his way to catch his movement.
Then I heard something crack, like a branch, and it was close. Suddenly, I
noticed this big black bear loping through the thicket and coming my way at
about 25 yards. I knew immediately that I wouldn't have a very big window of
opportunity."
Seman, who has been hunting for more than 25 years, was on State Game Lands
51 in Fayette County's Dunbar Township on the second day of the three-day
season. In his 15 years of bear hunting, he had gotten a glimpse of a black bear
just one time during bear season. He knew his luck had changed as he leveled his
Sako model 75 Hunter rifle on the approaching bear.
From the time he took his Hunter-Trapper Education class at age 12, Seman and
his brothers have hunted together and especially on and around SGL 51, a more
than 16,500-acre chunk of the Chestnut Ridge in the Allegheny Mountains.
"We've been on the ridge most of our lives," reminisced Seman. "Whether we were hunting, hiking, fishing or
crawling over the rocks. We knew there were bears there and over the past few years we've seen plenty of bear
sign. But we didn't know this big bear was out there. We didn't hear stories, and we didn't see big bear tracks."
Seman readily admits he was initially drawn to bear hunting because it provided a chance to scout for deer,
which he quickly concluded were easier to find in bear season. And for a long, long time that's pretty much all
bear hunting provided him. But he also recognizes that hunting can be that way.
"Many a day I sat from dawn to dusk and didn't see a thing," Seman noted. "It didn't discourage me, because
I've learned that in hunting you never know what's going to happen. That's why I go. The day I took the bear, I
believed change was in the air. It always seemed like the wind was in our faces on drives. We were hunting in
areas we felt had potential. In fact, the bear was shot in an area my brother Jim recommended we try while we
were eating lunch that day."
The first day and a half of the 2005 bear season were like all the others to Seman and his brothers. But after
lunch on the second day, they took a long hike to an area where they'd seen bear sign in the past. It was clear-
cut about 15 to 20 years ago and was a rugged mix of saplings, and laurel and rock patches. A great place for a
big black bear to hide.
That Tuesday - Nov. 22 - this bear, which had an estimated live weight of 733 pounds, likely sat tight as Brian
Seman moved toward it. The bear probably didn't hear the hunter immediately because the leaves on the forest
floor, dampened by an earlier rain, were quiet that day. But at the right time, the bear bolted, unbeknownst to
Seman's brother, and headed right for A.J. Seman. Eluding one hunter, the bear rushed right into another.
"I raised the rifle and shot, but the bear seemed unfazed," Seman recalled. "It kept moving, angling along the
ridge away from me. I didn't know it then, but I had missed with the first shot. I discovered later that it had hit
a tree. I continued to follow the bear with the rifle and aimed for the shoulders. It dropped to the ground as I
squeezed the trigger on the second shot."
Seman's black bear apparently had great success avoiding hunters over the years, given its tremendous size.
But the bear also had a routine in recent years that kept its hulking form out of sight on the Chestnut Ridge.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission captured the bear in October of 1997, while handling a cornfield damage
complaint in Wharton Township, Fayette County - south of Dunbar. He was tagged and relocated to SGL 111 in
Somerset County and, at some point, apparently returned to Fayette County. When relocated, the bear weighed
605 pounds and was estimated to be seven years old based on examination. That would make it 15 years old
when Seman shot it, a long time for a bear to live in Pennsylvania.
"There's not a lot of 15-year-old black bears out there," explained Mark Ternent, Game Commission bear
biologist. "In fact, 15-year-olds make up less than one percent of the state's bear population. Over the past 25
years, only 63 fifteen-year-old or older male bears have been examined at check stations during the hunting
seasons. Equally interesting is that Seman's bear outweighs most 15-year-old male bears, which, according to
check station data, typically weigh between 400 and 600 pounds."
Since it was Seman's first bear, he said he really didn't know how to gauge how heavy it was.
"When I tried to pick up the bear's head, I realized just how big it was," he said. "I thought it might weigh 300
or 400 pounds, maybe even 500. Then I thought maybe I was getting a little carried away. So when I got to the
check station I asked one of the girls weighing bears what was the biggest bear they got so far. She looked at
me like I was kidding. I said, 'No seriously,' and she immediately told me, 'Yours!'"
At the check station, the field-dressed bear tipped the scales at 621 pounds, which puts the estimated live-
weight at 733 pounds. However, for official international, national and state big game record keeping, a bear's
skull measurement - not its weight - is what matters. Seman's bear ranks number eight on the Game
Commission's list of all-time heaviest bears.
"While a bear's weight may fluctuate from one year to the next based on availability of foods and time of year,
the size of its skull is a much more consistent means of determining a bear's true size in comparison to another
bear," said J. Carl Graybill Jr., Game Commission Bureau of Information and Education director and a certified
official measurer for both Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young. "An official score for a bear's skull is determined
by adding total length and width together."
The bear was officially scored at the Game Commission Southwest Region Office at Ligonier in early February by
Michael J. Hardison, of Uniontown, after the mandatory 60-day drying period for Boone & Crockett Club scoring.
It's skull measured 23 and 3/16 inches, which officially places it as the largest black bear ever taken legally by a
hunter in Pennsylvania. It also preliminarily ties with a bear taken in California as the largest ever taken legally
by a hunter in the world.
The Seman bear's score must be corroborated by a panel of Boone & Crockett Club judges during the
organization's next Awards Program in 2007.
Currently, only two other black bears in the world have higher scores. One is a skull that was found in Utah that
scored 23 and 10/16 inches, and the other is the skull from a Pennsylvania bear that was killed illegally in 1987
in Lycoming County. It scored 23 and 7/16 inches, and is on display in the lobby of the Game Commission's
Harrisburg headquarters.
Although Seman's bear had the largest skull of a bear taken legally by a hunter, it was not the heaviest bear
ever taken in Pennsylvania. That record is still held by a 864-pound male - with a skull measurement of 22 and
12/16 inches - taken in Pike County's Dingman Township in 2003 by Doug Kristiansen of Milford. Six other bears
also have exceeded the weight of Seman's bear. All were taken after 1991.
The previous state record was a black bear that scored 22 and 14/16 inches and weighed 739 pounds. It was
taken, in 2003, by Brian Coxe, Weatherly, in Carbon County's Weatherly Borough.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 6/1/2006 10:53:52 AM
Release #029-06
GAME COMMISSION/FISH AND BOAT COMMISSION WILL AWARD FUNDING FOR HIGH-PRIORITY
HABITAT CONSERVATION PROJECTS
HARRISBURG -- Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat
Commission Director Dr. Douglas Austen today announced that conservation partners have until noon on
Wednesday, May 31, to submit applications to receive federally-funded grants for high-priority habitat conservation
projects for endangered, threatened and at-risk species across Pennsylvania.
Prospective conservation partners can obtain more information and an application packet by visiting the
Pennsylvania Game Commission's Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) webpage. This webpage can be accessed by
going to the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), clicking on "Wildlife" in the left-hand column,
then choosing "Landowner Incentive Program" in the center "Wildlife Grants & Programs" section. The agencies
anticipate project selections will be made by mid-J une, and contracts finalized by late summer 2006.
These federal dollars are being made available to the two agencies through LIP, which is administered by the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service. LIP is designed to protect critical habitats, such as wetlands, stream buffers, grasslands,
and old growth and mature forests.
"We must continue to work closely with our conservation partners across the Commonwealth to come up with the
best projects to provide long-term conservation benefits to natural resources," Austen said. "This program provides
us with an important opportunity to address critical habitat needs."
Roe noted that both independent agencies are funded primarily by sportsmen's dollars, but are responsible for
management of all species, both game and nongame.
"Our agencies were created more than one hundred years ago because sportsmen - those who hunt, trap and fish -
recognized the need for conservation of our natural resources," Roe said. "Over the years, those same sportsmen
have stepped up to the plate to fully fund all wildlife conservation programs for both game and nongame species.
Due to our limited streams of funding, programs for nongame species have not risen to the top of the list.
"However, federal programs such as LIP help our agencies direct monies to conservation programs for those species
that face the greatest challenges due to habitat loss."
# # #
Content Last Modified on 3/10/2006 9:50:20 AM
PGC Photo/Lori Richardson
The Game Commission will be placing
300 leg bands on male turkeys as
part of a three-state study.
Get Image
PGC Photo/Lori Richardson
Game Commission Land Management
Group Supervisor David Mitchell
measures the beard of a gobbler
being held by Bob Erikson of the
National Wild Turkey Federation. The
gobbler has been banded as part of
three-state gobbler study that is
beginning this year.
Get Image
Release #030-06
GAME COMMISSION PARTICIPATES IN WILD TURKEY BANDING PROGRAM
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Game Commission and National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), along with
wildlife officials in Ohio and New York, are joining forces to conduct a four-year study to estimate the harvest
rates of spring gobblers in each of the three states.
"Each state received 300 bands to fit to male turkeys this winter, before the spring hunting seasons," said Carl
G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "In Pennsylvania, we have banded 185 birds since trapping began
in mid-January.
"We are very grateful the NWTF, a major partner in wild turkey management, is covering the cost of the
Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit at Penn State to coordinate the tri-state effort and
analyze the data."
The Game Commission - like the wildlife agencies in Ohio and New York - is
providing personnel and equipment to capture, band and release where caught
300 birds each year for the four years of the study. Also, the Pennsylvania
Chapter of the NWTF is contributing funds to cover equipment and bait. In
Pennsylvania, the Game Commission has allocated 50 bands for each of the six
regions.
Each aluminum leg band will be secured to a male turkey's leg, and each band
has a unique letter-number combination. Each band is also imprinted with a toll-
free telephone number with which to report a harvest or recovery of the banded
bird.
"Perhaps the most exciting news for spring turkey hunters is that half of the birds
being banded will also have information on the band indicating that a reward of
$100 will be paid if the band is reported," Roe noted. "Though the chance of
harvesting a bird wearing a $100 band is low, the information being gathered is
nonetheless significant."
Roe noted that the NWTF also is covering the cost of the rewards. In Pennsylvania, 150 of the 300 tagged birds,
25 in each region, will be wearing these special incentive bands.
Dr. Duane Diefenbach, who is heading up the study at the Pennsylvania
Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, said that the study will enable the
team to estimate reporting rates by comparing the number of $100 reward bands
reported to the number of non-reward bands reported. Reporting rate estimates
help biologists determine harvests and may enable them to compare results from
previous studies not using rewards.
"For many game species we have estimates of how many animals are harvested,
but what we typically lack is knowing the harvest rate - the percentage of the
population taken by hunters - because we lack population estimates," Diefenbach
said. "This study, for the first time, will provide an estimate of harvest rates for
turkey gobblers in Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania.
"In addition to estimating harvest rates of male turkeys during the spring season,
the research also will enable the Game Commission to estimate annual survival
rates of male turkeys and provide a better estimate of the statewide population."
Mary Jo Casalena, Game Commission wild turkey biologist, said that the multi-
state approach provides a larger sample and, thus, a better understanding of the
variability in harvest rates.
"This study will allow comparisons of harvest and survival rates among the three states, with their varying
harvests, hunter numbers and hunter densities," Casalena said. "Age-specific harvest rate information will
enable the state agencies to predict the effect of spring turkey seasons on the age-structure of the male turkey
population. Recent research has found that harvest rates vary among age classes of wild turkeys and can greatly
influence the number of adult gobblers in the spring harvest."
The bands being used for the harvest rate study are rivet bands - an aluminum band that is secured using a
stainless steel rivet. Past research has typically used standard aluminum bands that are simply squeezed closed,
but these sometimes fall off. Therefore, a sub-study on band retention rates also is being conducted. National
Band & Tag Company has donated a selection of standard leg bands to evaluate how well each of four different
types stay on wild turkeys. The retention rates of standard butt-end aluminum, anodized aluminum, enameled
aluminum and stainless steel bands will be evaluated.
Casalena noted that hens caught during the trapping efforts won't be part of this study. However, she noted
that the Game Commission is taking the opportunity to gather breast feathers from both male and female
turkeys for the Northeast Wildlife DNA Laboratory at East Stroudsburg University. The feathers will be used to
help build a forensic DNA database and will be placed in a long-term DNA archive for future studies.
Casalena stressed that birds captured during this study are being banded and released in the same location that
they were captured. Another project being conducted in partnership with the California University of
Pennsylvania and Pheasants Forever in the Southwest Region involves the capture of up to 150 wild turkeys over
three years to trade with wildlife officials from South Dakota for up to 600 wild pheasants over three years. The
wild pheasants then will be released on suitable habitat in Washington County in 2006. Other wild pheasant
releases are being considered for Montour, Columbia and Somerset counties in 2007 and 2008.
"The wild turkeys being captured as part of the exchange program with South Dakota are being taken from
nuisance flocks in and around urban/suburban communities in Allegheny and Washington counties," said Samara
Trusso, Southwest Region Wildlife Management Supervisor.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/20/2006 11:18:32 AM
Release #031-06

GAME COMMI SSI ON STATES LBFC REPORT SUPPORTS NEED FOR I NCREASED REVENUES

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today said that the agency agrees with most of
the findings in the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee's (LBFC) report of the agency's adherence to its strategic plan.

Roe noted that he believes the report, which was released today, provides the proof the General Assembly needs to act on
legislation that addresses the agency's funding limitations, which currently impede the agency's ability to fulfill its mission to
manage and conserve the state's 465 species of wild birds and mammals, as well as their habitats, for all Pennsylvanians.

One of the LBFC's key findings pointed out: "While the PGC has continued to experience problems in operationalizing its
Strategic Plan, the agency's financial condition represents its most significant near-term challenge. Despite expenditure cuts and
ongoing cost-containment measures, the Commission is in need of a substantial revenue augmentation in order to stem the
decline in the Game Fund balance and avoid further reductions in programs, services, and staff."

Roe emphasized that the agency has attempted to follow its strategic plan, which was developed in 2003. However, limited
financial resources has forced cuts in programs, projects and staff, thereby reducing the agency's ability to move forward.

"This report clearly notes that our efforts to implement a strategic plan is directly impacted by our ability to fund programs and
projects that benefit wildlife and their habitats," Roe said. "Our current Strategic Plan includes a measurement system and we
have collected two years of measurements from program areas. However, we have not been able to achieve the full
implementation of the plan, because of financial constraints.

"During the 2005-06 fiscal year budget preparations, we developed our initial budget using a zero-based concept. This approach
was designed to tie the budgeting process to the strategic plan. All operational plans are resource driven and, unfortunately, the
cost-cutting measures we implemented to keep our expenditures in line with revenues have compromised our ability to continue
the measurement system throughout the budget year."

Roe also noted that he concurs with the LBFC recommendation for the agency to fill the position of Strategic Planner, which has
been vacant since early 2003, as soon as possible.

"We have no choice but to leave the strategic planner position vacant until we receive additional revenues," Roe said. "In fact,
we have implemented a hiring freeze on all new positions and we are back-filling only positions that are critical to our mission."

The LBFC also recommended Roe issue an agency-wide directive clarifying the status of the Commission's strategic planning
process and the role the plan plays in agency operations and budgeting.

"Not only do I agree with this recommendation, but we already have made progress in communicating the importance of the
Game Commission's strategic plan," Roe said. "I have a strong commitment to the planning process and have informed staff
that strategic planning will be incorporated into day-to-day operations. Bureau and Regional budgets will be linked to the
Strategic Plan and performance reports will be an integral part of the implementation."

# # #
Content Last Modified on 3/15/2006 12:21:45 PM
Release #032-06

GAME COMMI SSI ON RELEASES 2005-06 DEER HARVEST ESTI MATES

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission officials today announced that the total deer harvest estimate for 2005-06
seasons is 354,390, down from the previous year's harvest estimate of 409,320. While the antlered harvest was similar to the
previous year, the reduction in the antlerless deer harvest followed changes in antlerless license allocations, which were
decreased in response to declining deer population trends in most Wildlife Management Units (WMUs).

"Going into the year, we expected WMU antlerless deer harvests to drop in most WMUs because the Board of Game
Commissioners approved an overall antlerless deer license allocation that was down 15 percent from the previous year," said
Carl Roe, Game Commission executive director. "For example, in WMU 2G, a 44 percent reduction in the unit's antlerless deer
license allocation resulted in a 42 percent drop in the antlerless deer harvest. Most of the changes in the antlerless harvest can
be accounted for by the change in antlerless allocations, and demonstrates the strong relationship between antlerless license
allocations and harvests.

"Also, as general hunting license sales are down by five percent this year, it is unreasonable to expect the overall deer harvest
would have increased."

The Game Commission's 2005-06 antlerless deer license allocations were intended to hold deer population trends steady until
the agency's Deer Management Section completed development of a new system of measures to gauge the impact of deer on
themselves, the habitat and people. That work, which should provide a solid foundation to manage deer more knowledgeably
and progressively, is nearing completion.

The 2005-06 antlerless harvest was 233,890 compared to 284,910 for the 2004-05 seasons. From 2004-05 to 2005-06,
antlerless harvests varied from a drop of 42 percent in WMU 2G to an increase of 6 percent in WMU 2A, where the allocation
remained the same from the previous year. The statewide antlerless deer harvest was comprised of 23 percent button bucks,
which is about average.

The 2005-06 antlered deer harvest was 120,500 compared to 124,410 for the 2004-05 seasons. Between 2004-05 and 2005-06,
antlered harvests varied from a decline of 27 percent in WMU 4B to an increase of 24 percent in WMU 2B. As a direct result of
the three-point and four-point antler restrictions, almost 50 percent of harvested antlered deer were 2.5 years old or older this
past season, compared to only 20 percent being that old prior to antler restrictions.

"Overall, we are pleased with the percentage of older bucks in the antlered harvests, and we continue to receive overwhelmingly
positive comments about antler restrictions," Roe said.

Calvin W. DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director, noted that weather, once again this year, played
a role at the beginning of the rifle deer season.

"Most deer are harvested during the first two days of the rifle season," DuBrock said. "This year, hunters in some areas
experienced heavy fog on ridge tops during the opening day, while heavy rain impacted the second day in many areas. As a
result, harvests during the first two days were down from 2004-05, but increased on the first and second Saturdays.

"Given the antlerless deer license allocations provided to hunters, we are pleased with the overall results. The 12-day concurrent
season increases hunter opportunity, reduces much of the variability in hunter effort associated with shorter seasons and
unpredictable weather, and gives our deer management team a more consistent method of monitoring the impacts of the
harvest. Given the relationship of antlerless license allocations to antlerless harvest, the 12-day season is a win-win situation for
hunters and managers."

DuBrock noted that deer harvest data, as well as comments from hunters, demonstrates that the agency's efforts in recent years
to reduce the deer herd in some WMUs are working.

"We are asking hunters to work with us and endure some short-term pain, in terms of lower deer densities than in the past, so
that we can achieve long-term gain, in terms of better habitat that supports deer and other wildlife for all Pennsylvanians. In fact,
many hunters, landowners and foresters have commented to us about the changes and regeneration they're seeing in the forests
they hunt or manage.

"Hunters have once again performed an important service for the rest of society by controlling the state's deer herd. They do it
willingly, and without burden to taxpayers. They also will enjoy many nutritious meals from the venison they added to their
freezers or provided to needy families through the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program."

DuBrock pointed out that deer harvest estimates are necessary. If all hunters who harvested a deer would send in their harvest
report card, as required by law, harvest estimates would not be needed. However, the agency began using reporting rates to
estimate deer harvests in the 1980s, when reporting rates began to drop. This year, less than 40 percent of hunters who
harvested a deer sent in their harvest report card.

"Many Pennsylvania hunters are following through with their responsibility to report deer they harvest, and they obviously do
believe reporting is important," DuBrock said. "But the loss of information created by so many other hunters not reporting their
deer harvests isn't helping the Game Commission in its efforts to manage deer to the best of its ability for all Pennsylvanians."

Although the current reporting rates reduce the precision of harvest estimates, they do not affect the validity of the results or
procedures.

"The Game Commission's method of estimating deer harvests was designed to account for reporting rates that are less than 100
percent," said Dr. Christopher Rosenberry, who heads up the agency's Deer Management Section. "The approach the agency
uses to estimate deer harvests recently underwent an independent, scientific review and was found to be scientifically valid. In
addition, the agency's harvest estimates represent a substantial data collection effort on the part of the agency's personnel."

DuBrock noted that, each year, roughly 10 percent of the agency's personnel - working throughout the state - check and record
information from ear tags on harvested deer. This year nearly 29,000 deer were examined. This sample is then cross-checked
with nearly 136,000 report cards submitted by hunters to determine reporting rates for antlered and antlerless deer by WMUs.
Deer harvests are then calculated using information from these tens of thousands of deer harvested.

"Now that these harvest data are compiled, the Deer Management Section in the Bureau of Wildlife Management can begin to
assess the impact of last year's harvest and prepare antlerless license allocation recommendations for the executive director to
review, prior to presenting it to the Board of Game Commissioners for its consideration," DuBrock said. "Additionally, as directed
by the Board, we will explore possible changes in season lengths for the 2006-07 seasons."

The Board of Game Commissioners will be meeting on April 17-18, at the agency's Harrisburg headquarters, 2001 Elmerton
Ave., just off the Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81. The meetings will begin at 8:30 a.m. on both days.

On April 17, the Board will hear public comments on the proposed 2006-07 hunting and furtaking seasons and bag limits that
were given preliminary approval in October. The Board also will receive agency staff reports and updates.

On April 18, the Board is scheduled to take official action to finalize the 2006-07 hunting and furtaking seasons and bag limits.
The Board also will set antlerless license allocations by WMUs on April 18.

As was announced last year (see News Release #020-05), DuBrock noted that last year was the final year of providing county
harvest estimates, as the Game Commission has completed its transition to WMUs.

Harvest figures for the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP), which enables landowners to target hunter pressure
where needed, are not available at this time, and were not included in these harvest results.

Bowhunters took 60,940 deer (31,730 antlered deer and 29,210 antlerless deer), compared to 62,460 deer (28,070 antlered deer
and 34,390 antlerless deer) in 2004-05. Muzzleloader hunters harvested 25,240 deer (1,200 antlered deer and 24,040 antlerless
deer) last year, compared to 31,270 deer (1,090 antlered deer and 30,180 antlerless deer) in 2004-05.

Deer harvest estimates by WMU are as follows:

WMU 1A: archery, 1,630 antlered, 1,530 antlerless; muzzleloader, 80 antlered, 1,410 antlerless; total, 5,500 antlered, 13,400
antlerless.

WMU 1B: archery, 1,780 antlered, 890 antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 antlered, 780 antlerless; total, 6,400 antlered, 10,700
antlerless.

WMU 2A: archery, 1,840 antlered, 1,520 antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 antlered, 2,080 antlerless; total, 8,500 antlered, 19,600
antlerless.

WMU 2B: archery, 2,720 antlered, 4,110 antlerless; muzzleloader, 80 antlered, 1,060 antlerless; total, 5,200 antlered, 14,500
antlerless.

WMU 2C: archery, 1,730 antlered, 1,150 antlerless; muzzleloader, 90 antlered, 1,310 antlerless; total, 7,400 antlered, 13,700
antlerless.

WMU 2D: archery, 2,700 antlered, 1,650 antlerless; muzzleloader, 90 antlered, 2,170 antlerless; total, 10,000 antlered, 22,100
antlerless.

WMU 2E: archery, 860 antlered, 460 antlerless; muzzleloader, 40 antlered, 690 antlerless; total, 4,100 antlered, 7,500
antlerless.

WMU 2F: archery, 890 antlered, 360 antlerless; muzzleloader, 40 antlered, 740 antlerless; total, 6,000 antlered, 8,300 antlerless.

WMU 2G: archery, 520 antlered, 380 antlerless; muzzleloader, 60 antlered, 800 antlerless; total, 5,000 antlered, 6,200
antlerless.

WMU 3A: archery, 620 antlered, 720 antlerless; muzzleloader, 30 antlered, 1,060 antlerless; total, 4,000 antlered, 8,700
antlerless.

WMU 3B: archery, 1,000 antlered, 930 antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 antlered, 1,430 antlerless; total, 6,000 antlered, 10,900
antlerless.

WMU 3C: archery, 860 antlered, 820 antlerless; muzzleloader, 30 antlered, 1,230 antlerless; total, 5,800 antlered, 11,200
antlerless.

WMU 3D: archery, 840 antlered, 780 antlerless; muzzleloader, 40 antlered, 950 antlerless; total, 3,900 antlered, 7,300
antlerless.

WMU 4A: archery, 450 antlered, 440 antlerless; muzzleloader, 70 antlered, 830 antlerless; total, 3,700 antlered, 7,600
antlerless.

WMU 4B: archery, 810 antlered, 590 antlerless; muzzleloader, 30 antlered, 720 antlerless; total, 3,600 antlered, 6,600
antlerless.

WMU 4C: archery, 1,670 antlered, 1,100 antlerless; muzzleloader, 70 antlered, 1,260 antlerless; total, 5,900 antlered, 9,800
antlerless.

WMU 4D: archery, 1,020 antlered, 630 antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 antlered, 920 antlerless; total, 5,600 antlered, 8,400
antlerless.

WMU 4E: archery, 1,130 antlered, 950 antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 antlered, 1,040 antlerless; total, 4,500 antlered, 9,100
antlerless.

WMU 5A: archery, 550 antlered, 560 antlerless; muzzleloader, 50 antlered, 680 antlerless; total, 2,400 antlered, 4,700
antlerless.

WMU 5B: archery, 3,000 antlered, 2,530 antlerless; muzzleloader, 70 antlered, 1,280 antlerless; total, 7,400 antlered, 11,700
antlerless.

WMU 5C: archery, 3,940 antlered, 5,060 antlerless; muzzleloader, 90 antlered, 1,390 antlerless; total, 7,700 antlered, 17,600
antlerless.

WMU 5D: archery, 1,090 antlered, 2,050 antlerless; muzzleloader, 20 antlered, 190 antlerless; total, 1,500 antlered, 4,200
antlerless.

Unk now n WMU: archery, 80 antlered, 0 antlerless; muzzleloader, 0 antlered, 20 antlerless; total, 400 antlered, 90 antlerless.

# # #
Content Last Modified on 3/16/2006 1:20:45 PM
Release #033-06

GAME COMMI SSI ON OFFERS TESTI MONY BEFORE
HOUSE COMMI TTEE ON STRATEGI C PLAN

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today presented the agency's testimony before
the House Game and Fisheries Committee regarding the recently released Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC)
triennial report on strategic planning in the Game Commission.

Roe noted that he believes the report, which was released to the House Game and Fisheries Committee today, provides the
information the General Assembly needs to act on legislation that addresses the agency's funding challenges, which currently
impede the agency's ability to fulfill its mission to manage and conserve the state's 465 species of wild birds and mammals, as
well as their habitats, for all Pennsylvanians.

One of the LBFC's key findings pointed out: "While the PGC has continued to experience problems in operationalizing its
Strategic Plan, the agency's financial condition represents its most significant near-term challenge. Despite expenditure cuts and
ongoing cost-containment measures, the Commission is in need of a substantial revenue augmentation in order to stem the
decline in the Game Fund balance and avoid further reductions in programs, services, and staff."

Following is the prepared testimony offered today by Roe.

"It has certainly been a challenge to implement the Strategic Plan in an era of declining resources," Roe said. "Our strategic plan
is a forward-looking plan that is based on program expansion and the introduction of new programs. Implementing the plan is
problematic when, in fact, we are cutting other programs to meet our current funding levels.

"With that, we have made significant strides in some areas of our strategic plan. For example, as part of the strategic objective to
update and develop wildlife species management plans, we have developed management plans for deer, turkey, elk and bear.
By next spring we will add woodcock and ruffed grouse. We developed a comprehensive wildlife plan for species of special
concern that received laudatory remarks from the USFWS.

"Within the goal of developing a sustainable funding structure, we have established a Foundation that is headquartered in State
College. The Wildlife for Everyone Foundation's charter and IRS status was approved last summer.

"Additionally, we did not let the shortage of Game Funds preclude us from moving forward. We obtained other resources to
achieve our objectives. We have partnered with the National Wild Turkey Federation to fund a banding study that will allow us to
determine wild turkey harvest rates.

"Within the objective of developing a revised mapping and media display based on GIS for easy identification of Public Access
Programs, we submitted and received a grant from the National Shooting Sports Foundation that funded this project.

"These are but a few examples that demonstrate that we are moving forward with various elements of the plan regardless of the
declining resources.

"Our attempt to integrate the strategic plan into our budget has not been as successful as we would have hoped due to our
limited resources. For FY 2005-06 we built a zero-based budget based on the strategic plan. As I recall, that budget came to
around $81 to $83 million. We had to reduce that budget to around $68 million.

"There was a lot of work that went into the development of that zero-based budget. We traveled to each region and worked with
the staffs to develop their budgets. We worked with the bureaus to move towards a more programmatic approach to budgeting.
The result was that our workforce was frustrated after putting in all the effort; they could not accomplish what they knew was
needed to be done in the strategic plan. They spent a lot of time and effort to tie the budget to the strategic plan and in the end
we did not have the resources to implement the program in the manner identified by the regions and workforce.

"I have made a firm commitment to integrate strategic planning into the daily operations of the agency. This April, at our monthly
staff meeting, the measurements from the strategic plan will be reviewed so we can go through the exercise of making
adjustments to the budget during re-budget, based on what we accomplished the previous year. This will not be a clean process
the first time around, but I am confident it will improve over time.

"We are intent on implementing the strategic plan and will do so within the resources we have."

# # #
Content Last Modified on 3/21/2006 3:38:44 PM
Release #034-06

FI VE-YEAR I NVESTI GATI ON NETS 22 PEOPLE WI TH 117 VI OLATI ONS OF GAME AND WI LDLI FE CODE
Excessive infractions required lengthy investigation

HUNTINGDON -- On March 2, Matthew Ronald Baker, 40, a Huntingdon County deer processor, was found guilty before District
Judge Richard Wilt of eight counts of illegal possession of deer and ordered to pay fines of $6,400 plus costs.

Those charges against Baker were discovered when Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife officers conducted a deer biology
data inspection of his Hopewell Township business on Nov. 29, and were not part of a larger ongoing investigation that recently
was concluded. Due to missing carcass tags, several deer stored at the butcher shop appeared to have questionable
ownership. At the hearing, Game Commission plainclothes investigators revealed that Baker had later approached them to
provide tags for the above-mentioned deer found on his property.

In December of 2000, information received by the Game Commission regarding possible illegal activities prompted an
investigation by the agency's Special Investigations Division into Baker's meat processing business.

"It was not the intent of our Special Investigations Division to become involved in a multi-year surveillance on this suspect," said
Greg Houghton, Assistant Director of the Bureau of Law Enforcement for the Game Commission. "However, once the inquiry
began, the excessive and continuous violations at his business involving Baker and his acquaintances quickly expanded into
other areas and at least one other business. This required the investigation to last as long as it did."

Due to the lengthy amount of time it took to properly complete their investigation, Game Commission officers witnessed vast
numbers of instances of illegal taking of various species of wildlife plus other major infractions.

The large-scale violations included deer and protected birds, as well as infractions of the state Fish and Boat Code. On March
17, District Wildlife Conservation Officer Richard Danley Jr. filed before District Judge Wilt an additional 117 citations on Baker
and others implicated in violations during the investigation. Those charged were:

Adam F. Baker; 38, of James Creek, PA; 3 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 1 count of tagging and
reporting big game kills.

Matthew Ronald Baker; 40, of James Creek, PA; 11 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 5 counts of
loaded firearms in vehicles; 4 counts of unlawful use of lights while hunting; 3 counts of buying and selling game; 3 counts of
report to commission officer; 2 counts of tagging and reporting big game kills; 2 counts of Title 30 Rules and regulations; 1
count of unlawful devices and methods.

Matthew R. Baker II; 18, of James Creek, PA; 2 counts of unlawful acts concerning licenses; 1 count of unlawful taking or
possession of game or wildlife; 1 count of report to a commission officer; 1 count of unlawful sale of protected birds and plumage.

Unnamed Youth; 16, of James Creek, PA; 5 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 2 counts of tagging and
reporting big game kills.

Paul W. Brinton, Jr; 58 of Saxton, PA; 1 count of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife.

Randy L. Brode; 34 of Saxton, PA; 1 count of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife.

Wilford A. Collins; 54 of Huntingdon, PA; 3 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 2 counts of unlawful acts
concerning licenses; 1 count of tagging and reporting big game kills.

Waylon David Corbin; 18 of Robertsdale, PA; 3 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 2 counts of unlawful
acts concerning licenses; 1 count of unlawful taking and possession of protected birds.

Harold R. Cunningham; 62 of Newry, PA; 1 count of loaded firearms in vehicles.

John J. Miller; 54 of James Creek, PA; 1 count of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 1 count of tagging and
reporting big game kills.

John Kevin Miller; 25 of James Creek, PA; 3 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 2 counts of tagging and
reporting big game kills; 1 count of unlawful acts concerning licenses; 1 count of shooting on or across highways; 1 count of
unlawful devices and methods.

Russell Miller; 61 of James Creek, PA; 2 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 2 counts of tagging and
reporting big game kills.

William J. Myers II; 34 of Robertsdale, PA; 1 count of buying and selling game.

Bradley William Sheeder; 37 of James Creek, PA; 2 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 2 counts of
tagging and reporting big game kills; 1 count of unlawful acts concerning licenses; 1 count of loaded firearms in vehicles.

Unnamed Youth; 17 of James Creek, PA; 3 counts of unlawful acts concerning licenses; 2 counts of unlawful taking or
possession of game or wildlife; 1 count of tagging and reporting big game kills.

Carl Starner; 58 of Blain, PA; 3 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 2 counts of tagging and reporting big
game kills; 1 count of unlawful acts concerning licenses; 1 count of retrieval and disposition of killed or wounded game or wildlife.

Richard Alan Steele; 55 of Saxton, PA; 2 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife.

Mark B. Taylor; 37 of Saxton, PA; 1 count of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 1 count of unlawful acts
concerning licenses; 1 count of shooting on or across highways.

Robert D. Troy; 34 of Saxton, PA; 2 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife.

Matthew Jordan Wilkins; 18 of Saxton, PA; 1 count of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife.

Robert W. Wilkins Jr.; 49 of Saxton, PA; 1 count of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife.

Timothy Glen Zdrosky II; 28 of Dudley, PA; 4 counts of unlawful use of lights while hunting; 4 counts of Title 30 Possession and
display of licenses; 3 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 1 count of tagging and reporting big game kills.

# # #
Content Last Modified on 3/23/2006 11:56:58 AM
Release #035-06
DERR NAMED GAME COMMISSION ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES DIRECTOR;
BOARD OF GAME COMMISSIONERS TO MEET ON APRIL 17-18
DERR NAMED GAME COMMISSION ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES DIRECTOR
HARRISBURG - Dorothy R. Derr, of Tower City, Schuylkill County, recently was named the new director of the
Pennsylvania Game Commission Bureau of Administrative Services, according to Carl G. Roe, agency executive
director. Derr, the agency's first-ever female bureau director, fills the vacancy created when the Board of Game
Commissioners selected Roe as executive director.
In September 2003, Derr joined the agency as budget analyst, and has overseen the preparation of the 2004-05
and 2005-06 fiscal year budgets.
"Derr has played an important role in keeping the agency's spending in line with its revenues," Roe said. "She
has helped the agency maintain a zero-growth budget, and has been instrumental in finding ways to cut
spending to maintain our core services.
"Derr also has been a key member of the agency's team of senior staff working to tie the agency's budget to
the strategic plan."
As bureau director, Derr is responsible for all procurement of materials, supplies and equipment; budget
oversight; sale of hunting and furtaker licenses; oversight of all license issuing agents; and management of all
agency automotive operations.
Derr attended Harrisburg Area Community College, majoring in accounting. Prior to coming to the Game
Commission, she held the position of Bureau Director for Administrative Services at the state Department of
Agriculture.
BOARD OF GAME COMMISSIONERS TO MEET ON APRIL 17-18
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners will be meeting on April 17-18, at the agency's Harrisburg
headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Ave., just off the Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81. The meetings will begin at
8:30 a.m. on both days.
On April 17, the Board will hear public comments on the proposed 2006-07 hunting and furtaking seasons and
bag limits that were given preliminary approval in October. The Board also will receive agency staff reports and
updates.
On April 18, the Board is scheduled to take official action to finalize the 2006-07 hunting and furtaking seasons
and bag limits, and to set antlerless deer license allocations. The Board also is scheduled to give preliminary
approval to draft regulations to establish the Mentored Youth Hunting Program. Authorized by legislation
enacted on Dec. 22, the Mentored Youth Hunting Program is intended to provide mentors, who are dedicated to
promoting and sharing Pennsylvania's hunting heritage, the opportunity to share that experience with interested
youths.
The agenda for the meeting will be posted on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) prior to the meeting.
Minutes from the January meeting are available in the "Reports/Minutes" section of the homepage.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 3/29/2006 1:59:44 PM
PGC Photo/Doug Killough
Volunteers from the Charles B.
Bechtel Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse
Society assist Game Commission
employees in removing 3,516 feet of
deer exclosure fencing on State Game
Land 106 in Berks County. All wire
and round posts have been salvaged
for use with other Game Commission
projects.
Get Image
PGC Photo/Doug Killough
With the aid of a deer exclosure
fence, the Game Commission was able
to document an increase in
seedling/sapling regeneration of oak,
maple, hickory, spruce, black gum,
witch hazel and other trees and
shrubs on this part of State Game
Land 106 in Berks County. The result
is that numerous small trees have
grown beyond the reach of the deer
and, with the assistance of volunteers
from the Charles B. Bechtel Chapter
of the Ruffed Grouse Society, the
Game Commission removed the fence
so that all wildlife can benefit from
this habitat.
Get Image
Release #036-06
GAME COMMISSION/RUFFED GROUSE SOCIETY REMOVE DEER FENCE
Exclosure project declared a "success"
HARRISBURG - Working with volunteers of the Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS),
Pennsylvania Game Commission land managers recently removed 3,516 feet of
deer exclosure fence from around a 23-acre timber regeneration site on State
Game Land 106 near Monks Bog, Windsor Township in Berks County.
"With the support of the volunteers from the Charles B. Bechtel Chapter of the
RGS, visitors to this area of SGL 106 will be able to witness a new type of forest
habitat that has been provided for all wildlife species," said David Henry, Game
Commission Southeast Region forester. "Tree seedling growth was struggling to
reforest the site prior to installation of a fence on April 1, 2001. But, for the last
five growing seasons, this fence has protected trees, shrubs and planted conifers
from repeated browsing by white-tailed deer.
"With the aid of the fence, oak, maple, hickory, spruce, black gum, witch hazel
and other trees and shrubs have grown on this site. The result is that numerous
small trees have grown beyond the reach of the deer. Now is the time to remove
the fence so that all wildlife can benefit from this habitat."
With the removal of the wire and posts, Henry
noted that this regeneration site becomes the
latest block of seedling/sapling forest habitat on
SGL 106. It cost the agency $5,625 to purchase
and erect the deer exclosure fence on this cut.
"Thanks to the RGS volunteers, who donated their
time and effort to assist with the fence removal
project, the Game Commission saved about $2,000
in Game Fund monies," Henry said. He noted that
all wire and round posts have been salvaged for
use with other Game Commission projects.
In addition to this block, Henry said that four other
blocks, totaling 428 acres, have been timbered on
SGL 106 since 1995. All timber cuts were designed
to provide wildlife habitat and promote
seedling/sapling growth. At a cost of $19,094,
fencing was erected around 46 acres of these four
cuts to prevent deer from impacting regeneration.
"Since hunters have helped reduce deer numbers in
and around SGL 106, we are starting to see the
establishment and growth of seedlings, and
regeneration appears to be the best it has ever
been in my career," said Henry, who has been a
forester with the Game Commission for 27 years.
"An adjacent timber harvest site on SGL 106 of
about 135 acres is not fenced and does not need
to be fenced because deer numbers are down.
Hunters will be able to reap the benefits of working with the agency's deer management program as this area
will be able to support more wildlife, including deer.
"Also, the agency will be able to save sportsmen's dollars by reducing costs
associated with timber harvests as we no longer need to purchase and erect
fencing every time we do a timber cut in this area."
Henry noted that he conducted timber stand inventories inside the fenced area
and on areas surrounding the fenced area. His inventories were conducted
PGC Photo/Doug Killough
Game Commission officials thank the
volunteers from the RGS Charles B.
Bechtel Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse
Society for their assistance in
removing deer exclosure fencing on
State Game Land 106 in Berks
County.
Get Image
immediately after the timber cut, shortly after the fence was erected in 2001, and
just prior to the fence being removed. From these inventories, Henry said that
the new seedlings are abundant throughout this most recent timber harvest.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/20/2006 11:19:41 AM
PGC Photo/Hal Korber
Pennsylvania's hills are alive with the
early morning calls of gobblers.
Get Image
Release #037-06
SPRING GOBBLER SEASONS JUST AROUND CORNER;
TURKEY HUNTING SAFETY TIPS;
WILD TURKEY FIELD REPORTS
SPRING GOBBLER SEASONS JUST AROUND CORNER
HARRISBURG - Although there has been plenty of wild turkey calling going on recently in the mountains and
woodlots throughout Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Game Commission officials believe the upcoming spring gobbler
seasons aren't expected to be as rewarding to hunters as those over the past few years.
"It stands to reason - and we surely expected - that wild turkey hunter success was going to fall off some
because of the below-average reproduction turkeys have endured for the past three springs in Pennsylvania,"
explained Mary Jo Casalena, Game Commission wild turkey biologist. "Three consecutive years of below-average
reproduction, a hard winter in 2002, and below-average mast production in some areas have conspired to stem
the ability of some segments of the Pennsylvania wild turkey population to offset annual losses to fall hunting
and other limiting factors with recruitment.
"But what has occurred isn't unnatural, won't ruin Pennsylvania's wild turkey
hunting and surely will change just as soon as a warm, dry spring paves the way
for increased turkey reproduction. For now, hunters can expect this spring's
gobbler hunting to be similar to last year's - good, but challenging."
The state's one-day youth spring gobbler hunt will be April 22; the general spring
gobbler season will run from April 29 to May 27. In both seasons, shooting hours
are one-half hour before sunrise until noon.
Casalena emphasized that hunters should find strong wild turkey populations in
most mountainous areas and in woodlots bordering agricultural areas.
"Although wild turkeys have experienced some tough springs in recent years and
their overall numbers are down somewhat," Casalena said. "However, many flocks
have been insulated from loss by the difficulties many hunters have encountered trying to find birds, particularly
last fall when the increased availability of mast made patterning flock movements - and even locating birds -
difficult at best.
"We believe the wild turkey population has dropped over the past few years, and that it is below the five-year-
average we measure it against to keep population trends in perspective. Saying that, however, it is important to
point out that turkey populations in many Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) remain at or above long-term
population trends. Turkey hunting may not be better than ever in Pennsylvania, but for those who put in the
preseason work and make in-season adjustments, there should be plenty of excitement."
The statewide preliminary 2005 fall turkey harvest was about 23,300. It marks the third consecutive year the
fall harvest has dropped; 25,868 in 2004; and 27,400 in 2003. However, some of this decrease was the result of
shorter fall seasons in eight of the state's 22 WMUs over the past two years. The preliminary spring gobbler
harvest - 38,820 - also documents a drop for the third consecutive year. The spring harvest in 2004 was
41,017; 2003, 43,900.
"With below average recruitment over the past three springs, hunting prospects in many WMUs also will be
below average," Casalena explained. "Pennsylvania is a diverse state and hunting will vary depending on your
locale. Hunters may find that the responses to their calls vary greatly from WMU to WMU, possibly even from
ridge to ridge. Some areas will have good numbers of vocal two-year-old and older gobblers, others won't. One-
year-old jakes likely will come readily - albeit quietly - to your calls. But there are plenty of birds afield. Just
remain flexible and willing. The rest is up to the gobblers.
Hunters are discouraged from using turkey calls to locate gobblers prior to the start of season, because it can
educate birds and cause them to be less inclined to respond to the early-morning calls of hunters in season.
"If you're trying to locate a gobbler, it's best to head out at first light to listen for calls," Casalena advised. "Now
is a great time! On a still morning, a gobbler's call often can be detected up to a half-mile away by a person.
"Don't get discouraged if you don't hear gobblers every day. With fewer gobblers
PGC Photo/Hal Korber
Properly-licensed hunters may take
two gobblers in Pennsylvania this
spring.
Get Image
in local populations, hunters should probably expect less calling. Remember, you
also can locate gobblers by searching for strutting areas along the edges of fields,
woods, roads and small openings in wooded areas."
The largest harvests in the 2005 spring gobbler season occurred in WMU 2D,
where hunters took 3,006 turkeys (4,004 in 2004); WMU 4C, 2,831 (2,629); and
WMU 4E, 2,508 (2,332). The largest fall harvests occurred in WMU 2G, where
hunters took 2,257 turkeys (1,933 in 2004); WMU 2D 1,952 (2,246); and WMU
3B, 1,567 (1,671).
For the first time since Pennsylvania established a spring gobbler season in 1968,
hunters were allowed to submit an application for the "special wild turkey license"
for the 2006 spring gobbler season. It entitles the holder to take a second spring
gobbler in any Wildlife Management Unit. The cost was $21 for residents, $41 for
nonresidents. The agency had received more than 7,600 second spring gobbler
tags as of April 1, which was the deadline for receiving applications.
Research has shown that properly timed and implemented multiple-bird spring
bag limits have not caused population declines in other states, according to
Casalena. To monitor hunter success, all hunters who receive the special spring
gobbler license are required to submit a report, regardless of whether they
harvest a second spring gobbler.
Each year, more than 230,000 hunters - or about 20 percent of the state's licensed hunters - head afield to
participate in the spring gobbler season. The season is considered a challenging affair because it requires a
hunter to place himself or herself in a position within calling distance of a gobbler - preferably still roosting - and
then call the bird within shooting range using a mouth, box or slate call. Since wild turkeys have keen eyesight
and hearing, the slightest slipup by the hunter will send an approaching bird scurrying in the opposite direction.
"Calling in and taking a spring gobbler is not something that you accomplish by simply putting in your time
afield," Casalena emphasized. "If you cough, sneeze, move or blink at the wrong time, that gobbler will be
heading in another direction, or off the mountain! Tricking an old tom isn't easy, as many hunters can attest.
But when you pull it off, the experience is incredibly satisfying and surely will be something you'll share with
others."
Hunters are reminded that it is illegal to stalk turkeys or turkey sounds in the spring gobbler season. Given the
wild turkey's keen senses, it's not a wise move anyway, but more importantly, it makes a tremendous difference
for the personal safety of everyone afield. Over the years, many hunters have been shot for game while
approaching a hunter calling for turkeys, and many callers have been shot in mistake for game by stalking
hunters.
In 2005, eight hunters were shot - none fatally - by other hunters during the spring season. In all but one case,
the offender failed to properly identify his target. Two victims were shot by offenders who were less than 30
yards away. This compares with nine non-fatal hunting-related shooting incidents in the 2004 spring gobbler
season (all mistaken for game).
"Safety should be the foremost consideration of every turkey hunter," emphasized Keith Snyder, Game
Commission Hunter-Trapper Education chief. "If every hunter followed the state's hunting regulations and
positively identified his or her target as legal game before squeezing the trigger, hunters wouldn't be shooting
other hunters. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way.
"The Pennsylvania Game Commission encourages all spring gobbler hunters to hunt safely and defensively.
Consider wearing fluorescent orange clothing at all times - not just while moving as required by law - and treat
every sound and movement in the forest as if it is another hunter until you can positively confirm it is a legal
turkey. Wait until the bird is fully and plainly visible before you pull the trigger."
Legal sporting arms are: shotguns plugged to three-shell capacity in the chamber and magazine combined;
muzzleloading shotguns; and bows with broadhead arrows of cutting-edge design. Crossbows may not be used
unless a hunter has a permit to use a crossbow instead of a bow.
Shot size can be no larger than No. 4 lead, bismuth-tin and tungsten-iron, or No. 2 steel. Rifle-shotgun
combinations also may be used, but no single-projectile ammunition may be used or carried.
Carrying or using rifles, handguns, dogs, electronic callers, drives and live decoys is unlawful. The use of blinds
is legal so long as it is an "artificial or manufactured turkey blind consisting of all manmade materials of
sufficient density to block the detection of movement within the blind from an observer located outside the
blind."
Hunters are required to wear a minimum of 100 square inches of fluorescent orange material on the head (a
hat) when moving through the woods. The orange may be removed when a hunter reaches his or her calling
destination. While not required by law, agency officials recommend that hunters wrap an orange alert band
around a nearby tree when stationary, especially when calling and/or using decoys.
Successful hunters must properly tag harvested turkeys and report their harvests to the Game Commission
within 10 days, using the postage-paid report card provided when they purchased their hunting license. Hunters
are reminded that if they can't find one of the harvest report cards that came with their license, they can tear
out and use the harvest report card found on page 33 of the Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping
Regulations.
Young hunters who participate in the youth spring gobbler season are required to have a junior hunting license.
Juniors under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult, who cannot carry a sporting arm.
Accompanying adults may only provide guidance, such as calling or scouting. All other hunting regulations are
the same as those for the general spring gobbler season, including the hunting hours of one-half hour before
sunrise until noon and only bearded turkeys may be taken.
Coyotes may be harvested by turkey hunters. However, turkey hunters who have harvested a spring gobbler
may not hunt coyotes or woodchucks (groundhogs) prior to noon Monday through Saturday during the spring
gobbler season.
TURKEY HUNTING SAFETY TIPS
Spring gobbler season has become a stepping out time for many Pennsylvania hunters. It is a time to get away
from the house, and back in the woods; a time to match wits with a wily gobbler. Unfortunately, over the past
three spring gobbler seasons, 26 hunters also have been shot by other hunters. All but one was mistaken for
game, often by very experienced hunters.
"Spring gobbler hunting is typically enjoyable for the hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians who annually
participate in the season," said Keith Snyder, Game Commission Hunter-Trapper Education Division chief. "But it
also can be a potentially dangerous sport when hunters disregard proven safety measures and hunting
regulations to take a gobbler.
"Every year a handful of hunters take chances they shouldn't, and someone gets shot. The incidents are the
result of poor hunting decisions, such as hunters illegally stalking turkey sounds; shooting at movement; or not
positively identifying targets as legal game before shooting. All are easily avoidable if you hunt safely and follow
the law. Be safe. Hunt defensively. Enjoy the season."
Hunting regulations require all hunters to wear at least 100 square inches of fluorescent orange while moving
through the woods. If hunters opt to remove their orange clothing after reaching their calling position, which, by
law, they may, the Game Commission encourages them to display a fluorescent orange alert band near their
hunting position, especially those who plan to call or use decoys. It may alert a hunter who is closing in on your
call or decoys that a person is in the area. Hunters also are encouraged to place decoys in a way that will limit
their susceptibility to in-the-line-of-fire shotgun discharges from approaching hunters.
Only bearded turkeys may be taken in the spring season. The beard is a grouping of hair-like feathers that
protrude from the bird's chest. Hunters are reminded to remove any red, white, blue or black clothing before
heading afield because these colors are found on a turkey's head or body. Remember, too, its illegal to stalk
turkeys or turkey sounds.
To make sure your next turkey hunting experience is both safe and enjoyable, follow these turkey hunting safety
tips:
Positively identify your target. Be absolutely certain it's a legal turkey before pulling the trigger. Never shoot
at sounds or movement.
Never stalk a turkey or turkey sounds. Stalking during the spring season is illegal. Movement or sounds you
think are a turkey may be another hunter. Be patient. Let the bird come to you.
Assume every noise and movement is another hunter. If there is any doubt whatsoever - don't shoot.
Pre-select a zone of fire. Shoot at a turkey only in your predetermined zone of fire - and only when you're
certain it's safe.
Make your position known to other hunters - wear fluorescent orange. It is mandatory to wear orange
when moving through the woods, particularly while carrying a bird. It is recommended that you display orange
at your calling location by wrapping a fluorescent orange band around a tree to alert other hunters of your
presence. Know and follow the law!
Protect your back. Select a large tree, rock or other substantial natural barrier while calling and sit with your
back against it. To improve your visibility, hunt in open woods.
Shout "STOP" to alert approaching hunters. Never move, wave or make turkey sounds to alert hunters of
your position.
Eliminate red, white, blue and black colors from your clothing. These colors are found on the head, neck
and body of mature gobblers. You could be mistaken for a turkey if you wear these colors!
WILD TURKEY FIELD REPORTS
Pennsylvania Game Commission turkey biologist Mary Jo Casalena has prepared field reports for Wildlife
Management Units (WMU) statewide to share agency filed observations on wild turkey hunting prospects and
population trends. If you need assistance locating these WMUs, please consult pages 43-46 in the 2005-2006
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest.
WMU 1A - In most of this WMU - except Beaver County - expect to see a continued decline from the peak
harvest in 2001. But the WMU will still show a good harvest and should still be above the statewide average. In
Beaver County two-year old gobblers will be abundant, given the excellent hatch in 2004. There will fewer jakes,
however, because of the lower predicted hatch of 2005. Hunters in Beaver County should hear plenty of
gobbling.
WMU 1B - The harvest peaked here in 2001, and has been declining slightly since then, but remains above the
statewide average. Even so, the preliminary 2005 spring harvest of 2,427 bearded birds was the fourth highest
in the state for 2005, and comprised 6.3 percent of the statewide harvest. Expect to see another slight decline
in harvest as a result of lower recruitment in 2004 and 2005, but there are some wily old long-beards that can
be a great challenge to hunt.
WMU 2A - The harvest here peaked in 2001, when it was twice the statewide average. Harvests are still
expected to be well above the state average, but about the same, or slightly below 2005, because the number
of jakes and two-year-old birds continues to decline from the highs during 1999-2002.
WMU 2B - Two-year-old gobblers will be abundant. Jakes will be in short supply, given the poor recruitment of
2005. This WMU showed the second highest harvest density during the spring 2005 season behind WMU 4C. So,
even though WMU 2B is an urban WMU, hunters are succeeding in acquiring access to huntable flocks. For
additional opportunities, seek out untraditional hunting areas as these may offer some excellent prospects.
WMU 2C - The turkey population and spring harvest peaked here in 2001 and have been declining slightly since
then. Even though the spring 2005 harvest was the fifth highest in the state, the harvest density was below the
statewide average. Expect this spring's harvest to be equal to or slightly above last spring's as a result of better
recruitment last spring than in 2004. But the recruitment in 2005 was still below average. There will be fewer
two-year old gobblers, but more jakes than in 2004.
WMU 2D - The harvest peaked here in 2003, well above the state average, but has been showing a slight
declining trend. WMU 2D had the highest spring harvest in 2005 (3,006), and comprised 7.7 percent of the
entire state harvest. However, recruitment has decreased in the last two years, so expect harvests to be slightly
lower than last year, but still well above the state average. Hunters should have better than average success
here.
WMUs 2E and 2F - Harvests have been declining slightly from when they peaked here in 2001 and have been
below the state average. The below-average recruitment over the past three years will likely decrease this
spring's harvest slightly, and again is expected to be below average.
WMU 2G - The harvest has been slowly declining since the peak in 2001 and is below the state average. The
below-average recruitment has been slowly increasing since 2003, so expect the spring harvest to increase
slightly from the record low in 2005.
WMU 3A - 2005 showed the second highest recruitment on record (highest was in 2002), so expect an
abundance of the quiet jakes during the 2006 spring season. Spring harvests have declined since the peak in
2001. Harvest densities are below the state average. With the low levels of older birds, but abundance of jakes,
hunters have the potential to increase the harvest levels in 2006 if they successfully call in the quiet jakes.
WMU 3B - Spring harvest has declined since the peak in 2001 and dropped sharply in 2005. Harvest density fell
below the state average in 2005. Recruitment was similar to 2004, so expect the spring 2006 harvest to be
similar to 2005.
WMU 3C - Even though there will be less two- and three-year-old gobblers, with a record number of summer
turkey sightings in 2005, it appears that recruitment was excellent, providing hunters with an abundance of
jakes for 2006. The low summer production in 2003 and 2004 caused the spring 2005 harvest to decrease.
Expect spring 2006 harvest to be slightly better than 2005, which still translates to good to excellent hunting.
This WMU maintains higher harvest densities than the state average.
WMU 3D - Recruitment in 2005 was slightly below average, but better than the previous two years. Therefore,
there will be plenty of jakes, but fewer two- and three-year-old gobblers. For the experienced hunter, there may
still be many of the wary and difficult to get four-year-old gobblers given the record recruitment in 2002. Expect
this spring's harvest to increase slightly if hunters successfully call in the jakes and four-year-olds.
WMU 4A - With record recruitment during the last two summers (2004 and 2005), expect the spring 2006
harvest to be above average and slightly above the 2005 harvest. Fall seasons were decreased to two weeks in
2004, which may be aiding the population increase.
WMU 4B - Many parts of this WMU had record or near-record low reproduction in 2005 and 2003, but near
record high reproduction in 2004. With many two-year-olds, expect to hear more gobbling this year, but harvest
may decrease because of the absence of jakes and three-year-olds.
WMU 4C - Prospects look excellent in this WMU as summer reproduction during the last two years was above
average. Expect this spring's harvest to be similar to last year, and well above the state average as this WMU
exhibited the second highest harvest and the highest harvest density last spring.
WMU 4D - Spring harvest densities here are consistently below the state average, and have been decreasing
slightly since the high in 2001. Summer reproduction over the past two years has been about average for this
WMU, so expect the spring harvest also to be similar to last year.
WMU 4E - Prospects look excellent in this WMU, given the record summer reproduction over the past two years.
This WMU exhibited the third highest harvest and harvest density last spring. There will be an abundance of
jakes and two-year-old gobblers in the spring population, and a limited supply of three-year-olds.
WMU 5A - Although recruitment during 2005 improved over the previous two years in parts of this WMU, it was
still slightly below average. Expect the harvest to be similar to last year.
WMU 5B - Recruitment in 2005 was below average, but was slightly above average in 2004. Expect the
harvests to be similar to last year.
WMU 5C - Even though turkey recruitment in 2004 was low, last year's spring harvest was above average for
this unit, and the harvest density was similar to the statewide average. Recruitment in 2005 was slightly higher,
so expect the 2006 spring harvest to increase slightly.
WMU 5D - Harvests in this urban unit are the lowest in the state. With below-average recruitment over the past
two years, expect harvests to decrease. However, there may still be an abundance of the wary three-year old
gobblers.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/20/2006 11:20:24 AM
Release #038-06

GAME COMMI SSI ON DELI VERS TESTI MONY BEFORE
HOUSE COMMI TTEE MEETI NG ON DEER DAMAGE

HARRISBURG - Calvin W. DuBrock, Pennsylvania Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director, today submitted
the following testimony for a House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee meeting about the impacts of deer damage. Due to
pending action on the House floor, the hearing ended before testimony from the Game Commission could be offered, but the
following prepared statement was submitted for the record.

"Pennsylvania's state animal, the white-tailed deer, is arguably the most significant wildlife species inhabiting the
Commonwealth," DuBrock said. "Deer live in every corner of Pennsylvania from the largest cities to the wildest forests. The
white-tailed deer is a native species of Pennsylvania's ecosystems. Wildlife conservation efforts in Pennsylvania are funded
almost exclusively by hunters' license fees, and more than 90 percent of Pennsylvania's hunters are deer hunters. Deer are an
important component to the Commonwealth's natural history and current wildlife conservation efforts.

"Deer are a welcome sight until conflicts arise with homeowners, farmers, foresters, motorists, gardeners, or landscapers. Deer
populations can diminish the quantity and quality of the very habitat that supports them, cause crop and landscaping losses,
increase exposure to Lyme disease, and threaten motorists driving Pennsylvania's highways.

"Since the 1920s, in accordance with the agency's duties and mission, the Game Commission has worked hard to balance the
views of all sides of the deer management equation. Although people and circumstances have changed, key components of the
public view of deer management remain the same. Hunters want to see and harvest many deer. Farmers and nursery owners
want to grow their crops. Foresters want forests to regenerate. Landowners want to protect their property. Motorists want to
safely drive highways without a high risk of hitting a deer.

"Our present deer management program has three guiding goals: we are working to manage for a healthy deer herd, a healthy
habitat for all wildlife and for reduced human-deer conflicts.

"Recently, the House Democratic Policy Committee held a public meeting in Clearfield County to hear from hunters and local
businesses that oppose the Game Commission's deer management program because they feel there are too few deer. Also,
during the agency's annual appearance before the House Game and Fisheries Committee, 15 of 17 legislators voiced their
concerns about the agency's deer management program and again stated there were too few deer.

"The Game Commission is directed by law to use hunting as a method of management for white-tailed deer. The Game
Commission supports and encourages hunting as a means of managing deer populations by annually making hunting
opportunities available; however, the agency exercises direct control on only five percent of the Commonwealth's land area. We
recognize that the opportunities provided through traditional hunting seasons and bag limits may not be enough to provide relief
to those experiencing damage sustained by deer. In these cases, increased efforts and opportunities may be required. For this
reason, the Game Commission has several programs and strategies to help landowners address these issues.

"Pennsylvania has one of the most liberal wildlife agricultural depredation laws in the country. The Legislature included in the
Game and Wildlife Code the ability for agricultural producers or their employees to take depredating deer - antlered or antlerless
- anytime, day or night, without a permit.

"However, for those producers who continue to experience an unacceptable amount of agricultural damage, the Game
Commission created the Agricultural Deer Control Program, or 'Red Tag' program. This special permit allows for the removal of
antlerless deer outside of the regular hunting season and is related specifically to agricultural depredation.

"The permit authorizes the landowner to enlist the aid of licensed hunters who are not associated with the farm to come on the
property and harvest depredating deer. The number of these subpermits available to the landowner is generally one for every
five acres of land under cultivation.

"'Red Tag' permits (and all subpermits) are valid from February 1 to September 28 each calendar year, excluding Sundays,
during the hours of dawn to dusk. The permit is not valid from May 16 to July 31, inclusive, for general crop farming and from
May 16 to June 30 for vegetable farming - basically, during the fawning season. Only antlerless deer may be taken under this
program.

"The landowner may issue subpermits only to Pennsylvania residents who possess a valid resident hunting license. No fee may
be charged for the subpermit. The landowner may restrict the type of firearm or bow used to take deer on lands they have
enrolled.

"In 2005, a total of 168 farms were enrolled in the 'Red Tag' program statewide, which removed 867 deer.

"To make this program more acceptable to landowners in our more urbanized Wildlife Management Units, the Game Commission
staff recommended and the Board of Game Commissioners gave preliminary approval to a measure removing the requirement
that landowners in WMUs 5C and 5D be enrolled in one of our public access cooperative programs before being eligible for Red
Tag. This action, which must be finalized by the Board at the meeting later this month before taking effect, was the product of
meetings arranged by Senate Game and Fisheries Committee Chairman Joe Conti and Representative Charles McIlhinney
between Game Commission officials and landowners in the Philadelphia suburban counties.

"Two programmatic attempts to assist farmers and other landowners have had mixed results.

"One of the benefits of farmers enrolled in the agency's cooperative public access programs is their eligibility to receive deer
deterrent fencing. However, given the agency's present financial situation, we have been forced to forgo funding this program.
Should the agency receive increased revenues in the near future, we would be able to revisit this line item.

"In 1999, in response to the Deer Management Working Group recommendation, the agency implement the Landowner/Hunter
LINK program, which was designed to enable landowners to solicit hunters assistance to address their wildlife damage
problems. However, since the program was unveiled there has been little to no enrollment, despite agency efforts to publicize
the program and its benefits.

"The Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) was implemented in 2003 and helps landowners achieve deer densities
consistent with their land use goals through additional antlerless deer harvests. Public lands; private lands where no fee is
charged for hunting; and private lands hunt clubs that were established prior to January 1, 2000, all are eligible. Interested
landowners must submit an application by July 1 each year in order to be eligible for the fall hunting season. There is no fee
required of the landowner.

"Qualifying landowners are issued DMAP harvest permit coupons at a rate of one coupon for every five acres of affected
agricultural land, or one coupon for every 50 acres of all other land types. Landowners distribute coupons to licensed hunters
they are willing to give access to their property. Hunters redeem their DMAP coupon from the Game Commission for a DMAP
harvest permit. Landowners may not charge or accept any contributions in exchange for coupons.

"Each DMAP harvest permit is good for taking one antlerless deer during any legal hunting season on the property for which it
was issued.

"In 2005, a total of 691 properties were enrolled in DMAP statewide, total reported harvest for the 2005-06 season was 7,644.

"During DMAP's first year, the Game Commission started cautiously to ensure that we could effectively administer the program.
In the second and third years, we took steps to make the program more liberal. Also, during the 2005-06 hunting season, the
Game Commission reduced antlerless deer license allocations at the WMU-level, thereby encouraging hunters looking to harvest
antlerless deer to consider DMAP landowners who have expressed the need for additional antlerless harvests.

"Deer-human conflicts in developed areas are not new, nor is the agency's recognition of the problem. For example, in the early
1990s, the Game Commission implemented a municipal deer depredation permit program, which empowered municipalities to
apply for a permit to assist their landowners in addressing these conflicts.

"The agency's deer management program, adopted in 2003, calls for the implementation of an urban deer management plan.
To develop such a plan, the agency began by seeking public input last summer and fall. We received more than 500 comments
and suggestions, which were used to draft an urban deer management strategy, which will be made available for public review
shortly.

"While traditional hunting is the most economical and effective way to manage deer populations, the Game Commission realizes
that its application may be limited in some developed areas due to real and perceived safety concerns, social values, and legal
constraints. Communities not experiencing adequate relief from deer damage through traditional deer hunting often request
additional aid from the Game Commission to address their urban deer problems and this urban deer management strategy will
direct our efforts in these areas.

"In light of these concerns, the Game Commission has legalized the use of crossbows in all deer hunting seasons in WMUs 2B,
5C and 5D, our three most developed WMUs. We have extended antlerless deer seasons by an extra five weeks in WMUs 5C
and 5D. Also, while the more rural WMUs have seen cuts in antlerless deer license allocations, WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D have
increased. We continue to evaluate antlerless license allocations on an annual basis, and try to provide hunters the greatest
opportunity to obtain an antlerless deer license and to use it in these areas.

"Deer herd reductions may result in reduced damage to landscape plantings, incidence of Lyme disease, and deer-vehicle
collisions. Therefore, efforts to reduce the deer population in these areas will continue to be a management objective.
Objectives and strategies of the urban deer management plan focus on increasing deer harvest, hunter success, and hunter
opportunity, as well as develop and implement nontraditional harvest programs and education and outreach programs.

"Recognizing that statewide deer management programs serve as a starting point and cannot be applied equally across the
Commonwealth, an objective in the agency's deer management plan was to test the use of local stakeholder groups to
recommend management unit specific deer population goals. Stakeholders are asked to provide population goal
recommendations based on consideration of available biological data and their values regarding deer populations. As
envisioned, Citizen's Advisory Committee values would be shared with the Board of Game Commissioners and considered in the
decision-making process when finalizing deer management regulations.

"The Game Commission recently concluded a pilot Citizen Advisory Committee in Wildlife Management Unit 4B in southcentral
Pennsylvania. Representatives selected from ten stakeholder groups were represented on the committee, which included an
agricultural representative, forest industry representative, and a rural non-farm landowner representative.

"The experience provided the opportunity to inform stakeholders on the mission of the Game Commission, complexities of deer
management, and the importance of proper management as well as an opportunity for the Game Commission to understand
stakeholder values regarding deer management. We will be evaluating the process and effectiveness of Citizen Advisory
Committee and receive further guidance from the Board of Game Commissioners about the possible role that these CACs will
play in the future.

"Deer management can have wide ranging impacts on wildlife, habitats, and citizens of Pennsylvania. Finding balance across the
range of positives and negatives remains a challenge, and we remain open to positive, constructive input on ways to maximize
deer harvests in those areas and on those lands most in need of assistance. The Game Commission is committed to
responsible management of all species in its charge. These programs that I have just discussed illustrate the Game
Commission's responsiveness to the issues surrounding deer management. We will continue to grow and modify programs as
necessary to meet Pennsylvania landowners' deer management challenges and objectives."

# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/4/2006 2:17:33 PM
PGC Photo/Joe Kosack
Hummingbirds will be arriving in
Pennsylvania soon. Are you ready for
them?
Get Image
PGC Photo/Joe Kosack
Bright red has always been a
standard color for attracting
hummingbirds.
Get Image
Release #039-06
GOT HUMMINGBIRDS?
By Joe Kosack
Wildlife Conservation Education Specialist
Pennsylvania Game Commission
HARRISBURG - Some people are convinced there's a secret to getting hummingbirds to visit their yards. They
believe they need special feeders. Perfectly mixed nectars. Precision feeder placement. But, hummingbirds really
aren't that finicky.
As a rule, if you set the table for hummingbirds, they will come. Ruby-throated hummingbirds - the only ones
regularly found in Pennsylvania or east of the mighty Mississippi River in spring and summer - aren't necessarily
very timid and seem begrudgingly tolerant of people. As long as they can find your feeder, they'll figure out
when it's best to use it.
"As long as the feeder is noticeable, filled with relatively fresh nectar or sugar
water, and hummingbirds have returned from their wintering grounds, there's
always a good chance that it will attract hummingbirds," noted Dan Brauning,
Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Diversity Section chief. "It doesn't hurt to
window-dress your rock gardens or flowerbeds with plants that hummingbirds
seek out. But the feeder is your first and best shot to attract early
hummingbirds."
According to Brauning, hummingbirds begin to trickle out of their wintering
grounds in Central and South America in April. In the process, they will fly
nonstop across the massive Gulf of Mexico and then flit from flowerbed to feeder
to flowerbed through the South as they work their way north to their nesting
grounds. They begin to show up in Pennsylvania in late April or early May.
Pennsylvania's time-honored standard arrival date is May 1.
Plants are great hummingbird attractors. Some of their favorites include red salvia, coral bells, trumpet vine,
honeysuckle, gladiolus, jasmine, begonias, and scarlet morning glory. Other flowering magnets include hanging
fuchsias, morning glory, paintbrush, petunias and trumpet-creeper. Wild flowers, such as columbine and
beebalms (Monarda), are very appealing to hummingbirds and are easy to grow. Flowering trees and shrubs,
such as mimosa (silk tree), or those that blossom, including rose-of-sharon, black locust, horse chestnut and
sweetgum, also are great attention-getters.
Color is the key to stopping hummingbirds in your yard, so catch their eye with something colorful, particularly
vibrant reds, oranges and yellows, even pinks and purples. Hummingbird feeders usually have red and yellow
parts for flagging that get the job done. Then its up to the day-glow of your flowers to convince hummingbirds
to drop their landing gear.
Some of the best flowers for attracting hummingbirds are those of tubular design.
So go tubular and select festive colors. It's also a good idea to create large
patches of similar flowers rather than to put together a mish-mash in each bed. If
your flowerbeds are near where you'll hang your feeder, they'll definitely serve as
billboards to hummingbird traffic.
"The first step to attracting hummingbirds to your yard is getting them to stop,"
Brauning said. "So long as your home isn't situated in a highly urbanized area, it
shouldn't be hard to get a hummingbird to stop in your yard using flowers and
feeders. Hummingbirds prefer more open areas with ample vegetation. They aren't
opposed to zipping around houses, or approaching people. But it's always best to
get them coming to your property first. Then direct the hummingbirds to where
you'd like to watch them.
"It's usually a good idea to try attracting hummingbirds to a location on your
property where disturbances are minimal and there is at least partial shade," Brauning said. "Whether that's a
feeder off the back-porch, or suspended from a rod-iron stand in a rock garden in front of the house, doesn't
really matter. Once hummingbirds are using the feeder, move it five or 10 feet every other day toward the
location you'd prefer they use for your viewing pleasure. They will follow readily."
PGC Photo/Joe Kosack
Hummingbirds cannot see glass, so
avoid placing feeders near large
windows or doors.
Get Image
Male hummingbirds are extremely territorial; they guard feeders from lookout posts and chase one another away
with the ferocity of maddened hornets. But they also will occasionally and enthusiastically attempt to chase
bees, small mammals and other larger birds. It is because of this aggressive nature that it's never a good idea
to place hummingbird feeders near windows, particularly picture windows.
The hummingbird's scrappiness is legendary, but their "no quarter," lightning-quick pursuit of intruders can send
these feathery hotheads rushing 20 to 30 miles per hour into a window, a battle they never win. Sometimes they
fly toward windows because they see and decide to attack their mirrored image. Other times, they're fleeing
pursuit and slam into a reflected skyline with no give.
"If you keep feeders away from windows, it reduces your chances of placing
hummingbirds in harm's way, because hummingbirds - like all birds - cannot see
glass," noted Doug Gross, Game Commission ornithologist. "If you want to get
close to the action, do it through plantings by the your patio, deck or porch, or by
placing a feeder near your favorite lounge chair or vegetable garden. Windows can
be and are deadly to birds with anger-management issues, and hummingbirds
surely qualify!"
What makes the hummingbird so susceptible to glass - and each other - is the
fabulous flight gear nature has provided. Its body can hum to a beat of up to 80
wing strokes per second. It can fly backwards, hover and rise like a helicopter and
go from zero to 30 miles per hour in 20 feet. The bird is a natural wonder, one
that few people ever tire of watching.
Of course, to keep its finely tuned body operating smoothly, the hummingbird
requires an ample supply of nectar that is readily available. Nectar is as potent as rocket fuel to hummers
because of its high-caloric content. But given the hummingbird's limited ability to store energy and its high
metabolic rate, the bird must constantly eat to satisfy its body's needs and fuel flight. That's why flowerbeds
and feeder bottles are so "sweet" and essential to hummingbirds.
One word of caution about these feeders, however, is to be careful if you live in "bear country." Due to their
high-caloric offering, hummingbird feeders may attract any of Pennsylvania's nearly 15,000 bears, many of
which will soon be out of their winter dens if they are not already. So, if you want to feed hummingbirds, but
want to avoid attracting bears to your property, consider bringing feeders inside at night or suspend feeders
from high crosswires so they are at least 10 feet above the ground and four feet from anything a bear can
climb, including overhead limbs.
If you do attract nuisance bears and either you or your neighbors contact the Game Commission, the first thing
you will be instructed to do is to remove the feeders. Capturing and moving bears that have become habituated
to humans is a costly and sometimes ineffective way of addressing the problem, especially when faced with the
possibility of merely moving a problem bear from one area to another.
Wherever you suspend your feeder, it's likely to attract insects. Hanging a feeder filled with sugar water is like
placing a "welcome" mat for ants and bees. So if you or someone in your family is allergic to bee stings, it's not
a good idea to put a feeder on the porch. There are bee-proof feeders available on the market, but they still
attract bees. Ants can be deterred by smearing oil or petroleum jelly - or placing a commercial ant barrier - on
the suspension string.
Hummingbirds prefer edge and shrubby habitat for foraging and nesting. In addition to nectar, they consume
flying insects, particularly gnats. Females on nest duty often strike flying insects as they pass and occasionally
pirate insects tangled in spider webs.
With each passing year, feeding hummingbirds is becoming more popular. A visit to just about any home-
improvement store or garden center will uncover a bevy of bottle feeders for hummingbirds. Some are
inexpensive. Some are elegantly decorated. Some are better at attracting hummers than others.
"To be honest, hummingbirds really don't care whether feeders are made of glass or plastic, or whether they're
filled with a store-bought nectar mixture, or a homemade recipe," Gross explained. "What matters is that the
bird can find the feeder, and that it has fresh nectar within its reservoir. A hummingbird will drink nectar from a
milk glass, a soda can, or a tin pan if they can find it.
"So don't feel there's a need to go expensive in this department, because you can't impress a hummingbird! But
if you'd like to make a style statement with a handmade glass feeder, or prefer glass feeders over plastic ones
for reasons of durability or cleaning ease, then go ahead, have at it!"
The most inexpensive recipe for hummingbird nectar is a solution containing one part sugar and four parts
water. The mixture should be boiled and cooled before filling your feeder reservoir. Store unused nectar in the
refrigerator until you need it. Commercial mixtures that are available are convenient and effective, too.
It is not necessary to add red food coloring to mixtures to attract hummingbirds. In addition, never use honey in
your feeder; it ferments and birds can become ill from consuming it.
Hummingbird feeders should be cleaned once a week in warm weather, twice a week in hot weather. Otherwise,
they will become holding tanks for fungi that are harmful to birds. Feeders should be stripped down and washed
in warm soapy water. Wipe all surfaces and rinse thoroughly.
Once birds begin using your feeder, you'll have to keep an eye on it, because they can drain it in relatively short
order. Hummingbirds usually visit feeders about every 10 to 15 minutes. If hummingbirds were using your
feeder last year, re-hang it where it was. They often check known locations first.
If hummingbirds routinely use your feeder in May, they'll likely build a nest nearby. Females - the dull-colored
ones - primarily build their half-dollar-sized nests with plant fibers and spider webs, and with twigs or branches
of deciduous trees. Nests are camouflaged with lichens. The two white, pea-sized eggs laid in the nest hatch
after about two weeks of incubation. The hatchlings are under their mother's care for about 25 days, then the
young are on their own.
For more information about hummingbirds, visit the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on
"Wildlife," then choose "Wildlife Notes" in the upper right hand box and select "Hummingbird" in the alphabetical
listing.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/20/2006 11:21:18 AM
Release #040-06
PUBLIC COMMENT SOUGHT ON URBAN DEER MANAGEMENT PLAN;
GAME COMMISSION POSTS AGENDA ON WEBSITE
PUBLIC COMMENT SOUGHT ON URBAN DEER MANAGEMENT PLAN
HARRISBURG - As part of the Game Commission's effort to more effectively manage deer in urban/suburban
landscapes, agency officials are seeking public comment on a draft plan that has been posted on the agency's
website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). To review a copy of the plan, click on the "Urban/Suburban Deer Plan" icon on
the agency's homepage.
The deadline for submitting comments is May 12. Comments can be sent by email to urbandeer@state.pa.us, or
by mail to: Pennsylvania Game Commission, ATTN: Draft Urban Deer Management Strategy, 2001 Elmerton
Ave., Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.
Last year, from April until mid-September, the agency sought public input prior to developing the
urban/suburban deer management plan. More than 500 residents offered comments that were reviewed and
used by members of the agency's Deer Management Section in drafting the plan.
"We asked Pennsylvanians for their thoughts about resolving deer-human conflicts in urban/suburban areas, as
well as suggestions on how to address the unique challenge of urban/suburban deer management," said
Jeannine Tardiff, Game Commission deer biologist and author of the plan. "In addition to gathering input from
the public, we also reviewed actions being taken by other state wildlife agencies."
Although white-tailed deer provide many Pennsylvanians countless hours of recreational opportunities and
enjoyment, are important to the state's economy, and officially recognized as the Commonwealth's "state
animal," they can wear out their welcome quickly when they begin stripping vegetation in backyards and
becoming frequent obstacles on city streets.
"The whitetail populations in some Pennsylvania urban and suburban settings are living proof that you can have
too much of a good thing," Tardiff emphasized.
The plan outlines four main goals: reduce deer impacts in developed areas as much as possible to socially
acceptable levels using hunting options; supplement hunting in developed areas and reduce deer-human conflicts
using non-hunting options where hunting options are shown to not be feasible or sufficient; inform urban
leadership, residents, and hunters about deer management options and opportunities in developed areas; and
encourage positive relationships between hunters and communities in developed areas.
To accomplish these goals, the urban/suburban deer plan includes recommendations to:
1) Expand hunting opportunities and create an "Urban Deer Control Program" that allows for the taking of
deer outside of the regular hunting seasons in developed areas, similar to the Agricultural Depredation
Program ("Red Tag" program);
2) Discourage deer feeding and support local ordinances that prohibit deer feeding in developed areas with
unacceptable levels of deer conflicts;
3) Develop a written agency policy on the use of deer fertility control agents, then review and update the
policy as needed. While, no effective deer contraceptive program has been developed to effectively
manage free-ranging deer populations, such as those in urban/suburban areas of the state, a
comprehensive review of current literature and reports about ongoing studies needs to be conducted so the
agency and the Deer Management Section can be in a position to address the issue when it arises;
4) Increase availability of written, electronic, and web-based informational and educational publications
and presentations concerning hunting and non-hunting deer management options in developed areas;
5) Create and develop a landowner/hunter database template to be used by communities and
municipalities; and
6) Provide an advanced hunter education course for hunters in developed areas.
Hunter access historically has hindered efforts to reduce deer numbers in suburbia. Other factors include
sporting arms limitations; safety zone restrictions; distorted public perceptions about hunters; and the
inconveniences and appeal associated with hunting in areas with large numbers of people, homes and
automobiles.
"It's no secret why there is great difficulty managing urban/suburban deer populations," noted Tardiff. "A deer
population inaccessible to hunters can quickly exceed the tolerance level of those in the community. The safety
issues can become serious, and property damage severe.
"We believe that the urban/suburban deer management plan provides a starting point from which the Game
Commission can develop and implement a program that will help hunters, landowners and municipal officials
achieve mutually acceptable goals of increasing hunting opportunities and greater control of the deer population
in highly-developed areas of the state."
The Game Commission's five-year Deer Management Plan - adopted in 2003 - identifies the reduction of human-
deer conflicts as one of its three goals. Those conflicts are most common in urban/suburban settings; places
many Pennsylvanians rarely consider whitetail country. But the deer are there, often in excessive numbers,
causing property damage and genuine safety concerns.
"The Game Commission is challenged to minimize the negative impacts of urban/suburban deer, yet retain the
positive benefits they provide many metropolitan residents," Tardiff said. "Our goal in developing this
management strategy is not to eliminate whitetails in urban/suburban areas. Rather, we are developing options
that any community with deer overpopulation can use for relief.
"But communities must recognize that there are no quick fixes, or one-time solutions to reducing deer-human
conflicts in urban/suburban settings. Deer must be managed aggressively in these situations. If they aren't,
years of progress can disappear over a relatively short period of time. Every community needs a deer
management plan that is supported by residents and actively pursued."
The Game Commission is an independent state agency, and has managed the state's wildlife populations for all
Pennsylvanians for more than 100 years. It is funded through the sale of hunting and furtaker licenses, a federal
excise tax on sporting arms and ammunition, and the sale of timber and minerals on State Game Lands.
GAME COMMISSION POSTS AGENDA ON WEBSITE
The agenda for the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners meeting on April 17-18, has been posted on the
agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). To view a copy of the agenda, click on the "Next Commissioners'
Meeting" box in the center of the homepage and then select the "April 2006 Commission Meeting Agenda" icon
at the bottom of the page.
The two-day meeting will be held at the agency's Harrisburg headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Ave., just off the
Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81. The meetings will begin at 8:30 a.m. on both days.
On April 17, the Board will hear public comments on the proposed 2006-07 hunting and furtaking seasons and
bag limits that were given preliminary approval in October. The Board also will receive agency staff reports and
updates.
On April 18, the Board is scheduled to take official action to finalize the 2006-07 hunting and furtaking seasons
and bag limits, and to set antlerless deer license allocations. The Board also is scheduled to give preliminary
approval to draft regulations to establish the Mentored Youth Hunting Program. Authorized by legislation
enacted on Dec. 22, the Mentored Youth Hunting Program is intended to provide mentors, who are dedicated to
promoting and sharing Pennsylvania's hunting heritage, the opportunity to share this experience with interested
youths.
Minutes from the April meeting will be posted in the "Reports/Minutes" section of the homepage as soon as they
are prepared.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/10/2006 2:34:56 PM
Release #041-06
YORK COUNTY WOMAN FOUND GUILTY OF HARASSING HUNTERS;
PARENTS URGED TO THINK TWICE ABOUT EASTER PETS
YORK COUNTY WOMAN FOUND GUILTY OF HARASSING HUNTERS
READING - Pennsylvania Game Commission officials today announced that Nancy Lee Lauro, 50, of Hanover,
York County, was found guilty of interfering with five lawful hunters during the 2005 regular rifle deer season.
The hearing before Magisterial District Judge Gerald E. Shoemaker, in Dover, resulted in Lauro being ordered to
pay a $500 fine. The York County District Attorney's Office represented the Game Commission in the hearing.
On Nov. 28, the first day of the 2005 regular rifle deer season, Lauro confronted five hunters, including two
junior hunters, and knowingly interfered with their hunt on numerous occasions during the day. The five hunters
were on land where they had permission to hunt, were properly licensed and were wearing the required amount
of fluorescent orange. Under the Game and Wildlife Code, it is unlawful to knowingly or intentionally interfere
with lawful hunting and furtaking.
After being notified about the interference and harassment, Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife
Conservation Officers (WCOs) conducted an investigation of the incident and filed charges on Lauro.
"Unfortunately, law-abiding hunters and trappers sometimes are subjected to harassment by others for a variety
of reasons," said WCO Chad R. Eyler. "However, if we are notified when these incidents occur, and our
investigation finds that a crime against lawful hunters or trappers was committed, we will enforce the
interference law and protect lawful hunters and trappers from this type of conduct by others."
PARENTS URGED TO THINK TWICE ABOUT EASTER PETS
HARRISBURG - With Easter just around the corner, many parents consider purchasing young rabbits, ducks,
geese or chickens for their children as pets. However, officials from the Pennsylvania Game Commission and
Pennsylvania Wildlife Rehabilitation Association are urging parents to think twice about purchasing such pets.
"Each year, we hear of people abandoning these living Easter gifts at public parks, state forests or State Game
Lands after parents and children grow tired of caring for these pets," said Calvin W. DuBrock, Game Commission
Bureau of Wildlife Management director. "Nearly all of these animals are unable to survive in the wild on their
own since they have been breed and raised in captivity."
Beth Carricato, a wildlife rehabilitator in Harrisburg, said parents should educate themselves about an animal's
needs and requirements before purchasing a pet. She noted that wildlife rehabilitators typically are filled to
capacity largely due to impulse purchases of these animals and their eventual release.
"As the animal's uniqueness fades and they grow, many will inevitably be taken on a one-way trip to a pond or
park and abandoned," Carricato said. "Very few will become permanent pets where they are fed and kept
properly."
Leaving domestic animals, such as ducks or geese, in the wild is illegal and has the potential to spread diseases
to wild populations and cause domestic hybridization of the wild waterfowl.
"People feeding ducks and geese, cause them to remain in the area and, eventually, they will begin to
reproduce," DuBrock said. "Typically, cross-bred waterfowl are often associated with nuisance situations. Also,
the area will become overpopulated and suffer from the stress of too many birds."
DuBrock also noted that people who feed the birds actually are doing them a disservice, especially when they're
provided bread, crackers, chips and popcorn.
"Ducks and geese can starve to death if that is all they get to eat," DuBrock said. "Geese and ducks are mainly
vegetarians, but well-meaning people bringing big bags of bread and crackers to feed the ducks and geese need
to understand that they are killing the birds with their kindness. Bread fills the birds' stomachs, but provides
very little nutritional value.
"The entire situation could be avoided if only parents think twice about giving such pets as Easter gifts. For the
health and safety of the animals - both domestic and wild - we urge parents to fully educate themselves about
the responsibilities that come with owning such pets."
As an added concern, many municipalities have zoning ordinances that prohibit ownership of livestock, such as
poultry and waterfowl.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/11/2006 2:31:53 PM
Release #042-06
CWD Not Found in Pennsylvania Hunter-Killed Deer Samples;
Hunter-Killed Deer From West Virginia Tests Negative For CWD
CWD NOT FOUND IN PENNSYLVANIA HUNTER-KILLED DEER SAMPLES
HARRISBURG - Chronic wasting disease (CWD) was not detected in samples taken from hunter-killed deer during
the state's 2005 hunting season, according to Dr. Walt Cottrell, Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife
veterinarian.
As CWD has been identified in New York and West Virginia in 2005, Cottrell noted that the agency continues to
increase the number of deer samples collected for testing. In 2005, 3,834 samples were tested from hunter-
killed deer, and CWD was not detected. In 2004, 3,613 hunter-killed deer samples were tested, compared to
the 2,004 deer sampled in 2003, and 558 in 2002. CWD was not detected in previous year's samples.
Results showing that the CWD tests of hunter-killed elk from 2005 were all negative and were announced on
Jan. 23.
"We are pleased to announce that Pennsylvania continues to have no confirmed or suspected cases of wild deer
or elk with CWD in Pennsylvania, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that it stays that way," Cottrell
said. "By conducting these tests from a random sample of hunter-killed deer and on all hunter-killed elk, we
will help to assure ourselves and the general public that it is unlikely that CWD is present in wild deer and elk in
the state."
CWD tests on the deer and elk samples were conducted by the New Bolton Center, which is the University of
Pennsylvania's veterinary diagnostics laboratory. Under a contract with Penn State University, the elk samples
also were tested for brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis and found to be free of those diseases.
All costs for conducting these tests are covered by a $90,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The federal grant pays for all testing, materials and supplies, and some of the agency's personnel costs for
sample collection.
Heads from hunter-killed deer were collected from deer processors by deer aging teams during the two-week
rifle deer season. Tissues were collected at Game Commission region offices by Game Commission personnel
and Pennsylvania and U.S. departments of agriculture animal health officials. This marked the fifth year for
testing hunter-killed elk and the fourth year for testing hunter-killed deer. In total, 196 elk and nearly 10,010
deer have been tested.
"The test results are good news," Cottrell said. "Although CWD has not been found in Pennsylvania, we must
continue to be vigilant in our CWD monitoring efforts. The surveillance information we are gathering is
important for the early detection of CWD.
"We already are planning to continue random testing of hunter-killed deer and elk during the 2006-07 seasons,
and we are pleased that the Pennsylvania and U.S. departments of agriculture will continue to play an important
role in this disease surveillance program."
First identified in 1967, CWD is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) that affects cervids, including
all species of deer and elk. It is a progressive and always fatal disease, which scientists theorize is caused by an
unknown agent capable of transforming normal brain proteins into an abnormal form.
There currently is no practical way to test live animals for CWD, and there is no vaccine to prevent an animal
from contracting the disease, nor is there a cure for animals that become infected. Clinical signs include poor
posture, lowered head and ears, uncoordinated movement, rough-hair coat, weight loss, increased thirst,
excessive drooling, and, ultimately, death. There is no evidence of CWD being transmissible to humans or to
other non-cervid livestock under normal conditions.
Deer harboring CWD may not show any symptoms in the disease's early stages. As it progresses, infected
animals become emaciated and their hair has a very disheveled appearance. Drooling is sometimes apparent.
Deer often are found near water, which some consume in large amounts. They also may use an exaggerated
wide stance to stay standing.
Hunters who see deer behaving oddly, that appear to be very sick, or that are dying for unknown reasons are
urged to contact the nearest Game Commission Region Office. Hunters should not kill animals that appear to be
sick.
"We count on hunters to be our eyes when they head out to hunt deer," Cottrell said. "With the help of the
nearly one million deer hunters who go afield, we can cover a lot of ground.
"Hunters always should be mindful of wildlife health issues, but even more so in coming years. We must keep
the threat posed by CWD in perspective. At this point, we have no evidence that CWD is in Pennsylvania, or that
it poses health problems for humans. Remember, we've been living with rabies - which does affect people - in
Pennsylvania since the early 1980s."
CWD is present in free-ranging and captive wildlife populations in 14 states and two Canadian provinces.
However, the Game Commission has been working with other state agencies to protect the Commonwealth's wild
and captive deer and elk.
In December, the Game Commission issued an order banning the importation of specific carcass parts from
states and Canadian provinces where CWD had been identified in free-ranging cervid populations.
The ban closely mirrors a similar ban issued on Sept. 21 by the state Department of Agriculture, with the
support of the Game Commission. Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff used his emergency powers to issue the
ban pending action by the Board of Game Commissioners to grant similar emergency powers to the agency's
executive director.
Hunters traveling to the following states will need to abide by the importation restrictions: Colorado, Illinois,
Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming; as well as the Canadian provinces
of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The ban also impacts hunters traveling to Hampshire County in West Virginia, and
those hunting within any specified containment zones in New York proactively identified by that state's
Department of Environment and Conservation. New York DEC officials already banned hunters from removing
specific carcass parts from an area where CWD was identified early this year to prevent the possible inadvertent
spread of the disease within the state's borders.
Specific carcass parts prohibited from being imported into Pennsylvania by hunters are: head (including brain,
tonsils, eyes and retropharyngeal lymph nodes); spinal cord/backbone; spleen; skull plate with attached antlers,
if visible brain or spinal cord material is present; cape, if visible brain or spinal cord material is present; upper
canine teeth, if root structure or other soft material is present; any object or article containing visible brain or
spinal cord material; and brain-tanned hides.
Cottrell noted that the order does not limit the importation of the following animal parts originating from any
cervid in the quarantined states, provinces or area: meat, without the backbone; skull plate with attached
antlers, if no visible brain or spinal cord material is present; tanned hide or raw hide with no visible brain or
spinal cord material present; cape, if no visible brain or spinal cord material is present; upper canine teeth, if no
root structure or other soft material is present; and taxidermy mounts.
In September, members of the Pennsylvania CWD task force signed the state's response plan, which outlines
ways to prevent CWD from entering our borders and, if CWD is in Pennsylvania, how to detect it, contain it and
work to eradicate it. The task force was comprised of representatives from the Governor's Office, the Game
Commission, the state Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the state Department of
Health, the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management
Agency. Initiated in 2003, a copy of the final plan can be viewed on the Game Commission's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us) by clicking on "Reports/Minutes" and then selecting "Pennsylvania CWD Response Plan."
"We know that Pennsylvania hunters are just as concerned about keeping CWD out of Pennsylvania as we are,
and we are confident that they will do all they can to protect the Commonwealth's whitetail and elk populations,"
Cottrell said.
Websites for all 50 state wildlife agencies can be accessed by going to www.wheretohunt.org, which is a website
maintained by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Additional information on CWD can be found on the CWD Alliance's website (www.cwd-info.org).
HUNTER-KILLED DEER FROM WEST VIRGINIA TESTS NEGATIVE FOR CWD
According to Pennsylvania Game Commission officials, the good news for a Lancaster County hunter who visited
Hampshire County, West Virginia, is that the two deer he brought back from that state's 2005 seasons tested
negative for chronic wasting disease (CWD). Hampshire County is the area of West Virginia from which
Pennsylvania hunters are restricted in what parts they may bring back to the Commonwealth to prevent hunters
from unknowingly returning with any parts that could spread CWD.
However, the bad news for Joseph C. Clement, 50, of Manor Street in Lancaster, is that he was charged with
two counts of unlawful possession of game not properly marked by Lancaster County Wildlife Conservation
Officer (WCO) John Veylupek. If convicted of both charges, which were filed in District Justice Cheryl Hartman's
office, Clement faces up to $1,600 in fines and the possible loss of his hunting and trapping privileges.
Additionally, WCO Veylupek has informed West Virginia Department of Natural Resources officials about the case,
as Clement allegedly failed to properly tag the two deer and did not take his deer to a required check station.
He also allegedly violated West Virginia's game laws that prohibit hunters from taking more than one deer per
day.
"These actions also are in violation of the state Department of Agriculture's importation ban that was in place at
the time of the incident, and also may be a violation of the federal Lacy Act," WCO Veylupek said. Agriculture
Department officials were provided information on the matter.
Veylupek offered his thanks to the confidential informants who contacted the Game Commission regarding the
incident.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/12/2006 8:26:55 AM
Release #043-06
HOWARD NURSERY TAKING FINAL SEEDLING ORDERS FOR THE SEASON;
GAME COMMISSION PROBE UNCOVERS DEER SLAUGHTERING SPREE
HOWARD NURSERY TAKING FINAL SEEDLING ORDERS FOR THE SEASON
HARRISBURG - Landowners seeking to plant tree species beneficial to wildlife have until April 28 to submit their
seedling orders to the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Howard Nursery. For a listing of those species
remaining and an order form, landowners are encouraged to visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on the "Forms and Programs" section and choose "Howard Nursery Seedling
Program."
Minimum orders are for 250 seedlings, which cost 15 cents per seedling (plus sales tax) and are placed in
bundles of 50. The following species are available for this spring: white pine; mugo pine; red pine; Norway
spruce; white spruce; silky dogwood; sawtooth oak; Chinese chestnut; crabapple; and American mountain ash.
A description of each, along with size information, is available on the website.
In addition to making arrangements for landowners to pick up their seedling orders, the nursery does ship via
United Parcel Service (UPS). Shipping and handling charges do apply. This is very efficient and most orders are
received the next day. All shipments will be processed by the end of the first week of May.
The Game Commission's Howard Nursery produces bare-root seedlings for wildlife food and cover on State Game
Lands. Landowners who have 50 or more acres of land open to public hunting and are enrolled in one of the
Commission's public access programs are eligible to receive up to 500 free seedlings annually, as available.
Those cooperators with enrolled acreages exceeding 500 acres are eligible for one free seedling per acre enrolled
up to a maximum of 10,000 seedlings annually, as available. Cooperators are provided an order form each Fall
for the following Spring delivery. Free seedling orders are taken only in the fall through local Wildlife
Conservation Officers (WCOs) and Land Management personnel.
However, new this year, Pennsylvania landowners may purchase seedlings for wildlife food and cover, watershed
protection, soil erosion control, and for reclamation of disturbed areas, such as surface mine site and utility
right-of-ways.
"The goal of the Howard Nursery is to provide the finest tree seedlings available of those species that best
provide for the various needs of wildlife, including food and shelter," said Cliff Guindon, Howard Nursery
superintendent. "All of our stock is inspected annually by the state Department of Agriculture and certified to be
disease-free."
For more information, contact Cliff Guindon at the Howard Nursery, 197 Nursery Road, Howard, PA 16841,
telephone (814) 355-4434. Hours of telephone operation are 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
GAME COMMISSION PROBE UNCOVERS DEER SLAUGHTERING SPREE
HUNTINGDON - It's over. But the shock waves it has created in Perry County will reverberate through the
county's rural communities for some time to come.
This hard-to-believe case of reckless wildlife destruction started when a few Juniata Township residents
independently reported to the Pennsylvania Game Commission incidents of deer poaching in their areas. By
completion of the ensuing lengthy investigation by agency Wildlife Conservation Officers, it was uncovered that
shooting incidents had occurred in at least six Perry County townships: Juniata, Tuscarora, Greenwood, Howe,
Liverpool and Buffalo.
"We have concluded that between 40 and 50 deer had been shot - or shot at - in these areas during a period
that covered several weeks," said Perry County Wildlife Conservation Officer Steve Hower. "I've never seen
anything like this before, and I hope I never do again."
Zachary E. Harris, 18, of Gough Lane, Juniata Township, and two 17-year-old juveniles from Newport were
charged with the unlawful use of lights while hunting and killing or attempting to kill eight deer between March
1-23. If convicted of all charges, which were filed in District Justice Donald Howell's office in Newport, the three
face total fines of up to $5,600. In addition to the monetary penalties, each will face revocation of their
hunting/trapping privileges if convicted.
"Every one of the deer killed illegally in this incomprehensible spree is a lost opportunity for law-abiding and
ethical hunters," noted Donald Garner, Game Commission Southcentral Region Information and Education
Supervisor. "The excitement they might have generated, the memories they may have provided hunters, the
venison they could have provided, rotted away in the fields in which they were shot. What a terrible misuse of a
natural resource."
Reports started trickling in well over a month ago about deer being shot at night and left lying in the fields
where they were killed.
"The shootings continued at a steady pace throughout March," explained Hower. "Each incident was pretty much
the same: deer were shot during the night and left to rot."
During the investigation, officers were surprised to learn that on several occasions deer had been killed on
private properties where landowners, who were fully aware of the poaching incidents, had not bothered to
contact the Game Commission to report them.
"It's hard for me to understand why someone would not report the destruction of wildlife," said Hower. "I always
hope that everyone would find such activities totally unacceptable. In one of these incidents, I heard through the
grapevine about one landowner who had actually found more than five deer on his property over a period of
several weeks. A follow-up investigation confirmed the report.
"In another incident, a landowner was actually annoyed that we were investigating the killing of a deer on his
property. This landowner, who later even recalled the time of the shooting, also had neglected to report it. He
just removed the deer from the field to a more secluded area where it could decay without getting in his way."
The Game Commission would like to thank those residents who were upset by these wanton killings and who
took the time to report their observations.
"After a lengthy investigation, the violators were identified and charges were filed," Garner said. "It's a great day
for those of us who care about wildlife."
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/13/2006 9:41:29 AM
Release #044-06
TWO MEASURES ADDED TO GUIDE DEER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM;
AGENCY POSTS DEER HARVEST ESTIMATING PROCEDURE ON WEBSITE
TWO MEASURES ADDED TO GUIDE DEER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Game Commission has added more direction and substance to its deer
management program in the form of new measures it will use to guide the management of white-tailed deer in
the Commonwealth.
This new approach, first identified in 2003 with the adoption of the current deer management plan, will lean
heavily on data-collection and analysis to measure the quality of and changes to deer and forest habitat health
to develop deer management recommendations for the agency's Board of Game Commissioners to consider.
"There has to be a solid scientific foundation from which deer management recommendations are made to
ensure program integrity and to monitor change," emphasized Dr. Christopher Rosenberry, Game Commission
Deer Management Section supervisor. "These measures will provide deer managers and Pennsylvanians more
details - a clearer picture of what's going on. It is hoped that increased awareness will lead to a better
understanding of deer impacts and deer management actions.
"These measurements support the agency's goals to manage for healthy deer, healthy forest habitat and
reduced deer-human conflicts; goals that were first identified by representatives of various groups with an
interest in deer management, including hunters, and subsequently adopted by the Game Commission as part of
its deer management plan. When we finalize procedures for assessing deer conflicts with human activities, we'll
have a much more complete assessment of what's going on in the whitetail's world and how it's impacting ours."
Cal DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director, noted that managing whitetails has
always been - and likely always will be - controversial because the views of Pennsylvanians interested in or
trying to influence deer management are so different. For example, in the past month, the House Democratic
Policy Committee held a hearing in DuBois, Clearfield County, to collect public comment on the state's reduced
deer populations, while testimony before the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee in the Capitol
focused on information that deer are causing upwards of $150 million in damages annually to Pennsylvania
farming, forestry and nursery industries.
"Establishing what are socially-acceptable deer population goals for the state's Wildlife Management Units
(WMUs) system is about as uncomplicated as establishing the best way to reduce property taxes in the
Commonwealth or solving the Social Security debate throughout the nation," DuBrock said. "There is always one
group of stakeholders that wants what another doesn't, creating extremes that cannot or refuse to find middle
ground."
From a management perspective, this uncompromising arrangement regularly places the Game Commission in
the unfortunate position of being in one extreme - or the other's - crosshairs, DuBrock noted.
"We do strive to accommodate all Pennsylvanians - as well as habitat and other wildlife species - in our deer
management deliberations and recommendations," DuBrock said. "And now with measures of deer and forested
habitat health, we are positioned to further refine that approach."
The strategies for collecting and analyzing deer health information will involve using reproductive data - embryos
per doe and fawn pregnancy rates - from each Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) to evaluate trends in deer
health.
"Reproduction was chosen as a primary measure for deer health because research has repeatedly shown there
are differences in the reproductive rates of females in good physical condition and those in poor physical
condition," Rosenberry explained. "Research also has confirmed that as a deer population's size increases, its
reproductive rates decline. In fact, female fawns often stop breeding when deer populations are high."
Under the guidelines of the new measures, deer health would be gauged as good when 30 percent or more of
fawns are bred; when two-year-old females have 1.5 fawns or more; and when females three-years-or-older
have 1.7 fawns or more.
"Reproductive measures have been used in other states to assess the nutritional plane and/or physical condition
of deer," Rosenberry noted. "Adding it to our new monitoring system's mix of measurements is just another way
to strengthen our deer management recommendations."
Habitat - or specifically, forest acreage and age - has been used by the Game Commission for decades as a
foundation to help establish deer population goals. Under the refined habitat measures, monitoring will examine
forest sustainability.
"A healthy forest can sustain deer, as well as a variety of plant and animal life, and replace its losses," pointed
out Rosenberry. "So, we decided one way to gauge a forest's well-being would be to measure its ability to
replace itself. In other words, are there enough young trees in a forest to replace older trees when they die, are
harvested for timber, or are damaged by natural causes, such as windstorms."
Under the guidelines of the new measures, forest habitat health would be gauged as good when at least 70
percent of sampled plots had adequate regeneration to replace the current forest canopy.
The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service, and Pennsylvania State
University already collect tree seedling and sapling data from public and private lands in all WMUs as part of an
ongoing "forest inventory analysis." Only plots where enough light reaches the forest floor to support growth of
tree seedling and saplings are included in this analysis.
The deer and habitat health measures the Game Commission has integrated into Pennsylvania's deer
management program have been reviewed by other wildlife biologists and foresters, including professionals from
the Northeast Deer Technical Committee, a group of deer biologists from all northeastern states and some
Canadian provinces; Penn State University; Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; state
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; U.S. Forest Service; and the Quality Deer Management
Association.
"As we gain more experience with these measures and gather additional information, we will continue to refine
them so we are making deer management recommendations based on the best assessments of deer and forest
habitat health in Pennsylvania," Rosenberry said. "It's what scientific wildlife management is all about, and what
Pennsylvanians should expect from the Game Commission."
More information on deer and forest habitat measures can be found on the Game Commission's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us) by clicking on "Deer Program" in the "Quick Clicks" box in the upper right-hand corner of
the homepage, and then selection "Deer Program Measurements."
AGENCY POSTS DEER HARVEST ESTIMATING PROCEDURE ON WEBSITE
As part of its ongoing efforts to keep the public informed about deer management, the Pennsylvania Game
Commission has posted a more detailed version of its white-tailed deer harvest estimating procedures on its
internet website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). Click on "Deer Program" in the "Quick Clicks" box in the upper right-
hand corner of the homepage and select "Deer Harvest Estimate Process."
"There always seems to be a desire for more information about the Game Commission's deer management
program and procedures, so in an effort to increase understanding and to explain our harvest estimates, these
procedures have been posted on our website," explained Dr. Christopher Rosenberry, who supervises the
agency's Deer Management Section. "We encourage individuals who care to learn more about how the process
works to read the document."
A description of these procedures has been available for some time under the agency's Annual Wildlife
Management Reports section of the website. The new document expands on the earlier document and places the
information in an easier-to-access, high profile location.
A recent independent review of the deer harvest estimating method used by the Game Commission was
determined to be valid and was published in the Journal of Wildlife Management. The method employs a
fundamental wildlife management technique called "mark-recapture," which has been used for decades by
wildlife managers throughout the world. It also includes data collected by the annual physical examination of
tens of thousands of hunter-harvested deer.
In the near future, the Game Commission will hold an open house at the agency's Harrisburg headquarters to
provide the public an opportunity to learn about the deer harvest estimating process. Details will be announced
in early May.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/13/2006 4:54:31 PM
Release #045-06
GAME COMMISSION OFFERS ADVICE ON HOW TO AVOID ATTRACTING BEARS
HARRISBURG - With spring blossoming around the state, many Pennsylvanians are seeing signs of new life in
the outdoors as migratory birds continue their northward migration and other wildlife shake off their winter
slumber. Among the wildlife becoming more visible are Pennsylvania's roughly 15,000 black bears, all of which
will be looking for food.
Since bears are found throughout a large part of the state, Mark Ternent, Pennsylvania Game Commission black
bear biologist, said that bear sightings are common during this time of year. Food for bears is typically scarce
in the spring until vegetation begins to green-up, but bears emerging from dens need to find food after fasting
for several months. Thus, sightings and, in some cases, conflicts increase as bears look for food, including in
backyards.
"Now is the time to keep bears from becoming a nuisance later in the summer," Ternent said. "Bears that
wander near residential areas in search of food are less likely to stay or return if they do not find anything
rewarding. Conversely, if bears find food in your backyard they quickly learn to associate residential areas with
food and begin to spend more time in those areas. Encounters between humans and bears increase, as does
property damage, the risk of human injury and vehicle accidents involving bears."
Ternent noted capturing and moving bears that have become habituated to humans is a costly and sometimes
ineffective way of addressing the problem, especially when faced with the possibility of merely moving a problem
bear from one area to another. That is why wildlife agencies around the country tell people that a "fed bear is a
dead bear."
"The best solution is to prevent bears from finding food at your house in the first place," Ternent said. "Food
placed outside for any reason - whether it is food for wildlife, pets or unsecured garbage - is food available for
bears. Homeowners should begin now to remove food sources or make them unavailable to bears."
Ternent listed five suggestions that could prevent attracting bears to a property:
Play it smart. Do not feed wildlife. Food placed outside for wildlife, such as corn for squirrels, may attract
bears. Even bird feeders can become "bear magnets." Feeding birds during the winter months is not a problem,
but at other times of the year you run the risk of attracting problem bears. If you do chose to feed songbirds
during the summer, Audubon Pennsylvania offers some tips, including: avoid foods that are particularly
attractive for bears, such as sunflower seeds, hummingbird nectar mixes or suet; bring feeders inside at night;
or suspend feeders from high crosswires so they are at least 10 feet above the ground and four feet from
anything a bear can climb, including overhead limbs.
Keep it clean. Don't put out garbage until pick-up day; don't throw table scraps out back; don't add fruit or
vegetable wastes to your compost pile; and clean your barbecue grill regularly. If you have pets and feed them
outdoors, consider placing food dishes inside overnight. Encourage your neighbors to do the same.
Keep your distance. If a bear shows up in your backyard, stay calm. Shout at it like you would to chase an
unwanted dog. Don't approach it. If the bear won't leave, call the nearest Game Commission regional office or
local police department for assistance.
Eliminate temptation. Bears that visit your area are often drawn there. Neighbors need to work together to
reduce an area's appeal to bears. Ask area businesses to keep dumpsters closed and bear-proofed (chained or
locked shut).
Check please! If your dog is barking, or cat is clawing at the door to get in, try to determine what has
alarmed your pet. But do it cautiously, using outside lights to full advantage and from a safe position, such as a
porch or an upstairs window. All unrecognizable outside noises and disturbances should be checked, but don't do
it on foot with a flashlight. Black bears blend in too well with nighttime surroundings providing the chance for a
close encounter.
Although Pennsylvania's bear population has been increasing for some time, estimates over the past five years
indicate it has stabilized near 15,000. Last year, hunters harvested 4,164 bears. An additional 289 bears were
reported killed on highways.
"As a result of Pennsylvania's large human and bear populations, bears and people are coming into contact
frequently," Ternent said. "These encounters occur because housing developments and businesses continue to
encroach into bear habitat and more bears are living closer to people than ever before. Chance encounters in
the field also appear to be more common than before in some areas."
Ternent noted that although bears are not strangers to Pennsylvanians, bears are misunderstood by many.
"Bears needn't be feared, nor should they be dismissed as harmless. They simply need to be respected," Ternent
said. He stressed that in the past 25 years fewer than 15 people have been injured by bears in Pennsylvania,
and there are no known records of a Pennsylvania black bear killing a human.
"Black bear aggression is most often the result of a human intentionally or unintentionally threatening a bear, its
cubs, or a nearby food source, and the best reaction is to defuse the threat by leaving the area in a quiet, calm
manner," Ternent said. He also advised:
Stay Calm. If you see a bear and it hasn't seen you, leave the area calmly. Talk or make noise while moving
away to help it discover your presence. Choose a route that will not intersect with the bear if it is moving.
Get Back. If you have surprised a bear, slowly back away while talking softly. Face the bear, but avoid direct
eye contact. Do not turn and run; rapid movement may be perceived as danger to a bear that is already feeling
threatened. Avoid blocking the bear's only escape route and try to move away from any cubs you see or hear.
Do not attempt to climb a tree. A female bear may falsely interpret this as an attempt to get at her cubs, even
though the cubs may be in a different tree.
Pay Attention. If a bear is displaying signs of nervousness - pacing, swinging its head, or popping its jaws -
about your presence, leave the area. Some bears may bluff charge to within a few feet. If this occurs, stand
your ground, wave your arms wildly, and shout at the bear. Turning and running could elicit a chase and you
cannot outrun a bear.
Fight Back. If a bear attacks, fight back as you continue to leave the area. Black bears have been driven away
with rocks, sticks, binoculars, car keys, or even bare hands.
"Learning about bears and being aware of their habits is a responsibility that comes with living in rural and
suburban Pennsylvania or recreating in the outdoors," Ternent said.
In 2003, a regulation prohibiting the feeding of bears went into effect. The regulation made it unlawful to
intentionally "lay or place food, fruit, hay, grain, chemical, salt or other minerals that may cause bears to
congregate or habituate an area." The exceptions to this regulation are "normal or accepted farming, habitat
management practices, oil and gas drilling, mining, forest management activities or other legitimate commercial
or industrial practices."
The intent of this regulation is to reduce human-bear conflicts, not to put a stop to other wildlife feeding or
songbird feeding. However, the regulation enables Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officers to issue
written notices that direct landowners to discontinue songbird and/or other wildlife feeding if bears are being
attracted to the area and causing a nuisance for property owners or neighbors.
To report nuisance bears, contact the Game Commission Region Office nearest you. The telephone numbers are:
Northwest Region Office in Franklin, 814-432-3188; Southwest Region Office in Bolivar, 724-238-9523;
Northcentral Region Office in Jersey Shore, 570-398-4744; Southcentral Region Office in Huntingdon, 814-643-
1831; Northeast Region Office in Dallas, 570-675-1143; and Southeast Region Office in Reading, 610-926-3136.
More information on bears is available on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) by looking in the
"Hunting" section, then choosing "Black Bear."
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/14/2006 9:07:55 AM
Release #046-06
DEER SEASONS FINALIZED FOR 2006-07;
BOARD APPROVES ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSE ALLOCATIONS;
CHANGES TO RED-TAG PROGRAM BENEFIT HUNTERS AND LANDOWNERS
DEER SEASONS FINALIZED FOR 2006-07
HARRISBURG - In an effort to balance all public views on the direction of the state's deer management program,
the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave final approval to a slate of 2006-07 deer seasons.
Antler restrictions will continue unchanged for the 2006-07 seasons. Specifically:
-- In WMUs 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B and 2D, hunters will be required to abide by the four points on one side antler restriction;
-- In all other WMUs, hunters will be required to abide by a three points on one side antler restriction; and
-- Statewide, all junior license holders, disabled hunters with a permit to use a vehicle and active duty U.S. Armed Services personnel
may abide by the old antler restrictions of one antler of three or more inches in length or one antler with at least two points.
Following is an overview of the approved seasons.
* A concurrent antlered/antlerless rifle deer season from Nov. 27-Dec. 9. To harvest an antlerless deer during the concurrent seasons, hunters
must possess a valid, WMU-specific antlerless deer license for the unit in which they are hunting or a DMAP permit.
* A firearms antlerless deer season from Oct. 19-21, for junior and senior license holders, Disabled Person Permit (to use a vehicle) holders, or
Pennsylvania residents serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Services, who possess the appropriate WMU-specific antlerless deer license or
DMAP permit. Also included are persons who have reached or will reach age 65 in the year of the application for a license and hold a valid adult
license, or qualify for license and fee exemptions under section 2706 of the Game and Wildlife Code.
* A muzzleloader season for antlerless deer from Oct.14-21. The flintlock muzzleloader season, which is set for Dec. 26-Jan. 13, continues to
be an antlered or antlerless season for hunters with primitive flintlock ignition firearms, provided the hunter possesses the appropriate license(s).
* Archery seasons will be Sept. 30-Nov. 11, and Dec. 26-Jan. 13.
* Antlerless deer hunting in WMU 2B will be Dec. 26-Jan.13.
* Antlerless deer hunting in WMUs 5C and 5D will be Dec. 11-23 and Dec. 26-Jan. 27.
In October, the Board took final action to eliminate the long-time deadline for hunters to purchase a muzzleloader stamp.
In addition, the Board retained the use of crossbows statewide for hunting bear and elk and during any of the firearms deer seasons - including
the regular two-week concurrent deer season, the early muzzleloader season and the late flintlock season - and in all deer seasons in WMUs 2B,
5C and 5D, which are the most urbanized areas in the state.
Statewide, hunters using crossbows during the early muzzleloader season or late flintlock season must have a muzzleloader stamp in addition to
their general hunting license and appropriate WMU antlerless deer license. Late-season flintlock hunters using a crossbow are permitted to take
an antlered deer or an antlerless deer anywhere in the state with their unused antlered deer tag, just like other late-season flintlock hunters.
In WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, hunters planning to use a crossbow during the archery seasons must purchase an archery stamp in addition to their
general hunting license and appropriate WMU antlerless deer license.
Disabled hunters must obtain a permanent or temporary disabled hunter permit to use a crossbow during the statewide early archery season
outside of WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D.
The Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) that addresses landowner deer management objectives within Wildlife Management Units
(WMUs) will remain in place. In January, the Board eliminated language that prohibits DMAP permit holders from being declared ineligible if
they fail to submit a report card.
"DMAP provides a tool to harvest antlerless deer on specific properties to lessen deer impacts for landowners and the habitat," said Calvin W.
DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director.
Landowners will be permitted to give two DMAP coupons to a licensed hunter, who will then apply for the DMAP permits. The list of eligible
lands for DMAP include: publicly-owned lands; private landowners or agriculture lessees who don't charge a fee for hunting; and private land
hunting clubs established prior to Jan. 1, 2000, that own its enrolled acres in fee title and have provided a club charter and list of current
members to the agency. Completed DMAP landowner applications must be submitted to the appropriate regional office by July 1.
Upon approval of the application, landowners will receive one coupon for each DMAP permit allocated for their property, and the DMAP
permits will be allocated based on one for every five cultivated acres and one for every 50 forested acres. As in the past, landowners may receive
more DMAP coupons than the standard rate if they present a deer management plan that is approved by the Game Commission.
DMAP permits follow the same fee schedule as the general antlerless deer licenses ($6 for residents and $26 for non residents).
BOARD APPROVES ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSE ALLOCATIONS
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today approved antlerless license allocations for each of the 22 Wildlife Management Units
(WMUs) based on measurements of deer health; habitat health; level of deer-human conflicts based on DMAP participation; and recent
population trends.
For more information on the measurements used to determine deer and habitat health, please see News Release #044-06, which was issued on
April 13, and is available on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) by clicking on "Newsroom."
Following is a listing of the approved allocations for each WMU, along with last year's allocation, and information that was used to determine
the allocation for the upcoming seasons. More detailed information for each WMU allocation will be released in the near future.
WMU 1A allocation will be 42,000 to stabilize the population trend, up from last year's allocation of 40,000. Deer health is satisfactory; the
habitat health is satisfactory; deer-human conflicts are low; and recent population trends are stable.
WMU 1B allocation will be 30,000 to stabilize the population trend, up from last year's allocation of 27,000. Deer health is good; the habitat
health is poor; deer-human conflicts are low; and recent population trends are increasing.
WMU 2A allocation will be 55,000 to stabilize the population trend, which is the same as last year's. Deer health is satisfactory; the habitat
health is satisfactory; deer-human conflicts are low; and recent population trends are stable.
WMU 2B allocation will be 68,000 to decrease the population trend, which is the same as last year's. Deer health is satisfactory; the habitat
health is good; deer-human conflicts based on DMAP are low and do not adequately characterize conflicts in this highly-urbanized environment;
and recent population trends are increasing.
WMU 2C allocation will be 49,000 to stabilize the population trend, down from last year's allocation of 53,000. Deer health is poor; the habitat
health is poor; deer-human conflicts are low; and recent population trends are stable.
WMU 2D allocation will be 56,000 to stabilize the population trend, which is the same as last year's. Deer health is good; the habitat health is
satisfactory; deer-human conflicts are low; and recent population trends are stable.
WMU 2E allocation will be 21,000 to stabilize the population trend, which is the same as last year's. Deer health is uncertain; the habitat health
is satisfactory; deer-human conflicts are low; and recent population trends are stable.
WMU 2F allocation will be 28,000 to stabilize the population trend, down from last year's allocation of 30,000. Deer health is satisfactory; the
habitat health is poor; deer-human conflicts are high; and recent population trends are decreasing.
WMU 2G allocation will be 19,000 to stabilize the population trend, down from last year's allocation of 29,000. Deer health is satisfactory; the
habitat health is poor; deer-human conflicts are high; and recent population trends are decreasing.
WMU 3A allocation will be 29,000 to stabilize the population trend, up slightly from last year's allocation of 27,000. Deer health is poor; the
habitat health is satisfactory; deer-human conflicts are low; and recent population trends are stable.
WMU 3B allocation will be 43,000 to stabilize the population trend, up slightly from last year's allocation of 41,000. Deer health is good; the
habitat health is poor; deer-human conflicts are low; and recent population trends are stable.
WMU 3C allocation will be 27,000 to stabilize the population trend, down from last year's allocation of 32,000. Deer health is poor; the habitat
health is satisfactory; deer-human conflicts are low; and recent population trends are decreasing.
WMU 3D allocation will be 38,000 to stabilize the population trend, which is the same as last year's. Deer health is poor; the habitat health is
satisfactory; deer-human conflicts are low; and recent population trends are stable.
WMU 4A allocation will be 29,000 to stabilize the population trend, down from last year's allocation of 35,000. Deer health is good; the habitat
health is satisfactory; deer-human conflicts are low; and recent population trends are decreasing.
WMU 4B allocation will be 31,000 to allow a slight increase in the population trend, down from last year's 35,000. Deer health is good; the
habitat health is satisfactory; deer-human conflicts are low; and recent population trends are decreasing.
WMU 4C allocation will be 39,000 to stabilize the population trend, which is the same as last year's. Deer health is satisfactory; the habitat
health is satisfactory; deer-human conflicts are low; and recent population trends are stable.
WMU 4D allocation will be 40,000 to stabilize the population trend, which is the same as last year's. Deer health is poor; the habitat health is
poor; deer-human conflicts are low; and recent population trends are stable.
WMU 4E allocation will be 38,000 to stabilize the population trend, which is the same as last year's. Deer health is satisfactory; the habitat
health is good; deer-human conflicts are low; and recent population trends are stable.
WMU 5A allocation will be 25,000 to stabilize the population trend, down from last year's allocation of 28,000. Deer health is poor for adult age
classes; the habitat health is satisfactory; deer-human conflicts are low; and recent population trends are decreasing.
WMU 5B allocation will be 53,000 to stabilize the population trend, down from last year's allocation of 56,000. Deer health is good; the habitat
health is satisfactory; deer-human conflicts are low; and recent population trends are stable.
WMU 5C allocation will be 79,000 to decrease the population trend, up from last year's allocation of 71,000. Deer health is satisfactory; the
habitat health is poor; deer-human conflicts based on DMAP are low and do not adequately characterize conflicts in this highly urbanized
environment; and recent population trends are stable.
WMU 5D allocation will be 20,000 to decrease the population trend, which is the same as last year's. Deer health is good; there is no data
available on habitat health; deer-human conflicts based on DMAP are low and do not adequately characterize conflicts in this highly urbanized
environment; and recent population trends are stable.
CHANGES TO RED-TAG PROGRAM BENEFIT HUNTERS AND LANDOWNERS
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave final approval to a change in the Agriculture Deer Control Program, also known as
"Red Tag" program, to help farmers in two of the state's most developed Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) address high deer populations
through the use of licensed hunters.
Under the measure, farmers in WMUs 5C and 5D in the southeastern corner of the state will be able to participate in the "Red Tag" program
without having to enroll in the agency's Cooperative Public Access program and without having to place signs along their property boundaries
identifying their property as enrolled in the "Red Tag" program. Additionally, farmers will be permitted to give hunters up to two permits rather
than the standard one permit per hunter.
"Although we have some reservations about eliminating the public access requirements for the Red Tag program, we recognize the unique
challenges faced by farmers in WMUs 5C and 5D," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "We believe that these changes will
provide some relief to affected farmers and provide licensed hunters additional opportunities to hunt deer in these two WMUs."
Roe noted that the recommendations were the product of meetings arranged by Sen. Joe Conti, who until recently chaired the Senate Game and
Fisheries Committee, and Reps. Charles McIlhinney Jr. and Bernie O'Neill, and with Game Commissioner Gregory J. Isabella.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/19/2006 9:24:05 AM
Release #047-06
GAME COMMISSIONERS GIVE FINAL APPROVAL TO 2006-2007 SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS;
BOARD ADOPTS ARCHERY BLACK BEAR SEASON;
BOARD CONTINUES EXPANDED ELK SEASON;
HUNTERS REMINDED ABOUT PROCESS FOR SETTING WATERFOWL SEASONS
GAME COMMISSIONERS GIVE FINAL APPROVAL TO 2006-2007 SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS
HARRISBURG -- The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave final approval to hunting and
trapping seasons and bag limits for 2006-07, including an archery black bear season and continuation of
increased elk hunting opportunities. For information on deer seasons, please see News Release #46-06, which
is available on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) by clicking on "Newsroom."
Following are several articles on meeting highlights.
BOARD ADOPTS ARCHERY BLACK BEAR SEASON
The Board of Commissioners today gave final approval to the traditional three-day statewide black bear season
(Nov. 20-22) before Thanksgiving, and made significant changes to the bear season that is concurrent with the
first week of the firearms deer season (Nov. 27-Dec. 2).
Under the amendment, the concurrent bear season will be held Nov. 27-Dec. 2 in Wildlife Management Units
(WMUs) 3C and 3D, and in portions of WMU 3B, 4E and 2G.
The concurrent bear/deer season will be held in that portion of WMU 3B, east of Route 14 from Troy to Canton,
east of Route 154 from Canton to Route 220 at Laporte and east of Route 42 from Laporte to Route 118, and
that portion of WMU 4E, East of Rt. 42.
The concurrent bear/deer season also will be held in that portion of WMUs 2G and 3B in Lycoming County lies
north of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River from the Route 405 bridge, west to the Route 220 bridge,
east of Route 220 to Route 44 and east of Route 44 to Route 973, south of Route 973 to Route 87, west of
Route 87 to Route 864, south of Route 864 to Route 220 and west of Route 220 to Route 405 and west of
Route 405 to the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.
"We are not experiencing nuisance bear complaints throughout all of WMUs 3B and 2G," said Dennis Dusza,
Game Commission Northcentral Region director. "However, we are receiving numerous complaints within the
specific area surrounding Williamsport, as designated by the Board's amendment. We want to provide hunting
opportunities and direct hunter pressure to those areas in need of relief."
The Board also approved adding a two-day archery bear season for WMUs 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 4A, 4B and
4D for Nov. 15-16.
In addition, the Board gave final approval to continue to allow those deer hunters who obtain permission to hunt
on the State Correctional Institution at Rockview in Centre County to hunt for bear during the first week of the
rifle deer season (Nov. 27-Dec.2), provided they have a valid bear license.
Pennsylvania extended modern-day bear hunting started in 2002, when bear hunters were given the opportunity
to fill their tags the first week of the firearms deer season in Carbon, Monroe and Pike counties. With the
advent of the state's new Wildlife Management Units, the extended season in 2003 included all of WMU 3D. In
2004, the number of WMUs open for the concurrent deer/bear season was expanded.
Bear licenses must be purchased prior to the opening of the two-week firearms deer season.
BOARD CONTINUES EXPANDED ELK SEASON
The Board of Game Commissioners today gave final approval to Pennsylvania's upcoming elk seasons, including
the added opportunity for hunters to take part in a late-September hunt in 2007, which has been requested by
farmers around St. Marys, Elk County.
At it's January meeting, the Board approved an allocation of 40 elk licenses (15 antlered and 25 antlerless) for
the 2006 season, which is slated for Nov. 6-11; and 10 elk licenses (2 either sex and 8 antlerless) for the 2007
season to be held Sept. 17-22.
"Farmers are suffering severe crop damage, and rather than shoot elk for crop damage, they would like to allow
hunters an opportunity to harvest the animals," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director.
"Farmers have told us that elk remain in their fields through the fall and do extensive damage to their crops.
Only after farmers harvest their crops do the elk leave the area, which is before the regular elk season. This
early season will help reduce the damage elk are doing to these farmers' crops, and provide a unique hunting
opportunity when bull elk are bugling. This is a win-win situation for farmers and hunters."
Both antlered and antlerless elk will be legal game in both seasons. Successful applicants will be determined
through public drawings to be scheduled in September of 2006, where elk licenses will be awarded for the
November 2006 and the September 2007 hunts.
Hunters indicate on their application whether they are interested in the November 2006 hunt, the September
2007 hunt or both. However, it still will be unlawful to apply for more than one license in each season.
Interested hunters can make application for the elk seasons through the mail or by going to the agency's
webpage (www.pgc.state.pa.us). Applications also will soon be accepted via "The Outdoor Shop" on the
agency's homepage. All applications must be accompanied by a nonrefundable $10 application fee.
HUNTERS REMINDED ABOUT PROCESS FOR SETTING WATERFOWL SEASONS
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners gave final approval to nearly all of the 2006-07 seasons and
bag limits; however, there is one group of seasons that won't be finalized summer: waterfowl and migratory bird
seasons.
In August, the Game Commission and waterfowl hunting organizations will host waterfowl organizations,
individual sportsmen and the public to attend a briefing on the status of waterfowl populations and proposed
preliminary federal frameworks for the 2006-07 hunting seasons.
In addition to reviewing frameworks established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for upcoming
waterfowl and migratory bird seasons, Game Commission staff, along with representatives of the state
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and USFWS, will provide updates on current and planned
research and management programs, as well as past hunting results.
Based on public comments received and gathered at the meeting, Game Commission staff will prepare and
present recommended composite waterfowl and migratory bird seasons, bag limits and related criteria to the
USFWS for final approval. All migratory bird hunting seasons and bag limits must conform to frameworks set by
the USFWS. States select their hunting seasons within these established frameworks.
By mid-August, once the final selections are made, the Game Commission will print and distribute brochures
outlining the seasons and bag limits for waterfowl and migratory bird seasons to U.S. Post Offices, where
hunters may purchase their mandatory federal duck stamp. The brochure also will be posted on the Game
Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) along with a news release announcing the agency's final selections
by mid-August. September Canada goose seasons and early migratory bird seasons (doves, woodcock, rails,
moorhens, gallinules and snipe) are announced via news release in late July.
ADOPTED 2006-07 HUNTING SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS
SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined): Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without
required license - Oct. 7-13 (6 daily, 12 in possession limit after first day).
SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined): Fall Season - Oct. 14-Nov. 25; Late Seasons - Dec. 11-
23 and Dec. 26-Feb. 3 (6 daily, 12 in possession limit after first day).
RUFFED GROUSE: Oct. 14-Nov. 25, Dec. 11-23 and Dec. 26-Jan. 27 (2 daily, 4 possession). There is no open
season for taking ruffed grouse in that portion of State Game Lands No. 176 in Centre County which is posted
"RESEARCH AREA - NO GROUSE HUNTING."
RABBIT (Cottontail): Oct. 21-Nov. 25, Dec. 11-23 and Dec. 26-Feb. 3 (4 daily, 8 possession).
PHEASANT: Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license - Oct. 7-13 (2 daily, 4 in
possession). Male pheasants only in WMUs 2A, 2B, 2C, 4C, 4E, 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D. Male and female pheasants
may be taken in all other WMUs.
PHEASANT: Male only in WMUs 2A, 2B, 2C, 4C, 4E, 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D - Oct. 21-Nov. 25. Male and female in
WMUs 1A, 1B, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B and 4D - Oct. 21- Nov. 25, Dec. 11-23 and Dec. 26-Feb.
3 (2 daily, 4 in possession).
BOBWHITE QUAIL: Oct. 21-Nov. 25 (4 daily, 8 possession). (Closed in WMUs 4A, 4B, 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D.)
HARES (SNOWSHOE RABBITS) OR VARYING HARES: Dec. 26-Jan. 1 (1 daily, 2 possession).
WOODCHUCKS (GROUNDHOGS): No closed season, except: Sundays; during the antlered and antlerless deer
seasons; and until noon daily during the spring gobbler turkey season.
CROWS: July 1-Nov. 25 and Dec. 29-April 1, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only. No limit.
STARLINGS AND ENGLISH SPARROWS: No closed season, except during the antlered and antlerless deer
seasons and until noon daily during the spring gobbler turkey season. No limit.
WILD TURKEY (Male or Female): Wildlife Management Units 1A and 1B (Shotgun and bow and arrow) - Oct.
28-Nov. 11; WMU 2A and 2B (Shotgun and bow and arrow) - Oct. 28-Nov. 18; WMUs 2C, 2E, 4A, 4B, and 4D -
Oct. 28-Nov. 11; WMUs 2D, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C and 4E - Oct. 28-Nov. 18; WMUs 5A and 5B - CLOSED
TO FALL TURKEY HUNTING; and WMUs 5C and 5D (Shotgun and bow and arrow) - Oct. 28-Nov. 3. (1 bird limit,
either sex).
SPRING GOBBLER (Bearded bird only): Special season for eligible junior hunters, with required license - April
21, 2007. Only 1 spring gobbler may be taken during this hunt.
SPRING GOBBLER (Bearded bird only): April 28-May 26, 2007. Daily limit 1, season limit 2. (Second spring
gobbler may only be taken by persons who possess a valid special wild turkey license.)
BLACK BEAR (WMUs 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 4A, 4B and 4D) Bow and Arrow only: Nov. 15-16. Only 1
bear may be taken during the license year.
BLACK BEAR (Statewide): Nov. 20-22. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.
BLACK BEAR (WMUs 3C and 3D and Portions of WMUs 3B, 4E and 2G): Nov. 27-Dec. 2. Only 1 bear may
be taken during the license year. All of WMUs 3C and 3D. Also, in that portion of 3B, East of Rt. 14 from Troy to
Canton, East of Rt. 154 from Canton to Rt. 220 at Laporte and East of Rt. 42 from Laporte to Rt. 118 and that
portion of 4E, East of Rt. 42. Also, in that portion of WMUs 2G and 3B in Lycoming County that lie North of the
West branch of the Susquehanna River from the Rt. 405 bridge, West to the Rt. 220 bridge, East of Rt. 220 to
Rt. 44 and East of Rt. 44 to Rt. 973, South of Rt. 973 to Rt. 87, West of Rt. 87 to Rt. 864, South of Rt. 864 to
Rt. 220 and West of Rt. 220 to Rt. 405 and West of Rt. 405 to the West branch of the Susquehanna River.
BLACK BEAR (Rockview State Correctional Institution): Nov. 27-Dec. 2. Only 1 bear may be taken during
the license year. Prior approval must be obtained from prison to hunt.
ELK (Antlered or Antlerless): Nov. 6-11. Only one elk may be taken during the license year.
ELK (Antlered or Antlerless): Sept. 17-22, 2007. Only one elk may be taken during the license year.
DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) Statewide: Sept. 30-Nov. 11 and Dec. 26-Jan. 13. One antlered
deer per hunting license year. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.
DEER (Antlered and Antlerless) Statewide: Nov. 27-Dec. 9. One antlered deer per hunting license year. An
antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.
ANTLERLESS DEER (Statewide): Oct. 19-21. Junior and Senior License Holders, Disabled Person Permit (to
use a vehicle) Holders, and Pennsylvania residents serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Services or in the
U.S. Coast Guard only, with required antlerless license. Also included are persons who have reached or will reach
their 65th birthday in the year of the application for a license and hold a valid adult license, or qualify for license
and fee exemptions under section 2706. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.
DEER, ANTLERLESS MUZZLELOADER (Statewide): Oct. 14-21. An antlerless deer with each required
antlerless license.
DEER, ANTLERED OR ANTLERLESS FLINTLOCK (Statewide): Dec. 26-Jan. 13. One antlered per hunting
license year, or one antlerless deer and an additional antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.
DEER, Antlerless (WMUs 2B): Dec. 26-Jan. 13. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.
DEER, Antlerless (WMUs 5C and 5D): Dec. 11-23 and Dec. 26-Jan. 27. An antlerless deer with each required
antlerless license.
DEER, ANTLERLESS (Military Bases): Hunting permitted on days established by the U.S. Department of the
Army at Letterkenny Army Depot, Franklin County; New Cumberland Army Depot, York County; and Fort
Detrick, Raven Rock Site, Adams County. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.
ADOPTED 2006-07 FURBEARER HUNTING SEASONS
COYOTES: No closed season. Unlimited. Outside of any deer or bear season, coyotes may be taken with a
hunting license or a furtakers license, and without wearing orange. During any archery deer season, coyotes
may be taken while lawfully hunting deer or with a furtaker's license. During the regular firearms deer and any
bear seasons, coyotes may be taken while lawfully hunting deer or bear, or with a furtaker's license while
wearing 250 square inches of fluorescent orange. During the spring gobbler season, may be taken by persons
who have valid tag and meet fluorescent orange and shot size requirements.
RACCOON & FOXES: Oct. 21-Feb. 17, unlimited.
OPOSSUM, SKUNKS & WEASELS: No closed season, except for prior to noon during the spring gobbler season.
No limits.
BOBCAT (WMUs 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D): Oct. 21-Feb. 17. One per permit. (Bobcats may only be
taken by furtakers in possession of a Bobcat Hunting-Trapping permit.)
ADOPTED 2006-07 TRAPPING SEASONS
MINK & MUSKRAT: Nov. 18-Jan. 6. Unlimited.
COYOTE, FOXES, OPOSSUM, RACCOON, SKUNKS, WEASELS: Oct. 22-Feb. 17. No limit.
COYOTE & FOXES (Statewide) Cable Restraints: Jan. 1-Feb. 17. No limit. Participants must pass cable
restraint certification course.
BEAVER (Statewide): Dec. 26-March 31 (Limits vary depending on WMU).
BOBCAT (WMUs 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D): Oct. 22-Feb. 17. One per permit. (Bobcats may only be
taken by furtakers in possession of a Bobcat Hunting-Trapping permit.)
ADOPTED 2006-07 FALCONRY SEASONS
SQUIRRELS (combined), QUAIL, RUFFED GROUSE, COTTONTAIL RABBITS, SNOWSHOE OR VARYING
HARE, RINGNECK PHEASANT (Male or Female combined): Sept. 1-March 31. Daily and Field Possession
limits vary.
No open season on other wild birds or mammals. Waterfowl and Migratory Game Bird seasons will be
established in accordance with Federal Regulations this summer.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/19/2006 7:56:00 AM
Release #048-06
BOARD MOVES TO ESTABLISH MENTORED YOUTH HUNTING PROGRAM;
BOARD APPROVES ACQUISITION OF NEARLY 49 ACRES IN BERKS COUNTY;
BOARD APPROVES SURFACE MINING COAL LEASE AMENDMENT;
BOARD TAKES ACTION ON OTHER ITEMS
BOARD MOVES TO ESTABLISH MENTORED YOUTH HUNTING PROGRAM
HARRISBURG - In response to legislation signed into law by Governor Edward G. Rendell, the Pennsylvania Board
of Game Commissioners today gave preliminary approval to regulations that establish the Mentored Youth
Hunting Program. The proposal must be approved at a subsequent meeting before taking effect for the
upcoming hunting season.
"The mission of the Mentored Youth Hunting Program is simple and clear: create expanded youth hunting
opportunities while maintaining safety afield," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "This
program provides youngsters a chance to develop the love of hunting early and allows that passion to grow as
they do. The program promotes the development of the one-on-one training and the hands-on experience that
will help assure our hunting future, as well as increase hunting safety through the counseling provided by
dedicated mentors."
Under the program, a mentor would be defined as a properly licensed individual at least 21 years of age, who
will serve as a trusted counselor to a mentored youth while engaged in hunting or related activities, such as
scouting, learning firearm or hunter safety and wildlife identification. A mentored youth would be defined as an
unlicensed individual less than 12 years of age who is accompanied by a mentor while engaged in hunting or
related activities.
The regulations propose that the mentor to mentored youth ratio may be only one-to-one, and that the pair
possesses only one sporting arm while hunting. While moving, the sporting arm must be carried by the mentor.
When the pair reaches a stationary hunting location, the mentor may turn over possession of the sporting arm
to the youth and must keep the youth within arms length at all times.
The species identified as legal for the first year of the Mentored Youth Hunting Program are squirrels,
woodchucks (groundhogs) and spring gobbler. The Board amended the staff recommendation to note that
antlered deer would be included in the 2007-08 seasons. The Board noted that those youth participating in the
Mentored Youth Hunting Program would be required to follow the same antler restrictions as a junior license
holder, which is one antler of three or more inches in length or one antler with at least two points.
The proposed program also required that both the mentor and the youth must abide by any fluorescent orange
regulations, and that the mentored youth must tag and report any wild turkey taken by making and attaching a
tag that contains their name, address, date, WMU, township, and county where it was taken. Also, the youth
must submit a harvest report card, which will be available in the 2006-07 Digest, for any gobbler taken within
five days.
"As this will be the first year of the MYHP, the agency decided it was prudent to start out slow and then refine
the program after we've had a chance to evaluate response to it," Roe said. "This is consistent with other
agency actions. For example, youth seasons were introduced one or two at a time; some youth seasons start
with only a day or two and are expanded later. Also, when the agency began the Deer Management Assistance
Program (DMAP), we started slow and then grew the program.
"Also, as there are many discussions about the direction of deer management, we decided it was better to have
at least one year under our belt to determine if the level of participation may have an impact to a particular
area's deer population."
On Oct. 4, the Board unanimously approved a resolution endorsing creation of the Mentored Youth Hunting
Program. Sponsored by House Game and Fisheries Committee Chairman Bruce Smith, House Bill 1690 was
amended by Sen. Robert D. Robbins. Sen. Robbins' amendment empowered the Game Commission to create
the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, and the amended bill was unanimously approved by the Senate and
passed the House by a vote of 195-1.
Pennsylvania was the first state in the nation to pass legislation designed to encourage more young people to
take up hunting in an effort to increase sportsmen's numbers. The measure was part of a national Families
Afield campaign promoted by the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the
National Wild Turkey Federation.
In Pennsylvania, the state's leading sportsmen's organizations formed a coalition to promote the measure. The
Pennsylvania coalition was comprised of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Pennsylvania Federation of
Sportsmen's Clubs, the United Bowhunters of Pennsylvania, Central Counties Concerned Sportsmen, National
Rifle Association, Quality Deer Management Association, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Big Brothers/Big Sisters
Pass It On Program and the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance.
BOARD APPROVES ACQUISITION OF NEARLY 49 ACRES IN BERKS COUNTY
Hunting on the Blue Mountain just got better, thanks to a land acquisition proposal unanimously approved by the
Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today.
The Board approved the purchase of nearly 49-forested acres in Albany Township, Berks County, adjoining State
Game Land 106. The purchase price of $48,000 will be paid to T&T Realty Acquisition Associates in a lump sum
out of monies escrowed from a previously approved coal lease.
"The Game Commission's ability to purchase and preserve lands for wildlife and for public hunting and trapping
has always been limited by rising property values and, during certain tight financial times, the limited availability
of funds," said Carl Roe, agency executive director. "The agency's last license fee increase was in 1999, and
since that time we have been forced to make considerable cuts in the agency's budget in an attempt to keep
pace with inflation. One of the budgetary line items that we 'zeroed-out' was funding for land acquisition.
"For the foreseeable future, the only land purchases we will approve are those being funded through escrowed
funds and donations. However, if we receive a license fee increase, we hope to restore our land acquisition line
item."
In addition to relying on the agency's land purchase escrow funds, Roe noted that the agency has maximized
land acquisition efforts by working closely with conservation partners, such as the various land conservancies.
"Conservation-minded individuals are helping the Game Commission leave a legacy for all Pennsylvanians to
admire," Roe said. For more information on how to contribute either land or money, visit the Game
Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on "Wildlife Donations" on the homepage.
The Game Commission has been purchasing State Game Lands since 1920. The State Game Lands system
currently contains more than 1.4 million acres. Under state law, the Game Commission is authorized to
purchase property for no more than $400 per acre from the Game Fund, with certain exceptions regarding
interior holdings, indentures and for administrative purposes. Any purchase that equals or exceeds $300,000
must be approved by the General Assembly and Governor through the capital budget appropriation process.
Including today's actions, the Board has approved the acquisition of more than 49,367 acres of State Game
Lands since July 1, 1999, when the last license fee increase took effect.
"State Game Lands represent a tangible asset that hunters and trappers of this state can literally point to as a
product of their license fees," Roe said. "In addition to the bountiful wildlife in our state, this is one more reason
to view the price of Pennsylvania hunting or furtaker licenses as a bargain."
In other action, the Board approved the purchase of coal and mineral rights under 221 acres of land the agency
currently owns as part of State Game Land 36 in Monroe Township, Bradford County. The agency will pay
$3,400 to E.L. Smith for the coal and mineral rights, which will provide the agency greater control over its
subsurface management options.
"If we didn't own the coal and mineral rights under this land, we could be forced to allow access to this land so
that the owner could mine the area," said Scott Klinger, Bureau of Land Management director. "With our
ownership of the coal and mineral rights, we will be able to protect the wildlife resources on this portion of SGL
36."
The Board also approved a land exchange that will improve SGL 79. In the Jackson Township, Cambria County
exchange, the Jackson Township Water Authority has agreed to exchange a three-acre indenture into SGL 79 in
exchange for a 3,000-foot long, 20-foot wide right-of-way for a six-inch municipal waterline running along an
existing road across the SGL. Staff had determined the land to be received was of equal or greater value to the
right-of-way offered for exchange.
BOARD APPROVES SURFACE MINING COAL LEASE AMENDMENT
The Board of Game Commissioners approved a lease amendment to add 27.3 acres of mining area to an existing
159-acre lease with Fisher Mining Company of Montoursville for State Game Land 75.
Located in Pine Township Lycoming County, the additional mining acreage will provide an estimated yield of
249,858 tons of coal from two separate areas that are adjacent to the existing mining areas of Fisher leases.
As part of the mine reclamation plan, Fisher will complete a stream enhancement project on the right fork of
Otter Run, as well as construct wetland complexes to augment existing habitats. A coal barrier will be left in
place and alkaline materials will be placed on the mining pit's floor to establish an "infiltration basin" that will
release an alkaline discharge into a nearby stream that is negatively impacted by acidic mine drainage.
The accumulated coal royalty value of the additional mining has been estimated to be $763,216. Additionally, all
merchantable timber that is cut and/or impacted by the mining will be assessed.
"To replace the temporary loss of hunting access and habitat values associated with this recently approved
mining acreage, the Game Commission will be purchasing additional State Game Lands acreage within the area
in the near future," said William Capouillez, chief of the Game Commission's Bureau of Land Management
Environmental Planning and Habitat Protection Division.
Mining will continue to be regulated by the Pennsylvania's Surface Mining Regulations and the Commission's
existing mining lease agreement.
BOARD TAKES ACTION ON OTHER ITEMS
In other action today, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners also:
- Gave final approval to a regulatory change that clarifies electronic devices, including "e-collars," radio-telemetry
dog tracking systems and "beeper collars" may be used to locate dogs while training or hunting;
- Gave preliminary approval to a slate of administrative and regulatory changes that are designed to reduce the
harvest of waterfowl and promote the recovery of Canada goose populations in the Middle Creek area. In 1996,
hunter success was 57 percent in the controlled hunting area, in 2005, 16 percent. These changes will reduce
waterfowl hunting days from four to three (Mondays would be removed from schedule), enhance hunter
education and modify the management of hunting blinds.
- Announced the next quarterly meetings of the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners will be held June 5
and 6 at the agency's Harrisburg Headquarters, located along Elmerton Ave.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/19/2006 8:03:02 AM
PGC Photo/Joe Kosack
The nesting future of these young great egrets is
threatened by increasing numbers double-
crested cormorants nesting on Wade Island.
Get Image
Release #049-06
GAME COMMISSION ANNOUNCES EFFORT TO PROTECT NESTING COLONY OF GREAT EGRETS AND
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS ON WADE ISLAND
Cull of cormorants necessary to protect unique nesting area of two endangered species
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission officials today announced that they, along with officials from the
U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services, would soon begin a program to sustain and protect a historic
nesting colony of great egrets and black-crowned night-herons - two state endangered species - on Wade Island, at
the northern limits of Harrisburg in the Susquehanna River. However, this long-considered, last-resort option comes
at the expense of the double-crested cormorants encroaching on this relatively unique nesting site.
"Wade Island is home to the state's largest nesting colony of black-crowned night-
herons and great egrets, both of which are on Pennsylvania's endangered species
list," said Dan Brauning, Game Commission Wildlife Diversity Section supervisor.
"It isn't clear what brings these colony nesting birds to Wade Island, which has been
recognized as an Important Bird Area by Audubon Pennsylvania. Perhaps it is good
food resources in the Susquehanna River or it's proximity to the Chesapeake Bay.
Whatever the reason, no other place in the state comes close when comparing the
number of nesting sites of these magnificent birds.
"Unfortunately, double-crested cormorants - also colony nesters - have invaded the
night-heron and egret nesting area, and the nesting activity of the cormorants has
increasingly become a concern. While cormorants were at one time rare in
Pennsylvania, populations have steadily increased since the early 1980s and they
have never been considered a candidate for the state's species of concern list."
Brauning noted that, during the mid 1990s, up to 1,000 cormorants were regularly
seen at Presque Isle State Park in Erie. Since then, their population has continued to
expand and they are now common throughout the Commonwealth. In fact,
populations of double-crested cormorants have been increasing rapidly in many parts
of the U.S. since the mid-1970s, and their abundance has led to increased conflicts
with various biological and socioeconomic resources, including recreational fisheries, other birds, vegetation, and
fish hatchery and commercial aquaculture production.
Currently, more than 100 night-heron and 150 great egret nests are on Wade Island. Cormorants were first
confirmed nesting on Wade Island in July of 1996. At that time, only a single nest was found. Since then, though,
the number of cormorant nests on Wade Island has increased dramatically. In 2005, 59 cormorant nests were
confirmed.
"Unfortunately, there is a limited number of nesting sites on Wade Island," Brauning said. "This is a particular
problem for great egrets, which prefer nest locations similar to those used by the cormorants. Therefore, we are
taking steps to initiate a culling operation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services to remove up to
50 cormorants using specialized air rifles and/or suppressed .22 caliber rifles."
USDA Wildlife Services has obtained all of the necessary permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to
conduct this operation under the direction of the Game Commission. The state Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources owns Wade Island and has provided approval for this operation. All culled cormorants will be
turned over to the Game Commission for disposal.
"During this operation, extreme care will be taken to not disturb the endangered species nesting on the island," said
Harris Glass, USDA Wildlife Services Pennsylvania State Director and wildlife biologist. "The exercise will be
stopped immediately if it is perceived that activities are threatening the nesting of egrets or herons."
To ensure public safety, the Game Commission will provide law enforcement assistance or arrange for assistance
PGC Photo/Joe Kosack
Cormorants have been known to take over egret
nests.
Get Image
PGC Photo/Joe Kosack
Black-crowned night-herons were recently
classified as a state endangered species.
Get Image
from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission throughout the operation. The equipment that will be used is
designed to reduce any risks and it will be used in the safest manner possible.
Brauning noted that studies have shown that when nesting cormorants encroach upon
colonies of other nesting birds, including both black-crowned night-herons and great
egrets, they reduce the amount of nesting space for those other nesting species. In
addition, cormorants have been known to take over egret nests and also kill trees as a
result of their nesting activity. Several other cases found that cormorant droppings on
the leaves and branches of nesting trees apparently caused egrets to abandon
colonies.
"In addition to the competition for nesting sites, cormorants also may compete with
the herons and egrets for food in the local area around Wade Island," Brauning said.
"All three birds feed on fish and while cormorants usually dive deeper than herons
and egrets for their food, scientists believe that the feeding areas of the three species
likely overlap in the shallow depths of the Susquehanna River."
Brauning stressed that culling a portion of the cormorants was not the first option
explored. He noted that in 2004 and 2005, the agency attempted to encourage
nesting by egrets and night-herons on neighboring islands. However, that effort was
met with limited to no success. For more information on this initial effort, please see
"News Release #20-04" in the "Newsroom" of the agency's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us).
"Trying to lure some of Wade Island's herons and egrets to a nearby island was
unsuccessful," Brauning said. "Egret 'decoys' were placed on an island that
neighbors Wade Island with hopes of attracting some birds away from the growing
cormorant population. The use of decoys will continue, but such efforts generally
provide only mixed success and may attract cormorants as well. Other methods to
control the success of the cormorant nests (oiling of eggs, use of poles and high-
pressure sprays) are not possible on Wade Island, because of the nest height.
"Therefore, lethal removal of the cormorants was determined to be the safest, least-
disruptive, most cost-efficient and promising control method."
In support of this conclusion, USDA Wildlife Services also has considered all
available management options and the adverse effects associated with those options.
Wildlife Services has determined lethal control to be the most appropriate
management option and does not foresee any significant negative impacts to the
other wildlife or the public from this option.
"The Game Commission is responsible for managing all of the Commonwealth's
wildlife species," Brauning said. "Particular care must be taken when managing endangered species to protect them
from further reduction and their possible disappearance from the state. Disturbances - or increasing competition for
nest sites - can cause colony nesters to move abruptly. Wade Island is an extremely important nesting habitat for
both the endangered black-crowned night-herons and great egrets, but the future use of the island by these two birds
is threatened.
"While we recognize that some people will be offended by the lethal removal of a
limited number of cormorants on Wade Island, we believe it is the best way to ensure
the continued nesting success of the great egrets and black-crowned night-herons
that use this unique nesting area. In addition, the Game Commission will continue to
research and look for other methods to help promote the continued existence and
well-being of these two endangered species and to secure their future within our
state."
PGC Photo/Joe Kosack
Cormorants are taking over increasingly larger
sections of Wade Island's canopy.
Get Image
For more information on great egrets or black-crowned night-herons, please visit the
Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on "Wildlife," then choose
"Endangered and Threatened Species," and then choose either "Great Egret" or
"Black-crowned Night-heron" in the "Endangered Species" section. A brochure
about this project is available on the website at the top of the “Endangered and
Threatened Species” page, too.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/20/2006 12:22:23 PM
Release #050-06
16,500 PHEASANTS SET ASIDE FOR YOUTH PHEASANT HUNT;
DOG TRAINING LIMITED TO BENEFIT YOUTH PHEASANT HUNT
16,500 PHEASANTS SET ASIDE FOR YOUTH PHEASANT HUNT
HARRISBURG - While the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners just gave approval to the 2006 youth
pheasant hunt - Oct. 7-13 - Carl G. Roe, agency executive director, noted that now is the time for hunting clubs
interested in hosting a youth pheasant hunt to begin making plans. In addition to the 15,000 birds that the
agency plans to release statewide prior to the opening of youth season, Roe has pledged to reinstate the set-
aside of an extra 1,500 birds for clubs that host a youth pheasant hunt.
"The future of hunting is directly related to the continuing participation of young Pennsylvanians in our hunting
seasons," Roe noted. "The goal is to make hunting a priority among all the other activities and recreational
opportunities that vie for a teenager's time. It's truly a challenge for the Game Commission, as well as
Pennsylvania's more than a million hunters.
"To maximize this opportunity for young hunters, and to ensure we pass along the ethics and ideals of our
hunting heritage, the Game Commission and Pheasants Forever urge local clubs to consider hosting a youth
pheasant hunt for the young people in their community."
Those clubs interested in hosting a youth pheasant hunt are encouraged to use the 26-page planning guide
prepared by the Game Commission and the Pennsylvania State Chapter of Pheasants Forever. The booklet
offers a step-by-step guide on how to develop an organized youth pheasant hunt, and includes: a sample
timeline; suggested committees and assignments; general event planning considerations; and several sample
forms and news releases. It also includes event evaluation guides so clubs and organizations may consider
changes for future youth pheasant hunts.
The manual can be viewed on the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), by clicking on "Forms &
Programs," and then selecting "Youth Pheasant Hunt Planning Guide." In addition to the planning guide, the
upcoming 2006-07 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations will feature a listing of all locations
that the Game Commission plans to stock for the youth pheasant hunt.
To participate in the youth pheasant hunt, youngsters must be 12 to 16 years of age, and must have
successfully completed a Hunter-Trapper Education course. As required by law, an adult must accompany the
young hunters. Participating hunters do not need to purchase a junior hunting license to take part in the youth
pheasant hunt, but all participants must wear the mandatory 250 square inches of fluorescent orange material
on head, chest and back combined, visible from 360 degrees.
The 1,500 pheasants that the agency will provide for sportsmen's clubs sponsored youth pheasant hunts will be
offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Roe noted that the set-aside for clubs was cut from last year's
budget due to fiscal issues.
"While the agency's financial situation remains a concern, providing pheasants to clubs sponsoring youth
pheasant hunts is a wise investment," Roe said.
To qualify, clubs and organizations must sign up before July 31 with the Game Commission to host a youth
pheasant hunt. The only two stipulations to be eligible for clubs to receive Game Commission birds are that
these hunts must have registration open to the public and must be held on public lands or private lands enrolled
in one of the Game Commission's Cooperative Public Access Programs. Applications are available as part of the
Youth Pheasant Hunting Planning Guide, or by going to the "Forms & Programs" section of the agency's
homepage (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and clicking on "Youth Pheasant Hunt Application."
Additionally, to maximize potential participation, the Game Commission will post on its website all club-
sponsored youth pheasant hunts.
"Holding concurrent youth seasons for squirrels and ring-necked pheasants will offer variety to youths who
participate in these small game-hunting opportunities," Roe said. "The state's long-standing two-pheasant daily
bag limit will apply to junior hunters participating in the season. In addition, depending on the area they are
hunting, juniors will be required to comply with restrictions on hunting male or female pheasants."
Roe also noted that, on April 18, the Board of Game Commissioners gave preliminary approval to regulations
establishing the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, which will enable youth under 12 years of age to hunt under
the close supervisor of a mentor. To take effect next license year, the Board must give final approval to the
package in June.
While pheasants will not be legal game as part of the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, the Board did identify
as legal game for the 2006-07 license year the following species: squirrels, woodchucks (groundhogs) and the
spring gobbler. Antlered deer will be included in the 2007-08 seasons. For more information on the Mentored
Youth Hunting Program, please visit the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on
"Release #048-06" in the "Newsroom" section.
Other recent Game Commission initiatives to promote youth hunting opportunities include an expanded youth
squirrel hunt; a youth spring gobbler hunt; expanded youth waterfowl hunts; special antlerless deer hunts; and
youth field day events. Also, as part of the license fee increase approved in 1998, the General Assembly created
a junior combination license that packages regular license privileges with archery, flintlock and furtaking
opportunities for $9, compared to $39 if the necessary licenses were purchased separately.
Pheasants Forever is a national non-profit habitat conservation organization with a system of hard working local
chapter volunteers dedicated to the protection and enhancement of pheasants and other wildlife populations.
Pheasants Forever emphasizes habitat improvement, public awareness and education, and land management
policies that benefit private landowners and wildlife alike. For more information, visit its website at
www.pheasantsforever.org.
DOG TRAINING LIMITED TO BENEFIT YOUTH PHEASANT HUNT
Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe recently signed an executive order to temporarily
stop dog training on State Game Lands from the Monday prior to the start of the youth pheasant season until
the close of the youth pheasant season, which, for this coming season, translates to Oct. 2-13.
Roe stressed that this order does not, in any manner, prohibit dog handlers from using dogs as part of a youth
pheasant hunt activity or for dog training activities to be conducted on any lands other than State Game Lands.
He also noted that this order does not impact dog training activities statewide during the remainder of the year,
including general small game seasons.
"The Game Commission and many sportsmen's clubs stock pheasants specifically to enhance youth pheasant
hunting opportunities," Roe said. "The majority of these pheasants are stocked on State Game Lands across the
Commonwealth.
"As our youth pheasant hunting opportunities are directly linked to and limited by the existence and availability
of stocked pheasants, we are attempting to limit disturbances to those birds we stock just prior to and during
the youth pheasant seasons."
Roe noted that the agency has become increasingly aware that dog training activities occurring on State Game
Lands during the period just prior to and concurrent with the youth pheasant season are consistently causing
stocked pheasants to scatter and disperse far away from designated release sites, where the birds are intended
to temporarily remain for the duration of the youth pheasant season.
"Generally, the Game Commission's regulations permit dog training activities during any time of the calendar
year," Roe said. "And, we try to promote dog training activities on State Game Lands, provided these activities
do not conflict with legal hunting activities. However, we believe that we must take this limited and responsible
step to protect the investment of sportsmen's dollars - in terms of agency employee's time and to provide the
greatest opportunity to take the birds being stocked.
"We very much appreciate the understanding and cooperation of those involved in the dog training community."
# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/25/2006 11:58:24 AM
Release #051-06

SPRI NG GOBBLER HUNTERS WI LL BE PERMI TTED TO USE CROSSBOWS

HARRISBURG - With the scheduled printing of this Saturday's "PA Bulletin," Pennsylvania's official registry of statutory and
regulatory changes, spring gobbler hunters can add crossbows to the list of legal sporting arms from which they may choose.

In January, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners gave final approval to a regulatory change to permit the use of
crossbows with bolts tipped with broadheads of cutting-edge design during any turkey season. Previously, only those disabled
hunters with a permanent or temporary permit to use a crossbow instead of a bow had this option. However, the process that
the Game Commission must follow requires that any regulatory change does not take effect until it is published in the PA
Bulletin.

Other legal sporting arms that spring gobbler hunters may choose to use are: shotguns plugged to three-shell capacity in the
chamber and magazine combined; muzzleloading shotguns; and bows with arrows tipped with broadheads of cutting-edge
design. Shot size can be no larger than No. 4 lead, bismuth-tin and tungsten-iron, or No. 2 steel. Rifle-shotgun combinations
also may be used, but no single-projectile ammunition may be used or carried.

Carrying or using rifles, handguns, dogs, electronic callers, arrows or bolts tipped with field points, drives and live decoys is
unlawful. The use of blinds is legal so long as it is an "artificial or manufactured turkey blind consisting of all manmade materials
of sufficient density to block the detection of movement within the blind from an observer located outside the blind."

Hunters are required to wear a minimum of 100 square inches of fluorescent orange material on the head (a hat) when moving
through the woods. The orange may be removed when a hunter reaches his or her calling destination. While not required by
law, agency officials recommend that hunters wrap an orange alert band around a nearby tree when stationary, especially when
calling and/or using decoys.

Successful hunters must properly tag harvested turkeys before moving them and report their harvests to the Game Commission
within 10 days, using the postage-paid report card provided when they purchased their hunting license. Hunters are reminded
that if they can't find one of the harvest report cards that came with their license, they can tear out and use the harvest report
card found on page 33 of the Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations.

Coyotes may be harvested by turkey hunters who have an unfilled turkey tag. Turkey hunters who have filled their spring
gobbler tag or tags may not hunt coyotes or woodchucks (groundhogs) prior to noon Monday through Saturday during the spring
gobbler season.

For more information about the upcoming spring gobbler season, please see News Release #037-06 in the "Newsroom" of the
Game Commission's homepage (www.pgc.state.pa.us).

# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/26/2006 10:03:41 AM
Release #052-06

I NCREASE I N PI LT COULD J EOPARDI ZE FI SCAL SOLVENCY OF GAME COMMI SSI ON

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Legislative Liaison Joseph J. Neville today urged the House of
Representatives to either amend or reject Senate Bill 868, which, if enacted, would triple the agency's annual payment in lieu of
tax (PILT) to more than $5.1 million.

"The Game Commission already pays counties, municipalities and school districts in which State Game Lands are located more
than $1.7 million," Neville said. "As the Game Commission doesn't receive any state taxpayer dollars, that means the entire
PILT payment comes directly from hunters and trappers license dollars and only from hunters and trappers.

"Pennsylvania hunters and trappers also pay state taxes that are used to cover the Department of Conservation and Natural
Resources PILT for state forest and state parks. So, in essence, hunters and trappers pay twice, while other taxpayers only pay
once."

Neville noted that all Pennsylvanians can use State Game Lands, which are set aside for the protection and propagation of the
state's wildlife and for public hunting and trapping opportunities.

"All Pennsylvanians benefit from the continued viability of State Game Lands and by healthy wildlife populations," Neville said.
"At the same time, people living in communities with State Game Lands benefit by being able to watch wildlife or hunt or trap, or
just by living next to a viable ecosystem."

Neville noted that a growing number of organizations have called for new streams of revenue to fund Pennsylvania's wildlife
management programs. Additionally, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, in reports issued in 2003 and 2006, noted
that the Game Commission's ability to implement important programs and projects outlined in the agency's Strategic Plan are
stymied by a lack of sufficient revenues. License increases must be approved by the Legislature.

"While we recognize the need to provide additional sources of revenue to counties, municipalities and school districts in rural
areas, we would urge the House to consider amendments to Senate Bill 868, such as those proposed by Rep. David K.
Levdansky in House Bill 2499, the overall budget bill, which would direct that all PILT's for State Game Lands be paid from the
state's General Fund and not the agency's limited Game Fund," Neville said. "Another option would be to return to the original
intent of Act 71 of 2004, and direct that the increased PILT be paid from State Gaming Fund revenues."

Neville also pointed out that PILT payments, by law, must be processed annually by September 1. However, since the Game
Commission does not recognize license revenues before these payments are due, it is necessary to pay PILT payments out of
the unreserved fund balance, which the agency must maintain to cover agency expenses for two or more months until license
revenues reach the Game Fund.

"In order to cover expenses for the first two months of the fiscal year, before revenues are recognized, the agency needs about
$14 million," Neville said. "The increase in salaries and benefits as set by state contract for the fiscal year 2006-07 is
approximately $2.8 million. If Senate Bill 868 passes, it will cost the Game Commission an increase in excess of $3.4 million.
This leaves a balance of approximately $800,000 in the Game Fund Reserve. This would be the lowest reserve balance in
decades and the fiscal solvency of the agency would be in jeopardy."

Neville also noted that any increase in the PILT would force the agency to consider making further cuts in programs and projects
that the agency provides, such as: cuts in habitat improvement projects on State Game Lands; additional reductions in the
pheasant stocking program; elimination or reductions in wildlife education programs conducted in public schools or for other
public groups; and reductions in agency wildlife research, conservation and protection efforts.

"In order to maintain a balanced budget in light of the growing need for increased revenues, we already have almost 10 percent
of our available positions vacant, which is impacting our ability to provide services to the public," Neville noted. "By increasing
our PILT to $5.1 million, more services that hunters, trappers and the general public have come to expect from the agency will be
put at jeopardy. We urge the House to either amend or reject Senate Bill 868."

# # #
Content Last Modified on 4/27/2006 8:48:30 AM
Release #053-06
GAME COMMISSION UPDATES ELK MANAGEMENT PLAN;
ONLINE APPLICATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR ELK LICENSE DRAWING
GAME COMMISSION UPDATES ELK MANAGEMENT PLAN
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that the agency
has finalized and updated its Elk Management Plan. The updated goals and objectives, which replace the
previous plan put in place in 1996, will drive the program for the next ten years.
From Sept. 1 through Oct. 31, the Game Commission gathered public input on the initial draft of its elk
management plan that was posted on its website, as well as from various stakeholders throughout the state.
Roe noted that some new issues and updates that have been implemented under the new plan include renaming
and expanding the elk range. The Elk Management Area, as it is now referred, has been expanded from 835 to
3,750 square miles. The new boundary is Route 6 to the north, Route 287 to the east, Route 219 to the west
and Interstate 80 and Route 220 to the south.
"This expansion encompasses additional public property allowing for increased habitat improvement and the
potential for a population increase and broader distribution of the elk herd," Roe said. "In addition, the
expansion should help alleviate the pressures from elk on private properties."
Other updates include renaming "Elk Management Units" to "Elk Hunt Zones." Elk Hunt Zone boundaries are
specifically designed to meet established harvest goals and may change yearly. Theses hunting opportunities
will continue to provide quality hunting, address conflict areas, and aid in managing the population.
To review a copy of the approved elk management plan, visit the Game Commission's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us), select "Hunting," then click on the elk photo and choose "Elk Management Plan."
ONLINE APPLICATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR ELK LICENSE DRAWING
With the recent approval of the November 2006 and September 2007 elk hunts, the Pennsylvania Game
Commission has started accepting applications from those interested in entering the public drawing for one of 40
elk hunting licenses (15 antlered and 25 antlerless) to be made available for this fall's season and 10 elk
licenses (two either-sex and eight antlerless) for the September 2007 hunt.
The public drawing is scheduled for 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 23, and will be conducted as part of the 2006 Elk
Expo at the Elk County Fair Grounds in Kersey. The elk seasons are set for Nov. 6-11, 2006, and Sept. 17-22,
2007.
To better serve its customers, the Game Commission has enabled hunters to complete and submit applications
on-line through the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). Just click on "2006 Elk Application" in the center
of the homepage and then "Apply Online."
"Completing applications online guarantees hunters that their application was received and that they will be
included in the public drawing, and reduces concerns about lost mail or late arrivals," said Carl G. Roe, Game
Commission executive director. "And, in addition to cutting the agency's administrative costs, those filing online
reduce the chance of having their application declared ineligible, because the filing system notifies individuals
who attempt to submit an incomplete application.
"If they so choose, applicants also will have the benefit of being included in drawings for both the November
2006 elk hunt and the September 2007 hunt for the same $10 application fee. So, hunters automatically
increase their chances of being drawn for one season or the other."
A $10 non-refundable fee must be submitted with the application. Online applications must be accompanied by
a credit card payment (VISA, MasterCard, Discover or American Express accepted), and must be submitted by
Sept. 15.
For those who prefer to complete a mail-in form, the agency also has posted a printable application on its
website. In addition, an application will be included in the 2006-2007 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and
Trapping Regulations, which is provided to each license buyer.
Forms submitted through the mail must be accompanied by a check or money order (do not send cash) for $10
made payable to "Pennsylvania Game Commission," and must be received in the Game Commission's post office
box by Sept. 1. Mail-in applications must be mailed to: Pennsylvania Game Commission, Elk License Application,
P.O. Box 61890, Harrisburg, PA 17106-1890.
New this year, hunters will be able to submit applications at the Game Commission's six region offices or
Harrisburg headquarters through Sept. 1.
"By law, only one application is permitted per person," Roe said. "If a person submits more than one
application, all of his or her applications will be declared ineligible and the individual will be subject to
prosecution. All application fees are non-refundable."
Because the application period opens before the 2006-07 or 2007-08 hunting licenses go on sale, individuals are
not required to purchase a general hunting license to apply for the drawing. However, if they are drawn for one
of the elk licenses, hunters then will be required to purchase the appropriate resident or nonresident general
hunting license and view an elk hunt orientation video provided by the Game Commission before being permitted
to purchase the elk license. The elk license fees are $25 for residents and $250 for nonresidents.
Those previously awarded antlered elk licenses are not eligible to apply for five license years from the year in
which they were selected. All others, including those hunters awarded antlerless elk licenses in the previous
hunts, are eligible to apply for this year's elk hunt.
Those applying for an elk license will have the option to indicate whether they would like to be considered for
the November 2006 hunt, the September 2007 hunt or both. Applicants also may indicate their choice for either
an antlered or antlerless elk license, or they may select "either." For those who select "antlered only," if they
are drawn after the antlered licenses are allocated, they will not receive an elk license.
For the September hunt, two "either sex" elk licenses will be awarded and eight antlerless elk licenses will be
awarded. Those who receive the "either sex" licenses can take either an antlered or antlerless elk. There is a
limit of one elk per license year. So, if a hunter drawn for the September 2007 hunt is successful in harvesting
an elk, that hunter will not be eligible to receive an elk license for the November 2007 hunt.
Applicants also will be given the opportunity to select a choice of elk hunt zones, or they may select "any." If
drawn and their elk hunt zone choice is already filled, applicants will be assigned a specific area by the Game
Commission. To assist applicants in making this decision, information about the elk hunt zones is posted on the
website along with the application. This information also will be included in the 2006-07 Digest. All applicants
for the September 2007 elk hunt will be assigned to Elk Hunt Zone 1.
Beginning with the 2003 hunt, unsuccessful applicants began to earn preference points toward future elk hunt
drawings. To participate in the preference system, an applicant must provide their Social Security Number. For
those who do not have a Social Security Number, call the Game Commission at 717-787-2084 for instructions.
As part of the preference system, one point is added to an applicant's record for each year they submit an
application for the elk hunt drawing and are not drawn. When a hunter with preference points applies for an elk
license drawing, his or her name is added to the drawing an extra time for each preference point he or she has
accumulated. For example, a person applying in 2003, 2004 and 2005, who also applies this year will be
entered four times.
Preference points are carried forward until an applicant is drawn; there is no requirement that applications be
made in consecutive years to retain preference points. However, individuals must apply to have their preference
points entered for a given license year.
Any hunter awarded an elk license for a given year whose military obligation prevents him or her from hunting
the elk season for which the license was issued will be eligible to hunt in the next available elk season.
Anyone drawn for an elk license will receive an elk hunt orientation video that they are required to watch and
share with any guide that they may hire.
Individuals, especially those who live in the elk management area or are familiar with the elk herd, may apply
for a permit to serve as a guide for those who receive an elk license. Guides may provide assistance in locating,
calling or tracking elk, but may not drive for or harvest elk. Guide permits will be $10 for residents and $25 for
nonresidents. Permit applications may be obtained from the Game Commission's Harrisburg headquarters.
Completed applications must be received in the Harrisburg headquarters no later than Oct. 13.
Guide permits are required for those who plan to participate in locating, calling or tracking for elk. Family
members and friends accompanying the elk hunter, but not participating in the hunt, do not need to obtain an
elk guide permit.
Licensed elk hunters may choose to use a guide who has been properly permitted, although it is not a
requirement to do so. Driving or herding of elk is illegal.
Based on population and reproduction data collected over the past three decades, the Game Commission
estimates the elk herd will number around 700 animals by this fall's season.
For more information on Pennsylvania's elk herd, visit the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), choose
"Hunting," then click on the elk photo.
For more information on the 2006 Elk Expo, visit www.pagreatoutdoors.com/elkexpo.
The Game Commission intends to continue dedicating a portion of the revenues generated from the elk license
applications received for the elk license drawing to habitat improvement within the elk range. The habitat work
is intended to direct and hold elk to public areas within the 3,750-square-mile elk management area to reduce
impacts to private property and elk-related conflicts, as well as to enhance regional viability of elk watching and
related outdoor tourism.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 5/1/2006 11:25:03 AM
Release #054-06
GAME COMMISSION ADVISES MOTORISTS TO WATCH FOR DEER;
SPRINGTIME ALERT: DO NOT DISTURB YOUNG WILDLIFE
GAME COMMISSION ADVISES MOTORISTS TO WATCH FOR DEER
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today urged motorists to stay
alert and slow down when driving after dusk and before dawn to reduce their risk of colliding with a white-tailed
deer.
"Each spring, deer congregate on the grassy areas along the state's busy highways, and cover greater distances
in search of food," Roe said. "This activity makes vehicle collisions with deer all but inevitable.
"For the sake of public safety, the Game Commission is asking motorists to watch for deer and to drive
defensively after dark and before sunrise, which is when deer are most active. Your efforts can help to keep
accidents to a minimum, which, in turn, will reduce or eliminate hardships to your family and other
Pennsylvanians."
Roe noted that being more knowledgeable about deer can help Pennsylvanians steer clear of a deer-vehicle
collision. For instance, in spring, young deer - last year's fawns - are on the move as does chase them away to
prepare for the next fawn cycle. Young bucks typically disperse to set up their own home range. Yearling does
usually travel no farther than necessary and will often later reunite with the doe after her new fawns begin
traveling with her.
"Unfortunately, these young deer make tragic mistakes when crossing roads in spring and moving through areas
unfamiliar to them," said Roe. "They're no longer following the leader, they're moving independently. And that
increases the potential for an accident, especially in areas harboring large deer populations."
If a deer steps onto a road, Roe said, motorists should slow down and come to a controlled stop as soon as
possible, and turn on their hazard flashers. Stopping may not be an option on busy highways, unless the driver
can reach the shoulder of the road.
"Don't risk trying to drive around a deer," Roe said. "Since deer usually move in single file, more deer may be
following, so you should stop, or at least slow down, to make sure all deer have passed.
"Also, deer sometimes abruptly reverse their direction right after crossing a road. This is a defensive mechanism
that often kicks in when deer are startled, and they retrace their footsteps to other deer they're traveling with or
return to an area they've already checked for danger."
Deer in northern counties spend a good deal of time in spring feeding on the tender shoots in grassy areas
alongside busy highways. Motorists should slow down immediately whenever they see grazing deer along roads.
While deer dining next to busy highways and interstates are often not bothered by the traffic, deer along rural
roads seem less tolerant and are more edgy.
"The only thing predictable about whitetails is that they're definitely unpredictable," Roe said. "The moment you
think you have them figured out, they start showing you something new.
"However, we also know that deer are creatures of habit. If you see a deer-crossing sign posted along a road
you're traveling, it's a good idea to slow down especially around dawn and dusk. These signs are placed in areas
where deer have been crossing roads for years. Ignoring these signs is asking for trouble."
Drivers who hit a deer are not required to report the accident to the Game Commission. If the deer dies, only
Pennsylvania residents may claim the carcass. To do so, they must call the Game Commission for a permit
number within 24 hours of taking possession of the deer.
The permit number issued by the agency lets meat processors and law enforcement officials know that
possession of the deer is legal, and not the result of poaching. Antlers from bucks killed in vehicle collisions
must be turned over to the Game Commission.
If a deer is struck by a vehicle, but not killed, drivers are urged to stay their distance because some deer may
recover and move on. However, if a deer does not move on, or poses a public safety risk, drivers are
encouraged to report the incident to a Game Commission regional office or other local law enforcement agency.
If the deer must be put down, the Game Commission will direct the proper person to do so.
Other tips for motorists:
- Stay alert and don't count on deer whistles or deer fences to deter deer from crossing roads in front of you.
Deer can't hear ultrasonic frequencies and there is no scientific evidence that deer whistles are effective.
- Watch for the reflection of deer eyes and for deer silhouettes on the shoulders of roads. If anything looks
slightly suspicious, slow down.
- Slow down in areas known to have a large deer population; where deer-crossing signs are posted; places
where deer commonly cross roads or are struck by motorists; areas where roads divide agricultural fields from
forests; and whenever in forested areas between dusk and dawn.
- Deer do unpredictable things. Sometimes they stop in the middle of the road when crossing. Sometimes they
cross and quickly re-cross back from where they came. Sometimes they move toward an approaching vehicle.
Assume nothing. Slow down, blow your horn to urge the deer to leave the road. Stop if a deer stays on the
road; don't try to go around it.
SPRINGTIME ALERT: DO NOT DISTURB YOUNG WILDLIFE
Whether hiking in the woods, driving through the countryside or simply enjoying nature, outdoor enthusiasts
encountering wildlife, especially young wildlife, are encouraged to leave the animals alone and not remove them
from the wild.
"Being outdoors in the spring is an enjoyable way to spend time learning about nature," said Calvin W. DuBrock,
Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director. "At this time of year, it is common to find young
rabbits, birds, raccoons, fawn deer or other wildlife that may appear to be abandoned. Rest assured that in
most cases, the young animal probably was not abandoned and the best thing to do is not disturb it."
DuBrock noted many adult animals tend to forage for food and bring it to their young. Also, wildlife often relies
on a natural defensive tactic called the "hider strategy," where young animals will remain motionless and "hide"
in surrounding cover while adults draw the attention of predators or other intruders away from their young.
"While it may appear as if the adults are abandoning their young, in reality, this is just the animal using its
natural instincts to protect its young," DuBrock said. "Nature also protects young animals with camouflaging
color and by giving them little scent to avoid being detected by predators.
"Wild animals are not meant to be pets, and we must all resist our urge to want to care for wildlife. Taking
wildlife from its natural settings and into your home may transmit diseases, such as roundworm or rabies, to
people or domestic animals. Wildlife also may carry parasites -- such as fleas, ticks or lice -- that you wouldn't
want infesting you, your home or your pets."
In addition, Greg Houghton, Game Commission Bureau of Law Enforcement assistant director, noted that it is
illegal to take or possess wildlife from the wild. Under state law, the penalty for such a violation is a fine of up
to $1,500 per animal.
"Under no circumstances will anyone who illegally takes wildlife into captivity be allowed to keep that animal,"
Houghton said. "While residents love to view wildlife and are very compassionate, they must enjoy wildlife from
a distance and allow nature to run its course."
Houghton also pointed out that, under a working agreement with state health officials, any "high risk" rabies
vector species confiscated must be put down and tested rather than relocated. Though any mammal may carry
rabies, species identified in the agreement are: skunks, raccoons, foxes, bats, coyotes and groundhogs.
"Except for some species of bats, populations of all other rabies vector species are thriving," Houghton said.
"Therefore, to protect public health and safety, it only makes sense to put an animal down for testing, rather
than risk relocating a potentially rabid animal."
Dr. Veronica Urdaneta, state Health Department epidemiologist, said it always is wise to avoid wild animals and
even strange domestic pets because of the potential rabies risk.
"Animals infected with rabies may not show obvious symptoms, but still may be able to transmit the disease,"
Dr. Urdaneta said.
People can get rabies from the saliva of a rabid animal if they are bitten or scratched, or if the saliva gets into
the person's eyes, mouth or a fresh wound. Contact with wildlife and any strange domestic animals should be
avoided. The last human rabies fatality in Pennsylvania was a 12-year-old Lycoming County boy who died in
1984.
More information on rabies and other diseases and illnesses is available through the state Department of
Health's website at www.health.state.pa.us.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 5/2/2006 9:11:00 AM
Release #055-06
GAME COMMISSION TO BEGIN ACCEPTING DMAP APPLICATIONS;
GAME COMMISSION BOARD TO MEET ON JUNE 5-6
GAME COMMISSION TO BEGIN ACCEPTING DMAP APPLICATIONS
HARRISBURG - Landowners looking to enroll in the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Deer Management
Assistance Program (DMAP), which is designed to help landowners manage deer on their properties, have until
July 1 to submit an application addressed to "DMAP Application" to the appropriate Game Commission Region
Office.
In addition, a map delineating the property boundaries must be enclosed with the application. Landowners may
obtain DMAP applications from the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) in the "Quick Clicks" box
in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage by clicking on "Deer Program" and then choosing "DMAP
landowner applications" in the DMAP box. Applications also can be obtained from any Game Commission Region
Office or the Harrisburg headquarters.
Eligible lands for DMAP are: public lands; private lands where no fee is charged for hunting; and hunting club
lands owned in fee title so long as the club was established prior to Jan. 1, 2000, and they provide a club
charter and list of current members to the agency. Previously, private hunting clubs were required to own a
minimum of 1,000 contiguous acres before being eligible.
Coupons for DMAP antlerless deer harvest permits may be issued to landowners at a rate of one coupon for
every five acres in agricultural operations or one coupon for every 50 acres for all other land uses. Management
plans will be required only when an applicant for DMAP requests more than the standard rate for issuance of
DMAP harvest permits.
Landowners must designate their boundaries in a manner approved by the Game Commission. Landowners will
receive one coupon for each DMAP permit allocated for their property, and they may give up to two DMAP
coupons per DMAP area to a 2006-07 licensed hunter, who will then apply to the Game Commission for DMAP
harvest permits. Landowners may not charge or accept any remuneration for a DMAP coupon. Hunters may
possess up to two DMAP permits for a specific DMAP property in any given license year.
DMAP permit allotments will be made separate from the general antlerless deer license allocations, and will be
$6 for residents and $26 for nonresidents.
After August 1, hunters can begin to apply for DMAP antlerless deer permits. Also on August 1, a listing of
DMAP properties that have available coupons will be posted on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us).
Those without access to the Internet can obtain listings by mailing a self-addressed, stamped envelope along
with a letter indicating their county of interest, to the Game Commission Region Office responsible for that
particular county. Region Office contact information, and a listing of counties in their jurisdiction, is as follows:
Northwest Region Office, P.O. Box 31, Franklin, PA 16323. 814-432-3188. Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie,
Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties.
Southwest Region Office, 4820 Route 711, Bolivar, PA 15923. 724-238-9523. Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver,
Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
Northcentral Region Office, P.O. Box 5038, Jersey Shore, PA 17740. 570-398-4744. Cameron, Centre,
Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga, and Union counties.
Southcentral Region Office, 8627 William Penn Highway, Huntingdon, PA 16652. 814-643-1831. Adams,
Bedford, Blair, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry and Snyder counties.
Northeast Region Office, P.O. Box 220, Dallas, PA 18612. 570-675-1143. Bradford, Carbon, Columbia,
Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming
counties.
Southeast Region Office, 448 Snyder Rd., Reading, PA 19605. 610-926-3136. Berks, Bucks, Chester,
Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York
counties.
GAME COMMISSION BOARD TO MEET ON JUNE 5-6
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners will be meeting June 5-6, at the agency's Harrisburg
headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Ave., just off the Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81. The meetings will begin at
8:30 a.m. both days. To save money and provide greater public dissemination, an agenda for the meeting will
be posted on the website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) in the "Next Commissioner's Meeting" box on the homepage
when it is finalized.
On June 5, the Board will hear public comments and receive agency staff reports and updates.
On June 6, the Board is scheduled to take official action to various agenda items, including final adoption of
regulations to establish the Mentored Youth Hunting Program.
A limited number of copies of the agenda will be made available to those who attend the meeting on June 5 and
6.
Once the June meeting ends, copies of the June meeting minutes will be posted on the website as soon as they
are transcribed, which generally takes between two to three weeks.
"By posting the minutes on the website we again will be cutting the costs of printing and mailing copies of this
document, which averages around 140 double-sided pages, and will reach a wider audience," said Carl G. Roe,
Game Commission executive director. "So, this will turn out to be not only a cost-savings move, but also a
move to make Game Commission actions and decisions more accessible to the public."
Roe noted that the minutes for the Board's April meeting now are posted in the "Reports/Minutes" section of the
homepage.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 5/8/2006 8:35:32 AM
PGC Photo/Hal Korber
Barry J. Seth (center), Pennsylvania
Game Commission Wildlife
Conservation Officer (WCO) in
Armstrong County, recently was
presented with the Shikar-Safari
International Wildlife Conservation
Officer of the Year Award, which is
sponsored by Cabela's. Making the
presentation are Thomas E. Boop,
President of the Pennsylvania Board of
Game Commissioners, and Carl G.
Roe, Game Commission executive
director.
Get Image
Release #056-06
SETH RECOGNIZED FOR OUTSTANDING WORK
HARRISBURG - Barry J. Seth, Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife
Conservation Officer (WCO) in Armstrong County, recently was presented with the
Shikar-Safari International Wildlife Conservation Officer of the Year Award, which
is sponsored by Cabela's.
Seth is the WCO for the western portion of Armstrong County, where he enforces
the game and wildlife laws; completes wildlife studies and reports; visits local
school districts, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs to conduct educational
programs about the state's wildlife and the role of hunting and trapping in wildlife
management; and assists with wildlife nuisance complaints.
In addition to the work he does with Hunter-Trapper Education programs in the
district, Seth also is involved in many education programs designed for youth. He
has been instrumental in the development of three Youth Field Days in Armstrong
County, which provides youth in the area a day of hands-on outdoors programs,
such as firearm safety, archery shooting, learning to fish and other outdoor-
related activities. Last year, more than 170 individuals participated in these
programs.
"During his tenure, WCO Seth has done a commendable job as a representative of
the Game Commission," said Matt Hough, Game Commission Southwest Region
Director. "Regardless of the task at hand, WCO Seth always maintains a positive
attitude toward the public and the agency. He treats everyone fairly, which has
earned him a great deal of respect from those in his district.
"During enforcement situations, WCO Seth treats others as he would like to be treated and uses very good
judgment in making decisions regarding issuing citations or warnings. This is especially evident in his dealing
with young hunters; he always goes out of his way to make a lasting and positive impression on these
individuals."
Hough noted that, in 2005, Seth and his Deputy WCOs successfully prosecuted one of the largest illegal deer
cases in southwestern Pennsylvania. The case required several weeks of investigation and long hours
interviewing suspects.
"In the end, 74 citations were issued to seven defendants, and they were found guilty or pled guilty to all
charges resulting in fines in excess of $32,000," Hough noted. "This case also is the result of excellent working
rapport WCO Seth has cultivated over the years with the Pennsylvania State Police in his area, as well as the
Armstrong County District Attorney's Office."
Seth also organized a special ATV enforcement patrol in his district to stem the tide of illegal ATV operations on
State Game Lands and other private properties enrolled in the Game Commission's cooperative public access
lands. The patrol included WCOs from other districts within the Southwest Region and the State Police Aviation
Unit.
Seth works closely with the sportsmen of Armstrong County. He worked with the Armstrong County League of
Sportsmen to create a fund to provide scholarships to local students pursuing careers in a conservation-related
field.
Seth began his affiliation with the Game Commission as a Deputy Game Protector in Butler County in 1973.
In 1975, he was selected as a member of the Game Commission's 16th Class of the Ross Leffler School of
Conservation. After graduating from RLSC, Seth was assigned a district in Greene County in 1976. He accepted
a transfer to be the WCO for western Armstrong County in 1978.
A native of Butler, Seth currently resides in Worthington. He graduated from Butler High School and served in
the United States Navy.
Seth and his wife, Linda, have four children and five grandchildren.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 5/8/2006 10:25:29 AM
Release #057-06

GAME COMMI SSI ON TO PROVI DE WI LDLI FE WORKSHOPS FOR TEACHERS

HARRISBURG - With summer recess for schools just around the corner, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is announcing a
series of upcoming wildlife education workshops for educators and Scout and youth group leaders this summer. The four
programs, all of which are Act 48 approved for educators, are: WILD About Elk, WILD About Peregrine Falcons, WILD About the
Susquehanna, and WILD About Birds.

Theresa Alberici, Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Education specialist, facilitates and administers Project WILD, which is
one of the most widely-used conservation and environmental education programs among educators of students from kindergarten
through 12th grades. These workshops are part of the series of Advanced WILD and PA Songbird workshops provided by the
Game Commission.

Following is a summary of each of the four programs.

WI LD About El k : On June 15-16, representatives from the Game Commission will hold a two-day "WILD about Elk" program
designed to give teachers and other educators an opportunity to have an in-depth, hands-on experience with Pennsylvania's
largest mammal. The event will be held in St. Marys and Benezette, Elk County, as well as DuBois, Clearfield County. Game
Commission biologists, land managers, wildlife conservation officers and educators will offer an in-depth program featuring elk
biology; history and the Game Commission's elk reintroduction program; current conservation programs; land management issues
related to elk; and other management issues. Additionally, the course will include a field experience to view elk and participate in
other hands-on activities, including a demonstration of how Game Commission biologists use radio-telemetry to track elk. The
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) is offering a stipend to participants to offset the costs of overnight lodging. Some meals
will be provided. Participants also will receive a WILD About Elk book, background information, hands-on activities and state and
local resource information materials to use in classrooms. To register, contact Theresa Alberici at talberici@state.pa.us or at 717-
783-4872.

WI LD About t he Susquehanna: On June 19, from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., wildlife educators from the Game Commission,
Dauphin County Parks and Recreation and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will lead a canoe trip down the
Susquehanna River. Participants will view the nesting sites of the state endangered great egret and black-crowned night-heron;
search for signs of river otters; and examine the water quality of the river through chemical, physical and biological sampling.
Space is limited, so make your reservation now. For registration, contact the Wildwood Lake Sanctuary at 717-221-0292. A $15
fee is charged to help cover costs of the workshop.

WI LD About Per egr i ne Fal c ons: On June 27, from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., Dan Brauning, Game Commission Wildlife
Diversity Section Supervisor, officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and wildlife educators from
ZOOAmerica will conduct a workshop to explore the success of the Game Commission's peregrine falcon reintroduction
program. Participants will learn about peregrine falcons, reasons why species become endangered and take time to observe the
falcons in Harrisburg. This workshop, which is offered by the Game Commission in partnership with DEP and Hershey
ZOOAmerica, will be held in Harrisburg. To register, contact Ann Devine at adevine@state.pa.us or at 717-772-1644. Lunch will
be provided, however, there is no fee for this workshop.

WI LD About Bi r ds: On July 6, from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., at Wildwood Lake Sanctuary, Harrisburg, workshop participants will
explore the world of birds, including: bird biology, nesting and mating behaviors; bird observation and identification; and an
introduction to the Breeding Bird Atlas. The workshop also offers a chance for educators and students to become part of a
current scientific research project. The workshop includes the PA Songbird curriculum and more. For those educators who
already have PA Songbirds curriculum, this workshop will add to your bird background and information. For registration, contact
Wildwood Lake Sanctuary at 717-221-0292. A $10 fee is charged to help cover the costs of the workshop.

Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and managing all wild
birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits, enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and
managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking
license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic
organizations and sportsmen's clubs.

The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars.

# # #
Content Last Modified on 5/10/2006 1:40:38 PM
Thomas Kamerzel/PFBC photo
Roger A. Hartless (center),
Pennsylvania Game Commission
Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO)
for northern Jefferson County,
recently was named the Northeast
Conservation Law Enforcement Chief’s
Association’s (CLECA) Officer of the
Year. Pictured with WCO Hartless are
his wife, Brenda (right), and Tom
Grohol (left), Game Commission
Bureau of Law Enforcement
Administrative Division chief.
Get Image
Release #058-06
HARTLESS NAMED CONSERVATION OFFICER OF THE YEAR
HARRISBURG - Roger A. Hartless, Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife
Conservation Officer (WCO) for northern Jefferson County, recently was named
the Northeast Conservation Law Enforcement Chief's Association's (CLECA) Officer
of the Year.
"WCO Hartless has shown a willingness to be available to handle violations and
complaints at any time day or night," said Keith Harbaugh, Game Commission
Northwest Region Director, who nominated Hartless for the award. "He is known
for his willingness to assist neighboring WCOs, Deputy WCOs, and other law
enforcement agencies. He works exceptionally well with his counterpart in
Jefferson County with the Fish and Boat Commission.
"WCO Hartless takes an active part in all aspects of his job and his district. He
has proven that he is a very well rounded officer, and that his dedication and
enthusiasm make him very deserving of the CLECA Award."
A graduate of the Game Commission's 22nd Class of the Ross Leffler School of
Conservation, Hartless was assigned as the Wildlife Conservation Officer for
northern Jefferson County in 1994, where he continues to serve to this day. In
2005, WCO Hartless and his three Deputy WCOs successfully prosecuted 77
violations of the Game and Wildlife Code and handed out 102 warnings.
Hartless has been actively involved in the Jefferson County Youth Field Day
program since its inception in 1994, and is responsible for developing and
manning Game Commission display booths at the Jefferson County Fair. He also
conducts wildlife conservation education programs for numerous groups, including
Boy and Girl Scout troops, 4-H Clubs and local schools.
As part of the agency's Hunter-Trapper Education program, Hartless works with 11 instructors to conduct
courses each year. He also works closely with the Jefferson County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs to promote
the state's hunting and trapping heritage throughout the county.
Hartless provides wildlife survey data and information to the agency's Bureau of Wildlife Management, including
deer conception information from road-killed does in the spring and wild turkey poult counts. In the summer,
Hartless responds to nuisance bear complaints, where he also is able to gather valuable information for the
agency's bear program. In the fall, he also provides beaver survey information for the agency's furbearer
program.
This past winter, Hartless participated in the agency's wild turkey trapping program as part of a multi-year
study.
On Jan. 21, while on patrol and monitoring law enforcement radio communications, WCO Hartless received word
that a fugitive accused of shooting five people in Maryland, was suspected of being in the Jefferson County
vicinity. WCO Hartless proceeded to a bridge overlooking I-80, where he spotted the suspect's vehicle. After
notifying State and local police, WCO Hartless stayed behind the vehicle until State and local police could take
over.
On Feb. 14, Pennsylvania State Police Captain David W. Neal, Commanding Officer for Troop C, presented WCO
Hartless with a "Letter of Commendation" for his assistance in this case.
In addition, Hartless has attended training and has been accredited as a Game Commission Forensics Instructor
and Specialist. He also is a verbal skills instructor and has taken part in the instruction of his fellow law
enforcement officers of the Northwest Region.
Prior to becoming a WCO, Hartless was employed by Giant Eagle Markets in Edinboro, Erie County. He also
served as a Deputy WCO in western Erie County from 1988 until 1993.
A native of Reynoldsville, Hartless currently resides in Brookville, with his wife, Brenda, and three children.
"WCO Hartless serves the people of Jefferson County and Pennsylvania well," Harbaugh said. "He balances the
various roles of a WCO - from law enforcement to public education, from wildlife management to training - and
has earned the respect of his fellow Game Commission officers and employees, as well as the public's. He is a
valuable member of our agency team, and I congratulate him on being selected for this award."
# # #
Content Last Modified on 5/11/2006 10:11:30 AM
Release #059-06
GAME COMMISSION PYMATUNING AND MIDDLE CREEK WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREAS TO HOST
WILDLIFE CONSERVATION PROGRAMS
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that the
agency's Pymatuning Wildlife Learning Center in Crawford County and Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area on
the Lebanon/Lancaster county line are open for the summer vacation season.
"While students have less than a month of classes remaining before summer recess, the Game Commission has
several wildlife educational opportunities available now and throughout the summer at Pymatuning and Middle
Creek," Roe said. "The Game Commission manages 465 species of wild birds and mammals and more than 1.4
million acres of State Game Lands, and we attempt to showcase some of that wildlife and habitat work through
educational displays and programs at our facilities at Pymatuning and Middle Creek."
On May 4, the Game Commission's Pymatuning Wildlife Learning Center opened its doors for visitors. The
Center is open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to the wildlife
displays and the hunting heritage room, the center has several learning stations that enlighten visitors on
various aspects of wildlife and environmental education. The Wildlife Learning Center also has a nature trail that
was designed to be wheelchair accessible.
"We are pleased to open this important educational facility, even if it is on a limited basis," said Keith Harbaugh,
Game Commission Northwest Region Director. "The Game Commission's Pymatuning Wildlife Learning Center
annually hosts nearly 70,000 visitors per year, and is an important tool in our effort to educate the public about
the Game Commission's wildlife management programs and conservation projects, as well as the positive role
that hunting and trapping play in these two areas and in Pennsylvania's heritage."
Due to the Game Commission's limited resources, Roe noted that it was unable to fill the current vacancy for an
education specialist at Pymatuning, which also sustained a sizeable cut-back in the hours of operation.
Therefore, the Center will continue to operate reduced hours for the coming season.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission Pymatuning Wildlife Learning Center is at 12590 Hartstown Road, Linesville,
PA. The center will remain open on the limited schedule through the third week in September.
At the Game Commission's Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, the visitor center is opened Tuesdays-
Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
Doug Killough, Game Commission Southeast Region director, noted that each year the Game Commission's
Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area holds a variety of free wildlife-related educational programs for the
public in the visitor center.
Unless otherwise noted on the schedule, all programs begin at 7:30 p.m., and are held in the visitor center's
auditorium. The Game Commission's Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area is about two miles south of
Kleinfeltersville, Lebanon County, along Hopeland Road, just south of the Lebanon-Lancaster county line.
May 18: Dr. Chris Rosenberry, Game Commission Deer Management Section Supervisor, will conduct a program
titled "The White-Tailed Deer: Current research in Pennsylvania." The Game Commission's deer management
plan identifies three goals: manage deer for a healthy herd; manage deer for a healthy habitat for deer and
other wildlife; and reduce deer-human conflicts. This program will provide an overview of the most current
research being conducted by the Game Commission and how it will influence deer management in the future.
June 15: Dr. Walt Cottrell, Game Commission Wildlife Veterinarian, will conduct a program about chronic
wasting disease (CWD). In the past few years, CWD has been spreading eastward. In 2005, positive tested
deer were documented in the neighboring states of West Virginia and New York. This program will provide
information on what research is being conducted, the efforts being put forth to learn more about this disease
and what Pennsylvania is doing to protect our state's wild and captive deer and elk from this disease.
July 13: Jamie Zambo, Game Commission Southeast Region Wildlife Biologist, will conduct a program about the
agency's barn owl conservation program. Barn owls, which have been in decline for several decades, are a
species of concern ("Candidate at Risk") that have great management and recovery potential in southern
Pennsylvania. The Game Commission initiated the Barn Owl Conservation Initiative to help in the conservation
and potential recovery of the species. The Game Commission is looking for cooperation and participation in this
important effort. Topics covered in this program will be the natural history of barn owls; historical and current
distribution; and nest box design, placement and monitoring.
Aug. 4-6: The agency will host the 21st annual Middle Creek Wildlife Art Show, showcasing the works of 30 of
Pennsylvania's finest wildlife artists. Enjoy some beautiful wildlife art and meet the artists who create it. The
show will be open on Friday, Aug. 4, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; on Saturday, Aug. 5, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and
on Sunday, Aug. 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Aug. 17: Carl Haensel, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Education Specialist, will conduct a program on
the American shad. This program will focus on the life history of the American shad, past problems and current
restoration efforts. Issues affecting shad and shad migration on both the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers will
be addressed. A question-and-answer session will follow.
Sept. 7: Dan Brauning, Game Commission Wildlife Diversity Section Supervisor, will conduct a program on the
recoveries of the bald eagle, peregrine falcon, and osprey. Over the past 20 years, the Game Commission's
conservation efforts have led to the dramatic recovery of these raptors. This program will review the decline
and recovery of Pennsylvania's three most charismatic birds of prey. It will emphasize the current status and
remarkable comeback of these species. Highlights of research findings will include the wandering journey of
young peregrine falcons from Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. Tips also will be provided on where one can observe
these birds in central Pennsylvania.
Sept. 16-17: The 20th Annual Middle Creek Wildfowl Show will feature hand-carved waterfowl decoys, other
wildfowl art and much more. Decoy carvers will enter their creations into gunning decoy, decorative decoy and
shorebird decoy competitions. Also featured will be retriever demonstrations on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 10 a.m.
and noon, and on Sunday, Sept. 17, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Duck and goose calling contests will be held on
Sunday, Sept. 17, at 2 p.m. The show will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. General proceeds from the
show will benefit the Wildlands Preservation Fund for the preservation of open space.
Sept. 24: The Game Commission and local sportsmen's clubs will host a National Hunting and Fishing Day from
9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Middle Creek. Hunters and anglers have always been at the forefront of the conservation
movement. National Hunting and Fishing Day is designed to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of
sportsmen towards conservation. It also is designed to introduce others to the joys of outdoor pursuits. Many
sportsmen's organizations will be represented along with other conservation groups. There will be ongoing
exhibits, programs and activities throughout the day. If you appreciate and enjoy the Middle Creek Wildlife
Management Area, come out and thank the sportsmen; for without them, places like Middle Creek would not
exist.
For more information on Pymatuning or Middle Creek, including directions, visit the Game Commission's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on the "Watchable Wildlife" icon in the right-hand column of the homepage.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 5/12/2006 2:50:44 PM
Release #060-06
PENNSYLVANIA HUNTERS SET NEW SAFETY RECORD IN 2005
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Game Commission today announced that 2005 was the safest hunting year in
the more than 90 years that records have been kept. Last year, there were 47 hunting-related shooting
incidents (HRSIs), including three fatalities. In addition, the incident rate of 4.92 per 100,000 participants was
the lowest on record.
In 2004, the year the previous records were set, there were 56 hunting-related shooting incidents, including four
fatalities, and the incident rate was 5.56 per 100,000.
"While even one incident is one too many, we are pleased that hunters continue to improve on their safety
record," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "However, we must continue to strive to do
better.
"One of the issues that most concerns us is that 25 percent of the incidents - or 12 out of 47 incidents - were
self-inflicted. This tells us that hunters must remember to practice the basic rules of firearms safety while
afield."
Of the 47 incidents, there were 35 involving people who were shot by another hunter, including two fatalities.
The remaining 12 incidents were self-inflicted, including one fatality.
Roe noted that there has been a marked decline in these incidents that can be attributed to the success of
hunter education training, which began as a voluntary course in 1959, and mandatory use of fluorescent orange
clothing, which began in 1987. Also, he added that hunters deserve credit for working with the agency to stress
safety when afield.
A hunting-related shooting incident is defined as any occurrence in which a person is injured by a firearm or bow
and arrow discharged by an individual hunting or trapping. These incidents often result from failure to follow
basic safety rules.
In 2005, the incident statistics by species hunted were: deer, 18 (including two fatalities, of which one was self-
inflicted); small game, 12; wild turkey, 11; waterfowl, 2 (including one fatality); other, 2; bear, 1; and
furbearer, 1.
People shot in the line-of-fire comprised 14 of the hunting-related shooting incidents, including two fatalities.
The second most common cause for shooting incidents was in-mistake- for-game (failure to properly identify
target), which accounted for 11 incidents. Sporting arm in a dangerous position accounted for six incidents,
followed by: unintentional discharge, 5 (including one self-inflicted fatality); ricochet, 4; slipped and/or fell, 3; a
defective sporting arm, 1; stray shot, 1; and other, 1.
The Game Commission has posted information about hunting-related shooting incidents dating back to 1991 on
its website at (www.pgc.state.pa.us) select "Education," then scroll down and click on "Hunting-Related Shooting
Incident Statistics."
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 5/18/2006 9:33:08 AM
PGC Photo/Scott Rheam
On the Ledge: Agency Biologist Dan
Brauning removes a young peregrine
falcon from the Rachel Carson
Building nest box during a previous
banding.
Get Image
Release #061-06
EXCITEMENT 15 FLOORS UP
Game Commission employees prepare for annual ledge walk as DEP hosts Webcasting
HARRISBURG -- Talons splayed, the peregrine falcon closed quickly on the hard-hat covered head of a
Pennsylvania Game Commission employee whose back was turned to the approaching state endangered bird of
prey. Then she struck!
The large female falcon - one of a nesting pair - had buzzed Dan Brauning, Game
Commission Wildlife Diversity Section supervisor, and Joe Kosack, agency wildlife
conservation education specialist, repeatedly as they gathered three falcon chicks
from the 15th-floor ledge of the Rachel Carson Building in downtown Harrisburg
last year as part of annual banding work and a health check performed by the
Game Commission in cooperation with the state Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP). As the chicks were cleared from the ledge to be processed, she
became more agitated. That wasn't surprising. In fact, it was an expected and
understandable reaction for a mother being separated from her fragile young.
For the past several years, though, this female falcon has been becoming less and
less obliging to the annual intrusions to the nest box. Not that she's lost that
healthy respect for humans that generally enables her to coexist with them in the
state's capital. Just that her actions to intimidate the Game Commission
employees have been largely ineffective.
"We suspected she meant business last year, when we arrived at the ledge access
window, slightly parted the curtain and she immediately peered back in at us,"
Kosack said. "For 364 days a year, she and her mate own that ledge. One day a
year, we scamper out there, do our thing, and get back in. She's really not
interested in playing let's make a deal, and seems to have a short memory about
how this all works out each year. Every time we open that window, it's like kicking
a hornet's nest."
Brauning and Kosack will be heading out on the 15th floor ledge of the Rachel Carson Building Wednesday, May
24, sometime between noon and 12:30 p.m. to collect the five falcon chicks to be processed. The chicks, also
known as eyases, will be taken to the auditorium and banded as part of a live Internet lesson conducted by
Brauning and DEP Director of Environmental Education Jack Farster. DEP will host a live Internet webcast of the
annual peregrine falcon banding from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, May 24, from the Rachel Carson State
Office Building's auditorium in Harrisburg.
More than 200 elementary, middle and high school students and teachers from central Pennsylvania schools will
attend the banding. Teachers who attended an in-service workshop about endangered species were invited to
bring their students to the live banding. To access the live webcast, visit DEP's website at
www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/falcon.
The chicks can be seen on DEP's website, where photographs are updated every
two minutes. DEP and the Game Commission have performed this banding routine
annually since 2000. The Game Commission placed a nest box on the ledge of the
DEP office in 1997, after DEP reported peregrines had been frequenting the area.
"There is renewed interest in the falcons this year as the pair has produced five
offspring for the first time, "DEP Secretary Kathleen McGinty said. "Through this
live webcast, students here in Pennsylvania and around the world can see first-
hand how successful such reintroduction programs are and how the Peregrines
can adapt to life in urban environments."
Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director, noted that this banding effort
is duplicated annually at every known falcon nest in the state. However, the DEP
site provides the public the greatest opportunity to see wildlife management in
action.
"We are pleased that Secretary McGinty and DEP have assisted the Game
PGC Photo/Joe Kosack
She's Got a History! The Harrisburg
female's mother is also wildly
aggressive.
Get Image
Commission over the years in highlighting the success of the Game Commission's
falcon reintroduction program," Roe said. "As the Game Commission does not
receive any state taxpayer dollars, we are unable to provide the webcasting and
hosting opportunities that DEP is able to provide. Pennsylvanians certainly should
be proud of the wildlife management work of the Game Commission, which is
funded by the license-buying hunters and trappers of this state."
Brauning said that the leg bands placed on the young falcons will pay dividends in the future by helping the
agency determine where Pennsylvania-born peregrines go when they disperse to set up their own home
territories.
"They often travel considerable distances - including Detroit, Toronto, Norfolk or Long Island - and banding is the
most cost-effective way to keep track of them," Brauning said. "Leg bands also help the Game Commission
determine where Pennsylvania's nesting peregrines originated."
Brauning also noted that this female peregrine has a history of being aggressive.
"Actually, it runs in the family," Brauning said. "Her mother is literally one of the most aggressive and daring
birds I have encountered! She sits in the nest while we're within feet of her and then flies in our faces, all in
defense of her young. She's a scrappy Philadelphian that nests on the Girard Point Bridge over the Schuylkill
River.
"Harrisburg's lady falcon has surely helped to increase our blood pressure at times over the years. But it's
important to remember that this is perfectly natural behavior for a peregrine, an instinct that ensures the
species' viability and reinforces that boldness most of us admire in falcons."
Last year's "hard-hat hit" occurred shortly after Brauning left the ledge with the collected chicks. Kosack was
cleaning the globes that house the cameras that provide website images. The female, and, to a lesser degree,
her then-new male companion, buzzed him incessantly. Wings brushed his back a few times. Nothing intentional;
peregrine behavior fortified by ledge rage lacks such subtleness. Clearly, they had made a considerable first
impression.
"When screaming falcons are darting from left to right and vice-versa right behind your backside, they deserve a
respectful glance, especially after you see those talons a few times," Kosack said. "But staying on the ledge and
performing the job you're out there to do are also pretty important considerations. If camera equipment slips,
it's falling 15 floors and doubtfully can be recycled.
"Even against this backdrop - no pun intended - of falcon fussing, it's really not that hard to stay focused on the
job. Usually a comfort zone develops and you adjust to it. And that's where I was when she came from behind
and struck me in the head last May. I was in the zone. My hard-hat had hit the ledge before I recognized what
happened!"
The helmet rolled a few feet on the ledge and lodged against the nest box. It was Kosack's closeness to the
nest box - sans young - that is believed to have pushed her into striking. Kosack returned the helmet to his
head - he seemed particularly motivated - and continued cleaning camera gear. About five minutes later he left
the ledge. There was no strike two.
This Wednesday, a new chapter in the continuing ledge saga above the hustle and bustle of Market Street will
unfold. Rest assured, Brauning and Kosack won't be welcomed, and Harrisburg's feisty falcons will adamantly
encourage the Game Commission men to get off of their ledge. Feel free to follow from the street, or watch
some of the images on DEP's webcams. The event is always worth a look!
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
Following is a timeline of the falcons that have nested on the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg
from 1996 to present:
* 1996 --- A male Peregrine falcon is spotted in the Harrisburg area.
* Spring 1997 --- Pennsylvania Game Commission and DEP officials place a nesting box on the ledge of
the 15th Floor of the Rachel Carson State Office Building. The male Peregrine returns to the area with a
female Peregrine and makes the nest their home. The two falcons pair-bond, but the spring nesting
season passes without any eggs.
* March 1998 --- After the pair again fail to produce eggs, it becomes clear that more information is
needed regarding the history of the birds. Because the male is not banded, there is no way to know his
origin. The female is banded, however, so her origin is determined. She had fledged in 1996 from a nest
on the National Shrine in Washington, D.C. In addition, it is learned that her father was an escaped
falconer's bird and a hybrid. Because the young female is of hybrid origin, she probably is infertile.
* April 1998 --- After careful consideration and under the direction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
the female is live-captured and now resides at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh where she serves their
education programs.
* May 1998 --- Within one week of removing the first female, the male is seen with a new female. From
her alphanumeric leg band information, it is determined that she was a nestling on the Girard Point Bridge
in Philadelphia in 1998. She is the first falcon produced on a bridge in Pennsylvania to be rediscovered at a
nest site. At 1 year of age, she is too young to reproduce.
* Spring 2000 --- As a two-year-old, the female falcon is now capable of reproduction. On March 27, the
first of four eggs are laid. DEP begins a live video stream of the falcons on the Web. The agency records
more than 34 million hits to the site in its first season.
* May 2000 --- The four eggs hatch producing two males and two female "eyases."
* June 2000 --- Only one of the four young falcons, a female survives the first three months after
fledging.
* Spring 2001 --- The pair produces four eggs: two males, two females.
* Summer 2001 --- Two females, one male survive.
* Spring 2002 --- The pair produces four eggs: two males, two females.
* Summer 2002 --- Two males, one female survive.
* Spring 2003 --- The pair produces four eggs: two males, two females.
* Summer 2003 --- Two males, one female survive.
* Spring 2004 --- The pair produces four eggs: three males, one female.
* Summer 2004 --- Two males, one female survive.
* December 2004 --- The original Harrisburg male peregrine is injured and treated but cannot be returned
to the wild. Wildlife officials are concerned that the 2005 spring nesting season may be in jeopardy.
* February 2005 --- A new, very young male falcon is spotted at the nesting site.
* Spring 2005 --- Against the odds, the young male maintains his new nest and, along with the female,
produces three offspring in the pair's first year together. Four eggs were produced. One egg failed to
hatch. From the remaining three eggs, two males and one female hatched.
* Summer 2005 --- One male, one female survived.
* Spring 2006 --- The male and female Peregrines return to the nest at the Rachel Carson State Office
Building for another nesting season. For the first time, the female falcon lays five eggs producing five
young falcons.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 5/23/2006 9:23:37 AM
PGC Photo/Joe Kosack
Peregrine falcons are slowly reclaiming
their former range in Pennsylvania.
Get Image
PGC Photo/Joe Kosack
Falcons can travel great distances
when they set up their own home
territory. That's what leg bands are
so important.
Get Image
Release #062-06
GAME COMMISSION BANDS STEEL CITY'S PEREGRINES
PITTSBURGH - With the completion of peregrine falcon banding in the state's Capital City, Pennsylvania Game
Commission officials report that there is positive progress at two of the popular raptor's nesting sites in the
state's Steel City.
The peregrine falcons nests at both the Gulf Tower and University of Pittsburgh
Cathedral of Learning in Allegheny County have been watched intently by the
many bird watchers in the Pittsburgh area, as well as those throughout the world,
thanks to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, which hosts webcasts of both
sites, and Kate St. John, from WQED, who arranged the purchase, set up and
placement of the video cameras, as well as the internet hook-up.
To view the Gulf Tower or University of Pittsburgh webcasts, visit the Game
Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), select "Wildlife," then click on the
peregrine falcon photograph, and choose "Pittsburgh Falcons." Webcasts also can
be viewed on the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy website
(www.paconserve.org), click on "Protecting Resources" and choose "Peregrine
Recovery Program."
At 9 a.m., on Friday, May 26, Allegheny County Wildlife Conservation Officer Beth
Fife and Land Management Group Supervisor Doug Dunkerley will be checking and
banding three falcon chicks, also known as eyases, on the 40th floor of the
University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning in Oakland. Game Commissioner
Roxane S. Palone also will be attending the banding.
"There are many volunteers from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy who, on their own time, monitor these
birds daily from beginning to end every time they start mating until the fledglings are completely on their own
and leave Pittsburgh," WCO Fife said. "The communication among the many people involved is always intense
through all of this, and is greatly appreciated."
Dan Brauning, Game Commission Wildlife Diversity Section supervisor, said that the leg bands placed on the
young falcons will pay dividends in the future by helping wildlife agencies determine where Pennsylvania-born
peregrines go when they disperse to set up their own home territories.
"They often travel considerable distances - including Detroit, Toronto, Norfolk or
Long Island - and banding is the most cost-effective way to keep track of them,"
Brauning said. "Leg bands also help the Game Commission determine where
Pennsylvania's nesting peregrines originated."
WCO Fife pointed out that the Cathedral of Learning female has had a nasty
disposition for years.
"The adult female has become increasingly aggressive over the years," said WCO
Fife. "Last year, when we went out, she confronted us on the ledge with her
wings spread to intimidate us. She had no fear and was ready to take us on. I
had a net ready, grabbed her, put her in a box and passed her inside to be
checked. The year before, she started flying straight up the building and coming
over the ledge talons first."
Dunkerley said high elevations have a tendency to heighten the whole
experience.
"When you're on the ledge of a building's 42nd floor, the operation instantly becomes more challenging, to say
the least," Dunkerley said. "This year, she hopefully will be so brazen as to walk straight at us, which will
enable us to net, box and pass her into the building for her safety, as well as ours."
Earlier in the week, on May 23, Fife and Dunkerley made their fifth annual trip onto the ledge of the Gulf Tower
building to band five young peregrine falcons.
PGC Photo/Doug Dunkerley
Even the aggressive Gulf Tower
female underwent a health check.
Get Image
"The 37th floor of the Gulf Tower in Pittsburgh this year has been a busy place," WCO Fife said. "While inside
has seen a lot of construction work, peregrine falcons also have been working to produce offspring on an
exterior ledge of the building. One of the offspring has been watched especially close because it was much
smaller than the others, and everyone was worried if it would survive."
WCO Fife noted that the females at the Gulf Tower present a challenge that seems to be building every year.
Also, the falcons seem to be building their knowledge by recalling the previous year, and the challenge grows.
"It has reached the point where the falcons won't even fly away, they actually spread their wings out and come
right at us," WCO Fife said. "We have found that, for our safety and the falcon's safety, the best first step is to
net the female while she's running at us and get her out of the way immediately.
"This time, while we're out on the 37th floor of the Gulf Tower, the female extended her wings in front of her
young and started yelling; she wasn't going to budge. We gently placed a net over her, retrieved her, and
placed her in a box. After the female was removed, we retrieved five offspring and placed them in boxes to be
handed inside where Dr. Bob Wagner, from University of Pittsburgh Veterinarian Medicine, examined the young."
The Game Commission officers place a state-numbered band on one leg and a
federal-numbered band on the other. All of these numbers, which can be read
with the aid of binoculars, are recorded so these birds can be tracked for further
field study on where they migrate.
"Unfortunately, some of this process cannot be done with gloves on, so we
sometimes are grabbed by the talons," WCO Fife said. "With the audience we
have - including the news media and local students - we have to keep our painful
face contortions to a minimum. When looking across the crowd, everyone,
especially the young students, are watching intently at every move made. We
always make sure the students are able to help with some of the examinations
and banding."
This year at the Gulf Tower, the Game Commission banded four males and one
female. The adult female also was examined and found to be very healthy. Once
the examinations were completed, the officers returned the five offspring to the
nest box, then came back in to open the adult female's box and let her loose.
"She didn't even fly," said LMGS Dunkerley. "She just took a little jump onto the ledge, turned and went
straight to her young. She left us with a look that told you she was not happy and that seemed to dare us to
come out again. WCO Fife said the expression seemed to suggest 'Just wait until next year!'"
Pennsylvania's peregrine falcon population has been slowly building since the early 1990s. The increase is a
direct result of peregrine hacking/reintroduction efforts in Pennsylvania by the Game Commission and its
partners, and other states. Hacking is placing young birds in a rooftop or elevated enclosure for several weeks
until they're ready to fledge, or fly from the nest. At that time, the enclosure is opened, and the birds come and
go as they please. Eventually they leave, but some will return to hacking areas to nest in subsequent years. All
recent nests have been on buildings and bridges in urban settings, however there is one known nest on a cliff
site near Williamsport and another in the Wyoming Valley.
Peregrines remain an endangered species in the Commonwealth. Nationally, however, peregrines were recently
removed from the federal Endangered Species List. National delisting was a direct result of the bird's dramatic
recovery across the country.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 5/25/2006 4:26:17 PM
Release #063-06
GAME COMMISSION POSTS FINAL URBAN DEER MANAGEMENT PLAN;
GAME COMMISSION POSTS JUNE MEETING AGENDA ON WEBSITE
GAME COMMISSION POSTS FINAL URBAN DEER MANAGEMENT PLAN
HARRISBURG - In achieving another objective in its deer management plan, the Pennsylvania Game Commission
has finalized its urban/suburban deer management plan to more effectively manage deer in developed areas of
the state. This new plan has been posted on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), and can be viewed by
clicking on "Deer Program" in the "Quick Clicks" box in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage and then
selecting "Urban/Suburban Deer Management Plan."
"Human-deer conflicts are a real, not just a perceived, problem," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive
director. "Pennsylvania primarily manages deer through hunting, but hunter success, especially in developed
areas, is influenced by hunter access to land open to hunting and safety zone issues.
"The use of traditional hunting methods are always the most economical way to manage deer, and this plan
employs traditional deer management techniques. However, it also offers non-traditional deer management
approaches, as well as an educational program that incorporates current practices and possible solutions into an
integrated, comprehensive approach to resolve urban/suburban deer problems."
Roe noted that, due to the agency's limited financial resources, it would take time to implement all the
strategies in the plan.
Although white-tailed deer provide many Pennsylvanians countless hours of recreational opportunities and
enjoyment, are important to the state's economy, and are officially recognized as the Commonwealth's "state
animal," Roe noted that they can wear out their welcome quickly when they begin stripping vegetation in yards
and become obstacles on city and suburban streets.
The plan outlines four main goals: reduce deer impacts in developed areas using hunting options; reduce deer-
human conflicts using non-hunting options where hunting options are shown to not be feasible or sufficient;
inform urban leadership, residents, and hunters about deer management options and opportunities in developed
areas; and encourage positive relationships between hunters and communities in developed areas.
To accomplish these goals, the urban/suburban deer plan includes recommendations to:
1) Expand hunting opportunities and create an "Urban Deer Control Program" that allows for the taking of deer
outside of the regular hunting seasons in developed areas, similar to the Agricultural Depredation Program ("Red
Tag" program);
2) Discourage deer feeding and support local ordinances that prohibit deer feeding in developed areas with
unacceptable levels of deer conflicts;
3) Develop a written agency policy on the use of deer fertility control agents, then review and update the policy
as needed. While, no effective deer contraceptive program has been developed to effectively manage free-
ranging deer populations, such as those in urban/suburban areas of the state, a comprehensive review of current
literature and reports about ongoing studies needs to be conducted so the agency and the Bureau of Wildlife
Management can be in a position to address the issue when it arises;
4) Increase availability of written, electronic, and web-based informational and educational publications and
presentations concerning hunting and non-hunting deer management options in developed areas;
5) Create and develop a landowner/hunter database template to be used by communities and municipalities to
identify available hunters; and
6) Provide an advanced hunter education course for hunters in developed areas.
The lack of hunter access to lands open to hunting historically has hindered efforts to reduce deer numbers in
suburbia. Other challenges include sporting arms limitations; safety zone restrictions; public perceptions about
hunters; and the inconveniences and lack of appeal associated with hunting in areas with large numbers of
people, homes and automobiles.
"We believe that the urban/suburban deer management plan provides a starting point from which the Game
Commission can help hunters, landowners and municipal officials achieve mutually acceptable goals by giving
them more tools to exercise greater control of the deer population in highly-developed areas of the state," Roe
said. "Some of these steps we can begin working on immediately. However, others, such as the proposal to
permit baiting for deer hunting in certain special regulations areas counties, will need to be approved by the
Board of Game Commissioners."
Still, Roe noted that the Game Commission has continued to work on this issue by taking action to enact other
steps to address urban/suburban deer issues. For example, the Board, at its April meeting, gave final approval
to help farmers in two of the state's most developed Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) address high deer
populations by relaxing some of the regulations of the "Red Tag" program.
Under the measure, farmers in Wildlife Management Units 5C and 5D in the southeastern corner of the state will
be able to participate in the "Red Tag" program without having to enroll in the agency's Cooperative Public
Access programs and without having to place signs along their property boundaries identifying their property as
enrolled in the "Red Tag" program. Additionally, farmers will be permitted to give hunters up to two permits,
rather than the standard one permit per hunter.
The Game Commission's five-year Deer Management Plan - adopted in 2003 - identifies the reduction of deer-
human conflicts as one of its three goals. Those conflicts are most common in urban/suburban settings, places
many Pennsylvanians rarely consider whitetail country. But the deer are there, often in excessive numbers,
causing property damage and genuine safety concerns.
"The Game Commission is challenged to minimize the negative impacts of urban/suburban deer, yet retain the
positive benefits they provide many metropolitan residents," Roe said. "Our goal is not to eliminate whitetails in
urban/suburban areas. Rather, we are striving to provide options that any community with deer damage can use
for relief. But communities must recognize that there are no quick fixes, or one-time solutions to reducing
deer-human conflicts in urban/suburban settings.
"Communities also must recognize that they will need to take an active role in managing the deer within their
community. Deer must be managed aggressively in these situations. If they aren't, years of progress can
disappear over a relatively short period of time. Every community needs a deer management plan that is
supported by residents and actively pursued."
Roe pointed out that a combination of tools and strategies must be used to be successful, and the Game
Commission's urban/suburban deer management plan identifies those tools currently being offered, as well as
those tools that the agency's Board of Game Commissioners needs to approve before being implemented.
"This plan is not intended to solve individual community deer issues. Rather it is a guide on how to help
communities help themselves," Roe stressed. "Overabundant urban deer populations can be damaging and
unsafe. Communities must take action before the problem becomes unbearable."
Last year, from April until mid-September, the agency sought public input prior to developing the
urban/suburban deer management plan. A draft plan was unveiled in April for additional public comment prior
to finalizing the plan. More than 600 residents offered comments that were reviewed and used by members of
the agency's Deer Management Section in drafting and revising the plan.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
GAME COMMISSION POSTS AGENDA ON WEBSITE
The agenda for the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners meeting on June 5-6, has been posted on the
agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). To view a copy of the agenda, click on the "Next Commissioners'
Meeting" box in the center of the homepage and then select the "June 2006 Commission Meeting Agenda" icon
at the bottom of the page.
The two-day meeting will be held at the agency's Harrisburg headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Ave., just off the
Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81. The meetings will begin at 8:30 a.m. on both days.
On June 5, the Board will hear public comments and receive agency staff reports and updates.
On June 6, the Board is scheduled to take official action on the agenda items, including giving final approval to
regulations to establish the Mentored Youth Hunting Program. Authorized by legislation enacted on Dec. 22, the
Mentored Youth Hunting Program is intended to provide mentors, who are dedicated to promoting and sharing
Pennsylvania's hunting heritage, the opportunity to share this experience with interested youths. The Board also
is scheduled to take preliminary action on draft regulations that would legalize the use of bait to hunt deer in
Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.
Minutes from the June meeting will be posted in the "Reports/Minutes" section of the homepage as soon as they
are prepared. Minutes have been posted on this site from the Board's meeting on April 18.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 5/31/2006 10:04:11 AM
Release #064-06
BARN OWL CONSERVATION INITIATIVE EXPANDED TO NORTHERN REGIONS
New website to assist landowners seeking to participate
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission officials are expanding the agency's Barn Owl Conservation
Initiative into its Northwest and Northeast regions by seeking information about active and historic barn owl nest
sites. The primary objective of this program is to locate and monitor barn owl nest sites and distribute nest
boxes to interested landowners with suitable habitat to help reverse the population decline of this species.
"Barn owls have been in decline for several decades, and are a species that the Game Commission has targeted
in its Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy," said Dan Brauning, Game Commission Wildlife Diversity
Section supervisor. "Game Commission biologists, working with landowners, believe that barn owls have great
management and recovery potential throughout the state, especially in the southern portions of Pennsylvania."
The barn owl conservation initiative was announced by the Game Commission last September for the
Southcentral and Southeast Regions, and expanded to the Southwest Region in February. The agency now is
seeking to expand into the state's three northern regions.
As the agency broadens its barn owl conservation effort, the Game Commission also has unveiled a new "Barn
Owl Conservation" section on its website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). This new educational resource center, which
also can be found under the "Wildlife" section, provides information about the initiative, directions on how to
build a barn owl nesting structure, a barn owl fact sheet, and a registration form for landowners to notify the
Game Commission that they have erected a barn owl nesting box and will assist the agency by providing data
about the use of the nesting box by any barn owls. Also provided are photos of where and how barn owl nesting
boxes have been placed, as well as a link to a general "Wildlife Note" about other owls found in Pennsylvania.
Barn owls stand about 10-15 inches tall and have a wingspan of 41-47 inches. Their distinctive long heart-
shaped facial disk has led to this owl being referred to as the "monkey-faced owl" by some people. They have a
nearly pure-white to dusky breast with small spots, small dark eyes, and have a hissing or scream-like
vocalization. They are found in agricultural fields, grasslands, and other open areas. They nest in cavities of
large dead trees, rock crevices and even burrows in riverbanks. More often, as their name implies, they nest in
barns, silos, abandoned buildings and artificial nest boxes.
"Because barn owls feed primarily on rodents, they are beneficial to farmers," Brauning said. "An average family
of barn owls can consume up to 3,000 rodents over the course of the breeding season."
To determine if you have a barn owl on your property, look in barns, silos, abandoned buildings and below
possible roost sites for regurgitated owl pellets, which are dense pellets of undigested fur and bone one to two
inches long. Also, after sunset, listen for long hissing shrieks, which are very different from the typical "hoots"
of most owls.
If you have barn owls nesting on your property or would like to know how you can help conserve Pennsylvania's
barn owls, please visit the agency's new barn owl website or contact the appropriate regional wildlife diversity
biologist listed below.
Northwest: Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, Warren counties -
RWD Tim Hoppe at 814-860-8123 or thoppe@state.pa.us. Hoppe also can be reached through the Game
Commission Northwest Region Office at 814-432-3187 or by mail to P.O. Box 31, Franklin, PA 16323.
Northcentral: Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga and Union counties -
Region Wildlife Management Supervisor Tony Ross at the Northcentral Region Office at 570-398-4744 or by mail
at P.O. Box 5038, Jersey Shore, PA 17740.
Northeast: Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike,
Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties - RWD Kevin Wenner at 570-788-8194 or
kewenner@state.pa.us. Wenner also can be reached through the Game Commission Northeast Region Office at
570-675-1143 or by mail to P.O. Box 220, Dallas, PA 18612.
Southeast: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton,
Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York counties - RWD Biologist Jamie Zambo at 610-589-4913 or
jzambo@state.pa.us. Zambo also can be reached through the Game Commission Southeast Region Office by
calling 610-926-3136 or mailing to 448 Snyder Road, Reading, PA 19605.
Southcentral: Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry and
Snyder counties - RWD Biologist Dan Mummert at 814-542-8759 or dmummert@state.pa.us. Mummert also can
be reached through the Game Commission Southcentral Region Office at 814-643-1831 or mail to 8627 William
Penn Highway, Huntingdon, PA 16652.
Southwest: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and
Westmoreland counties - RWD Tammy Colt at 724-238-4064 or tcolt@state.pa.us. Game Commission Southwest
Region Office at 724-238-9523 or by mail to 4820 Route 711, Bolivar, PA 15923.
For more information on the Game Commission's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy, visit the
agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on "Wildlife," then choose "State Wildlife Grants Program," and
select "Pennsylvania's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy."
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 6/1/2006 12:57:40 PM
Release #065-06
GAME COMMISSION ANNOUNCES BOBCAT HARVEST RESULTS;
GAME COMMISSION TO ISSUE 720 PERMITS FOR 2006-07 BOBCAT SEASON;
SPRING GOBBLER HUNTERS REMINDED TO REPORT HARVESTS
GAME COMMISSION ANNOUNCES BOBCAT HARVEST RESULTS
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission officials today announced that hunters and trappers harvested
221 bobcats (112 females, 108 males and one was not identified) during the 2005-06 bobcat seasons. During
the 2004-05 seasons, 196 bobcats were taken; 140 in 2003-04; 135 in 2002-03; 146 in 2001-02; and 58 in
2000-01.
At a public drawing last September, the Game Commission awarded 615 permits from a field of more than 4,600
applicants who applied to receive a bobcat harvest permit. Each permit allowed a hunter or trapper to harvest
one bobcat. In 2004-05, the agency awarded 615 permits; 570 in 2003-04; 545 in 2002-03; 520 in 2001-02;
and 290 in 2000-01.
Initially bobcats only could be harvested across parts of northcentral and northeastern Pennsylvania. The area in
which bobcats could be legally harvested changed slightly with the adoption of Wildlife Management Units
(WMUs) in 2003. In 2004, the bobcat harvest area was increased by about 30 percent with the addition of two
WMUs. During this past season, bobcat harvests were allowed in eight WMUs: 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C and
3D in southwestern, northcentral and northeastern Pennsylvania.
Harvest numbers for 2005-06 by county were: Bedford, 2; Bradford, 29; Cameron, 6; Centre, 3; Clearfield, 18;
Clinton, 11; Columbia, 1; Elk, 12; Fayette, 5; Forest, 3; Indiana, 3; Jefferson, 2; Lackawanna, 1; Luzerne, 8;
Lycoming, 23; McKean, 9; Monroe, 1; Pike, 4; Potter, 22; Somerset, 5; Sullivan, 9; Susquehanna, 3; Tioga, 28;
Venango, 1; Warren, 2; Wayne, 2; Westmoreland, 2; and Wyoming, 6.
Game Commission staff collected biological data and body measurements from a sample of the harvested
bobcats, as well as tissue samples, digestive tract and female reproductive samples. A tooth also was collected
from these bobcats and will be used to estimate the age composition of the harvest.
Also, a survey was mailed to permit recipients who did not report a bobcat harvest during the hunting and
trapping seasons to measure participation and harvest effort.
"This past season's harvest demonstrates that Pennsylvania has a thriving population of bobcats, and that our
recent limited harvests have not impacted the population," said Dr. Matthew Lovallo, Game Commission
furbearer biologist and author of the agency's bobcat management plan. "Weather conditions were favorable
during January and February, particularly for trapping because of limited precipitation. In fact, 55 percent of the
harvest occurred during 2006."
On June 30, the Game Commission will begin accepting applications for 2006-07 bobcat permits from holders of
resident furtaker, junior combination or senior lifetime combination licenses, along with a nonrefundable $5 fee.
Mail-in applications are included in the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which
will be provided to each license buyer. All mail-in applications must be postmarked no later than Aug. 15.
Also on June 30, to better serve its customers, the agency will begin accepting applications for bobcat permits
through "The Outdoor Shop" on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). Applicants may charge their
hunting/furtaking licenses, as well as a bobcat application, to their VISA, MasterCard, American Express or
Discover credit cards. Online applications will be accepted until midnight of Sept. 6.
GAME COMMISSION TO ISSUE 720 PERMITS FOR 2006-07 BOBCAT SEASON
Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced the agency will award 720
permits for the 2006-07 bobcat hunting/furtaking seasons at a public drawing in its Harrisburg headquarters on
Friday, Sept. 8.
Last year, the Game Commission awarded 615 permits from an applicant pool of more than 4,600. In 2004-05,
the agency allocated 615 permits from an applicant pool of nearly 4,200; in 2003-04, 570 permits were awarded
from an applicant pool of nearly 3,500; in 2002-03, 545 permits were awarded from an applicant pool of more
than 3,100; in 2001-02, 520 permits were awarded from an applicant pool of more than 3,100; and in 2000-01,
the first bobcat season in 30 years, 290 permits were awarded from an applicant pool of 3,276.
Last year, 221 bobcats were taken by hunters and trappers. During the, 2004-05 seasons, 196 bobcats were
taken; 140 in 2003-04; 135 in 2002-03; 146 in 2001-02; and 58 in 2000-01.
Following the creation of a preference point system in 2003, individuals who applied for a bobcat permit in 2004
and were not selected will have their names entered into the drawing three times if they applied last year and
this year as well. However, only one application per person per year will be accepted by the Game Commission,
and multiple submissions will result in the applicant being ineligible for the drawing.
Those who received one of the 615 bobcat permits issued during the 2005-06 season are not eligible for this
year's drawing.
The hunting season for bobcats is set for Oct. 21 through Feb. 15, and the trapping season is set for Oct. 22
through Feb. 17. Those hunters or trappers receiving one of the limited permits through a public drawing will
be restricted to pursuing bobcats in WMUs 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D in southwestern, northcentral and
northeastern Pennsylvania.
To demonstrate its confidence in the Game Commission's bobcat management plan, in 2003, the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service granted the agency "multi-year" export status for bobcat pelts legally harvested in Pennsylvania.
SPRING GOBBLER HUNTERS REMINDED TO REPORT HARVESTS
Pennsylvania Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management Director Calvin W. DuBrock today reminded
successful spring gobbler hunters to submit their harvest report card, as required by law. If hunters can't find
one of the pre-addressed and postage paid harvest report cards that came with their license, they can use the
harvest report card found on page 33 of the Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations to report
their kill.
DuBrock also noted that reporting is mandatory for the 8,045 individuals who received one of the special spring
gobbler hunting licenses, which provided holders the privilege to harvest a second spring gobbler, regardless of
whether they took a second spring gobbler. All special spring gobbler license holders are to use the report card
provided to them with the special license.
DuBrock encouraged any spring gobbler hunters who harvested a spring gobbler with a leg band to contact the
toll-free telephone number listed on the band to report a harvest or recovery of the banded bird. The
Pennsylvania Game Commission, National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Penn State University and National
Band and Tag Co., along with wildlife officials in Ohio and New York, have joined forces to conduct a four-year
study to estimate the harvest rates of spring gobblers in each of the three states.
"Hunters who report their wild turkey or deer harvests are helping wildlife managers make more informed
decisions when recommending seasons and bag limits and other conservation measures," DuBrock said. "If all
hunters who harvested a turkey or deer would send in their harvest report card, as required by law, harvest
estimates wouldn't be necessary."
# # #
Content Last Modified on 6/1/2006 4:09:13 PM
PGC photo/Hal Korber
A sign prepared by the Game
Commission's Howard Nursery
dedicating the NWTF's contribution
toward the project was unveiled. From
left to right are: Game Commission
Southeast Region Land Management
Supervisor Bruce Metz; Larry
Holjencin, NWTF Senior Regional
Director; Bob Eriksen, NWTF Regional
Biologist; Audrey Zimmerman, wife of
the late Jerry Zimmerman; Don
Heckman, Pennsylvania Chapter of
NWTF State Executive Officer; Game
Commission Executive Director Carl G.
Roe; and Game Commission Land
Management Group Supervisor Scott
Bills.
Get Image
PGC photo/Hal Korber
On right, John Plowman, Blue
Mountain Chapter of SCI president,
presents a $1,000 check to Carol
Witzeman, CPC president, to make
the final payment on CPC’s mortgage
on this parcel, which now is part of
SGL 211.
Get Image
Release #066-06
GAME COMMISSION PARTNERS CELEBRATE PRESERVATION OF LAND
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe called it "an example of how
partners, working together, can protect and preserve habitat for wildlife in an ever-increasingly developed area."
Gathered with representatives of the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy (CPC), the
Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and the Blue
Mountain Chapter of Safari Club International (SCI), the Game Commission
recognized the contributions that made possible the purchase of a 35-acre parcel
on Second Mountain in Middle Paxton Township, Dauphin County. The parcel now
is part of State Game Land 211, which currently consists of 44,342 acres.
"This parcel is comprised of regenerating habitat that will benefit deer, wild
turkey, ruffed grouse, squirrels and other wildlife," Roe said. "This also is a key
addition to SGL 211, as the south side of Second Mountain is considered an
Important Bird Area for migratory raptors.
"As suburban areas continue to be developed, any land that can be preserved for
wildlife and public hunting and trapping is critical. Without our partners, we never
would have been able to add this parcel to our State Game Lands system."
On June 29, 2004, the Board of Game Commissioners approved $12,000 to
purchase the tract from CPC, which paid $30,000 to acquire the property.
The Pennsylvania Chapter of NWTF's contribution of $12,000 to CPC for the
purchase of this land was in honor of the late Jerry Zimmerman, who, until his
untimely death in an automobile accident in 2005, had served as NWTF's Senior
Regional Director.
"Jerry Zimmerman was dedicated to the wild turkey resource," said Don
Heckman, Pennsylvania Chapter of NWTF executive officer. "In recognition of his
many years of work on behalf of the wild turkey, wild turkey habitat and wild
turkey hunting, we decided it would be appropriate to make a contribution in his
name to honor that dedication."
A sign prepared by the Game Commission's Howard Nursery dedicating the
NWTF's contribution toward the project was unveiled at the event, and will soon
be erected on SGL 211.
John Plowman, president of the Blue Mountain Chapter of SCI, presented a check
for $1,000, which represents the final payment needed to satisfy CPC's mortgage
for the property. Blue Mountain Chapter of SCI previously contributed $1,500
toward the purchase of the property, for a total contribution of $2,500.
Others contributing to CPC's purchase of the land were the Harrisburg Natural
History Society, $2,483.60; the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs
$500; and Alfred Buck, $500.
"The Central Pennsylvania Conservancy's mission is to conserve natural resources
and open space for the benefit of current and future generations through the
acquisition and protection of land in the Central Pennsylvania Region," said Carol
Witzeman, CPC president. "Our organization is dedicated to preserving Central
Pennsylvania's natural beauty. Through our efforts and the support of our
members, we have preserved thousands of acres of land for future generations,
and we are pleased to have played a role in this project."
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is
responsible for conserving and managing all wild birds and mammals in the
Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits, enforcing hunting
and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game
Lands it has purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat.
The agency also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and
sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 6/2/2006 11:57:32 AM
Joe Kosack/PGC photo
Spring Spice: Warblers, such as the
common yellowthroat, really add some
zest to and enliven Pennsylvania's
forests and reverting fields as the
weather warms.
Get Image
Jake Dingel/PGC photo
Commoner: The yellow-rumped
warbler is found throughout the
Commonwealth.
Get Image
Release #067-06
THE WARBLER WAVE
A natural show everyone should catch
By Joe Kosack, Wildlife Conservation Education Specialist
Pennsylvania Game Commission
HARRISBURG - If you didn't know much about warblers, or really don't pay any
particular attention to singing songbirds, you can easily miss one of spring's most
exciting events - the annual warbler migration. It's underway right now.
Each spring, about 40 wood warbler species either return to nest or move through
Penn's Woods to reach more northern nesting grounds. Males are brightly colored
- often with a splash of yellow - and croon from singing posts whether they're
hanging instate or just passing through. Females are less comely and more prone
to utilize cover. Regardless, if you learn to hone in on those flamboyant male
troubadours, you'll likely see the females they typically attract and catch a show
you'll probably look forward to each spring for the rest of your life. Warblers are
that enchanting, that special.
The charm of warblers is steeped in their beauty and unintentional elusiveness,
and the excitement their often fleeting presence imbues in birdwatchers and
casual observers. Searching for warblers quickly becomes a quest for newcomers,
or a chance to get reacquainted and to add to a growing life-list for ardent
veterans. It can become an addictive activity, but it's always fun and surely
represents a chance to get to know nature a little bit better. An uneventful day of
warbler watching is always better than an afternoon watching TV.
"Warbler watching is first-rate recreation for anyone who enjoys wild birds, or
nature," said Doug Gross, Pennsylvania Game Commission ornithologist. "Although they can be challenging to
find for beginners, once you get the hang of it, you may spend endless hours locating and identifying which
warblers comprise the latest wave occupying the Commonwealth. If you get lucky, you may see five or ten
different warblers at one location.
"Finding a hotspot, however, shouldn't immediately dominate your efforts afield. First, try to locate warblers by
checking the habitats they prefer and by becoming familiar with warbler singing. The yellow warbler's call is a
good one to start with. Several other warblers sound similar to it and keying on similar singing will surely get
you closer to the action."
Warbler singing - although somewhat lacking in virtuosity compared to other
spring singers - announces a male's availability and its claim to territory. The
birds call incessantly in spring, particularly during early morning hours, for mates.
Listening for that singing - and then slowly closing in on it - is one of the quickest
and easiest ways to become familiar with warblers.
A great website to peruse for warbler songs - as well as the sounds thousands
more animals make - is provided by the Macauley Library at Cornell Lab of
Ornithology at www.birds.cornell.edu/MacaulayLibrary. If you'd prefer to take
something afield with you, consider purchasing the birdsong audio "identiflyer,"
available through the Pennsylvania Game Commission's "The Outdoor Shop" on
the agency's website at www.pgc.state.pa.us. The cost of the identiflyer with
batteries and two audio cards is $35.50. A four-card collection of warbler songs -
detailing 40 species - is available for $33.75.
After you become proficient with one species and its habitat preferences, learn
another's call and partialities. The Annotated list of the Birds of Pennsylvania, by
Franklin C. and Barbara M. Haas, can be a useful guide to help choose which
warbler species a birdwatcher has the greatest likelihood of encountering afield.
Now in its second edition, the book provides bar graphs that show the probability
of observing each species by month within seven regions of the state and throughout the year. The book, which
sells for $7.61, including postage and handling, from the Pennsylvania Game Commission's online "The Outdoor
Joe Kosack/PGC photo
Key Crooner: Learning to identify the
yellow warbler's singing will draw you
closer to habitat perferred by this and
other warblers.
Get Image
Shop," details when species are at their greatest abundance throughout the state and lists their habitat
preferences.
Some of the more common wood warblers are the yellow warbler, yellow-rumped
warbler and yellow-breasted chat. Yellow warblers like open areas with some trees
and shrubs near water; yellow-rumped warblers, woodlands edges and brushy
areas; and yellow-breasted chats, shrubby stream hollows, overgrown pastures
and power-line right-of-ways.
If you're looking to see some of the more striking stars of this neotropical
homecoming, consider looking for the black-and-white warbler, which prefers
woodlands and edges; black-throated green warblers, northern hardwood forests
with hemlock and white pine; the northern parula, riparian woodlands, particularly
of the Allegheny Mountains in Fayette, Somerset and Westmoreland counties; and
Blackburnian warbler, large woodlands with conifers and riverside sycamores.
Other beauties on the migratory highway that pit-stop through Pennsylvania
include the Cape May warbler, bay-breasted warbler, Wilson's warbler and orange-
crowned warbler.
If seeing some of the flashier warblers doesn't satisfy your newfound fancy,
consider the thrill provided by getting a glimpse of the federally-endangered
Kirtland's warbler, which has been found only four times instate, or the state-
endangered Blackpoll warbler, which was first confirmed to be breeding in the
Commonwealth in 1994, and has been recorded nesting in Wyoming County every
year since then. These are the proverbial needles in the haystack of warbler watching.
"Warbler watching can be as carefree or complicated as you prefer to make it," emphasized Gross. "After you
become familiar with warblers and some of their songs, you'll head into the woods or out fishing with a more
refined awareness of your surroundings and a craving for warbler action.
"To heighten your experience afield, it's always important to have a good pair of binoculars, a songbird field
guide, and journal to take notes of where you find warblers. Binoculars are almost a necessity, because some
warblers are fond of the upper reaches of the forest canopy. But it also is always better to get closer to the
action!"
Since many wood warblers breed and nest in Pennsylvania, birders can enjoy many of these colorful songbirds in
summer. Some species are found primarily in conifers, especially the hemlock stands. These include the
magnolia warbler, Blackburnian warbler, and black-throated blue warbler. Warblers often seek out forest
structure when choosing nesting habitat. The Worm-eating warbler, hooded warbler, Kentucky warbler, and
Canada warbler all are often found where there is a healthy shrub community in the forest.
In addition, old fields and young forests spotted with conifers are a great place to find prairie warblers. They
also are found in young Christmas tree plantations and pine barrens. Their song is very diagnostic and easy to
imitate; a series of whistles up the scale. The increasingly rare golden-winged warbler prefers regenerating
clearcuts, barrens, and rights-of-way where there are lots of shrubs, young aspens, and goldenrods.
Warblers have been dazzling Americans for centuries. Although it's unlikely that William Penn could identify
them, he likely had occasion to observe them on his many journeys. John James Audubon, however, recognized
warblers for what they were, and wrote extensively about them. Audubon's discovery of a Blackpoll warbler nest
truly captivated him.
"I felt as if the enormous expense of our voyage had been refunded," Audubon wrote. "'There,' said I, 'we are
the first white men who have seen such a nest.' I peeped into it, saw it contained four eggs, and observed its
little owner looking upon us with anxiety and astonishment."
A subspecies of the yellow-rumped warbler, found at least a dozen times in Pennsylvania, was named after
Audubon. The yellow-rumped warbler found most commonly in Pennsylvania - as well as throughout the United
States - is a subspecies known as the "myrtle warbler."
Warblers, being some 50 species strong, represent the second largest family of North American birds. Finches -
including cardinals, buntings and grosbeaks - top the list with more than 80 species. Most warblers nest in trees
and shrubs. In Pennsylvania, the prothonotary warbler is the only warbler that nests in tree cavities, a distinction
shared by the bluebird in the thrush family.
Prothonotary warblers will live in bluebird nest boxes attached to trees in forested areas near water. Plans for
this type of nesting box can be found on the Game Commission's website by clicking on "Wildlife" and then
selecting "Bluebirds," and finally selecting "Bluebird Nest Box Plan."
Warbler watching is a fantastic way to spend a May afternoon afield and a good reason to head outdoors, even if
it is only into the woods behind your house. Right now, Pennsylvania's forests and thickets, particularly those
adjacent to lakes and stream-bottoms, are teaming with warblers. So get outside already! You won't regret it.
For more information on warblers in Pennsylvania, please consult The Birds of Pennsylvania, written by Gerald M. McWilliams
and Daniel W. Brauning, published by Cornell University Press.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and managing all wild
birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits, enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and
managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking
license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic
organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The agency is
funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is an excise tax collected
through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas, coal, timber and minerals derived from
State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 6/2/2006 12:39:15 PM
Release #068-06
PILOT CITIZEN ADVISORY COMMITTEE MUSTERS FOR DEER MANAGEMENT
Board directs staff to use CACs in other WMUs
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Game Commission's pilot Citizen Advisory Committee in the mid-state's Wildlife
Management Unit (WMU) 4B demonstrated that this grassroots approach can give a voice in deer management
to stakeholders and arbitrate the varied concerns of the social, economic and political forces that routinely
influence deer management decisions.
And, today, the CAC process received the support of the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners, which
directed the executive director to use CACs to solicit and obtain stakeholder input on WMU level deer population
management goals in the commonwealth.
The Bureau of Wildlife Management set a goal of holding four or five CACs in different WMUs each year, so that
each WMU will have at least one CAC during a five-year period. Those WMUs identified for using CACs in the
coming year are WMUs 1B, 2C, 3B and 5C. The process will begin later this year to ensure the CACs have input
into the Deer Management Section's preparation for antlerless license allocations for the 2007-08 seasons, which
are slated to be set next April.
While CACs will have input into the overall process, the final decision for setting antlerless deer license
allocations - the agency's primary tool for managing deer populations - will continue to rest with the Board of
Game Commissioners.
"Brokering the latest adjustment to Pennsylvania's century-old and ever-evolving deer management program is
never as simple as making changes in hunting seasons or bag limits," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission
executive director. "It's always a decision that is wrung systematically from the analysis of biological data and
findings afield, and tempered by public perceptions and partial factions."
The Game Commission is pursuing the Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) approach because it provides people
whose lives are influenced by deer direct input into deliberations that will ultimately lead to establishing deer
population goals for the WMU in which they live and/or hunt. Additionally, these CACs will help educate
stakeholders about the complexities and importance of proper deer management, as well as provide a means to
improve communication and interaction among stakeholders and the agency.
"When deer populations rise or fall, they generally affect the quality of someone's or some animal's life," Roe
explained. "The agency's Board of Game Commissioners recognizes this relative influence of deer and strives to
maintain their numbers through a blend of cultural and biological considerations to accommodate most
Pennsylvanians, wildlife and habitats.
"Because whitetails, through their very existence, affect the lives of so many Pennsylvanians, CACs are a logical
progression for the Game Commission's deer management program. They provide the agency's Game
Commissioners WMU assessments of stakeholder desires to consider when they set seasons and bag limits and
antlerless deer license allocations to manage WMU deer populations. CACs also augment stakeholder interaction
and foster increased public understanding of the complexities associated with deer management."
Deer thrive from the wilds of the Allegheny National Forest in Warren County to the woodlots, yards and
highway medians of the greater Philadelphia area. They cause millions of dollars in property and crop damage
statewide annually and yet the hunters who pursue them annually have an economic impact that numbers in the
hundreds of millions of dollars. They also annually provide thousands of tons of tasty, lean venison. These
examples characterize why deer can be perceived so differently by Pennsylvanians, and exemplify why
viewpoints vary so greatly when it comes to deciding how best to manage deer.
"The Game Commission recognizes that science can provide us with measures of deer and habitat health, but it
is very difficult to determine what stakeholders want," said Jeannine Tardiff, the Game Commission deer
biologist who is spearheading the agency's CAC initiative. "Although the agency has always collected public
input, it reconciled stakeholder differences of opinion through its decision-making, rather than providing a means
for deer management's varied stakeholders to find common ground, or reach a consensus within the framework
of a CAC.
"Pennsylvanians want to have more meaningful input into deer management decisions and CACs provide that
opportunity. In the pilot CAC, the exchange of information among stakeholders and between the agency and
stakeholders undoubtedly promoted a better understanding of stakeholder viewpoints and a firmer grasp of the
varied issues that influence management decisions."
In 2002, the Game Commission took its first formal step at integrating public values into deer management by
assembling and convening a statewide stakeholder group to identify deer management goals and objectives. This
group recommended the use of CACs to gather local stakeholder input for consideration in WMU-level deer
management decisions. The first CAC used to pilot test this process was for WMU 4B.
The eight members of the pilot CAC concluded that WMU 4B's deer population should increase by 10 to 20
percent; one other member recommended a slight increase. This decision was reached after two meetings, both
of which were facilitated by officials from the Bureau of Management Consulting in the Governor's Office of
Administration.
On the whole, CAC members considered serving on the pilot committee a rare opportunity and welcomed the
chance it provided to become more familiar with the intricacies of deer management and the concerns of other
stakeholders.
"The process was beneficial and successful," said Ed Bortzfield of Blain, a state Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources' Bureau of Forestry forester. "Everyone came with a fairly open mind and seemed interested in
listening to what everyone had to say. If we're all willing to sit down and at least talk to one another, we can
reach some common ground."
Bortzfield said he felt like he was the "odd man out" on the committee, because he and the foresters he
represented were interested in holding deer numbers where they were. The other CAC members were inclined to
allow deer populations to increase.
"Most people on the committee cared more about seeing deer afield than harvesting one," Bortzfield said.
"Everybody was willing to listen. They were willing to lower their expectations in return for me raising mine."
CAC member Joe Walter of Mount Pleasant Mills, who owns D&D Sports Supplies in Middleburg, said he's still not
happy with the numbers of deer afield, but he believes CACs are a step in the right direction.
"It's a start, and I believe it's something that's warranted and needed," Walter said. "I essentially lean toward
sportsmen's interests with the business I have. Personally, I'm sick to death of hearing about how the forest
industry has suffered. Does anybody care about the sporting goods stores and other businesses?
"The committee itself is a great idea. We need one in every management unit. Throughout the process, I've
been cautiously optimistic. I thought the biologists who were involved were very cordial, easy to work with."
CAC members came from all walks of life. The interests they represented included agriculture, business, forest
industry, highway safety, homeowner, municipal government, public landowner and sportsmen. After being
briefed in the first meeting, each representative was asked to survey at least 10 individuals in his/her
stakeholder interest group to collect constituent sentiment on deer management issues and deer population
preferences. At the second meeting, CAC members presented their findings, explained and/or defended their
positions, and worked together to form a consensus. Facilitators ensured the CAC moved forward in
accomplishing its tasks; Game Commission personnel were on hand only to answer questions and provide
background.
"CACs offer participating stakeholders a panoramic view of the deer management landscape and the varied
special interests that lobby to influence this process," Tardiff said. "From a wildlife management perspective, the
quality of habitat and the health of the deer herd frame our recommendations for WMU deer populations. After
that, the tolerance and desires of people dictate what the deer population goals might be, and that's where
CACs come in.
"CACs provide a means for residents to take a more active role in the development of Wildlife Management Unit
deer population recommendations that ultimately will be considered by the agency's Board of Commissioners and
create an arena that promotes the free exchange of ideas and information regarding deer, without grandstanding
and politicking. It's people listening to people, weighing informal presentations and working together for the
common good of deer management."
Establishing a pilot CAC was an objective of the Game Commission's Deer Management Plan, which was adopted
in 2003. Since it has rendered its recommendation, the experimental CAC has been disbanded.
For more information on the Game Commission's deer management program, visit the agency's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on "Deer Program" in the "Quick Clicks" box in the upper right hand corner of
the homepage.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 6/6/2006 2:56:59 PM
Release #069-06
BOARD APPROVES MENTORED YOUTH HUNTING PROGRAM;
BOARD OPENS DISCUSSION ON BAITING IN SOUTHEAST;
GAME COMMISSION HONORS 25-YEAR EMPLOYEES;
BOARD TAKES ACTION ON OTHER ITEMS
BOARD APPROVES MENTORED YOUTH HUNTING PROGRAM
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave final approval to regulations
establishing the Mentored Youth Hunting Program.
"The logic behind the Mentored Youth Hunting Program is simple and clear: create expanded youth hunting
opportunities while maintaining safety afield," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "This
program provides additional means for youngsters to nurture their interest in hunting early and allows them to
take a more active role in those formative trips afield with mentoring adults. The program increases hands-on
use of sporting arms and can promote a better understanding and interest in hunting and wildlife conservation
that will help assure hunting's future, as well as reinforce the principles of hunting safely through the close
supervision provided by dedicated mentors."
Under the program, a mentor would be defined as a properly licensed individual at least 21 years of age, who
will serve as a guide to a mentored youth while engaged in hunting or related activities, such as scouting,
learning firearm or hunter safety and wildlife identification. A mentored youth would be defined as an unlicensed
individual less than 12 years of age who is accompanied by a mentor while engaged in hunting or related
activities.
The regulations require that the mentor to mentored youth ratio be one-to-one, and that the pair possesses
only one sporting arm while hunting. While moving, the sporting arm must be carried by the mentor. When the
pair reaches a stationary hunting location, the mentor may turn over possession of the sporting arm to the
youth and must keep the youth within arm's length at all times.
The species identified as legal for the first year of the Mentored Youth Hunting Program are squirrels,
woodchucks (groundhogs) and spring gobbler. The Board approved adding antlered deer in the 2007-08
seasons. The Board noted that those youth participating in the Mentored Youth Hunting Program would be
required to follow the same antler restrictions as a junior license holder, which is one antler of three or more
inches in length or one antler with at least two points.
The program also requires that both the mentor and the youth must abide by any fluorescent orange
regulations, and that the mentored youth must tag and report any wild turkey taken by making and attaching a
tag that contains their name, address, date, WMU, township, and county where it was taken. Also, the youth
must submit a harvest report card, which will be available on page 33 of the 2006-07 Digest, within five days
for any gobbler he or she takes.
"As this will be the first year of the MYHP, the agency decided it was prudent to start out slow and then refine
the program after we've had a chance to evaluate response to it," Roe said. "This is consistent with other
agency actions. For example, youth seasons were introduced one or two at a time; some youth seasons start
with only a day or two and are expanded later. Also, when the agency began the Deer Management Assistance
Program (DMAP), we started slow and then grew the program.
"Also, as there are many discussions about the direction of deer management, we decided it was better to have
at least one year under our belt to determine if the level of participation may have an impact to a particular
area's deer population."
On Oct. 4, the Board unanimously approved a resolution endorsing creation of the Mentored Youth Hunting
Program. Sponsored by House Game and Fisheries Committee Chairman Bruce Smith, House Bill 1690 was
amended by Sen. Robert D. Robbins. Sen. Robbins' amendment empowered the Game Commission to create
the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, and the amended bill was unanimously approved by the Senate and
passed the House by a vote of 195-1.
Pennsylvania was the first state in the nation to pass legislation designed to encourage more young people to
take up hunting in an effort to increase sportsmen's numbers. The measure was part of a national Families
Afield campaign promoted by the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the
National Wild Turkey Federation.
In Pennsylvania, the state's leading sportsmen's organizations formed a coalition to promote the measure. The
Pennsylvania coalition was comprised of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Pennsylvania Federation of
Sportsmen's Clubs, the United Bowhunters of Pennsylvania, Central Counties Concerned Sportsmen, National
Rifle Association, Quality Deer Management Association, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Big Brothers/Big Sisters
Pass It On Program, Pennsylvania Deer Association and the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
BOARD OPENS DISCUSSION ON BAITING IN SOUTHEAST
As recommended in the recently released Urban/Suburban Deer Management Plan, the Pennsylvania Board of
Game Commissioners today gave preliminary approval to a regulatory change to permit the use of bait in Bucks,
Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, as a means of increasing hunter harvest in these
highly-developed areas.
While illegal in other parts of the state, the General Assembly and Governor Rendell, in 2004, approved a change
to state law to authorize the Game Commission to permit the use of bait for deer hunters in special regulations
areas counties, except for Allegheny County. After examining other state's methods of permitting baiting and
development of an Urban/Suburban Deer Management Plan, the agency took action to permit baiting within the
parameters of the law.
"While hunting is the most economical way to manage deer populations, hunters face many challenges in
developed areas in terms of finding access to huntable lands," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive
director. "By allowing the use of bait, there is the potential to increase harvest, hunter success and hunter
opportunity in developed areas, and thereby provide some relief to residents in the highly-developed areas of
southeastern Pennsylvania."
The Board noted that it is interested in gathering public input on this proposal given preliminary approval before
taking the matter up for final adoption at its October meeting.
Under the measure given preliminary approval, hunters would be permitted to distribute no more than 10
pounds of bait up to a maximum of three times per day, during legal hunting hours only. Hunters also will be
permitted to harvest deer near any deer treatment bait station that is used by communities to address tick
control.
To ensure a thorough review of this new tool, should it receive final approval, the Board also included a three-
year sunset, which would require the Board to reconsider the matter in 2009.
GAME COMMISSION HONORS 25-YEAR EMPLOYEES
The Pennsylvania Game Commission honored 29 employees for completing 25 years of service with the agency
at its June 5 meeting.
"The Game Commission has always maintained one of the highest employee retention rates among state
agencies," said Carl G. Roe, agency executive director. "It's a service standard that reflects the dedication our
employees have toward wildlife conservation and perpetuating the Commonwealth's rich hunting and trapping
heritage.
"Each of these employees has seen our agency and wildlife management evolve considerably over the past
quarter century. When they started, the Game Commission didn't have personal computers, an Internet website
or its own headquarters building. But the agency and its operations have grown substantially since the early
1980s, and that growth is directly related to the efforts of these fine employees."
Recognized during the meeting were:
Harrisburg Headquarters
Robert Mitchell, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Game News editor, Bureau of Information and Education; Gregory
Houghton, of York, Bureau of Law Enforcement assistant director; Paul Mahon, of Shippensburg, Bureau of
Automated Technology Services assistant director; and Evelyn Pressley, of Middletown, data recording machine
operator, Bureau of Automated Technology Services.
Northwest Region
Keith Harbaugh, of Meadville, region director, region office; Regis Senko, of Seneca, information and education
supervisor, region office; Dale Hockenberry, of East Butler, game lands management supervisor; and Dennis
Thaler, of Waterford, game lands maintenance worker.
Southwest Region
Robert Hough, of Johnstown, region director, region office; Melvin Schake, of Homer City, information and
education supervisor, region office; John Smith, of Salisbury, law enforcement supervisor, region office; and
Lawrence Olsavsky, of Hastings, wildlife conservation officer, Cambria County.
Northcentral Region
Francis Chubon, of Lock Haven, regional forester, region office.
Southcentral Region
Donald Garner, of Huntingdon, information and education supervisor, region office; Willard Hill, of Needmore,
game lands maintenance supervisor; Bradley King, of Osterburg, game lands maintenance supervisor; and Daniel
Clark, of Honey Grove, wildlife conservation officer, Juniata County.
Northeast Region
Raymond Lizzio, of Kresgeville, wildlife conservation officer, Carbon County; Keith Sanford, of Nescopeck, game
land management group supervisor; Edward Zindell, of Gouldsboro, game land management group supervisor;
Warren Harris, of Dallas, regional forester, region office; Steven Fester, of Bloomsburg, game land maintenance
supervisor; Leonard Boyer, of Hawley, game land maintenance supervisor; Daniel Wheal, of Muncy, forester; and
Carl Wentzler, of Montoursville, wildlife maintenance propagator, Loyalsock Game Farm.
Southeast Region
Cheryl Trewella, of Alburtis, information and education supervisor; region office; Scott Bills, of Halifax, game
land management group supervisor; James Binder, of Kleinfeltersville, game land management group supervisor;
and Jeffrey Hickernell, of Richland, game land maintenance supervisor.
BOARD TAKES ACTION ON OTHER ITEMS
In other action today, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners also:
- Gave final approval to hunting hours established for the 2006-2007 hunting license year;
- Gave preliminary approval to a regulatory change that will allow bowhunters participating in the archery black
bear season to hunt without wearing fluorescent orange clothing, or posting it while on stand; and
- Announced that the next quarterly meetings of the Board of Game Commissioners will be held Oct. 2 and 3 at
the agency's Harrisburg Headquarters auditorium. All meetings will start at 8:30 a.m.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 6/15/2006 11:51:17 AM
Release #070-06
MINING SUPPORT LEASE HELPS FLIGHT 93 NATIONAL MEMORIAL, WILDLIFE;
BOARD APPROVES GAS LEASE AGREEMENT IN CRAWFORD COUNTY
MINING SUPPORT LEASE HELPS FLIGHT 93 NATIONAL MEMORIAL, WILDLIFE
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today approved a deep mining support lease
with the Amfire Mining Company of Latrobe that will help buffer the national memorial to those Americans who
perished on Flight 93 near Shanksville on Sept. 11, 2001, and benefit wildlife.
The lease accommodates a request from Amfire Mining to use 8.6 acres of existing roads on State Game Lands
79 in Buffington Township, Indiana County, to haul coal and support its Gilhouser Run deep mine complex. No
mining will occur on SGL 79.
In exchange for this 10-year lease, Amfire will pay the Game Commission a wheelage rate based on the market
value of each ton of coal mined or 25 cents per ton - whichever is greater - for each ton of coal mined and
hauled from the complex over SGL 79. Amfire has agreed to provide the Game Commission two advanced
royalty payments - $60,000 each - as part of the lease. The first payment is due when the lease is executed;
the second, within one year of the lease's execution.
The $120,000 will be used by the Game Commission to acquire about 300 acres of new State Game Lands
located immediately north of the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County, as well as other properties
that are acceptable to the agency in the immediate future. The purchase of this and other area properties is part
of an ongoing cooperative effort involving the Game Commission, The Conservation Fund and the National Park
Service, including its partners the Flight 93 Advisory Committee, Flight 93 Memorial Task Force and the Families
of Flight 93 Inc.
Four years ago, Congress passed the Flight 93 Memorial Act, which called for the creation of a new national park
to honor the courageous members of Flight 93 who thwarted a terrorist threat to attack Washington, D.C., with
a hijacked commercial aircraft.
"The new State Game Lands created by this land acquisition will be designated SGL 93 in honor of Flight 93's
passengers and crew," explained agency Executive Director Carl G. Roe. "The Game Commission is proud to
have a role in this important national project and to help commemorate the bravery and ultimate sacrifice made
by those who comprised Flight 93. God bless their souls and families, and may their actions inspire generations
of Americans."
The current SGL 93, a 4,876-acre holding located in Clearfield County, will be renamed SGL 331.
All royalty payments in excess of the initial advanced payments will be made monthly and deposited into the
agency's Game Fund. Based on current market conditions and coal recovery projections, the lease has the
potential total value of $725,000 to the Game Commission. The agency also will receive double-stumpage
payment for any timber impacted by Amfire activities.
Mining support activities will be regulated by the state's mining regulations and the agency's standard coal
mining lease agreement. Amfire also will post a $10,000 performance bond. The lease also will include the
agency's standard wildlife and environmental protection measures.
BOARD APPROVES GAS LEASE AGREEMENT IN CRAWFORD COUNTY
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today approved a gas lease for State Game Lands 152 in
Crawford County that will help provide funding to manage the Commonwealth's wildlife.
This gas lease option offered bidders the opportunity to explore 277 acres of SGL 152 for the fee of $10 per
acre and a one-time payment of $5,000 for each deep-well drilled and $1,000 for each shallow-well drilled. No
more than three wells may be drilled without written approval from the agency. The lease also provides for the
Game Commission to use free of charge up to 300,000 cubic feet of gas annually. Three bidders participated
and Great Lakes Energy Partners of Hartville, Ohio, was the high bidder offering a royalty of 22 percent for
every Mcf (one thousand cubic feet) of gas removed from beneath the SGL.
All oil/gas development conducted on state property must comply with the state's oil and gas regulations, as well
as the Game Commission's standard oil/gas lease agreement. The lease includes performance bond and
environmental protection measures, as well as agency-developed plans to restore the property's vegetative
cover.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 6/6/2006 2:57:39 PM
Release #071-06

GAME COMMI SSI ON TESTI FI ES BEFORE HOUSE COMMI TTEE ON THE NEED FOR AN I NCREASE I N
REVENUES

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today offered testimony before the House
Game and Fisheries Committee regarding the need for increased revenues.

"For more than 110 years, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has managed, protected and conserved our Commonwealth's
wild birds and mammals for all residents, promoted our state's rich hunting and trapping heritage and protected more than 1.4
million acres of State Game Lands to serve as wildlife habitat and public hunting and trapping areas," Roe said. "From the early
days in which many wildlife species were brought back into the state - including deer, elk and beaver - to more recent wildlife
success stories - such as bald eagles, peregrine falcons and fishers - the Pennsylvania Game Commission has worked tirelessly
to fulfill our legislated mandate.

"Indeed, today, Pennsylvania hunters and trappers, as well as those who simply enjoy seeing wildlife, have a greater opportunity
to harvest or photograph much more abundant species than in decades past.

"However, the one challenge the Game Commission has always faced is financing.

"Working to keep our expenditures in line with revenues, we have been forced to cut millions of dollars from our operating
budgets. We have cut back on purchasing new equipment, reduced program and project budgets, allowed vacant positions to go
unfilled and, in some cases, eliminated services altogether. For example, simple conveniences, such as toll-free numbers for
those seeking to contact our region offices and free subscriptions to our Game News magazine to landowners enrolled in our
public access programs and to schools and libraries have been suspended.

"However, there are some line items in our budget that we do not control. For example, with the new fiscal year comes an
increase in personnel costs provided for under the state employee contract. This will amount to a $2.8 million increase, which
we can only control by not filling vacancies, which means fewer people to provide the services that the public has come to expect
from the agency. Additionally, we just received a bill for the Integrated Enterprise System, better known as SAP, which is the
automated business operating system for the state. This was previously paid for by the administration. That cost now is being
passed to the agencies. Our portion of the cost is a little more than $500,000.

"Also, the House of Representatives has before it Senate Bill 868, which, if enacted, would triple the agency's current payment in
lieu of taxes on State Game Lands. We currently pay $1.7 million annually to counties, school districts and municipalities. If
Senate Bill 868 becomes law, we would be forced to pay $5.1 million, an additional $3.4 million that currently is not budgeted.
This basically means that hunters are paying twice. They pay the total share for the Game Commission and their tax dollars go
to assist in paying other agencies share. They foot the entire bill for the Game Commission and yet the entire public has access
to State Game Lands.

"And, just like every Pennsylvania family, we are forced to pay higher costs for everyday items, such as utilities and gasoline.
Gasoline alone has caused a more than $1,000,000 jump in our annual expenditures from the last license fee increase in 1999,
when gas cost about $1 per gallon. To maintain a flat level in this item, we would have to drastically cut patrols and call outs by
our conservation officers and wildlife biologists, as well as the habitat improvement work of our food and cover crews.

"Our current estimated Game Fund balance, as of June 30, 2006, is expected to be approximately $24 million. However, as our
license year begins concurrent with our fiscal year on July 1, we must maintain approximately $14.2 million in that fund in order
to cover expenses to run the agency for two months, which is when we anticipate receiving monies from issuing agents.

"Also, depending on the Legislature's action regarding Senate Bill 868, we must have between $1.7 million and $5.1 million
available to make our payment in lieu of taxes, which must be paid annually prior to September 1. This would move the
necessary funds from $14.2 million to $17.6 million that would need to be available on July 1.

"As noted in its reports of 2003 and 2006, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee stated that the Game Commission's
ability to implement important programs and projects outlined in our Strategic Plan are stymied by a lack of sufficient revenue.

"Without any annual stream of revenue from the state's taxpayers to support our operating budget, the inflationary affect on the
revenues generated by the current license fee structure has impacted our ability to maintain the status quo, let alone move
forward.

"Yet, in the midst of concerns about our financial situation, we continue to provide positive news. Bear, wild turkey, squirrel,
coyote, waterfowl and migratory bird hunting continue to offer hunters outstanding opportunities. Beaver, fox, raccoon and other
furbearers provide trappers with plenty of challenges. The bald eagle is a major recovery success. From four nests in 1983, to
around 110 nests that we are monitoring this year, the bald eagle was downgraded from an endangered species to a threatened
species last year.

"And, while deer remain a matter of debate, we have made progress implementing a comprehensive, integrated plan that focuses
on three goals: improving the health of the deer herd; improving the habitat that deer and all other wildlife depend on; and
reducing deer-human conflicts. On our website you can view our models for each WMU and the harvest estimate model.

"As part of the overall deer management plan, we also have finalized an urban/suburban deer management plan that seeks to
more effectively manage deer in developed areas of the state, including proposing baiting regulations to be used in those areas.

"The Mentored Youth Hunting Program, which was approved by the Board on Tuesday, will provide those under the age of 12 a
chance to experience hunting under the close supervision of an adult mentor. This program has the possibility of being one of
the best recruitment tools yet provided by the Legislature.

"We also are experiencing increased support from our partners, such as the sportsmen's clubs here today supporting the need
for a fee increase, for various programs that they have identified as important for wildlife and important to them. These partners
have been working to provide assistance in habitat improvement, securing grants for wildlife research and acquiring other
important parcels of interior holdings to add to the State Game Lands system. We certainly do not agree on all the policy issues,
but one thing we do agree on is the need for a license increase.

"As you no doubt are wondering, the chart behind me demonstrates what Pennsylvania resident adults pay for their basic hunting
license and state migratory game bird license in comparison to what resident adults in various other states pay for the same
hunting privileges. While many of these other states provide general funds for their wildlife agencies, here in Pennsylvania, state
taxpayers do not contribute to that Constitutional obligation, only our hunters and trappers.

"As you have heard from those groups assembled here today, an increase in hunting license fees - regardless of which bill you
choose to support - still will provide an enormous bargain for our state's hunters.

"Wildlife needs your support and we, at the Pennsylvania Game Commission, remain committed to seeing that those funds
entrusted to us by our license buyers are used on behalf of all Pennsylvanians, in responsible stewardship of managing all 465
species of wild birds and mammals."

Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and managing all wild
birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits, enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and
managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking
license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic
organizations and sportsmen's clubs.

The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The agency is
funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is an excise tax collected
through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas, coal, timber and minerals derived from
State Game Lands.

# # #
Content Last Modified on 6/8/2006 1:27:53 PM
Release #072-06
2006-07 HUNTING/FURTAKER LICENSES TO GO ON SALE;
ELK APPLICANTS CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF VIDEO OFFER
2006-07 HUNTING/FURTAKER LICENSES TO GO ON SALE
HARRISBURG - Beginning June 15, Pennsylvania resident and nonresident hunting and furtaker licenses for the
2006-07 seasons will go on sale through "The Outdoor Shop" on the Game Commission website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us), according to Carl G. Roe, agency executive director. Licenses also will be available over-
the-counter at all Game Commission region offices and the Harrisburg headquarters.
"The Game Commission has worked hard to implement new ways to better serve license buyers," Roe said. "By
allowing our customers to purchase their hunting and furtaker licenses over the Internet, from the comfort and
convenience of their home or office, we are offering one more service to better meet their needs."
Roe noted that hunting and furtaker licenses also will be available from the nearly 850 issuing agents around the
state beginning in mid-June.
In order to purchase a license, applicants must provide their Social Security Number. This requirement was
implemented by the U.S. Congress and state General Assembly in recent years to better enforce changes to
federal and state welfare reform and child support requirements. For more information, please visit the Game
Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on "Licensing," then select the "Hunting License & SSN" item
in the box in the right-hand side of the page.
The Game Commission has supported legislative efforts at both the state and federal levels to remove this
requirement. For more information, click on "Release #015-06" in the "Newsroom" section on the homepage
(www.pgc.state.pa.us).
For the 2006-07 license year, all fees are the same as they have been since the 1999-2000 license year,
including: $20 for adult hunting or furtaker licenses; $6 for junior hunting or furtaker licenses; and $13 for
senior hunting or furtaker licenses.
Combination licenses, created by the General Assembly in 1998, are available to junior resident and nonresident
(12 to 16 years) and senior resident (65 years and older) hunters and furtakers, and were designed to provide
youngsters and seniors substantial hunting and trapping opportunities at considerable savings. Combination
licenses provide general hunting, furtaker, archery and muzzleloader privileges. Resident junior combination
licenses sell for $9; nonresident junior combination licenses, $51; and resident senior lifetime combination
licenses, $101. Combination licenses do not include bear, antlerless deer or migratory bird license privileges,
which must be purchased separately.
Senior lifetime hunting and furtaker licenses can be upgraded to a senior lifetime combination license for $51. To
make the upgrade, an individual must visit one of the Game Commission's six regional offices or the Harrisburg
headquarters, or "The Outdoor Shop" on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). The process includes filling
out a new license application, verifying that the applicant holds a valid lifetime license and payment of the fee.
The upgrade can't be obtained through a regular issuing agent. Those wishing to receive the upgrade application
through the mail should download the senior lifetime license application from the agency's website (click on
"Licensing," then "License Applications" in the right-hand column and scroll down to "Resident Senior Lifetime
License") or call the License Division at (717) 787-2084.
There is no combination license for resident and nonresident adult hunters, nor does the Game Commission sell
a nonresident senior license.
The resident military personnel hunting license, which sells for $2, is only available from the Game Commission
headquarters in Harrisburg or Region Offices or County Treasurers' Offices. This license, now in its third year,
offers active duty military Pennsylvanians all of the same hunting privileges of a general hunting license: one
antlered deer during the two-week rifle deer season; one fall turkey; one spring gobbler; and all the small game
a hunter is legally entitled to harvest.
To qualify for this license, an individual must be a Pennsylvania resident on active and full-time duty in the
United States Armed Forces assigned to a facility outside of the Commonwealth and on temporary leave within
the state. Proof of military status, official orders or leave papers, and place of residence must be shown to
Game Commission or County Treasurer staff at the time of purchase.
Other resident license fees are: antlerless deer (Wildlife Management Unit specific), $6; archery, $16;
muzzleloader, $11; bear, $16; migratory game bird, $3; senior lifetime hunting or furtaker licenses, $51; and
resident landowner, $4.
Basic nonresident adult hunting licenses are $101; nonresident adult furtaker licenses are $81; and nonresident
junior hunting or furtaker licenses are $41.
Other nonresident license fees are: antlerless deer (WMU specific), $26; archery, $26; muzzleloader, $21; bear,
$36; migratory game bird, $6; and seven-day small game, $31.
Roe noted that the long-time deadline for purchasing muzzleloader stamps was eliminated last year. However,
hunters are reminded that the sale of bear licenses will end prior to the opening of the two-week firearms deer
season. This change will prohibit the sale of bear licenses after opening hours of the regular firearms deer
season on Nov. 27.
Also, for the second year, the agency will offer hunters the opportunity to purchase a special wild turkey license,
which sells for $21 for residents and $41 for nonresidents. As approved by the Board, hunters will be able to
apply for one of these special wild turkey licenses to use for a second gobbler for the 2007 spring season.
Applications for the special license will be accepted from Jan. 1, 2007, through April 1, 2007, either through the
mail or online. An application to apply for a second spring gobbler license will appear on page 38 of the 2006-
07 Digest, or via "The Outdoor Shop."
Interested hunters also may apply for the upcoming limited bobcat and elk seasons via "The Outdoor Shop."
Bobcat applications will be accepted starting June 30, but must be received no later than Aug. 15, or received
through "The Outdoor Shop" no later than Sept. 5. The public drawing for the bobcat permits will be held on
Friday, Sept. 8. Elk license applications will be accepted through the U.S. Mail by the agency until Sept. 1, but
applications submitted through "The Outdoor Shop" will be accepted until Sept. 15. The public drawing to award
elk licenses will be held on Saturday, Sept. 23.
Those who submitted applications the last three years for either the bobcat permit or elk license drawings and
were not selected may benefit from the preference point systems. Unsuccessful applicants who applied in the
2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 license years will be entered four times if they apply this year. Preference
points are carried forward until an applicant is drawn, and there is no requirement that applications be made in
consecutive years in order to retain preference points. However, applicants must apply in order to use their
preference points for a given license year.
Roe noted that completing applications for the bobcat permits or elk licenses on-line guarantees hunters that
their application was received and that they will be included in the public drawings, and reduces concerns about
lost mail or late arrivals.
"In addition to cutting the agency's administrative costs, those filing on-line reduce the chance of having their
application declared ineligible because the filing system notifies individuals who attempt to submit an incomplete
application," Roe said.
Resident hunters may begin applying for a WMU-specific antlerless license on Monday, Aug. 7. Nonresident
hunters may begin applying for a WMU-specific antlerless license on Monday, Aug. 21. All hunters may apply for
the first round of unsold antlerless licenses beginning Monday, Aug. 28; the second round of unsold antlerless
licenses may be applied for beginning Sept. 11. Over-the-counter sales can begin in Wildlife Management Units
(WMUs) 2B, 5C and 5D on Sept. 18. In all other WMUs, over-the-counter sales can begin on Nov. 6.
County treasurers are required to mail regular antlerless licenses and first-round unsold licenses to successful
applicants no later than Monday, Sept. 18. Second-round unsold licenses will be mailed no later than Oct. 1.
A copy of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is provided to each
license buyer, has been posted on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), and can be viewed by clicking on
"2006-07 Digest" in the "Quick Clicks" box in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
ELK APPLICANTS CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF VIDEO OFFER
Applicants for this year's elk license drawing can take advantage of a special video offer from the Pennsylvania
Game Commission. For $22.95 an individual can apply for the elk hunt and receive a copy of the agency's
award-winning video, "Pennsylvania Elk: Reclaiming the Alleghenies."
The 85-minute video was sifted from 125 hours of field video gathered over a two and a half year period in the
wilds of Cameron, Elk and western Clinton counties. Regularly selling for $19.95, the video contains unparalleled
elk close-ups, an intriguing look at elk natural history, eye-opening footage and insightful commentary.
"This video is the next best thing to spending time in Pennsylvania's elk country," said Carl G. Roe, Game
Commission executive director. "It is the perfect way to become acquainted with the territory and elk habits if
you are interested in hunting Pennsylvania elk."
Those interested should complete the "Special Offer" order form box on page 106 of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania
Digest of Hunting & Trapping Regulations, along with the Elk License Application, which also is found on page
106 of the Digest, and mail it with one check or money order made payable to the Pennsylvania Game
Commission for $22.95 ($10 for the elk license drawing, $10 for the video and $2.95 for shipping and handling
of the video).
For those who applied for the elk hunt via the agency's website and decide they want to take advantage of the
video offer, write the on-line order number on the elk video form on page 106, and send it to: Pennsylvania
Game Commission, Elk License Application, P.O. Box 61890, Harrisburg, PA 17106-1890, along with a check or
money order for $12.95 ($10 for the video and $2.95 for shipping and handling of the video). Do not attempt
to submit more than one application for the elk hunt drawing, as submitting two applications is a violation of the
law.
This video offer is not available through "The Outdoor Shop."
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 6/9/2006 1:46:31 PM
Release #073-06

BEDFORD COUNTY MAN PLEADS GUI LTY TO KI LLI NG GREAT BLUE HERONS

HARRISBURG -- Edward Sponsler, of Everett, recently pled guilty to five charges of unlawful taking and possession of protected
birds (great blue herons) and one charge of using illegal shot while hunting turkeys for an incident on May 6. All charges were
filed by Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Jonathan Zuck, of Bedford County, in Magisterial District
Judge Kathy S. Calhoune's office in Everett.

Fines and costs totaled $708.50 for the violations. Each charge of unlawful taking of a protected bird also carries along with it
the possibility of a one-year license revocation, which means Sponsler may lose his hunting and furtaking privileges for up to 5
years.

WCO Zuck noted that on May 6, he received a call from Game Commission Land Management Group Supervisor David
Koppenhaver regarding the unlawful taking of blue herons on State Game Land 97 in Monroe Township, Bedford County.
Koppenhaver informed Zuck that, after hearing multiple shots on a wooded ridge-top along Elk Lick Creek on SGL 97, he
walked to the location of the shooting.

"While closing in on the shooting, LMGS Koppenhaver noticed great blue herons flying from the treetops after each shot, and
then land again," WCO Zuck said. "When he arrived on scene, he observed Mr. Sponsler, holding a 12-gauge shotgun, looking
skyward at the herons flying above him.

"Also, one dead and one injured blue heron were lying on the ground within 12 yards of Mr. Sponsler, who had three shotshells
in his firearm. Two of the shot shells contained #2 shot and the third shell contained #6 shot. Sponsler denied to Koppenhaver
that he was shooting at the herons."

Later that same day, LMGS Koppenhaver and WCO Zuck performed necropsies on the herons in search of the shot. From one
bird, Koppenhaver recovered #2 shot, which was the same size and type found in the shells Sponsler was carrying.

On May 7, Koppenhaver revisited the site and found three additional birds that had been killed but were not found the day
before.

On May 11, continuing his investigation, WCO Zuck interviewed Sponsler, who continued to state that he was turkey hunting and
saw a coyote, so he placed the #2 shot in his firearm.

"Mr. Sponsler stated he had heard some shooting in the area where he met LMGS Koppenhaver later that morning, but that 20
minutes had passed since he had heard the last shot until Koppenhaver came on scene," WCO Zuck said. "This conflicted with
what LMGS Koppenhaver stated to me, that one and one-half minutes passed from when the last shot was fired until he saw Mr.
Sponsler standing in the woods with his shotgun.

"Mr. Sponsler also stated the only bird he saw was a 'buzzard' and that he 'wouldn't waste a three-inch magnum shell on a
heron.' Mr. Sponsler also denied seeing the herons lying on the ground, even though they were within 12 yards and directly in
front of where he was standing."

On May 26, Mr. Sponsler pled guilty to all charges.

While the great blue heron is not a listed endangered or threatened species in Pennsylvania, any rookery - which is a nesting
area of one or more nests - is considered critical and unique wildlife habitat and is protected.

"Protection of great blue heron nests, as well as the birds and their offspring, are afforded by the state Game and Wildlife Code
and the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act," said WCO Zuck. "Pennsylvania has fewer than 100 great blue heron rookeries. They
are a fragile resource."

Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and managing all wild
birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits, enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and
managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking
license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic
organizations and sportsmen's clubs.

The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The agency is
funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is an excise tax collected
through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas, coal, timber and minerals derived from
State Game Lands.

# # #
Content Last Modified on 6/12/2006 2:25:38 PM
Release #074-06
GAME COMMISSION REMINDS LANDOWNERS THAT DMAP APPLICATION DEADLINE IS JULY 1
HARRISBURG - Eligible landowners interested in enrolling in the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Deer
Management Assistance Program (DMAP), which is designed to help landowners manage deer on their
properties, have until July 1 to submit an application for the 2006-07 hunting seasons to the appropriate Region
Office. Applications must be postmarked or hand delivered to the Game Commission by July 1.
In addition, a map delineating the property boundaries must be enclosed with the application. Landowners may
obtain DMAP applications from the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) in the "Quick Clicks" box
in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage by clicking on "Deer Program" and then choosing "DMAP
landowner applications" in the DMAP box. Applications also can be obtained from any Game Commission Region
Office or the Harrisburg headquarters.
Eligible lands for DMAP are: public lands; private lands where no fee is charged for hunting; and hunting club
lands owned in fee title so long as the club was established prior to Jan. 1, 2000, and they provide a club
charter and list of current members to the agency. Previously, private hunting clubs were required to own a
minimum of 1,000 contiguous acres before being eligible.
Coupons for DMAP antlerless deer harvest permits may be issued to landowners at a rate of one coupon for
every five acres in agricultural operations or one coupon for every 50 acres for all other land uses. Management
plans will be required only when an applicant for DMAP requests more than the standard rate for issuance of
DMAP harvest permits.
Landowners must designate their boundaries in a manner approved by the Game Commission. Landowners will
receive one coupon for each DMAP permit allocated for their property, and they may give up to two DMAP
coupons per DMAP area to a 2006-07 licensed hunter, who will then apply to the Game Commission for DMAP
harvest permits. Landowners may not charge or accept any remuneration for a DMAP coupon. Hunters may
possess up to two DMAP permits for a specific DMAP property in any given license year.
DMAP permit allotments will be made separate from the general antlerless deer license allocations, and will be
$6 for residents and $26 for nonresidents.
After August 1, hunters can begin to apply for DMAP antlerless deer permits. Also on August 1, a listing of
public properties enrolled in DMAP, as well as those private lands seeking additional hunter participation, will be
posted on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). Those without access to the Internet can obtain listings
by mailing a self-addressed, stamped envelope along with a letter indicating their county of interest, to the
Game Commission Region Office responsible for that particular county. Region Office contact information, and a
listing of counties in their jurisdiction, is as follows:
Northwest Region Office, P.O. Box 31, Franklin, PA 16323. 814-432-3188. Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie,
Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties.
Southwest Region Office, 4820 Route 711, Bolivar, PA 15923. 724-238-9523. Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver,
Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
Northcentral Region Office, P.O. Box 5038, Jersey Shore, PA 17740. 570-398-4744. Cameron, Centre,
Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga, and Union counties.
Southcentral Region Office, 8627 William Penn Highway, Huntingdon, PA 16652. 814-643-1831. Adams,
Bedford, Blair, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry and Snyder counties.
Northeast Region Office, P.O. Box 220, Dallas, PA 18612. 570-675-1143. Bradford, Carbon, Columbia,
Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming
counties.
Southeast Region Office, 448 Snyder Rd., Reading, PA 19605. 610-926-3136. Berks, Bucks, Chester,
Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York
counties.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 6/13/2006 10:29:22 AM
Hal Korber/PGC photo
Armstrong County WCO Barry J. Seth
recently was presented with the
National Wild Turkey Federation
Wildlife Conservation Officer of the
Year Award. Presenting the award are,
from left to right: Game Commission
Executive Director Carl G. Roe; Dave
Burdge, NWTF Pennsylvania State
Chapter President; WCO Seth; and
Board of Game Commissioners
President Thomas E. Boop.
Get Image
Release #075-06
SETH RECOGNIZED BY NWTF FOR OUTSTANDING WORK
HARRISBURG - Barry J. Seth, Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife
Conservation Officer (WCO) in Armstrong County, recently was presented with the
National Wild Turkey Federation Wildlife Conservation Officer of the Year Award.
"During his tenure, WCO Seth has done a commendable job as a representative of
the Game Commission," said Matt Hough, Game Commission Southwest Region
Director. "Regardless of the task at hand, WCO Seth always maintains a positive
attitude toward the public and the agency. He treats everyone fairly, which has
earned him a great deal of respect from those in his district.
"During enforcement situations, WCO Seth treats others as he would like to be
treated and uses very good judgment in making decisions regarding issuing
citations or warnings. This is especially evident in his dealing with young hunters;
he always goes out of his way to make a lasting and positive impression on these
individuals."
Seth is the WCO for the western portion of Armstrong County, where he enforces
the game and wildlife laws; completes wildlife studies and reports; visits local
school districts, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs to conduct educational
programs about the state's wildlife and the role of hunting and trapping in wildlife
management; and assists with wildlife nuisance complaints.
In addition to the work he does with Hunter-Trapper Education programs in the
district, Seth also is involved in many education programs designed for youth. He has been instrumental in the
development of three Youth Field Days in Armstrong County, which provide youth in the area a day of hands-on
outdoors programs, such as firearm safety, archery shooting, learning to fish and other outdoor-related
activities. Last year, more than 170 individuals participated in these programs.
Hough noted that, in 2005, Seth and his Deputy WCOs successfully prosecuted one of the largest illegal deer
cases in southwestern Pennsylvania. The case required several weeks of investigation and long hours
interviewing suspects.
"In the end, 74 citations were issued to seven defendants, and they were found guilty or pled guilty to all
charges resulting in fines in excess of $32,000," Hough noted. "This case also is the result of excellent working
rapport WCO Seth has cultivated over the years with the Pennsylvania State Police in his area, as well as the
Armstrong County District Attorney's Office."
Seth also organized a special ATV enforcement patrol in his district to stem the tide of illegal ATV use on State
Game Lands and other private properties enrolled in the Game Commission's cooperative public access lands.
The patrol included WCOs from other districts within the Southwest Region and the State Police Aviation Unit.
Seth works closely with the sportsmen of Armstrong County. He teamed with the Armstrong County League of
Sportsmen to create a fund to provide scholarships to local students pursuing careers in a conservation-related
field.
In May, Seth was presented with the Shikar-Safari International Wildlife Conservation Officer of the Year Award,
which is sponsored by Cabela's.
Seth began his affiliation with the Game Commission as a Deputy Game Protector in Butler County in 1973.
In 1975, he was selected as a member of the Game Commission's 16th Class of the Ross Leffler School of
Conservation. After graduating from RLSC, Seth was assigned a district in Greene County in 1976. He accepted
a transfer to be the WCO for western Armstrong County in 1978.
A native of Butler, Seth currently resides in Worthington. He graduated from Butler High School and served in
the United States Navy.
Seth and his wife, Linda, have four children and five grandchildren.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 6/20/2006 11:11:36 AM
Release #076-06

18 I NDI VI DUALS ORDERED TO PAY
MORE THAN $42,000 I N FI NES

HUNTINGDON -- After weeks of testimony and evidence presentation, 18 defendants charged in a special investigation by the
Pennsylvania Game Commission have been found guilty of nearly 90 charges, and sentenced to pay more than $42,000 in fines.
All cases were heard before District Justice Richard Wilt.

Based upon information received from residents of the Huntingdon County area, a long-term probe conducted by the Game
Commission's special investigators revealed dozens of Game and Wildlife Code violations spanning several years. Most
violations centered on a butcher shop located in south central Pennsylvania and operated by the main defendant, Matt Baker,
40, of James Creek.

According to Greg Houghton, Game Commission Bureau of Law Enforcement assistant director, the investigation expanded
beyond the normal time for such operations due to the continuous information being received and the fact that a commercial
meat processor in another part of the state was involved.

Tim Marks, Game Commission Southcentral Regional Law Enforcement Supervisor, said that many were surprised by the extent
of the Game Commission's commitment to bring the violators to justice.

"We often see violators who have themselves convinced that people approve of what they do, that there is some sort of
justification for stealing wildlife like in this case," Marks said. "The real truth is that investigations are started because law-
abiding folks do not approve of what is going on and turn to the Pennsylvania Game Commission to do something about it. The
Game and Wildlife Code permits us to go back the last two years but it was disgusting to many to know that this has been
ongoing."

Marks noted that the Game and Wildlife Code places a two-year statute of limitation on violations, which only permits WCOs to
actually charge for violations that occurred in the last two years.

"Those of us familiar with the details of the investigation know that there were many more of the same type violations that
occurred in the first two years of the investigation," Marks said. "However, because the investigation was reaching out and
implicating others, a decision was made to continue the investigation and forego charging for those earlier offenses."

Those found guilty and penalties are:

Adam F. Baker, 38, James Creek, was found guilty on two of four counts, and ordered to pay fines totaling $1,000.

Matthew Ronald Baker, 40, James Creek, was found guilty on 30 of 31 counts, and ordered to pay fines totaling $16,700.

Matthew R. Baker II, 18, James Creek, was found guilty on four of five counts, and ordered to pay fines totaling $1,500.

Unnamed Youth, 16, James Creek, was found guilty on seven of seven counts, and ordered to pay fines totaling $3,800.

Paul W. Brinton Jr., 59, Saxton, pled guilty to one count, and ordered to pay a fine of $300.

Wilford A. Collins, 54, Huntingdon, pled guilty to six counts, and ordered to pay fines totaling $500.

Waylon David Corbin, 18, Robertsdale, was found guilty on six of seven counts, and ordered to pay fines totaling $4,400.

Harold R. Cunningham, 62, Newry, was found guilty of one count, and ordered to pay a fine of $100.

John J. Miller, 54, James Creek, was found guilty on two counts, and ordered to pay fines totaling $600.

John Kevin Miller, 25, James Creek, was found guilty on five of eight counts, and ordered to pay fines totaling $2,200.

Russell Miller, 61, James Creek, was found guilty on two of four counts, and ordered to pay fines totaling $1,000.

Bradley William Sheeder, 37, James Creek, was found guilty on six of six counts, and ordered to pay fines totaling $2,375.

Unnamed Youth, 17, James Creek, was found guilty on six of six counts, and ordered to pay fines totaling $2,400.

Carl Starner, 58, Blain, was found guilty on five of seven counts, and ordered to pay fines totaling $1,800.

Richard Alan Steele, 55, Saxton was found guilty on one of two counts, and ordered to pay a fine of $800.

Mark B. Taylor, 37, Saxton, was found guilty on three of three counts, and ordered to pay fines totaling $1,075.

Robert D. Troy, 34, Saxton, was found guilty on two of two counts, and ordered to pay fines totaling $1,600.

William J. Myers II, 34, Robertsdale and Timothy Glen Zdrosky II, 29, Dudley, both had cases, which were continued to a later
date.

"These guilty verdicts reflect a 85 percent conviction rate and speaks to the degree of professionalism of the investigators,"
Houghton said. "The Game Commission is out there, sometimes in uniform, sometimes not, protecting both the wildlife and
interests of those Pennsylvanians who appreciate our wildlife resource."

In a separate but related prosecution, Walter Starliper, owner of Starliper Meats in Mercersburg, Franklin County, pled guilty to
four counts of illegally buying and selling game, and was sentenced to pay fines totaling $600.

Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and managing all wild
birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits, enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and
managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking
license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic
organizations and sportsmen's clubs.

The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The agency is
funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is an excise tax collected
through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas, coal, timber and minerals derived from
State Game Lands.

# # #

Content Last Modified on 6/22/2006 10:43:49 AM
Hal Korber/PGC photo
LMGS Douglas Dunkerley recently was
presented with the National Wild
Turkey Federation’s Outstanding Land
Manager of the Year Award.
Presenting the award are, from left to
right: Game Commission Executive
Director Carl G. Roe; Dave Burdge,
NWTF Pennsylvania State Chapter
President; LMGS Dunkerley; and
Board of Game Commissioners
President Thomas E. Boop.
Get Image
Release #077-06
DOUGLAS DUNKERLEY RECOGNIZED BY NWTF FOR OUTSTANDING WORK
HARRISBURG - Douglas Dunkerley, a Pennsylvania Game Commission Southwest
Region Land Management Group Supervisor (LMGS), recently was presented with
the National Wild Turkey Federation's Outstanding Land Manager of the Year
Award.
"LMGS Dunkerley does a very professional job in all phases of his duties," said
Matt Hough, Game Commission Southwest Region Director, who nominated
Dunkerley. "He works effectively with other agencies, corporations and
organizations, and readily provides the public with help and information. He is an
excellent steward of the land and is respected by his fellow officers, co-workers
and work crews, cooperators, sportsmen, and the public, and can be counted
upon to complete any and all assigned duties. He is intelligent and self-
motivated and is a credit to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and is deserving
of this recognition as NWTF Outstanding Land Manager of the Year."
Dunkerley most recently coordinated the first NWTF Energy for Wildlife program in
the region, partnering NWTF, NiSource Inc. and the Game Commission in an
$80,000, 18-month project enhancing habitat on 93 acres of existing gas line
right-of-ways on State Game Lands. He currently is working on a similar
arrangement with the NWTF and CONSOL Energy to reclaim mined property.
As a LMGS, Dunkerley plans, oversees and assists in habitat improvement projects
on State Game Lands and privately-owned lands enrolled in the agency's public
access programs in Beaver, Allegheny, Washington and Greene counties.
"This is a very challenging land management group, as it consists of the second most populated area of the
state, Pittsburgh, and one of the least populated and most rural counties, Greene County," Hough said. "In
addition, Allegheny County has more licensed hunters than any county in Pennsylvania. As a result of this high
population and interest, the State Game Lands and public access areas that LMGS Dunkerley oversees receive a
lot of use and attention from the public.
"Dunkerley uses this high level of interest to the benefit of the Game Commission. He successfully raised funds
and partnered with various interest groups on wildlife habitat projects for about $100,000 in projects in 2004,
and exceeded that figure in 2005. These projects include multiple wetland restorations in Greene and
Washington counties, as well as the planting of food plots, seedlings, native warm-season grasses, and clover
and legume fields throughout his land management group."
Hough also noted that Dunkerley works well with the many mining, gas and communications companies that
either own the mineral rights on State Game Lands or are applying for permits to utilize the game land.
"Dunkerley is always able to take a use of State Game Lands normally thought of as an abuse, and turn it into a
benefit for wildlife and the Game Commission," Hough said. "The re-mining of SGL-117, with which he was very
involved, removed old mine spoils and followed a reclamation plan that Dunkerley prepared to benefit wildlife.
The cooperative venture with Allegheny Power on its power-line right-of-way enhanced many acres for wildlife."
Dunkerley also recently arranged for a donation of two very important pieces of equipment for his land
management group, including an all-terrain-type rough-country mowing machine from a mining company that
will be a useful tool for his group, and a four-wheel-drive tractor. These pieces of equipment will enable habitat
to be created and maintained for many years to come.
Dunkerley serves as a defensive tactics instructor and annually provides training for salaried officers and Deputy
Wildlife Conservation Officers. He is very active in the yearly tagging of peregrine falcons at various sites in
Pittsburgh, as well as taking an active role with annual duck and goose banding in his group.
During the last three years, Dunkerley worked at and managed the Laurel Ridge Bear Check Station, gathering
important biological data for future use in establishing seasons and bag limits.
In 1993, Dunkerley was selected to attend the 22nd Class of the Ross Leffler School of Conservation. Upon
graduation in 1994, he was assigned to the northern district of Washington County, where he had an active law
enforcement program as well as a highly effective information and education program. In 2001, Dunkerley took
on his current assignment as a LMGS.
Prior to entering the PGC training school, Dunkerley obtained a BS degree in Biology from University of
Pittsburgh and upon completion of Aviation Officer Candidate School, served as a Naval Aviator for 12 years on
active duty and retired from the Naval Reserves as a Commander with 23 years total service in 2005.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 6/23/2006 9:57:47 AM
Release #078-06

GAME NEWS MAGAZI NE SUBSCRI PTI ON RATES TO I NCREASE SEPT. 1

HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Game Commission, effective Sept. 1, will increase subscription rates for its popular monthly
magazine, Pennsylvania Game News, for the first time since Jan. 1, 1998.

"We have no choice; Game News subscription rates must be increased to offset increasing production and mailing costs," said
Bob Mitchell, Game News editor. "But, before the new rates take effect, now is a great time to renew, for as many years as you
like, at the current rates.

"It's also a great time to renew Game News gift subscriptions, and buy new gift subscriptions, too. We can even hold those gift
subscriptions submitted via telephone or mail until the holidays, if you'd like."

The new rates will be $18 for one year, compared to the current $12; $45 for three years, compared to the current $34.50; and
$24 per year for foreign subscriptions, compared to the current $20. Subscriptions can be ordered by writing Pennsylvania Game
News, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797; by calling 1-888-888-1019; or by visiting "The Outdoor Shop" on the
agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and clicking on "Subscribe." To hold gift subscriptions until the holidays, place the
orders through the toll-free phone number or through the mail, and be sure to note that you want the gift held until December
(the January issue). Orders submitted online can't be held.

"Over the years, we have worked to keep our subscription rates as low as possible," Mitchell said. "Unlike commercial
publications, we're not publishing to make a profit. The purpose of Game News is to promote hunting and furtaking, the programs
of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and the wise management and conservation of our natural resources.

"To best achieve this, our goal is to make Game News as affordable as possible, so the magazine will get to as many people as
possible. Our subscription rates have not been increased in almost eight years, and compared to the costs of other publications,
Game News is and will remain a tremendous value."

Mitchell noted that, not only has the agency been able to absorb the increased costs of printing and mailing since subscription
rates were last raised, but beginning in 2005, the agency also began offering full-color throughout the magazine.

"Game News has long been ranked among the most popular outdoor publications," Mitchell said. "The magazine enjoys national
recognition because of its down-home sort of content, high quality artwork, and its distinctive 6x9 format. Every month brings the
latest Game Commission news; regular columns about the outdoors, wildlife, archery and firearms; authoritative articles on the
latest wildlife research; law enforcement cases by our Wildlife Conservation Officers and, of course, Field Notes."

He noted that what sets Game News apart from nearly every other hunting-related publication is that it features the experiences
of everyday hunters - not professional writers. In any given issue, readers may find a story about their neighbor, friend, relative or
even themselves, or a photograph of someone they know with a deer, bear, turkey or other game animal.

"Just like the price of a Pennsylvania hunting or furtaking license, Game News has always been and will remain an outstanding
value," Mitchell said. "To get the most out of this value, subscribe to Game News now, for yourself and for your family and
friends."

First published by the Game Commission as the "Monthly Service Bulletin" in July of 1929, Game News was created to
communicate with officers in the field, and for officers to communicate among themselves. The first issue was 11 pages and
printed with a mimeograph machine.

In July of 1931, the "Monthly Service Bulletin" was renamed the Pennsylvania Game News, and, in April of 1932, Game News
was made available to the public. Subscriptions were 50 cents a year and, by the time that first issue came off the press, 1,600
subscribers had signed on.

"Now, 77 years later, Game News is still going strong, and has become a collectible series for many hunters, trappers and
outdoor-enthusiasts," Mitchell said.

Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and managing all wild
birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits, enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and
managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking
license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic
organizations and sportsmen's clubs.

The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The agency is
funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is an excise tax collected
through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas, coal, timber and minerals derived from
State Game Lands.

# # #
Content Last Modified on 6/26/2006 3:09:19 PM
Hal Korber/PGC photo
Bald Eagles have made a tremendous
comeback in Pennsylvania.
Get Image
Hal Korber/PGC photo
Bald Eagles were recently upgraded
from an endangered to threatened
Release #079-06
BALD EAGLE NESTS TOP 100 FOR FIRST TIME IN MORE THAN A CENTURY
Once a federally - and state-endangered species, the raptor's comeback is virtually complete!
HARRISBURG - The bald eagle, as symbolic of American freedom as the Fourth of
July and Old Glory itself, is nesting in more than 100 locations across the
Commonwealth for the first time in more than a century, the Pennsylvania Game
Commission announced today.
The Game Commission started Pennsylvania's seven-year bald eagle
reintroduction program in 1983, when three nesting pairs remained in the
Commonwealth. The agency sent employees to Saskatchewan to obtain 12 eaglets
from wilderness nests in the first year. With financial assistance from the Richard
King Mellon Foundation of Pittsburgh and the federal Endangered Species Fund,
the project spurred the release of 88 Canadian bald eagles into the wilds of
Pennsylvania at Haldeman Island in Dauphin County and Shohola Falls in Pike
County.
"Pennsylvanians have every right to be excited and proud about the bald eagle's comeback, because their
increasing presence in the Commonwealth symbolizes that wildlife conservation is working here and that
Pennsylvanians care," noted Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe. "We have reason to believe this
remarkable story will continue to get better in subsequent years, because our state still has plenty of unoccupied
bald eagle habitat.
"It's entirely appropriate that we celebrate the bald eagle's historic milestone of more than 100 nests in
Pennsylvania as we prepare to commemorate our country's birthday. America will be 230 years old on the Fourth
of July, and the bald eagle has symbolized America for most of that time, as per our forefathers' wishes. Bald
eagles imbue that rugged spiritedness that characterizes our United States and Keystone State."
The Game Commission, partnering with other states and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), helped to
bring bald eagles back from the brink of extinction with reintroductions throughout the Northeast in the 1980s.
The effort dovetailed with important gains made in improving water quality, which led to increases in the quality
and quantity of freshwater fish, a staple in the eagle's diet. Pennsylvania's eagle resurgence also was likely
stimulated by young eagles dispersing from the Chesapeake Bay, which now has more than 600 nesting pairs,
and neighboring states that also reintroduced eagles.
Bald eagles are nesting in at least 31 of the state's 67 counties, according to preliminary census tabulations.
There are at least 106 active nesting pairs (99 confirmed in 2005), and an additional 20 pairs appear to have
established territories, which typically is a prerequisite task to nest-building. New nests have been confirmed in
Bucks, Columbia, Fulton and Sullivan counties. Field staff also is looking into reports of new nests in Adams,
Lawrence, Luzerne, Mercer, Montour and Wayne counties.
"I fully expect to add more eagle nests to our preliminary total, because there are plenty of unanswered
questions about a substantial number of nests," said Doug Gross, Game Commission ornithologist. "Agency
Wildlife Conservation Officers are following up reports from birders, many participating in the 2nd Pennsylvania
Breeding Bird Atlas, about eagle nests, but their ability to confirm eagle nesting is compromised by the
camouflage of leaf-out and the rugged, hard-to-reach areas nesting eagles use."
Following is a county-by-county breakdown of active nests - nests that the Game
Commission is aware of and the adult eagles are incubating eggs or brooding
young - along with the number of known active nests from 2005: Crawford, 14
(14 in 2005); Pike, 13 (12); Lancaster, 10 (9); Warren, 7 (5); York, 6 (6);
Mercer, 5 (5); Chester, 4 (4); Tioga, 4 (3); Venango, 4 (4); Berks, 3 (3);
Dauphin, 3 (2); Erie, 3 (3); Huntingdon, 3 (2); Lycoming, 3 (3); Wayne, 3 (3);
Armstrong, 2 (2); Butler, 2 (1); Forest, 2 (3); McKean, 2 (1); Northumberland, 2
(2); Bradford, 1 (1); Bucks, 1 (0); Cameron, 1 (1); Centre, 1 (1); Columbia, 1
(1); Fulton, 1 (1); Luzerne, 1 (2); Montgomery, 1 (1); Northampton, 1 (1);
Sullivan, 1 (1); and Westmoreland, 1 (1). Also, in 2005, Monroe had one active
nest, but no active nests were identified this year.
The bald eagle is listed as a "threatened species" by the federal government and
species in Pennsylvania.
Get Image
Hal Korber/PGC photo
Bald Eagles prefer to nest along or
near large waterways and
impoundments.
Get Image
Pennsylvania. Bald eagles were upgraded from "endangered" to "threatened"
nationally in 1995; the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners upgraded
them on Oct. 4, 2005. The USFWS recently closed a public comment period to remove the bald eagle from
federal threatened species list. However, bald eagles still would be protected by the Bald Eagle Protection Act
and other federal and state laws, even if it is delisted.
"The best scientific and commercial data available indicates that the bald eagle has recovered," the USFWS
reported in the Feb. 16, 2006, edition of the Federal Register. "The bald eagle population in the lower 48 States
has increased from approximately 487 active nests in 1963, to an estimated minimum 7,066 breeding pairs
today."
The return of the bald eagle in both Pennsylvania and the contiguous United States is directly related to
reintroductions and nest site protection. But, the species future hinged on the banning of DDT and other
organochlorine pesticides. Eagles, as well ospreys, peregrine falcons and a multitude of songbirds, were rendered
reproductively incapable by DDT and the like, because the birds were bio-accumulating the contaminants the
pesticides contained through prey consumption. DDT - banned nationally in 1972 - rendered the shells of birds'
eggs so brittle, they broke when sat upon.
Rachel Carson wrote in Silent Spring, "The history of life on earth has been a history of interaction between
living things and their surroundings." She referred to the interdependencies -that often aren't easy to identify or
interpret - of organisms on each other and the environment. When America was sprayed and dusted repeatedly
and for decades with DDT, the environment was slowly loaded with toxins that eventually devastated the very
existence of eagles and many other creatures that had thrived for centuries. Without emergency and sustained
special assistance from wildlife conservation agencies, bald eagles would have perished.
"Given their plight, magnificent appearance and historical significance, bald eagles
have certainly captured the hearts and imaginations of Pennsylvanians," Gross
noted. "Some observers have adopted nests for watching, keeping an eye on the
eagles and for any threats to the nest. We frequently receive phone calls and
emails from excited individuals who just saw their first bald eagle in the wild. We
also hear from anglers, canoeists and birders who are taking the time to report
what they believe is a new bald eagle nest or active nesting pair. We sincerely
appreciate this assistance. After all, we cannot provide eagles with the special
attention they sometimes require if we don't know where their nest is located."
Gross noted that eagles still are not nesting on some of their more historic
nesting grounds, such as Presque Isle and the Susquehanna River's West Branch,
but they surely have experienced a resurgence that has filled a long, noticeable
void in Pennsylvania's wildlife community. If their progress continues, bald eagles
one day likely will inhabit the quieter sections of every major waterway and
impoundment in the Commonwealth.
"Bald eagles are moving into a lot of new places, particularly along the North
Branch of the Susquehanna River," explained Gross. "I believe we're missing
some established nests there and at remote municipal reservoirs, along steep
mountainsides and river banks and on islands elsewhere in the state. In fact, I
suspect we're missing one on a Susquehanna River island near Harrisburg."
Last year, 118 eaglets were fledged from 99 Pennsylvania active nests. The state's
eagle nests are expected to fledge just as many or more in 2006. This trend
illustrates the bald eagle is back in the Commonwealth and their future looks brighter than it has for many
decades.
The state's largest concentrations of bald eagles are found in three geographic areas: the expansive wetlands of
Crawford, Mercer and Erie counties; along the lower Susquehanna River in Chester, Lancaster and York counties;
and the Poconos and Upper Delaware River region. For years, Crawford County - particularly the Pymatuning
region - had represented the state's last stand for and largest concentration of bald eagles. This year, Crawford
has at least 14 active nests (14 in 2005); lower Susquehanna River, 20 (16). In the Poconos, there are 21 nests
(15).
To commemorate Pennsylvania's 100-nest milestone in bald eagle conservation,
the Game Commission currently is developing a special-edition embroidered
The Game Commission's
new commemorative
bald eagle patch will go
on sale soon.
wildlife patch. Depicting a bald eagle with two eaglets and designed by award-
winning artist Bob Sopchick, the patch is six inches in size and will sell for $20.
There will be a one-time production run of 3,000 patches.
Each year, about 20 percent of Pennsylvania's eagle nests fail for reasons such as
disturbances, predators and harsh weather. This year was no exception, as at
least four nests have fallen down, three with fatal consequences to the eaglets. In
the remaining nesting collapse, a dedicated volunteer observer noticed a nest was
down in Montgomery County in late May and immediately alerted the Game
Commission, which rescued one of the nest's two eaglets that had fallen to the
ground. The bird could not fly. The other - more fully grown - juvenile from the
fallen nest remained in the tree, out of harm's way.
The rescued juvenile was placed in the care of a wild rehabilitator until it could fly
and subsequently was released at the nest site about two weeks later.
"When we released the young eagle, it hopped up on the debris from its downed
nest," explained Douglas Killough, Game Commission Southeast Region Director. "It stayed there a few minutes
and then took off, flying about 100 feet and landing on a branch about 20 feet off the ground. The other
juvenile was in a nearby tree, perched about 40 feet off the ground. It joined the adult male and female when
they began to circle the nest site."
Roe, agency executive director, noted that this incident is just one of many that exemplifies the unselfish
teamwork and cooperation found in the ranks of the volunteers and professionals who partner with or work for
the Game Commission to advance bald eagle conservation in Pennsylvania.
"These partners play an integral role in the future of Pennsylvania's bald eagles," emphasized Roe. "We're proud
of them and what they've helped us accomplish for bald eagles."
To learn more about bald eagles and other threatened and endangered species, visit the Game Commission's
website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on "Wildlife" in the left column, then select "Endangered and Threatened
Species," and choose "Bald Eagle" in the list of "Threatened Species."
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 7/3/2006 8:40:21 AM
Release #080-06

GAME COMMISSION TO HOST ANNUAL WATERFOWL BRIEFING;
21ST ANNUAL WILDLIFE ART SHOW SET FOR AUG. 4-6

GAME COMMISSION TO HOST ANNUAL WATERFOWL BRIEFING
HARRISBURG -- Representatives of Pennsylvania waterfowl organizations, individual sportsmen and the public
are invited to attend a briefing on Friday, Aug. 4, sponsored by the Game Commission and co-hosted by the
Susquehanna River Waterfowlers' Association, on the status of Atlantic Flyway waterfowl populations and
proposed preliminary federal frameworks for the 2006-07 hunting seasons. The briefing will begin at 1 p.m. in
the Game Commission's Haldeman Island administrative building, across from the Ranch House restaurant along
Routes 11/15, just north of the Routes 11/15 and Routes 22/322, in Perry County.

In addition to reviewing frameworks established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for upcoming
waterfowl and migratory bird seasons, Game Commission staff will provide updates on current and planned
research and management programs, as well as past hunting results.

Public comments will be accepted at the meeting; or by sending a letter to: Pennsylvania Game Commission,
Bureau of Wildlife Management, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797; or via e-mail (ra-
waterfowlcomments@state.pa.us).

Based on public comments, Game Commission staff will prepare and present recommended waterfowl and
migratory bird seasons, bag limits and related criteria to the USFWS for final approval. All migratory bird
hunting seasons and bag limits must conform to frameworks set by the USFWS. States select their hunting
seasons within these established frameworks.

Early migratory bird hunting seasons -- including September Canada goose, mourning dove, woodcock and
webless species -- will be announced in late July.

By mid-August, once the final selections are made, the Game Commission will issue a news release on the
remainder of the seasons. The agency also will print and distribute the annual brochure outlining the seasons
and bag limits for waterfowl and migratory bird seasons to U.S. Post Offices, where hunters may purchase their
mandatory federal duck stamp. The annual brochure also will be posted on the Game Commission's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us).

Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.

The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.


21ST ANNUAL WILDLIFE ART SHOW SET FOR AUG. 4-6
The Pennsylvania Game Commission's Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area Visitor Center will feature
hundreds of original paintings and fine art prints from the best-known wildlife artists in the state during its
annual Wildlife Art Show from Aug. 4-6. The show is free, and the hours are: Friday, 1-6 p.m.; Saturday, 9
a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

In addition to the artists' sales, the art show will sell tickets for $2 each or 3 for $5 for a drawing that will be
held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 6. Four prizes will be awarded.

First prize is the annual Remarque Board, which features a small original painting by the participating artists in
the show. The small paintings, which normally are done as part of a limited edition print, are assembled,
matted and framed as a single collectible piece of artwork.

Second prize is "Spring Morning Along Segloch Run," by Karl Eric Leitzel, from Spring Mills, Centre County. This
special Executive Edition print, which is signed and numbered in gold with a gold foil insert, features two deer
along Segloch Run at Middle Creek.

Third prize is "Chipmunk and Autumn Mushrooms," also by Karl Eric Leitzel. This special Executive Edition print,
which is signed and numbered in gold with a gold foil insert, depicts a chipmunk about to enjoy one of its
favorite meals.

Proceeds from the drawing will benefit The Wildlands Preservation Fund land acquisition program. The Middle
Creek Wildlife Management Area Visitor Center is along Hopeland Road, two miles south of Kleinfeltersville,
Lebanon County.

Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.

The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.

# # #
Content Last Modified on 6/29/2006 11:00:02 AM
Joe Kosack/PGC photo
Close encounters with rattlesnakes are
an almost routine occurrence on elk
calf searches.
Get Image
Joe Kosack/PGC photo
The "hider defense" is used by elk
calves to elude predators.
Get Image
Joe Kosack/PGC photo
Release #081-06
NATURAL CHALLENGES CONFRONT ELK CALF STUDY TEAM
Cranky rattlesnakes and a charging elk heighten already exciting field work
By Joe Kosack, Wildlife Conservation Education Specialist
Pennsylvania Game Commission
ST. MARYS, Elk County - The piercing buzz that radiated from the rankled timber
rattlesnake's tail quickly persuaded Jon DeBerti, Pennsylvania Game Commission
biologist, to stop searching for elk calves. The snake was close. So were the other
two rattlers that immediately joined the first in announcing their presence to the
biologist.
"Even if you never let your guard down, you'll still probably get within a few steps
of a rattler at some point during our calving season searches," DeBerti said.
"Rattlers and elk seem to share some similar habitat interests, and given the
amount of territory we cover, we can't help but to have some chance encounters.
As a general rule, rattlers try to slip away undetected. But if you surprise them,
or get too close, they will let you know."
The solution to any close call with a rattlesnake is to keep your cool, locate the
snake - or snakes - and depart in a direction that allows you to stay as far away
from the snake as possible. In this instance, DeBerti slowly backtracked from his uncomfortable post and
resumed searching for the elk calf.
Rattlers had been popping up almost daily on the agency's elk calf searches, which were conducted from the last
week in May through the third week of June as part of a three-year elk calf study that intends to provide
biologists with more details on and insight into elk calf movements and dispersal, habitat usage and survival.
The study's findings are expected to improve the management and understanding of Pennsylvania's elk herd,
which is America's oldest free-ranging wapiti population east of the Mississippi River.
The research effort starts annually by placing telemetry collars on newborn to
five-day old elk calves, which are born mostly from late-May through mid-June.
Calves older than five days usually are capable of distancing themselves from
pursuers. Since the window of opportunity for collaring calves is limited, the
agency's search team works long hours and covers a tremendous amount of
territory to place electronic telemetry collars and ear tags on up to 20 calves.
Ticks and deer flies are a frequent aggravation for searchers, as are rugged
terrain and hot, humid conditions. Oh, and did we mention the rattlesnakes?
In 2005, the elk search team captured and collared 22 calves; their average
weight at the time of capture was 42 pounds. Two of the 22 would eventually die,
one from unknown causes, the other was legally taken by a licensed elk hunter.
The harvested elk weighed 160 pounds (estimated live weight) according to the
scale at the check station.
Calves grow fast, about two pounds a day, so the collars used in the study are expandable. They also
incorporate a break-away design that eliminates their host's obligation to carry the collar beyond about two
years. The transmitters emit a signal for about 18 months, so long as the calf breathes. If a calf doesn't move
for four hours, the transmitter will produce a mortality signal.
Sometimes, the hunt for calves becomes more of a chase, especially if the calf is
more than a few days old. Of course, runners are never really appreciated by
searchers, because calves can be fleet-footed and relatively uncatchable after
their first week. Searchers prefer those calves that rely on the "hider defense," an
inherent reaction that compels the calf to lay motionless in a fetal position - head
tight to the ground - to avoid detection.
"Many calves instinctively lay motionless on our approach, often even after we
touch them," DeBerti pointed out. "This is their only defense against predators at
this stage in their life, unless the cow intervenes on the elk calf's behalf. It can be
A cow that reluctantly moves when
field personnel approach often has a
calf nearby.
Get Image
Joe Kosack/PGC photo
PGC biologists John DeBerti and Tony
Ross track an elk using telemetry in
Clearfield County.
Get Image
bad news for a calf if a black bear, bobcat or coyote finds it, because the 'hider
defense' leaves the young elk face-to-face with a predator if the tactic fails.
"Elk cows, however, are very protective of their calves, and generally stay within
100 yards of them during the first few days of their lives. The cow elk represents
a serious obstacle to any predator - or a bull elk for that matter - that approaches her calf. This year, we had a
cow elk force an officer back to her vehicle several times as she tried to check an area for a calf."
Elk cows understandably become more anxious when their calf is captured. The calf's yells or "bleats" during its
processing - in which it receives a telemetry collar, ear tag and health check - usually draw the cow into closer
range. But if there's more than one person involved in the undertaking, the cow usually keeps her distance.
Most cows initially leave and cautiously circle back in cover.
Elk survey team members track and observe pregnant cows to determine where
to search for calves. Daily drive-bys are used to monitor developments. When it
appears a cow elk has birthed a calf, the team moves in.
An elk cow with a newborn calf on the ground tends to linger in an area
nervously when a truck or searchers approach, rather than move on. Elk normally
move some distance from day to day, and when they don't, the team makes note
and moves in to search the area for a calf. Less than one percent of cow elk birth
twins.
"Elk calves are not physically capable of moving any great distance for their first
few days, but it wouldn't exactly be advantageous for them to do so even if they
could," explained Tony Ross, Northcentral Region wildlife management supervisor.
"So they lay flat and motionless. They get up to nurse and stretch. Otherwise,
they lay low, but not in locations selected by the cow. Rather, wherever their
limited movements take them."
Researchers believe elk cows are more protective of calves than white-tailed deer are of fawns. In fact, it's likely
that the availability of whitetail fawns offsets the loss of elk calves to predators. A recent fawn survival study in
Pennsylvania concluded predators took about 22 percent of collared fawns on two study areas; mortality was
greatest in the Quehanna Wild Area, which also is where some of the elk calf telemetry work is occurring.
"In many western states, black bears have taken a toll on elk calves," DeBerti said. "They actually learned to
hunt them out there. Since our elk range has spilled into other parts of the state from natural expansion and
trap-and-transfer, we believe it's beneficial to the elk program to keep tabs on calf mortality. Over the past 10
years, the area elk inhabit in Pennsylvania has grown from several hundred square miles to more than 1,000.
"We'd like to determine if elk are more susceptible to predators or other mortality factors in the new areas they
inhabit. We know plenty about elk in southwestern Elk and western Cameron counties, where elk have existed
for more than 80 years since they were reintroduced. But, we are trying to learn more about the new
populations in northern Clearfield, western Clinton, and southern Cameron counties. Elk are such an invaluable
resource to Pennsylvania that we simply can't assume changes in elk survival didn't or won't occur in these new
areas, especially when bear densities on portions of the new elk range are some of the highest in the state."
The Game Commission last performed elk calf survival field studies in the mid 1990s. During the four-year
study, which started in 1993, 30 calves were monitored; 71 percent of the collared calves survived their first
year. The ongoing fieldwork is attempting to collar up to 90 calves over three years. Pennsylvania's elk
population has doubled in size over the past decade and now numbers 600 to 700, excluding whatever calf
recruitment occurred this year.
"We plan to follow these study elk throughout their lives to get better information on the survival of calves and
yearling elk to improve our elk population modeling, which is used to determine herd growth," Ross said. "We
are convinced we're missing a significant number of yearlings in field counts, or we don't have a good handle on
yearling survival. Brain-worm appears to be most prevalent in yearlings, and it is possible there's more brain-
worm mortality than we've been able to ascertain. Time and telemetry will tell."
The wild elk inhabiting Pennsylvania today are descendents of 24 released in Cameron County in 1915, and 10
released in Elk County between 1924 and 1926. A total of 177 elk - mostly from Yellowstone National Park -
were released in seven counties from 1913 to 1926, and served as a breeding base for what was hoped would
develop into a population that could sustain hunting.
But things didn't work out. Although hunting seasons were provided from 1923 to 1931, and some bull elk were
taken by hunters, the animals quickly disappeared from almost everywhere but Elk and Cameron counties, which
was, coincidentally, where the state's last elk holed up before the species became extirpated in Pennsylvania
around the time of the Civil War.
Elk were found throughout Pennsylvania prior to its colonization. Their numbers declined as civilization advanced,
mostly as a result of deforestation and unregulated and commercial hunting. Elk were scarce in most areas by
the beginning of the 1800s. They were protected in the Commonwealth from 1932 until the state held its first
modern elk hunt in 2001.
For more information on Pennsylvania elk, visit the Game Commission's website at www.pgc.state.pa.us. Select
"Wildlife" in the left column, and then choose "Elk" under "Game Species."
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 7/7/2006 10:42:27 AM
Release #082-06
GAME COMMISSION REMINDS ISSUING AGENTS OF NEW LAW TO INCREASE PROTECTION OF LICENSE
BUYERS' SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission officials recently notified all hunting and furtaker license issuing
agents about a new law that further ensures the protection and confidentiality of license buyers' Social Security
Numbers.
Act 60 of 2006, formerly Senate Bill 601, still requires license buyers to provide their Social Security Number to
purchase a hunting or furtaker license - a federal and state mandate. The legislation unanimously passed the
House and Senate, and was signed into law by Governor Edward Rendell on June 29.
"Governor Rendell recently signed Senate Bill 601 into law that further restricts the use and reinforces the
confidentiality of an individual's social security number," stated Dot Derr, Game Commission Bureau of
Administrative Services director, in her letter to the agency's nearly 800 commercial license issuing agents.
"This new law makes it a criminal offense for hunting license issuing agents to disclose an individual's social
security number. Local district attorneys could prosecute agents who fail to safeguard an individual's social
security number."
Derr noted that this new law reinforces the current prohibition on the disclosure of license information provided
in Section 325 of the Game and Wildlife Code (Title 34).
"Always keep back tag books secure and, when not in use, off counters or tables that might be accessible to the
public," Derr reminded agents in the letter. "Do not allow customers to fill out their own back tag, which would
give them a view of previous customer records."
As part of a broad welfare reform effort in the 1990s, the U.S. Congress required states to implement new
requirements to encourage payment of child support. States that failed to implement these requirements faced
possible loss of federal welfare funds. The federal welfare reform includes provisions that affect recreational
licenses holders, including those who buy hunting and furtaker licenses. One provision requires states to deny
hunting and fishing licenses to certain persons in arrears on child support when a court issues an order revoking
or denying such licenses. Another provision requires government agencies to obtain social security numbers from
applicants for recreational licenses, including hunting and furtaker licenses.
In response, the Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted comprehensive legislation to implement the new
federal requirements at the state level in 1997. This state law requires the collection of social security numbers
of applicants for various licenses, including hunting and furtaker licenses, and provides for the denial or
suspension of license privileges of persons three or more months in arrears on child support, if a court issues an
order requiring such action.
Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe noted that protecting the privacy of its license buyers is a top
priority, and that the agency has supported federal and state legislation to remove the requirement that the
agency collect social security numbers from its license buyers.
"We have heard from hundreds, if not thousands, of hunters and trappers who told us that they refused to
purchase a license during the 2005-06 license year based solely on the fact that they were required to provide
their social security number when purchasing a license," Roe said. "While no one argues with the objectives of
this effort, we all certainly believe that there are better ways to accomplish this goal."
Earlier this year, on Feb. 8, the state House of Representatives unanimously approved House Resolution 461,
sponsored by House Game and Fisheries Committee Chairman Bruce Smith (R-York) and supported by the Game
Commission. HR 461 urges the President and Congress of the United States to revise the requirement that
applicants for hunting and fishing licenses provide their social security numbers; and asks the Unites States
Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families to grant an exception to the
state Department of Public Welfare for the current requirement that license buyers provide their social security
numbers.
"We are pleased that state legislators are supporting federal efforts to relieve the Game Commission from being
placed in the undesirable position of having our issuing agents ask license buyers for such personal information,"
Roe said. "The Game Commission never wanted to be placed in this position just as much as our license buyers
don't want to provide this sensitive information."
Also, on Feb. 10, U.S. Senator Rick Santorum appeared at the Eastern Outdoors and Sports Show to outline his
introduction of Senate Bill 2249, the Sportsmen's Privacy Protection Act, that would repeal the federal mandate
that requires the Game Commission and other state wildlife agencies to collect social security numbers from
license buyers.
"We firmly believe that enactment of Sen. Santorum's legislation will resolve this issue once and for all," Roe
said. "We urge all U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives to support this measure and we would ask that
President Bush promptly sign it into law once it reaches his desk."
Last year, on Oct. 4, the Board of Game Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution, offered by Game
Commissioner Gregory Isabella, that directs the Game Commission staff to continue working to remove the
federal and state requirements that the agency demand social security numbers from license buyers.
There are three components to Isabella's resolution. First, agency staff is asked to continue to seek a waiver
from the Department of Public Welfare excusing the agency from the need to collect social security numbers
from license buyers until the agency implements an electronic license sale system, commonly referred to as
"point-of-sale."
Second, the Game Commission's staff is asked to continue to pursue any initiative to have the U.S. Congress
and state General Assembly enact legislation to remove the Game Commission from being legislatively mandated
to collect social security numbers.
And, third, the Game Commission staff is directed to give license buyers' social security numbers the highest
degree of security and confidentiality, and purge the information from license records as soon as legally possible.
"It must be clearly understood that collecting social security numbers from our license buyers was not something
the Game Commission wanted to do or asked to be responsible for," Isabella emphasized. "As an agency, we
must continue to pursue all means possible to be removed from this requirement."
Last year, on July 29, the Game Commission sent a letter to Pennsylvania's U.S. Congressional delegation,
including Sen. Santorum, urging reconsideration of the federal requirement that states collect social security
numbers from our license buyers.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 7/10/2006 11:37:23 AM
Release #083-06

GAME COMMI SSI ON SAYS BOBCAT ATTACK PROMPTED BY RABI ES
Case called 'extremely rare'

HUNTINGDON - Dr. Walter Cottrell, Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife veterinarian, today confirmed that laboratory results
conducted on a bobcat killed by an off-duty police officer revealed that the animal was suffering from the effects of rabies when it
attacked and bit a bicyclist on a well-known cycling trail near Williamsburg, Blair County on July 13.

The bobcat's carcass was transported by Game Commission Southcentral Region Wildlife Management Supervisor Justin
Vreeland to Penn State University's Animal Diagnostics Lab, where Dr. Cottrell's office is located. Dr. Cottrell conducted a
necropsy and removed the animal's brain for testing at the state Department of Health's Bureau of Laboratories in Lionville,
Chester County.

The bicyclist, traveling on the "Lower Trail," was about four miles from the town of Williamsburg when he stopped to rest at a
park bench along the trail. Game Commission Southcentral Region Information and Education Supervisor Don Garner said the
bicyclist heard rustling in the weeds and spotted the bobcat, which he first thought was a housecat. As a precaution, the cyclist
began a series of rabies post-exposure vaccinations the night he was attacked.

"As the animal approached, it sprang at the rider who brought up his arms to fend off the animal, receiving a bite in the right arm
and several scratches," Garner said. "After using his bicycle to again fend off the animal, the rider proceeded to Williamsburg
and contacted the Game Commission and an off-duty police officer. The police officer, who was the first to arrive at the scene,
found the animal still in the area and killed it."

Dr. Cottrell said rabies can be carried by any mammal, especially bats, raccoons and foxes. However, it is rare in large
carnivores; only a small number of bobcats have tested positive for rabies in Pennsylvania. Prior to this case, there were eight
bobcats confirmed to have rabies in Pennsylvania; one each in 1987, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1997, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

"There is a reservoir of the rabies virus in wildlife species," Dr. Cottrell said. "It is a disease to be aware of, yet not paranoid
about. It is relatively rare, but will likely always be a part of the world of wildlife. Animals who behave abnormally are
automatically suspect for rabies; the abnormal is normal for rabid mammals.

"There is no reason not to enjoy the 'Lower Trail' or anywhere else in Penn's Woods for that matter, due to this one incident. If
there is one species of animal in our state that does not desire human contact, it is a bobcat. Most people living in bobcat
habitat will never see one."

The last human rabies fatality in Pennsylvania was a 12-year-old Lycoming County boy who died in 1984, after being exposed to
the bat-strain of the rabies virus.

Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and managing all wild
birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits, enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and
managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking
license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic
organizations and sportsmen's clubs.

The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The agency is
funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is an excise tax collected
through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas, coal, timber and minerals derived from
State Game Lands.

# # #
Content Last Modified on 7/17/2006 3:04:23 PM
Joe Kosack/PGC photo
Properly maintained birdbaths and
other water sources provide
invaluable habitat to backyard birds.
Get Image
Release #084-06
BACKYARD BIRD OASES
By Joe Kosack, Wildlife Conservation Education Specialist
Pennsylvania Game Commission
HARRISBURG - A surefire way to attract songbirds - and often other wildlife - to
your backyard is by adding a birdbath or small pond, according to Pennsylvania
Game Commission biologists. During the dog days of summer, water has almost
magical powers of attraction on many birds, because it's something they use
regularly.
It's not that birds are big drinkers, or hygiene extremists. A belly full of water and
wet feathers definitely are not conducive to flight, a bird's chief mode of
transportation and first line of defense. Drinking and wading in water can help
birds manage their body temperature when the sun is baking backyards and
suburban settings. In fact, water can be as or more important than food to some
birds when the heat is on.
Birds typically do just fine regulating their body temperatures through breathing;
they do not sweat. As cooler, fresh air circulates through a bird's respiratory
system, it shuttles away the warm, moist air that radiates from its overheated
body tissues. As a general rule, the smaller a bird, the greater its body's loss of
water via breathing - and need to replenish what it has expelled. This can be
accomplished through eating juicy fruits and berries, or bugs, or at a puddle or
backyard birdbath.
"Adding a water source to your backyard will almost always draw birds and provide countless hours of bird-
watching pleasure," said biologist Doug Gross, an endangered bird specialist for the Pennsylvania Game
Commission. "Water will pull in everything from bluebirds and American goldfinches to ruby-throated
hummingbirds and robins.
"The big decision is determining what you want. You can definitely add a commercial birdbath to your yard for
under $20. But, you also can spend hundreds of dollars - even thousands - putting in or contracting to have put
in a water garden, lawn pond or fountain, and landscaping around it. Try to invest in something durable, and
then let your personal taste and budget guide you the rest of the way. Remember, though, birds really don't
care about style or originality. They're just looking for a watering hole!"
A water source can be made more attractive to birds by adding a water dripper, mist sprayer or a cascading
trickle. Birds seem to key on moving water and the sound of it, particularly when it's found or heard in an area
where water is hard to come by. Once located by birds, a properly maintained water source rarely sits idle. Birds
usually wait in nearby trees for their turn to access the water for drinking or bathing.
Birdbaths, pond kits and an assortment of attachments and enhancements can be acquired at local home-
improvement, garden and department stores as well as via the Internet. Do a web search on the Internet for
"birdbaths" or "bird ponds" and you'll be looking at pages upon pages of purchase possibilities and ideas.
Goldfinches, house finches, blue jays, and grackles often visit birdbaths in small groups. Mourning doves and
cardinals frequently come in pairs. Robins often solo, as do catbirds, tufted titmice and gray squirrels. Communal
bathing is a necessity in backyard Pennsylvania. But just because the water is shared, doesn't mean all birds
bathe well together. Some do, some don't, and their tolerances vary, from species to species, and from
individual to individual.
"Birds are like people in many ways," Gross said. "They have preferences and peculiarities just as we do. Some
don't handle the close quarters of birdbaths well. Others sit on the rim and absorb tidal-like splashes from
bathers. It's entertaining - and often educational - to watch their behavior and interactions."
Of course, the wild card about having a backyard bird oasis is that water and
watering birds attract other birds, often songbirds that you don't usually see at a
birdfeeder. Bath splashing and feather flapping may pull in a Baltimore oriole or
Carolina wren, a wood thrush or a Cerulean warbler, or something that you never
Joe Kosack/PGC photo
A birdbath can really add splash to a
rock garden.
Get Image
Joe Kosack/PGC photo
Birds, such as this robin, rarely miss
backyard habitat upgrades, such as
the addition of a water source.
Get Image
knew was passing through your yard or your region of the state.
One of the great things about establishing a backyard water source when
compared to bird-feeding is that you don't have to figure out what is the best
seed-combination, what feeder to use or remove it if bears starting visiting the
area. All you have to do is fill 'er up and refill when needed. With birdbaths,
however, it is important to freshen up the water regularly -even daily - in hot
weather to reduce bacteria and viral threats to birds.
Another maintenance-must for birdbaths is using a scouring pad on the dish area
once every week or two in summer to remove algae that forms. Failure to do this
will often lead to a thick, slimy deposit in the base of the dish that reduces its
appeal, both to birds and people. Use a scouring pad or scrub-brush and a hose
to clean algae; add dishwashing liquid for tough cases. Plastic usually cleans up
easier than concrete and terracotta baths, but it isn't as solid and is more prone
to topple. During winter months, terracotta may crack if water freezes in it.
"When selecting your water source, it's important to decide what it is you expect
it to provide," Gross explained. "If you're trying to provide a songbird water hole,
shallow - about two inches - is better than deep. If you want fish and aquatic
plants, deeper is better than shallow. Both types will be beneficial to birds.
"If your desire is to have a fancy goldfish pond, please be advised that deeper ponds with fish will attract
wading birds, particularly great blue herons. Placing the pond closer to your home will help, as well as planting
cattails, lilies or iris and placing rocks in the pond for fish to use for cover. But know that great blue herons are
patient hunters and that brightly-colored goldfish aren't exactly very challenging prey for a hungry heron."
The general location of the pond/birdbath should be in a low-traffic area of the yard and devoid of hiding places
for housecats. Limit or eliminate the bath's exposure to sun, which will keep the water cooler - and less prone to
evaporate - and fresher. It's also best to avoid placing water sources near large picture windows, to reduce
take-off and in-flight collisions. Birds cannot see glass.
Birds that are shaking off their bath and preening also desire nearby perches. Some birds do this on the rim of
the bath, but if you're bath has a lot of traffic, or you have a pond - no rim - its closeness to trees and shrubs
will make it more obliging and help keep wet birds out of harm's way.
One the most important factors that will influence your birdbath's ability to attract birds has little to do with
design, or even location. But it's directly related to your actions.
"If you keep your birdbath filled with fresh water, the birds will come and keep
coming; which means you may have to refill it daily or even more frequently,"
Gross pointed out. "Birds are quick to recognize reliable watering holes and
readily rely upon them. And when they're backing up in the trees to come in and
use your birdbath, you can bet a lot of what's in the bath will be soaked up on
the ground. That's why quick refills are a good thing and why birdbaths are best
placed in a rock gardens!"
The addition of a birdbath or pond, fountain or water garden can greatly improve
the wildlife habitat in your backyard, as well as enhance your property's aesthetic
beauty and provide an invaluable necessity to songbirds.
"There's no better time to add one than in July and August," Gross said. "So get
going; do something 'wild,' and then sit back and enjoy what you have created.
Birdwatching, after all, can be very therapeutic and is always conversational."
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is
responsible for conserving and managing all wild birds and mammals in the
Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits, enforcing hunting
and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has purchased over
the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also conducts
numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 7/17/2006 3:29:00 PM
Hal Korber/PGC photo
Left to right: Carl Roe, Game
Commission executive director; Tom
Baldrige, National Rifle Association;
Jon Pries, Pennsylvania Chapter of the
National Wild Turkey Federation;
Monica Kline, Kline Associates; Ron
Fretts, National Wild Turkey
Federation; state Senator Bob
Robbins, who sponsored the enabling
legislation; Melody Zullinger,
Pennsylvania Federation of
Sportsmen's Clubs; Greg Caldwell,
Pennsylvania Chapter of NWTF;
Patrick Domico, Central Counties
Concerned Sportsmen; Kory Enck,
NRA; John Kline, Kline Associates; Jen
Sager, United Bowhunters of
Pennsylvania; and Game
Commissioner Russell Schleiden.
Get Image
Release #085-06
MENTORED YOUTH HUNTING PROGRAM TAKES EFFECT JULY 22
HARRISBURG - Joined by a coalition of sportsmen, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G.
Roe and state Sen. Bob Robbins (R-50) today announced that experienced hunters, who have historically helped
pass along the state's rich hunting heritage, now have another way to introduce youths to hunting by serving as
a mentor in the new Mentored Youth Hunting Program (MYHP), which officially begins this Saturday, July 22.
"Pennsylvania's hunters, this Saturday, will have an unprecedented opportunity to introduce those under the age
of 12 to hunting," Roe said. "The Mentored Youth Hunting Program will require one interested adult for every
young person yearning to become a hunter. Hunting is deeply woven into the cultural fabric that is
Pennsylvania, and it is important that we recruit new hunters to carry on this tradition."
On June 6, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners unanimously
approved regulations to establish the MYHP. However, the final regulations are
scheduled for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on July 22, which means the
program will be officially underway and mentors will be able to begin taking youth
hunting.
"The logic behind the Mentored Youth Hunting Program is simple and clear: create
expanded youth hunting opportunities without compromising safety afield," Roe
said. "This program paves the way for youngsters to nurture their interest in
hunting early and allows them to take a more active role in actual hunting while
afield with mentoring adults. The program accommodates hands-on use of
sporting arms and can promote a better understanding and interest in hunting and
wildlife conservation that will help assure hunting's future, as well as reinforce the
principles of hunting safely through the close supervision provided by dedicated
mentors."
As part of a nationwide effort, Pennsylvania was the first state to pass legislation
designed to encourage more young people to take up hunting to increase hunter
numbers. The measure was part of a national Families Afield campaign promoted
by the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and
the National Wild Turkey Federation. In Pennsylvania, the state's leading
sportsmen's organizations formed a coalition to promote the measure.
"In Pennsylvania, hunting and trapping have an annual $4.8 billion economic
impact and are responsible for supporting more than 45,000 jobs," said Sen.
Robbins, who sponsored the enabling legislation for the Mentored Youth Hunting
Program. "As such, it is important that we not only work to retain hunters, but
to attract the next generation in Pennsylvania. That is what the Mentored Youth
Hunting Program is all about."
Representatives of those organizations who served on the MYHP ad hoc committee and joined in today's
announcement were: Ron Fretts, National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF); Greg Caldwell and Jon Pries,
Pennsylvania Chapter of the NWTF; Melody Zullinger, the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs; Jen
Sager, the United Bowhunters of Pennsylvania; Patrick Domico, Central Counties Concerned Sportsmen; Tom
Baldrige and Kory Enck, National Rifle Association (NRA); and John Kline and Monica Kline of Kline Associates.
Those committee members unable to attend today's event were: Kip Adams, Quality Deer Management
Association; and Rob Sexton, U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance.
Each of these representatives, as well as Sen. Robbins, received a certificate of appreciation from the Game
Commission for his or her efforts in garnering legislative approval to enable the agency to implement the
program.
Under the program, a mentor is defined as a properly licensed individual at least 21 years of age, who will serve
as a guide to a youth while engaged in hunting or related activities, such as scouting, learning firearm or hunter
safety and wildlife identification. A mentored youth would be defined as an unlicensed individual less than 12
years of age who is accompanied by a mentor while engaged in hunting or related activities.
The regulations require that the mentor-to-mentored youth ratio be one-to-one, and that the pair possesses
only one sporting arm when hunting. While moving, the sporting arm must be carried by the mentor. When the
pair reaches a stationary hunting location, the mentor may turn over possession of the sporting arm to the
youth and must keep the youth within arm's length at all times.
The species identified as legal game for the 2006-07 license year - the first year of the MYHP - are squirrels,
woodchucks (groundhogs) and spring gobbler. The Board approved adding antlered deer in the 2007-08
seasons. The Board noted that those youths participating in the MYHP would be required to follow the same
antler restrictions as a junior license holder, which is one antler of three or more inches in length or one antler
with at least two points.
The program also requires that both the mentor and the youth must abide by any fluorescent orange
regulations, and that the mentored youth must tag and report any wild turkey taken by making and attaching a
tag that contains their name, address, date, WMU, township, and county where it was taken. Also, the youth
must submit a harvest report card, which is available on page 33 of the 2006-07 Digest, within five days for any
gobbler he or she takes.
"As this will be the first year of the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, the agency decided it was prudent to
start out slow and then refine the program after we've had a chance to evaluate response to it," Roe said. "This
is consistent with other agency actions. For example, youth seasons were introduced one or two at a time;
some youth seasons started with only a day or two and were expanded later."
On Oct. 4, the Board of Game Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution endorsing creation of the
MYHP. Sponsored by House Game and Fisheries Committee Chairman Bruce Smith, House Bill 1690 was
amended by Sen. Robbins. Sen. Robbins' amendment empowered the Game Commission to create the MYHP,
and the amended bill was unanimously approved by the Senate and passed the House by a vote of 195-1.
Governor Edward G. Rendell signed the bill into law on Dec. 22, making the measure Act 86 of 2005.
On April 18, the Board gave preliminary approval to regulations to implement the MYHP, and then gave final
approval to the regulations on June 6. With publication of the regulations in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, the
Commonwealth's official gazette for information and rulemaking, scheduled for July 22, the program will officially
be "on the books," and mentors can begin taking youth afield.
For more information on the program, visit the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on
"Mentored Youth FAQs" in "Quick Clicks" box in the upper right corner of the homepage. Information also is
included on page 15 of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 7/18/2006 3:02:33 PM
Release #086-06
DOVE AND EARLY CANADA GOOSE SEASONS TO BEGIN SEPT. 1;
GAME COMMISSION POSTS AVIAN INFLUENZA INFORMATION ON WEBSITE
DOVE AND EARLY CANADA GOOSE SEASONS TO BEGIN SEPT. 1
HARRISBURG - Dove and early Canada goose seasons will open Sept. 1, as part of Pennsylvania's 2006
migratory bird seasons and bag limits announced today by Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director
Carl G. Roe.
"Pennsylvania's migratory bird hunting seasons will be very similar to last year's," said Roe of the selection
package forwarded to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). "Hunters can look forward to enjoying the
same expanded opportunities."
Dove hunters, once again, will have the opportunity to participate in a triple-split season. During the first season
(Sept. 1-30), hunting will start at noon and continue through sunset daily. The second and third splits will be
Oct. 21-Nov. 24, and Dec. 26-30, with hunting hours a half-hour before sunrise until sunset. In all three
seasons, the daily bag limit will be 12 and the possession limit after opening day is 24.
The early statewide season for resident Canada geese will open Sept. 1, and continue through Sept. 25.
Statewide bag limits remain eight daily and 16 in possession. Although the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
frameworks allow for higher limits this year, the Game Commission decided to wait and receive comments from
the public at the agency's annual Waterfowl Symposium on the proposal before increasing the bag limits. Public
comments will be accepted at the meeting, which is set for Aug. 4; or by sending a letter to: Pennsylvania Game
Commission, Bureau of Wildlife Management, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797; or via e-mail
(ra-waterfowlcomments@state.pa.us).
While the Pymatuning Zone, which includes the Pymatuning Wildlife Management Area in Crawford County,
remains closed during the early season, hunters may take geese on Pymatuning State Park Reservoir and an
area extending 100 yards inland from the shoreline of the reservoir, excluding the area east of SR 3011
(Hartstown Road). Inside this area, bag limits are eight daily and 16 in possession.
"Working with the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, we are providing hunters with the
opportunity to take Canada geese within this portion of the park to address problems being caused by the
growing goose population," said John Dunn, agency Game Bird Section supervisor.
Dunn also noted that the controlled hunting areas at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Lebanon-
Lancaster counties have been modified to address the decline in the resident Canada goose flock. In the area of
Lancaster and Lebanon counties north of the Pennsylvania Turnpike I-76, east of SR 501 to SR 419, south of SR
419 to Lebanon-Berks county line, west of Lebanon-Berks county line and Lancaster-Berks county line to SR
1053 (also known as Peartown Road and Greenville Road), west of SR 1053 to Pennsylvania Turnpike I-76, the
daily bag limit is one goose, possession limit two geese; except on State Game Land 46 (Middle Creek Wildlife
Management Area) where the season is closed.
Excluding the two areas identified, the early season in the remainder of the state retains a daily bag limit of
eight and possession limit of 16.
Dunn noted that recent liberalizations in Canada goose hunting opportunities, along with control programs being
implemented by many municipalities and public and private landowners, might be having an impact on the
state's resident Canada goose population. The 2006 Pennsylvania resident Canada goose population was
estimated at 229,000. This was the lowest estimate since 1998 (196,000). Although statistically not different
from recent estimates of Pennsylvania's breeding population, it may indicate a decline is occurring in the resident
goose population.
"Hunting remains the most effective and efficient way to manage resident Canada geese, provided hunters can
gain access to problem areas," Dunn said.
Pennsylvania's woodcock season will open Oct. 14, and continue through Nov. 11. The daily limit is three, and
the possession limit is six.
A season for common snipe will run from Oct. 14 to Nov. 18. The daily limit is 8, and the possession limit is
16.
Virginia and sora rail hunting will run Sept. 1-Nov. 9. Bag limits, which are singly or combined, are 3 daily or 6
in possession. The season for king and clapper rails is closed.
Hunting for moorhen and gallinules will run from Sept. 1 to Nov. 9, and the bag limits are three daily and six in
possession.
Once again, young Pennsylvania hunters will be provided with a special day of waterfowl hunting on Saturday,
Sept. 23. The Youth Waterfowl Day will be open to those age 12-15 who hold a junior hunting license. To
participate, a youngster must be accompanied by an adult, who may assist the youth in calling, duck
identification and other aspects of the hunt. During this special day-long hunt, youth can harvest ducks,
mergansers, coots and moorhens.
In addition, because the Youth Waterfowl Day and the early Canada goose season overlap this year, youth and
the adults accompanying them may harvest Canada geese. The daily limit for the Youth Waterfowl Day for
Canada geese is the same as the daily limit for adults in the area being hunted, except in the Pymatuning Zone,
where youth can take one goose. In the Pymatuning State Park Reservoir and an area extending 100 yards
inland from the shoreline of the reservoir, excluding the area east of SR 3011 (Hartstown Road), youth can take
the same daily bag limit as adults, eight Canada geese.
Youth Waterfowl Day bag limits for ducks, mergansers and coots will be consistent with the limit for the regular
season, which will be announced in mid-August, after the Waterfowl Symposium on Aug. 4. The briefing will
begin at 1 p.m. in the Game Commission's Haldeman Island administrative building, across from the Ranch
House restaurant along Routes 11/15, just north of the Routes 11/15 and Routes 22/322 intersection, in Perry
County.
Migratory game bird hunters, including those afield for doves and woodcock, are required to obtain and carry a
migratory game bird license ($3 for residents, $6 for nonresidents), as well as a general hunting, combination or
lifetime license. All waterfowl hunters age 16 and older also must possess a federal migratory game bird and
conservation (duck) stamp.
Annual migratory bird and waterfowl seasons are selected by states from a framework established by the USFWS
with input from migratory game bird hunters and the public. The Game Commission is expected to announce in
mid-August the regular and late waterfowl seasons, after the agency holds its annual Waterfowl Symposium,
Aug. 4.
The "Pennsylvania 2006-07 Guide to Migratory Bird Hunting" brochure will be posted on the Game Commission's
website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) in mid-August, and the mass-produced brochure should be available at U.S. Post
Offices in the state by the end of August.
Hunters are encouraged to use a toll-free number (1-800-327-BAND) or e-mail address
(bandreports@patuxent.usgs.gov) to report banded ducks, geese and doves they harvest. Callers will be
requested to provide information on where, when and what species of waterfowl were taken, in addition to the
band number. This information is crucial to the successful management of waterfowl.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
GAME COMMISSION POSTS AVIAN INFLUENZA INFORMATION ON WEBSITE
As hunters prepare for waterfowl and migratory game bird seasons, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has
posted information on its website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) to ensure hunters have the facts about avian influenza
and wild birds. The information can be accessed by selecting "Avian Influenza" in the "Quick Clicks" box in the
upper right corner of the agency's homepage.
"We have compiled a list of important facts, answers to common questions and links to more detailed
information on our website," said Dr. Walt Cottrell, Game Commission wildlife veterinarian. "Migratory birds -
typically waterfowl, shorebirds, gulls and terns - are natural carriers of avian influenza and are considered the
natural reservoir for low-pathogenic strains of the disease. However, the impact of highly pathogenic H5N1 on
migratory bird populations and the role that wild birds play in the spread of H5N1 is unclear.
"Scientists are uncertain if wild birds were the source of the H5N1 virus or if they acquired it from poultry. Once
infected, wild birds could transport the virus to a new location, but these relatively few infected wild birds are
rarely able to travel far."
Avian influenza is a common disease of birds that rarely infects humans. These viruses are classified as having
low pathogenicity or high pathogenicity based on the severity of the illness they cause in poultry, and most are
not considered a public health threat.
The highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza has not been detected in North America. Highly pathogenic
strains, like highly pathogenic H5N1, cause severe illness and rapid death in poultry. H5N1 has caused the
largest and most severe outbreaks in poultry on record. At present, the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of the
bird flu virus does not easily infect people and only very rarely spreads from person to person. In cases where
the H5N1 strain has infected humans, it is a serious disease; while only about 220 people are known to have
contracted the disease, about half of them have died.
Legal and illegal movement of infected birds; poultry products; contaminated materials, equipment and vehicles;
as well as wild bird migration are some of the ways that H5N1 can be spread. Since its discovery 10 years ago,
the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain has spread to Asia, Europe and Africa, where it has primarily affected
domestic poultry. Most human cases of avian influenza have occurred in people who have had very close contact
with infected poultry or have eaten infected poultry that was improperly cooked.
Cottrell noted that if the highly pathogenic H5N1 is detected in wild birds in the United States, it does not
necessarily pose a threat to the general public. Even though the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian
influenza has been detected in a number of wild bird species, the actual number of wild birds infected with H5N1
has been relatively very low. There currently is no scientific basis for controlling highly pathogenic H5N1 by
management of wild birds beyond physically segregating poultry from exposure to wild birds.
"For prevention's sake, hunters should follow routine precautions when handling game birds," Cottrell said. "Do
not kill, handle or eat sick game. Wear rubber or disposable latex gloves while handling and cleaning game,
wash hands and thoroughly clean knives, equipment and surfaces that come in contact with game. Do not eat,
drink or smoke while handling animals. All game and poultry products should be thoroughly cooked to an
internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit."
Cottrell pointed out that a certain level of mortality in wild birds is normal, and that wild bird mortality occurs as
a result of trauma, ingestion of pesticides, infections and accidents of nature, most of which pose no threat to
the health of domestic animals or people. However, incidents of five or more ill or dead birds (not including
pigeons) in the same geographic area over a one- or two-day period may indicate significant mortality and
should be reported during regular business hours to the Game Commission Region Office that serves the area.
"Bag and refrigerate - but do not freeze - the birds in a cooler with ice until arrangements for pickup or disposal
can be made," Cottrell said. "Even in cases involving five or more birds, the cause of death can often be
determined without laboratory testing. Game Commission staff may make arrangements to acquire dead birds or
recommend disposing of them in a plastic bag in household trash that ends up at a regulated landfill."
The Game Commission's wild bird mortality investigations are part of a larger operation in cooperation with
USDA Wildlife Services. In addition to following up on citizen reports of dead birds, Game Commission biologists
are sampling live Canada geese and mallards statewide, as well as scaup (a species of diving duck) taken by
hunters on Lake Erie, to test for avian influenza. Water samples also will be taken from areas where waterfowl
congregate and tested for avian influenza.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #

Content Last Modified on 7/19/2006 1:02:19 PM
Release #087-06
ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSE APPLICATION PROCESS BEGINS FOR HUNTERS;
GAME COMMISSION POSTS DMAP INFORMATION ON WEBSITE
ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSE APPLICATION PROCESS BEGINS FOR HUNTERS
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe reminds hunters that the agency
will begin accepting regular antlerless deer license applications from resident hunters beginning Aug. 7, and non-
residents on Aug. 21. Antlerless deer license applications must be sent to the Game Commission via 22
different Post Office boxes and the agency, in turn, will forward them to county treasurers for processing.
All applications for antlerless deer licenses - regular, as well as unsold - must be submitted through the U.S. Mail
(first-class only). Express and priority mail will not be accepted.
With the implementation of Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) in 2003, hunters began applying for antlerless
deer licenses based on WMUs, not specific counties. Pre-printed mailing labels for each WMU are provided to
affix to the yellow application envelope. They are bar-coded to speed the application process. Hunters should
ensure the label is securely affixed to the envelope before mailing it. If it appears that the label is not attached
properly, the U.S. Postal Service allows applicants to place transparent tape over the label to secure it.
Just in case the label does fall off, hunters also should write the WMU they are applying for in the lower left-
hand corner box on the envelope. This step enables the agency to continue processing the envelope without
having to open and check the application's WMU designation and then re-sealing the envelope for shipment to a
county treasurer.
"With reductions in the allocations of many WMUs, hunters should give serious thought to which WMU they will
apply to during the regular antlerless deer license round, because some WMUs may run out of licenses earlier in
the process than in previous years," Roe said. "Hunters also may want to consider applying for Deer
Management Assistance Program (DMAP) antlerless deer permits, which offer hunters additional opportunities to
hunt on specific properties where landowners are seeking additional deer hunting pressure."
After Aug. 7, the Game Commission will launch the popular "Doe License Update" page on its website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us) to provide hunters with updates on the availability of antlerless deer licenses. Notices for
WMUs that have sold out will be posted as soon as possible. Look in the "Quick Clicks" box in the upper right-
hand corner of the agency's homepage and choose "Doe License Update." A link to the listing of participating
DMAP public landowners will be posted in the "Quick Clicks" box, as well as those private landowners who asked
to be included on the agency's website.
Roe emphasized that, as required by state law, county treasurers will continue to issue antlerless deer licenses.
Except for "over-the-counter sales," county treasurers will receive a pre-determined number of applications from
the Game Commission based on the county's geographic representation in the WMU.
The Game Commission will begin accepting antlerless license applications through the mail from residents on
Monday, Aug. 7; nonresident applications will be accepted through the mail starting Monday, Aug. 21. The
Game Commission will begin accepting resident and nonresident hunter applications through the mail for the
first round of "unsold licenses" on Monday, Aug. 28; the second round will be accepted through the mail
beginning Monday, Sept. 11.
As a result of a printer error at Liberty Press, some copies of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping
Digest contain an unsold antlerless deer license application and instructions (which appear on page 54) that had
words cut from the page's right margin during production.
"This error shouldn't create a problem for those who use the application, and it is still valid," said J. Carl Graybill
Jr., Game Commission Bureau of Information and Education director. "Complete instructions for filling out the
application also appear on pages 52 and 53 of the Digest. And, as in the past, the Game Commission has
posted on its website an unsold antlerless deer license application that enables the user to enter his or her
information into the application before printing it."
The printer error left some applications without lines for applicants to fill in their ZIP Code and the date of
signature. Also, wording for instruction point number 4 is cut off. The complete wording is: "All Unsold
Antlerless License applications must be submitted through the U.S. Mail (First Class Only) until Nov. 6. Express
and Priority mail will not be accepted. No more than three (3) individual applications per official envelope.
Number of applications must be circled on front of envelope to avoid delay and possible rejection."
The online application can be found on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) in the "Forms & Programs"
section in the left-hand column on the homepage, and then under the "Forms" heading.
Over-the-counter applications will not be accepted by county treasurers until Nov. 6, except in Wildlife
Management Units 2B, 5C and 5D, where county treasurers will begin accepting over-the-counter applications on
Monday, Sept. 18. Since the allocation was increased for WMU 5C, there is no limit on the number of
applications a hunter can submit during this period.
Applying for and receiving more than one antlerless license at a time is against the law and, if convicted,
violators could be sentenced to pay a fine. While individuals are permitted to mail up to three antlerless deer
license applications in one envelope, the applications must be for different individuals. Hunters may apply for
only one license during the regular antlerless deer license round. During the first round of unsold licenses,
hunters may apply for a second license. During the second round of unsold licenses, hunters may apply for a
third license. The exception to this is when hunters are applying over the counter in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D.
Applications that do not include return postage will be placed in a "dead letter" file maintained by the Game
Commission's Licensing Division in the Harrisburg headquarters. Applicants who believe that their antlerless
license application may be in the dead letter file may contact the License Division at 717-787-2084 during
business hours, 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. This telephone service will be activated after
Tuesday, Sept. 5. An answering machine enables callers to leave messages so that Game Commission staff may
return their calls.
Regular and first round unsold antlerless licenses will be mailed to successful applicants by county treasurers no
later than Monday, Sept. 18. Second and subsequent rounds of unsold antlerless licenses will be mailed to
successful applicants by county treasurers no later than Sunday, Oct. 1.
Following is a listing of the antlerless deer license allocation by Wildlife Management Unit, with last year's
allocation in parenthesis: WMU 1A, 42,000 (40,000); WMU 1B, 30,000 (27,000); WMU 2A, 55,000 (55,000);
WMU 2B, 68,000 (68,000); WMU 2C, 49,000 (53,000); WMU 2D, 56,000 (56,000); WMU 2E, 21,000
(21,000); WMU 2F, 28,000 (30,000); WMU 2G, 19,000 (29,000); WMU 3A, 29,000 (27,000); WMU 3B,
43,000 (41,000); WMU 3C, 27,000 (32,000); WMU 3D, 38,000 (38,000); WMU 4A, 29,000 (35,000); WMU
4B, 31,000 (35,000); WMU 4C, 39,000 (39,000); WMU 4D, 40,000 (40,000); WMU 4E, 38,000 (38,000);
WMU 5A, 25,000 (28,000); WMU 5B, 53,000 (56,000); WMU 5C, 79,000 (71,000); and WMU 5D, 20,000
(20,000).
For a description of each WMU's boundaries, please refer to pages 42-45 of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Hunting &
Trapping Digest, which is presented to each license buyer, along with harvest report cards, an antlerless deer
license application and envelopes. For other deer-related information, refer to pages 50-58.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
GAME COMMISSION POSTS DMAP INFORMATION ON WEBSITE
As hunters prepare for the upcoming antlerless deer license application period, those looking for new antlerless
deer hunting opportunities are encouraged to review the list of Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP)
properties now available on the Pennsylvania Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). Just click on
"DMAP" in the center of the homepage and then select the county of interest from the map provided, or choose
"Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Properties," which will link you to DCNR's website and their
listing of state forests enrolled in DMAP.
"DMAP is a Game Commission program designed to help landowners manage deer numbers on their properties,"
said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "Qualified landowners participating in DMAP receive a
limited number of coupons - determined by acreage - that they will make available to hunters, who, in turn, may
redeem them for a DMAP antlerless deer permit to hunt on the property for which they are issued. Hunters may
use them during any established deer hunting season for 2006-07.
"Since some WMUs have seen their antlerless deer license allocation reduced, DMAP may be the only option
some hunters will have to secure a way to harvest an antlerless deer in these areas."
For example, WMU 2G is expected to sell out of its antlerless deer license allocation early. Those residents and
nonresidents unable to secure an antlerless license for WMU 2G still may be able to obtain a DMAP antlerless
deer permit for one of the many state forest properties that DCNR had enrolled in the program.
Roe noted that, because new properties continue to be entered into the DMAP database, the agency does not
have final enrollment figures available at this time. Last year, 659 properties representing 1,707,969 acres were
approved for enrollment in DMAP, and a total of 47,366 coupons were approved for distribution by landowners.
In 2003, the first year of DMAP, 176 properties representing 695,396 acres were enrolled in DMAP, and a total
of 31,784 coupons were approved for distribution by landowners.
Landowners are permitted to give up to two DMAP coupons per property to a licensed hunter, who then must
use the coupon to apply for DMAP permits. This will enable hunters to possess up to two DMAP permits for a
specific DMAP area. Landowners may not charge or accept any contribution from a hunter for a DMAP coupon
Eligible landowners had to submit an application to enroll in DMAP by July 1. Those landowners who qualify
include those owning: public lands; private lands where no fee is charged for hunting; and hunting clubs
established prior to Jan. 1, 2000, that are owned in fee title and have provided a club charter and list of current
members to the agency.
"Hunters may obtain up to two DMAP coupons per area, and DMAP permits do not impact a hunter's eligibility to
apply for and receive antlerless deer licenses issued for Wildlife Management Units (WMUs)," Roe said. "DMAP
permit allotments are not part of the annual general antlerless deer license allocations for WMUs."
Resident hunters must mail DMAP coupons in a regular envelope, along with a check for $6 made payable to the
Pennsylvania Game Commission, to the address listed on the coupon to receive their DMAP antlerless deer
permit. Nonresidents must include a check for $26. The permit can be used to harvest one antlerless deer on
the specific DMAP area. Maps for the properties are to be provided to hunters by the landowners.
Hunters may not use DMAP permits to harvest an antlered deer.
All public landowners enrolled in DMAP will be posted on the website, as well as those private landowners who
have requested to appear on the website. Those private landowners not appearing on the website generally
have a limited number of coupons available and already have identified a sufficient number of hunters to receive
their allotted coupons.
The website provides an alphabetical listing of DMAP properties for each county in which DMAP properties are
located. Each listing will provide the following information: landowner type (either public or private); contact
information, including name, address, telephone number and e-mail address (when available); DMAP property
number; total number of acres for the property; total number of coupons issued for the property; and total
number coupons that remain available for hunters.
Hunters without access to the Internet can send a stamped, self-addressed envelope, along with a letter
indicating the county or counties of interest, to the appropriate Game Commission Region Office. Following is a
listing of each of the six Game Commission Region Offices' addresses and the counties they serve:
Northwest Region Office, P.O. Box 31, Franklin, PA 16323. Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Jefferson,
Lawrence, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties.
Southwest Region Office, 4820 Route 711, Bolivar, PA 15923. Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Cambria,
Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
Northcentral Region Office, P.O. Box 5038, Jersey Shore, PA 17740. Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton,
Elk, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga, and Union counties.
Southcentral Region Office, 8627 William Penn Highway, Huntingdon, PA 16652. Adams, Bedford, Blair,
Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry and Snyder counties.
Northeast Region Office, P.O. Box 220, Dallas, PA 18612. Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne,
Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties.
Southeast Region Office, 448 Snyder Rd., Reading, PA 19605. Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware,
Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York counties.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 7/25/2006 7:40:10 AM
Release #088-06
GAME COMMISSION CANCELS FALL TAXIDERMISTS EXAM
HARRISBURG -- Pennsylvania Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Protection Acting Director Richard Palmer
today announced that the agency would not be holding its annual fall taxidermy exam. Act 77, which was
signed into law by Governor Edward G. Rendell on July 7, transfers oversight for taxidermists from the Game
Commission to the state Department of Agriculture.
Act 77, formerly House Bill 1528, was sponsored by Rep. Rod Wilt (R-Mercer), and was approved by a vote of
192-2 in the House on Nov. 21. After being amended in the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee, the bill was
unanimously approved by the Senate on June 29. The House voted 194-2 to concur in the Senate-amended
version on June 30, and sent it to Governor Rendell's desk for action. The Governor signed the bill on July 7,
and the new law takes effect in 90 days.
"As the Game Commission will no longer be responsible for overseeing the taxidermy industry, we deemed it
unnecessary to hold an exam this fall," Palmer said.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 7/28/2006 3:21:12 PM
Release #089-06
WMU 2G SELLS OUT OF ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES
HARRISBURG -Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 2G, covering a large portion of northcentral Pennsylvania, has
exhausted its entire antlerless deer license allocation as of today, Aug. 8, announced Pennsylvania Game
Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe.
Roe noted that this does not mean that hunters, both residents and nonresidents, are out of options when
looking to hunt on public lands in this WMU thanks to Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) coupons
that remain available for antlerless deer hunting opportunities on several of the Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources' (DCNR) state forests in WMU 2G.
"While DMAP permits may be used only on the specific property for which they are issued, they do offer hunters
additional antlerless deer hunting opportunities on large tracts of public lands in WMU 2G, which has exhausted
its antlerless deer license allocation," Roe said. "DMAP was developed to provide a way for hunters to help
landowners achieve the type of deer harvest they require to better manage their lands. We encourage hunters
to contact these landowners and take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity."
Landowners can't charge or accept any contribution from a hunter for a DMAP coupon. While hunters may obtain
up to two DMAP permits per property, DMAP permits do not impact a hunter's eligibility to apply for and receive
antlerless deer licenses issued for WMUs.
DMAP permit allotments are not part of the annual general antlerless deer license allocations for WMUs.
Resident hunters must mail DMAP coupons in a regular envelope, along with a check for $6 made payable to the
Pennsylvania Game Commission, to the address listed on the coupon to receive their DMAP antlerless deer
permit. Nonresidents must include a check for $26. The permit can be used to harvest one antlerless deer on the
specific DMAP property. Maps for the properties are to be provided to hunters by the landowners.
Hunters may not use DMAP permits to harvest an antlered deer.
Of the 859,000 antlerless licenses originally allocated, agency employees have distributed to county treasurers
154,900 applications, which is ahead of the processing pace last year for the first two days.
Following is a listing of the antlerless deer licenses remaining by Wildlife Management Unit as of today, Aug. 8
(along with the initial allocation for each WMU): WMU 1A, 34,600 (42,000); WMU 1B, 20,400 (30,000); WMU
2A, 51,200 (55,000); WMU 2B, 67,300 (68,000); WMU 2C, 40,900 (49,000); WMU 2D, 49,500 (56,000);
WMU 2E, 15,000 (21,000); WMU 2F, 20,200 (28,000); WMU 2G, CLOSED (19,000); WMU 3A, 24,300
(29,000); WMU 3B, 37,200 (43,000); WMU 3C, 17,800 (27,000); WMU 3D, 28,900 (38,000); WMU 4A,
22,300 (29,000); WMU 4B, 24,100 (31,000); WMU 4C, 26,900 (39,000); WMU 4D, 30,500 (40,000); WMU
4E, 31,400 (38,000); WMU 5A, 21,100 (25,000); WMU 5B, 45,900 (53,000); WMU 5C, 74,800 (79,000); and
WMU 5D, 19,800 (20,000).
For updated information, please visit the Game Commission's "Doe License Update" in the "Quick Clicks" box in
the upper right-hand corner of the agency's homepage (www.pgc.state.pa.us).
On Aug. 7, the Game Commission began accepting regular antlerless deer licenses from resident hunters. The
timetable for remaining antlerless deer license applications is:
Monday, Aug. 21, the Game Commission will accept regular antlerless deer license applications through first
class mail from nonresidents.
Monday, Aug. 28, the Game Commission will accept, only through first-class mail, applications for the first
round of unsold antlerless licenses. Hunters may apply for and receive only one antlerless deer license during
this first round in all WMUs, except for WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, where hunters may apply for multiple antlerless
licenses.
Applying for and receiving more than one "unsold" antlerless license prior to Sept. 11 -except in WMUs 2B, 5C
and 5D - is against the law and carries a fine. In addition, receiving a second "unsold" license during the first
round automatically voids the first "unsold" license a hunter receives.
Beginning Monday, Sept. 11, the Game Commission will accept, only through first-class mail, applications for
the second round of unsold antlerless licenses. Hunters who applied for an unsold antlerless license during the
first round may apply for and receive only one antlerless deer license during the second round. Those hunters
who did not apply for an unsold license during the first round may make separate applications for and receive up
to two unsold antlerless licenses during the second round. The separate applications may be submitted to one or
two WMUs.
Regular antlerless licenses and first-round unsold licenses will be mailed by county treasurers to successful
applicants no later than Monday, Sept. 18. Second-round unsold licenses will be mailed no later than Sunday,
Oct. 1.
Also, beginning Monday, Sept. 18, applicants may apply over-the-counter at county treasurers' offices in WMUs
2B, 5C and 5D.
Beginning Monday, Nov. 6, hunters may apply over-the-counter for unsold antlerless licenses in all WMUs.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also
conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 8/8/2006 3:39:25 PM
Release #090-06
NONRESIDENT ANTLERLESS DEER APPLICATIONS TO BE ACCEPTED AUG. 21
BOBCAT APPLICATION DEADLINES APPROACH
NONRESIDENT ANTLERLESS DEER APPLICATIONS TO BE ACCEPTED AUG. 21
HARRISBURG - Beginning Monday, Aug. 21, the Pennsylvania Game Commission will accept antlerless deer
license applications from nonresident hunters. Applications from resident hunters were accepted beginning Aug. 7.
The Game Commission has developed a "Doe License Update" page on its website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) to provide
hunters additional information on the antlerless license application process, including regular updates about the
number of antlerless licenses available by Wildlife Management Unit (WMU). Look for it in the "Quick Clicks" box
in the upper right-hand corner of the agency's homepage.
As of today, WMU 2F joins WMU 2G in this list of WMUs that have exhausted its supply of antlerless deer
licenses. However, hunters are not out of options when looking to hunt antlerless deer in these WMUs thanks to the
availability of Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) coupons for the Allegheny National Forest,
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources state forests and parks, and privately-owned properties. Coupons
provided by landowners to hunters may be redeemed from the Game Commission for a DMAP antlerless deer permit
to be used on a particular property.
"While DMAP permits may be used only on the specific property for which they are issued, they do offer hunters
additional antlerless deer hunting opportunities on large tracts of public and private lands in WMUs 2F and 2G," said
Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "DMAP enables landowners to achieve the type of deer harvest
they desire to better manage their lands. We encourage hunters to contact these landowners and take advantage of
this opportunity."
Landowners may not charge a fee or accept any contribution from a hunter for a DMAP coupon. While hunters may
obtain up to two DMAP permits per property, DMAP permits do not impact a hunter's eligibility to apply for and
receive antlerless deer licenses issued for WMUs. DMAP permit allotments are not part of the annual general
antlerless deer license allocations for WMUs.
Resident hunters must mail DMAP coupons in a regular envelope, along with a check for $6 made payable to the
Pennsylvania Game Commission, to the address listed on the coupon to receive their DMAP antlerless deer permit.
Nonresidents must include a check for $26. The permit can be used to harvest one antlerless deer on the specific
DMAP property. Maps for the properties are to be provided to hunters by the landowners.
Hunters may not use DMAP permits to harvest an antlered deer.
For more information on DMAP, visit the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on the
"DMAP" box in the center of the homepage.
Of the 859,000 antlerless licenses originally allocated for the state's 22 WMUs, 502,593 licenses remain. Following
is a listing of the antlerless deer licenses remaining by WMU as of today, Aug. 11 (along with the initial allocation
for each WMU): WMU 1A, 30,272 (42,000); WMU 1B, 13,956 (30,000); WMU 2A, 45,985 (55,000); WMU 2B,
64,999 (68,000); WMU 2C, 28,529 (49,000); WMU 2D, 32,143 (56,000); WMU 2E, 4,910 (21,000); WMU 2F,
CLOSED (28,000); WMU 2G, CLOSED (19,000); WMU 3A, 13,024 (29,000); WMU 3B, 22,577 (43,000); WMU
3C, 6,532 (27,000); WMU 3D, 18,892 (38,000); WMU 4A, 10,531 (29,000); WMU 4B, 14,843 (31,000); WMU
4C, 14,160 (39,000); WMU 4D, 16,181 (40,000); WMU 4E, 22,423 (38,000); WMU 5A, 17,998 (25,000); WMU
5B, 35,098 (53,000); WMU 5C, 68,099 (79,000); and WMU 5D, 19,600 (20,000).
On Aug. 7, the Game Commission began accepting regular antlerless deer licenses from resident hunters. The
timetable for remaining antlerless deer license applications is:
Monday, Aug. 21, the Game Commission will accept regular antlerless deer license applications through first class
mail from nonresidents.
Monday, Aug. 28, the Game Commission will accept, only through first-class mail, applications for the first round
of unsold antlerless licenses. Hunters may apply for and receive only one antlerless deer license during this first
round in all WMUs, except for WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, where hunters may apply for multiple antlerless licenses.
Applying for and receiving more than one "unsold" antlerless license prior to Sept. 11 -except in WMUs 2B, 5C and
5D - is against the law and carries a fine. In addition, receiving a second "unsold" license during the first round
automatically voids the first "unsold" license a hunter receives.
Beginning Monday, Sept. 11, the Game Commission will accept, only through first-class mail, applications for the
second round of unsold antlerless licenses. Hunters who applied for an unsold antlerless license during the first
round may apply for and receive only one antlerless deer license during the second round. Those hunters who did
not apply for an unsold license during the first round may make separate applications for and receive up to two
unsold antlerless licenses during the second round. The separate applications may be submitted to one or two
WMUs.
Regular antlerless licenses and first-round unsold licenses will be mailed by county treasurers to successful
applicants no later than Monday, Sept. 18. Second-round unsold licenses will be mailed no later than Sunday, Oct.
1.
Also, beginning Monday, Sept. 18, applicants may apply over-the-counter at county treasurers' offices in WMUs
2B, 5C and 5D. Beginning Monday, Nov. 6, hunters may apply over-the-counter for unsold antlerless licenses in all
WMUs.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and managing
all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits, enforcing hunting
and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has purchased over the
years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also conducts numerous
wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is an
excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas, coal,
timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
BOBCAT APPLICATION DEADLINES APPROACH
Pennsylvania hunters and trappers are reminded about the upcoming deadline for submitting applications for one of
the 720 bobcat permits to be awarded during a public drawing at the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Harrisburg
headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Ave. Applications must be received by the agency, applied for over-the-counter at any
of the agency's six region offices or Harrisburg headquarters or postmarked no later than Aug. 15. Those postmarked
after Aug. 15 will be rejected. Online applications will be accepted via "The Outdoor Shop" on the Game
Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) through Sept. 5.
The season will be open only in Wildlife Management Units 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D, which are in
southwestern, northcentral and northeastern Pennsylvania. In order to participate in this restricted opportunity, an
individual must have a resident furtaker license or a resident junior or senior combination license, and a bobcat
hunting-trapping permit.
Those who received a bobcat permit last year are not eligible for this year's drawing. Only one application per
person will be accepted. Multiple applications will result in the rejection of all of an individual's applications.
Applicants must use the form found on page 87 of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting & Trapping
Regulations, or at "The Outdoor Shop" on the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). An individual is
limited to one application, which must be accompanied by a $5 non-refundable fee. Applications by mail must be
sent to: Bobcat Permit Application, Pennsylvania Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg, PA 17110-
9797.
The 720 permits will be selected during a computerized drawing, which will be open to the public, at the agency's
headquarters on Friday, Sept. 8. Those selected will receive their bobcat permit by U.S. mail in early October. The
bobcat hunting season will take place Oct. 21 through Feb. 17. The bobcat trapping season will be held from Oct. 22
through Feb. 17.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and managing
all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits, enforcing hunting
and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has purchased over the
years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also conducts numerous
wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is an
excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas, coal,
timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 8/11/2006 12:52:00 PM
Release #091-06

2006-07 WATERFOWL SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS SELECTED
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Game Commission has made its selections for the 2006-07 waterfowl hunting
seasons and bag limits and will forward those selections to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service next week,
according to Carl G. Roe, agency executive director. Annual waterfowl seasons are selected by states from a
framework established by the USFWS. Game Commission selections were made after reviewing last year's
season results, waterfowl survey data, and input gathered from waterfowl hunters and the public. Final approval
from the USFWS is expected by late September.
In addition to releasing waterfowl seasons, Roe also noted that the Game Commission again has posted the
waterfowl seasons brochure and maps on its website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). The agency currently is mass-
producing brochures to be distributed to U.S. Post Offices within the next two weeks.
"Many hunters already have purchased their hunting licenses and federal waterfowl stamps in anticipation of the
season," Roe said. "For their convenience, in addition to being able to pick up the waterfowl brochure and maps
at post offices and license issuing agents, hunters can obtain this important information from the Game
Commission's website."
John Dunn, Game Commission Game Bird Section supervisor, said the most significant change in this year's
waterfowl seasons and bag limits are the increases in duck hunting opportunities, specifically for canvasbacks
and hooded mergansers, and Canada goose hunting in the Pymatuning Zone.
"The federal frameworks again are allowing for a 60-day season with a six duck daily bag limit, with the usual
species restrictions and bag limits except for hooded mergansers where the bag limit has been increased to two
daily, four in possession," Dunn said. "Also, season length for canvasbacks has been increased to allow for a
one-bird daily bag during the full 60-day duck season."
Canada goose seasons are similar to last year, except for the Pymatuning Zone, where the season and bag
limits have been increased to 50 days and two geese. Also, white-fronted geese may be taken in Pennsylvania.
This goose species is becoming more prevalent in the state, and the USFWS allows for the incidental taking of
this species during Canada goose seasons.
As announced on July 19 (see News Release #86-06), the early statewide season for resident Canada geese will
open Sept. 1, and continue through Sept. 25. Bag limits are the same as last year's early goose season, eight
daily and 16 in possession statewide, with exceptions for Pymatuning and Middle Creek areas.
While the Pymatuning Zone, which includes the Pymatuning Wildlife Management Area in Crawford County,
remains closed during the early season, hunters may take geese on Pymatuning State Park Reservoir and an
area extending 100 yards inland from the shoreline of the reservoir, excluding the area east of SR 3011
(Hartstown Road). Inside this area, bag limits are eight daily and 16 in possession.
"Working with the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, we are providing hunters with the
opportunity to take Canada geese within this portion of the park to address problems being caused by the
resident goose population," Dunn said.
Dunn also noted that the controlled hunting areas at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Lebanon-
Lancaster counties have been modified to address the decline in the resident Canada goose flock. In the area of
Lancaster and Lebanon counties north of the Pennsylvania Turnpike I-76, east of SR 501 to SR 419, south of SR
419 to Lebanon-Berks county line, west of Lebanon-Berks county line and Lancaster-Berks county line to SR
1053 (also known as Peartown Road and Greenville Road), west of SR 1053 to Pennsylvania Turnpike I-76, the
daily bag limit is one goose, possession limit two geese; except on State Game Land 46 (Middle Creek Wildlife
Management Area) where the season is closed.
Excluding the two areas identified, the early season in the remainder of the state retains a daily bag limit of
eight and possession limit of 16.
"For the fourth year, there will not be a September goose hunting season anywhere on State Game Land 46, "
Dunn said. "The goose harvest and hunter success rates have declined by roughly 50 percent over the past 11
years in the controlled goose hunting area of Middle Creek. To give the local resident Canada goose population a
chance to increase to provide improved hunting opportunities at Middle Creek, we again are closing the
September season for this year."
Also, for the regular goose seasons (Nov. 15-25, and Dec. 12-Jan. 20), the bag limits for Canada geese on all of
State Game Land 46 will remain at one daily and two in possession.
"This year there was a record low breeding population for scaup," Dunn said. "Waterfowl managers remain
concerned about the 23-year decline in the scaup breeding population status, and have retained the reduced
bag limit of two daily to further limit harvest on this species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service deferred any
further reduction in scaup seasons or bag limits this year pending development of a scaup harvest strategy and
assessment."
Once again, young Pennsylvania hunters will be provided with a special day of waterfowl hunting on Saturday,
Sept. 23. The Youth Waterfowl Day will be open to those age 12-15 who hold a junior hunting license. To
participate, a youngster must be accompanied by an adult, who may assist the youth in calling, duck
identification and other aspects of the hunt. During this special day-long hunt, youth can harvest ducks,
mergansers, coots and moorhens.
In addition, because the Youth Waterfowl Day and the early Canada goose season overlap this year, youth and
the adults accompanying them may harvest Canada geese. The daily limit for the Youth Waterfowl Day for
Canada geese is the same as the daily limit for adults in the area being hunted, except in the Pymatuning Zone,
where youth can take two geese. In the Pymatuning State Park Reservoir and an area extending 100 yards
inland from the shoreline of the reservoir, excluding the area east of SR 3011 (Hartstown Road), youth can take
the same daily bag limit as adults, eight Canada geese.
Youth Waterfowl Day bag limits for ducks, mergansers and coots will be consistent with the limit for the regular
season.
In addition to a regular Pennsylvania hunting license, persons 16 and older must have a Federal Migratory Bird
and Conservation Stamp, commonly referred to as a "Duck Stamp," signed in ink across its face. All waterfowl
hunters, regardless of age, must have a Pennsylvania Migratory Game Bird License to hunt waterfowl and other
migratory birds, including doves, woodcock, coots, moorhens, rails and snipe. All migratory game bird hunters in
the United States are required to complete a Harvest Information Program survey when they purchase a state
migratory game bird license. The survey information is then forwarded to the USFWS.
"By answering the questions on the survey card, hunters will improve survey efficiency and the quality of
information used to track the harvest of migratory birds for management purposes," Dunn said.
Hunters must use non-toxic shot while hunting ducks, geese or coots in Pennsylvania. The use of decoys powered or operated
by batteries or any other source of electricity is unlawful in Pennsylvania. Also, the use of any sort of artificial substance or
product as bait or an attractant is prohibited.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and managing all wild
birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits, enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and
managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking
license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic
organizations and sportsmen’s clubs.

The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The agency is
funded by license sales revenues; the state’s share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is an excise tax collected
through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas, coal, timber and minerals derived from
State Game Lands.
GAME BI RD HUNTERS OFFERED I NFORMATI ON ON AVI AN I NFLUENZA
Dr. Walter Cottrell, Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife veterinarian, said that duck hunters, like most
everyone else, have probably read with interest the extensive media coverage of avian influenza (AI) over the
last months.
"We have been reminded that waterfowl and shorebirds have been known for many years to be the natural
reservoir for some avian influenza types, but not the dangerous H5N1 we are watching now," Dr. Cottrell said.
"The role of migratory birds in the movement of this virus around the world is still not clear. The relatively few
wild birds that have contracted this highly pathogenic virus have died rather than traveling with the virus.
"If the H5N1 virus does come to North America it is just as likely that it will come on a pet or exotic bird, or on
smuggled bird parts, as it is to come on a migratory bird. The Game Commission is following these events
carefully and will issue cautionary warnings in the unlikely event they become necessary."
As part of a national AI surveillance plan, the Game Commission will focus its AI sampling on species that
migrate from or interact with birds that migrate from Alaska and Europe. Through the summer, Game
Commission officials, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, have been testing live waterfowl, dead birds
of all types, and the environment for signs of the virus.
"We will be extending that effort by testing hunter-killed waterfowl on Lake Erie in November and December,"
Dr. Cottrell said. "As the season approaches, we also are advising all waterfowl hunters to use common sense
precautions for handling the birds they harvest. These include wearing latex or rubber disposable gloves when
cleaning and handling birds, and equipment or surfaces that come in contact with game birds."
Dr. Cottrell also noted that all AI viruses are killed by heat, so the use of a meat thermometer is recommended
to ensure the internal temperature of the meat being cooked reaches 160 degrees F.
HUNTERS ENCOURAGED TO REPORT BANDED BIRDS
Waterfowl hunters are encouraged to use a toll-free number - 1-800-327-BAND - to report banded ducks, geese
and doves they harvest. Callers will be requested to provide information on where, when and what species of
waterfowl were taken, in addition to the band number. This information is crucial to the successful management
of waterfowl.
Hunters also may report banded birds via the Internet by going to the U.S. Geological Survey's website
(www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl/), scroll down and select "How to Report a Bird Band."
John Dunn, Game Commission waterfowl biologist, also stressed that reporting leg-bands helps the Game
Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service learn more about waterfowl movements, and survival and
harvest rates that are critical to population management and setting of hunting regulations. Each year, nearly
380,000 ducks and geese and 30,000 mourning doves are banded across the United States and Canada.
"Information provided by hunters is essential in our efforts to properly manage this resource," Dunn said. "By
reporting your recovery of a leg-band, hunters not only assist in managing the resource, but also have an
opportunity to learn interesting facts about the bird they harvested."
Dunn noted that the toll-free reporting program is beginning to pay big dividends. Under the old reporting
system, less than one-third of the birds banded were reported by hunters. Now, with the new toll-free system in
place, band reporting rates are estimated to have stabilized at 60 to 70 percent. This increase allows more
information to be obtained from the program and can reduce costs associated with banding waterfowl.
WATERFOWL HUNTERS CAUTIONED ABOUT EATING MERGANSERS
To minimize potential health impacts, it's suggested that hunters don't eat merganser ducks, especially those
harvested in the Lake Erie and northwestern Pennsylvania hunting zones.
Studies conducted over the past two decades on Pennsylvania and New York mergansers, especially common
and red-breasted mergansers in the Lake Erie region, have concluded they may have varying levels of
contaminants, including PCBs.
Mergansers consume fish and other aquatic organisms that may cause a concentration of contaminants in body
tissue. Health officials have issued similar consumption advisories for certain species of fish found in these same
waters.
For this reason, hunters are cautioned to not consume any mergansers. Other waterfowl should be skinned and
the fat removed before cooking. Stuffing should be discarded after cooking and should not be consumed.
GOOSE BLIND APPLICATION DEADLINES FOR CONTROLLED HUNTING AREAS
Application deadlines are fast approaching for waterfowl hunters interested in being selected for the limited
number of goose blinds at the controlled hunting areas at the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Pymatuning or
Middle Creek wildlife management areas during the regular Canada goose season. A goose blind application must
be submitted on the form that is found on page 29 of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping
Regulations.
Hunters may apply to only one area per year and may submit only one application, which must include the
individual's 2006-07 hunting license (back tag) number.
The Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area will accept applications through the mail until Sept. 12, at: PGC
Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, P.O. Box 110, Kleinfeltersville, PA 17039-0110. A public drawing will be
held at 10 a.m., Sept. 13.
Applications for the Pymatuning Wildlife Management Area will be accepted through the mail until Sept. 9, at:
PGC Pymatuning Wildlife Management Area, 9552 Hartstown Rd., Hartstown, PA 16131. A public drawing will be
held at 10 a.m., Sept. 16.
Blinds at Middle Creek and Pymatuning will not be operational during the September season. Shooting days at
Middle Creek during the regular season are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Shooting days at Pymatuning
during the regular season are Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
A separate drawing is held for blinds that accommodate hunters with disabilities. Applicants must submit a
current copy of their Disabled Person Permit (to hunt from a vehicle) issued by the Game Commission.
Also, this agency again will hold a special youth-only waterfowl hunting day at the controlled hunting blinds at
both Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area and Pymatuning Wildlife Management Area. The youth day for
Middle Creek will be Nov. 18, and for Pymatuning it will be Nov. 25. A special drawing of applications submitted
by junior license holders will be held immediately before the regular drawing for goose blinds. Interested youth
should use the same application on page 29 of the 2006-07 Digest. Only one application will be accepted per
junior hunter.
Successful applicants will be mailed a hunting reservation entitling them to be accompanied by up to three
guests. On hunting days, hunters also may apply, in person, for a chance at any blinds unclaimed by a
reservation holder.
WEAR A LIFE JACKET IF HUNTING FROM A BOAT
Duck hunters hunting from a boat in Pennsylvania are urged to wear a properly-fitted personal flotation device
(PFD) while on the water, counseled John Dunn, Pennsylvania Game Commission waterfowl biologist.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, every year several hunters die from drowning and hypothermia. Many
waterfowlers do not consider themselves boaters, Dunn said, so they often look past the preventive measures.
"Many hunters have a mindset that life jackets are uncomfortable and too bulky, therefore they get in the way,"
Dunn said. "But today's life jackets are comfortable. In fact, the Coast Guard approved manual inflatable life
jackets offer great freedom of movement. Float coats are another good alternative. Available in hunting colors
and patterns, they double as both outerwear and a flotation device."
Trouble often can start before the boat even leaves the shore, Dunn mentioned, because the watercraft's weight
capacity is exceeded. To avoid overloading, hunters should check the hull for the capacity plate to gauge how
much gear and/or how many people can be carried safely.
"When you have a crew of hunters, with decoys and equipment, and dogs, a boat can easily become
unbalanced," Dunn said, "especially if the wind comes up."
According to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, not only is it unsafe to overload a boat, exceeding the
limits posted on the capacity plate is also illegal.
The Fish and Boat Commission noted that sudden immersion into cold water is one of the leading causes of
boating fatalities in the Commonwealth. Sudden immersion into cold water places a severe strain on bodily
systems that can lead to hypothermia or, worse, cardiac arrest. Survivors of cold-water accidents have reported
their breath driven from them on contact with the water. Anyone falling into cold water should immediately
ensure that their and any companions' PFDs are intact, and work to find a way to exit the water or right the
watercraft.
Cover your mouth and nose - if possible - to prevent inhaling water.
If you can't get out of the water immediately and the shore is too far, the Fish and Boat Commission
recommends raising your knees and wrapping your arms across your chest to help reduce heat loss through the
body's core.
"Most important," Dunn suggests, "get into the routine of making the life jacket part of your hunting equipment,
and wear it."
2006-07 WATERFOWL SEASONS
DUCKS:
Lake Erie Zone: All ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 23-Nov. 25 and Nov. 29-Jan. 2.
North Zone: All ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 14-28 and Nov. 8-Jan. 1.
Northwest Zone: All ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 14-Nov. 25 and Dec. 11-Jan. 5.
South Zone: All ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 14-21 and Nov. 15-Jan. 15.
REGULAR CANADA GOOSE SEASON & BAG LIMITS (including WHITE-FRONTED GEESE): All of
Pennsylvania will have a regular Canada goose season. However, season lengths and bag limits will vary by area
as follows:
Resident Canada Goose Zone (RP)
All of Pennsylvania except for Crawford, Erie, and Mercer counties and the area east of SR 97 from Maryland
state line to the intersection of SR 194, east of SR 194 to intersection of US Route 30, south of US Route 30 to
SR 441, east of SR 441 to SR 743, east of SR 743 to intersection of I-81, east of I-81 to intersection of I-80,
south of I-80 to New Jersey state line. The season is Nov. 15-25, and Dec. 8-Feb. 15, with a 5 goose daily
bag limit.
Southern James Bay Population Zone (SJBP)
Erie, Mercer and Crawford counties except for the Pymatuning Zone (the area south of SR 198 from the Ohio
state line to intersection of SR 18, SR 18 south to SR 618, SR 618 south to US Route 6, US Route 6 east to US
Route 322/SR 18, US Route 322/SR 18 west to intersection of SR 3013, SR 3013 south to the Crawford/Mercer
County line). The season is Nov. 13-Dec 30, with a 2 goose daily bag limit, and Jan. 15-Feb 15, with a 5
goose daily bag limit.
Pymatuning Zone
The area south of SR 198 from the Ohio state line to intersection of SR 18, SR 18 south to SR 618, SR 618
south to US Route 6, US Route 6 east to US Route 322/SR 18, US Route 322/SR 18 west to intersection of SR
3013, SR 3013 south to the Crawford/Mercer County line. The season is Oct. 28-Nov. 25 & Dec 11-Jan. 8,
with a 2 goose daily bag limit.
Atlantic Population Zone (AP)
The area east of SR 97 from Maryland state line to the intersection of SR 194, east of SR 194 to intersection of
US Route 30, south of US Route 30 to SR 441, east of SR 441 to SR 743, east of SR 743 to intersection of I-81,
east of I-81 to intersection of I-80, south of I-80 to New Jersey state line. The season is Nov. 15-25 and Dec.
12- Jan. 20, with a 3 goose daily limit.
EARLY CANADA GOOSE SEASON (Statewide) - Sept. 1-25 (8 daily, 16 in possession) Statewide except:
No September goose season in the Pymatuning Zone, except Canada geese may be taken on Pymatuning State
Park Reservoir and an area to extend 100 yards inland from the shoreline of the reservoir, excluding the area
east of SR 3011 (Hartstown Road). No September Canada goose season will be held on SGL 46, including the
Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area; both the controlled and public areas of SGL 46 are closed for the early
season. Also, in the area of Lancaster and Lebanon counties north of the Pennsylvania Turnpike I-76, east of SR
501 to SR 419, south of SR 419 to Lebanon-Berks county line, west of Lebanon-Berks county line and
Lancaster-Berks county line to SR 1053 (also known as Peartown Road and Greenville Road), west of SR 1053 to
Pennsylvania Turnpike I-76, the daily bag limit is one goose, possession limit two geese.
ATLANTIC BRANT (All Zones): Oct. 14-Nov. 17, 2 daily, 4 in possession.
SNOW GEESE (All Zones): Nov. 7-March 10, 15 daily, no possession limit.
2006-07 BAG LIMITS - SPECIES OTHER THAN CANADA GEESE
Ducks: 6 daily, 12 in possession; daily limit may not include more than 4 mallards including 2 hen mallards, 1
black duck, 1 pintail, 1 mottled duck, 1 fulvous tree duck, 2 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 1 canvasback, 4 scoters
and 2 scaup. Possession limit may not include more than 8 mallards including 4 hens, 2 black ducks, 2 pintails,
2 mottled ducks, 2 fulvous tree ducks, 4 wood ducks, 4 redheads, 2 canvasbacks, 8 scoters and 4 scaup.
Mergansers: 5 daily, 10 in possession (not more than 2 hooded merganser daily, 4 hooded in possession).
Coots: 15 daily, 30 in possession.
HARLEQUIN DUCKS, and TUNDRA and TRUMPETER SWANS: No open season.
Pymatuning Wildlife Management Area: shooting days are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, one-
half hour before sunrise to 12:30 p.m. Ducks: Oct. 14-Nov. 25, Dec. 11-Jan. 5 (except for Dec. 25 and Jan. 1).
Geese: Oct. 28-Nov. 25, Dec. 11-Jan. 8 (except for Dec. 25 and Jan. 1). Youth-only day: Nov. 25.
Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area: shooting days are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Shooting
hours are one-half hour before sunrise to 1:30 p.m. Geese and ducks: Nov. 16, 18 (youth-only day), 21, 23
and 25; and Dec. 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28 and 30; Jan. 2, 4, 6, 9, 11 and 13. Geese only: Jan. 16, 18
and 20.
YOUTH WATERFOWL HUNTING DAY (Statewide): Saturday, Sept. 23. Open to licensed junior hunters ages
12-15, when properly accompanied, for ducks, mergansers, moorhens and coots, and Canada goose as
permitted. Same daily bag limits as regular season. NOTE: During the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day,
participating youth are permitted to take up to two Canada geese in the Pymatuning Zone, which is closed to all
other Canada goose hunters during the early season.
YOUTH-ONLY DAY AT CONTROLLED HUNTING AREAS: Middle Creek is Nov. 18, and Pymatuning is Nov. 25.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 8/14/2006 3:53:47 PM
Release #092-06
GAME COMMISSION PAYS $1.7 MILLION TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
HARRISBURG - Prior to Sept. 1, the Pennsylvania Game Commission will mail its annual in-lieu-of-tax payments
for State Game Lands it owns in 65 of the state's 67 counties. The Game Commission's checks, totaling
$1,719,056.59 for the 2006 tax year, will be sent to county treasurers, school districts and municipalities,
according to Carl G. Roe, agency executive director.
"Since 1929, the Game Commission has made in-lieu-of-tax payments to local governments to offset the loss of
potential property tax revenues," Roe said. "However, State Game Lands do not draw on municipal services. In
fact, State Game Lands often attract people to communities to pursue hunting, trapping, fishing, hiking and
wildlife viewing. They are an economic asset and an environmental benefit to many communities. Most
Pennsylvanians who are aware of State Game Lands, and the greater good they provide, are grateful to have
them."
Since 1920, the Game Commission has been acquiring State Game Lands by using revenues generated from
hunting and furtaking license sales; timber, coal, oil, gas and mineral sales from State Game Lands; and the
state's share of a federal excise tax on sporting arms and ammunition. These State Game Lands are managed
by the Game Commission to serve as wildlife habitats and public hunting and trapping grounds. The Game
Commission has State Game Land holdings in every county except for Philadelphia and Delaware.
In 1929, the General Assembly set the Game Commission's in-lieu-of-tax payments at five cents per acre. In
1963, the rate was increased to 20 cents per acre; in 1980, 39 cents per acre; in 1984, 60 cents per acre; and
in 1995, the rate was set at the present $1.20 per acre. This $1.20 per acre is evenly divided between the
county, school district and municipal governments, based on the acres of State Game Lands that are within each
political subdivision. The Game Commission currently pays on a total of 1,436,850.59 acres statewide.
On July 7, Governor Edward G. Rendell signed into law Senate Bill 868, which increased the payment in lieu of
taxes paid on State Game Lands by an additional $2.40 per acre. However, the new law (Act 102 of 2006)
states that this increased payment will be made by the State Treasurer when funds are available in the
Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board's State Gaming Fund, not the Game Commission's Game Fund.
Following is a list of counties with the acreage of State Game Lands in each, as well as the tax payments that
are divided equally between the county, school districts and municipalities based on the acres of State Game
Lands in each political subdivision:
Adams, 1,942.3 acres, $2,330.76;
Allegheny, 1,245.94 acres, $1,495.14;
Armstrong, 7,012.37 acres, $8,414.85;
Beaver, 4,355.27 acres, $5,226.33;
Bedford, 54,190.31 acres, $65,028.36;
Berks, 18,647.54 acres, $22,377.05;
Blair, 53,462.03 acres, $64,154.43;
Bradford, 53,429.53 acres, $64,115.45;
Bucks, 4,442.5 acres, $5,331;
Butler, 10,296.92 acres $12,356.31;
Cambria, 44,030.44 acres, $52,836.55;
Cameron, 12,963.1 acres, $15,555.72;
Carbon, 27,301.12 acres, $32,761.35;
Centre, 67,794.81 acres, $81,353.77;
Chester, 2,125.7 acres, $2,550.84;
Clarion, 19,147.02 acres, $22,976.42;
Clearfield, 31,770.61 acres, $38,124.72;
Clinton, 25,972.44 acres, $31,166.94;
Columbia, 21,532.38 acres, $25,838.85;
Crawford, 26,028.89 acres, $31,234.66;
Cumberland, 4,546.1 acres, $5,455.32;
Dauphin, 46,292.31 acres, $55,550.78;
Elk, 74,397.02 acres, $89,276.43;
Erie, 16,455.46 acres, $19,746.55;
Fayette, 21,966.42 acres, $26,359.71;
Forest, 7,146.7 acres, $8,576.04;
Franklin, 15,178 acres, $18,213.60;
Fulton, 18,607.7 acres, $22,329.24;
Greene, 13,277.02 acres, $15,932.43;
Huntingdon, 38,400.88 acres, $46,081.05;
Indiana, 19,967.10 acres, $23,960.50;
Jefferson, 35,446.15 acres, $42,535.38;
Juniata, 9,343.3 acres, $11,211.96;
Lackawanna, 11,661.88 acres, $13,994.25;
Lancaster, 9,613.74 acres, $11,536.50;
Lawrence, 2,989.39 acres, $3,587.28;
Lebanon, 25,847.56 acres, $25,852.84;
Lehigh, 6,446.32 acres, $7,735.59;
Luzerne, 50,095.27 acres, $60,114.33;
Lycoming, 45,903.37 acres, $55,084.03;
McKean, 25,052.97 acres, $30,063.57;
Mercer, 7,148.18 acres, $8,577.83;
Mifflin, 3,265.29 acres, $3,918.36;
Monroe, 38,962.56, $46,755.07;
Montgomery, 486.2 acres, $583.44;
Montour, 227.5 acres, $273;
Northampton, 5,089.02 acres, $6,106.82;
Northumberland, 12,057.03 acres, $14,468.45;
Perry, 17,671.08 acres, $21,205.30;
Pike, 24,467.34 acres, $29,360.81;
Potter, 18,696.32 acres, $22,435.59;
Schuylkill, 34,278.42 acres, $41,134.09;
Snyder, 2,885.02 acres, $3,462.03;
Somerset, 31,565.37 acres, $37,878.45;
Sullivan, 60,338.37 acres, $72,406.05;
Susquehanna, 14,450.17 acres, $17,340.21;
Tioga, 25,422.12 acres, $30,506.55;
Union, 2,546.32 acres, $3,055.59;
Venango, 23,060.93 acres, $27,673.12;
Warren, 37,423.21 acres, $44,907.84;
Washington, 13,329.93 acres, $15,995.92;
Wayne, 20,727.75 acres, $24,873.30;
Westmoreland, 15,665.09 acres, $18,798.09;
Wyoming, 36,488.83 acres, $43,786.59; and
York, 4,272.67 acres, $5,127.21.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also
conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 8/15/2006 11:01:10 AM
Release #093-06
GAME COMMISSION POSTS DMAP INFORMATION ON WEBSITE;
BUCKS COUNTIANS FOUND GUILTY OF ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF MONKEYS
GAME COMMISSION POSTS DMAP INFORMATION ON WEBSITE
HARRISBURG - Hunters looking for new antlerless deer hunting opportunities are encouraged to review the list of
Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) properties available on the Pennsylvania Game Commission's
website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). Just click on the "DMAP" logo under "The Outdoor Shop" box on the homepage
and then select the county of interest from the map.
"DMAP is a Game Commission program designed to help landowners manage deer numbers on their properties,"
said Calvin W. DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director. "Qualified landowners
participating in DMAP receive a limited number of coupons - determined by acreage - that they will make
available to hunters, who, in turn, may redeem them for a DMAP antlerless deer permit to hunt on the property
for which they are issued. Hunters may use them during any established deer hunting season for 2006-07."
This year, 750 properties representing 1,871,387 acres were approved for enrollment in DMAP. A total of
36,626 coupons were approved for distribution by landowners.
Last year, 691 properties representing 1,945,759 acres were approved for enrollment in DMAP. A total of
42,235 coupons were approved for distribution by landowners.
In 2004, 696 properties representing 1,722,619 acres were approved for enrollment in DMAP, and a total of
47,812 coupons were approved for distribution by landowners. In 2003, the first year of DMAP, 176 properties
representing 696,309 acres were enrolled in DMAP, and a total of 31,783 coupons were approved for distribution
by landowners.
Landowners are permitted to provide up to two DMAP coupons per property to a licensed hunter, who will then
apply for the DMAP permits. This will enable hunters to possess up to two DMAP permits for a specific DMAP
area. Landowners may not charge or accept any contribution from a hunter for a DMAP coupon.
Eligible landowners for DMAP include: public lands; private lands where no fee is charged for hunting; and
hunting clubs established prior to Jan. 1, 2000, that are owned in fee title and have provided a club charter and
list of current members to the agency.
The deadline to submit completed DMAP landowner applications to the Game Commission was July 1.
"Hunters may obtain up to two DMAP coupons per area, and DMAP permits do not impact a hunter's eligibility to
apply for and receive antlerless deer licenses issued for Wildlife Management Units (WMUs)," DuBrock said.
"DMAP permit allotments are not part of the annual general antlerless deer license allocations for WMUs."
Resident hunters must mail DMAP coupons in a regular envelope, along with a check for $6 made payable to the
Pennsylvania Game Commission, to the address listed on the coupon to receive their DMAP antlerless deer
permit. Nonresidents must include a check for $26. The permit can be used to harvest one antlerless deer on
the specific DMAP area. Maps for the properties are to be provided to hunters by the landowners.
Hunters may not use DMAP permits to harvest an antlered deer.
Of the 750 properties, 183 properties were posted on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). The website
listing represents 1,556,880 acres, and accounts for 28,944 coupons that are being made available. Private
landowners not appearing on the website represent only 314,507 acres and 7,682 coupons, and already have
identified a sufficient number of hunters to receive their allotted coupons.
Those properties listed on the website represent all public landowners enrolled in the program and those private
landowners who have given the agency permission to post their contact information. Of the 183 properties
originally posted on the website, only 167 properties remain as other landowners have distributed their allotment
of DMAP coupons to hunters.
The website provides an alphabetical listing of DMAP properties for each county in which DMAP properties are
located. Each listing will provide the following information: landowner; contact information, including name,
address, telephone number and e-mail address (if available); DMAP property identification number; Wildlife
Management Unit in which the DMAP property is located; total number of acres for the property; and total
number of coupons issued for the property.
Hunters also can check the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' website to see where
coupons still are available for various state forests and parks by clicking on:
http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/dmap/available.aspx.
Those without access to the Internet can send a stamped, self-addressed envelope, along with a letter indicating
the county or counties of interest, to the appropriate Game Commission Region Office. Following is a listing of
each of the six Game Commission Region Offices' addresses and the counties they serve:
Northwest Region Office, P.O. Box 31, Franklin, PA 16323. Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Jefferson,
Lawrence, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties.
Southwest Region Office, 4820 Route 711, Bolivar, PA 15923. Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Cambria,
Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
Northcentral Region Office, P.O. Box 5038, Jersey Shore, PA 17740. Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton,
Elk, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga, and Union counties.
Southcentral Region Office, 8627 William Penn Highway, Huntingdon, PA 16652. Adams, Bedford, Blair,
Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry and Snyder counties.
Northeast Region Office, P.O. Box 220, Dallas, PA 18612. Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne,
Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties.
Southeast Region Office, 448 Snyder Rd., Reading, PA 19605. Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware,
Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York counties.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
BUCKS COUNTIANS FOUND GUILTY OF ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF MONKEYS
READING - Three Bristol Township, Bucks County, residents were found guilty of unlawful possession, obtaining
wildlife without the proper permits and importation violations of wildlife. District Magistrate Robert Wagner of
Levittown, heard arguments from Pennsylvania Game Commission officials charging Charlene Leonard and
Kimberly Leonard of Levittown, and Edward Barbee of Croydon, with possessing two monkeys without obtaining
permits to import and possess the monkeys.
Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Glen Campbell learned of the monkeys after a report was filed
with Bristol Township Police Department alleging that one of the monkeys bit a relative of defendant Edward
Barbee.
"Humane Officer Nicole Wilson, of the Women's Humane Society in Bucks County, alerted me to the incident
and, after conducting a background investigation, it became apparent that the monkeys were unlawfully
imported into Pennsylvania," said Campbell.
The Game Commission is charged with regulating the importation of wild mammals and birds into the
Commonwealth to ensure that people who possess wildlife obtain the proper training and education prior to
being granted any of the various permits governing the possession of wildlife. Permits are never issued for
monkeys or other primates to be held as private pets.
Wildlife Conservation Officers inspect approved facilities for cleanliness and conformity to regulatory requirements
of cage sizes, disease detection, and basic care for wildlife. Regulations set forth by the Board of Game
Commissioners seek to protect the health, safety and welfare of the wildlife being possessed, as well as the
health, safety and welfare of the public.
"While the danger of exotic mammals such as large wild cats and canines may be obvious, even smaller wildlife,
such as monkeys, can bite, scratch and carry diseases dangerous to humans," added Campbell.
The monkeys were seized from the homes of the defendants after officers from the Game Commission and
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission were granted search warrants. The monkeys were transported to a
primate facility near Harrisburg, where they were quarantined and monitored for possible signs of disease. The
monkeys continue to be housed at great expense to the primate facility, and have been placed in an appropriate
enclosure that mimics, as best as possible, the habitat for their species.
"The Commonwealth is acting in the best interests of the health and safety of humans, native wildlife and
captive wildlife, by ensuring that strict guidelines and procedures are followed by qualified and properly
permitted citizens of Pennsylvania to possess wildlife," concluded Campbell.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 8/21/2006 2:37:13 PM
Release #094-06

UNSOLD ANTLERLESS DEER APPLICATIONS
TO BE ACCEPTED AUG. 28
WMU 1B exhausts antlerless license allocation

HARRISBURG - Beginning Monday, Aug. 28, the Pennsylvania Game Commission will accept resident and nonresident hunters'
applications for the first round of unsold antlerless deer licenses. Applications for regular antlerless deer licenses were accepted
from resident hunters on Aug. 7, and nonresidents on Aug. 21.

Hunters may apply for and receive only one antlerless deer license during this first round in all Wildlife Management Units
(WMUs), except for WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, where hunters may apply for multiple antlerless licenses. Applying for and receiving
more than one "unsold" antlerless license prior to Sept. 11 -except in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D - is against the law and carries a
fine. In addition, receiving a second "unsold" license during the first round automatically voids the first "unsold" license a hunter
receives.

As a result of a printer error at Liberty Press, some copies of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest contain an
unsold antlerless deer license application and instructions (which appear on page 54) that had words cut from the page's right
margin during production.

"This error shouldn't create a problem for those who use the application, and it is still valid," said J. Carl Graybill Jr., Game
Commission Bureau of Information and Education director. "Complete instructions for filling out the application also appear on
pages 52 and 53 of the Digest. And, as in the past, the Game Commission has posted on its website an unsold antlerless deer
license application that enables the user to enter his or her information into the application before printing it."

The printer error left some applications without lines for applicants to fill in their ZIP Code and the date of signature. Also,
wording for instruction point number 4 is cut off. The complete wording is: "All Unsold Antlerless License applications must be
submitted through the U.S. Mail (First Class Only) until Nov. 6. Express and Priority mail will not be accepted. No more than
three (3) individual applications per official envelope. Number of applications must be circled on front of envelope to avoid delay
and possible rejection."

The online application can be found on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) in the "Forms & Programs" section in the
left-hand column on the homepage, and then under the "Forms" heading.

The Game Commission has developed a "Doe License Update" page on its website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) to provide
hunters additional information on the antlerless license application process, including regular updates about the
number of antlerless licenses available by Wildlife Management Unit (WMU). Look for it in the "Quick Clicks" box
in the upper right-hand corner of the agency's homepage.

As of today, WMU 1B joins WMUs 2G and 2F in this list of WMUs that have exhausted its supply of antlerless
deer licenses. However, hunters are not out of options when looking to hunt antlerless deer in these WMUs
thanks to the availability of Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) coupons for the Allegheny National
Forest, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources state forests and parks, and privately-owned
properties. Coupons provided by landowners to hunters may be redeemed from the Game Commission for a
DMAP antlerless deer permit to be used on a particular property.

"While DMAP permits may be used only on the specific property for which they are issued, they do offer hunters
additional antlerless deer hunting opportunities on large tracts of public and private lands in WMUs 1B, 2F and
2G," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "DMAP enables landowners to achieve the type of
deer harvest they desire to better manage their lands. We encourage hunters to contact these landowners and
take advantage of this opportunity."

Landowners may not charge a fee or accept any contribution from a hunter for a DMAP coupon. While hunters
may obtain up to two DMAP permits per property, DMAP permits do not impact a hunter's eligibility to apply for
and receive antlerless deer licenses issued for WMUs. DMAP permit allotments are not part of the annual
general antlerless deer license allocations for WMUs.

Resident hunters must mail DMAP coupons in a regular envelope, along with a check for $6 made payable to the
Pennsylvania Game Commission, to the address listed on the coupon to receive their DMAP antlerless deer
permit. Nonresidents must include a check for $26. The permit can be used to harvest one antlerless deer on
the specific DMAP property. Maps for the properties are to be provided to hunters by the landowners.

Hunters may not use DMAP permits to harvest an antlered deer.

For more information on DMAP, visit the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on the
"DMAP" box in the center of the homepage. Hunters also can check the state Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources' website to see where coupons still are available for various state forests and parks by clicking
on: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/dmap/available.aspx.

Of the 859,000 antlerless licenses originally allocated for the state's 22 WMUs, 371,150 licenses remain.
Following is a listing of the antlerless deer licenses remaining by WMU as of today, Aug. 21 (along with the initial
allocation for each WMU):

WMU 1A, 17,767 (42,000);
WMU 1B, CLOSED (30,000);
WMU 2A, 35,336 (55,000);
WMU 2B, 63,597 (68,000);
WMU 2C, 13,378 (49,000);
WMU 2D, 14,631 (56,000);
WMU 2E, 2,601 (21,000);
WMU 2F, CLOSED (28,000);
WMU 2G, CLOSED (19,000);
WMU 3A, 9,612 (29,000);
WMU 3B, 17,478 (43,000);
WMU 3C, 1,532 (27,000);
WMU 3D, 15,391 (38,000);
WMU 4A, 5,927 (29,000);
WMU 4B, 8,037 (31,000);
WMU 4C, 9,645 (39,000);
WMU 4D, 4,966 (40,000);
WMU 4E, 19,520 (38,000);
WMU 5A, 16,387 (25,000);
WMU 5B, 31,084 (53,000);
WMU 5C, 64,862 (79,000); and
WMU 5D, 19,399 (20,000).

Beginning Monday, Sept. 11, the Game Commission will accept, only through first-class mail, applications for
the second round of unsold antlerless licenses. Hunters who applied for an unsold antlerless license during the
first round may apply for and receive only one antlerless deer license during the second round. Those hunters
who did not apply for an unsold license during the first round may make separate applications for and receive up
to two unsold antlerless licenses during the second round. The separate applications may be submitted to one
or two WMUs.

Regular antlerless licenses and first-round unsold licenses will be mailed by county treasurers to successful
applicants no later than Monday, Sept. 18. Second-round unsold licenses will be mailed no later than Sunday,
Oct. 1.

Also, beginning Monday, Sept. 18, applicants may apply over-the-counter at county treasurers' offices in WMUs
2B, 5C and 5D. Beginning Monday, Nov. 6, hunters may apply over-the-counter for unsold antlerless licenses
in all WMUs.

Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.

The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.

# # #
Content Last Modified on 8/21/2006 3:51:19 PM
The Game Commission's
new commemorative
bald eagle patch.
Get Image
Release #095-06
GAME COMMISSION OFFERS SPECIAL EDITION PATCH TO COMMEMORATE MILESTONE OF 100 BALD
EAGLE NESTS
HARRISBURG - To commemorate Pennsylvania's 100-nest milestone in bald eagle conservation, the Pennsylvania
Game Commission is offering for sale a special-edition embroidered wildlife patch. Depicting a bald eagle with
two eaglets and designed by award-winning wildlife artist Bob Sopchick, the patch is six inches in diameter and
sells for $20. There has been a one-time production run of 3,000 patches.
Those interested can purchase a patch at any of the agency's six region offices,
Harrisburg headquarters or through "The Outdoor Shop" on the agency's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us) by clicking on "Merchandise" and then choosing "Patches."
The Game Commission started Pennsylvania's seven-year bald eagle
reintroduction program in 1983, when just three nesting pairs remained in the
Commonwealth. The agency sent employees to Saskatchewan to obtain 12 eaglets
from wilderness nests in the first year. With financial assistance from the Richard
King Mellon Foundation of Pittsburgh and the federal Endangered Species Fund,
the project spurred the release of 88 Canadian bald eagles into the wilds of
Pennsylvania at Haldeman Island in Dauphin County and Shohola Falls in Pike
County.
"Pennsylvanians have every right to be excited and proud about the bald eagle's
comeback, because their increasing presence in the Commonwealth symbolizes
that wildlife conservation is working here and that Pennsylvanians care," noted
Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe. "We have reason to believe this
remarkable story will continue to get better in subsequent years, because our
state still has plenty of unoccupied bald eagle habitat.
"It's entirely appropriate that we celebrate the bald eagle's historic milestone of more than 100 nests in
Pennsylvania. The bald eagle has symbolized America and freedom for more than 230 years, as per our
forefathers' wishes. Bald eagles imbue that rugged spiritedness that characterizes our United States and
Keystone State."
The Game Commission, partnering with other states and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), helped to
bring bald eagles back from the brink of extinction with reintroductions throughout the Northeast in the 1980s.
The effort dovetailed with important gains made in improving water quality, which led to increases in the quality
and quantity of freshwater fish, a staple in the eagle's diet. Pennsylvania's eagle resurgence also was likely
stimulated by young eagles dispersing from the Chesapeake Bay, which now has more than 600 nesting pairs,
and neighboring states that also reintroduced eagles.
Bald eagles are nesting in at least 31 of the state's 67 counties, according to preliminary census tabulations.
There are at least 106 active nesting pairs (99 confirmed in 2005), and an additional 20 pairs appear to have
established territories, which typically is a prerequisite task to nest-building. New nests have been confirmed in
Bucks, Columbia, Fulton and Sullivan counties. Field staff also is looking into reports of new nests in Adams,
Lawrence, Luzerne, Mercer, Montour and Wayne counties.
For more information on Pennsylvania's latest bald eagle nest survey results, please see News Release #79-06 in
the "Newsroom" on the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us).
To learn more about bald eagles and other threatened and endangered species, visit the Game Commission's
website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on "Wildlife" in the left column, then select "Endangered and Threatened
Species," and choose "Bald Eagle" in the list of "Threatened Species."
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 8/29/2006 3:17:09 PM
Release #096-06
GAME COMMISSION BEGINS DRAFTING REGULATIONS TO EXPAND CONTROL OPTIONS FOR NUISANCE
CANADA GEESE
Preliminary package to be presented to Board in October
HARRISBURG - In response to recently announced changes in federal regulations governing the control of
resident Canada geese, Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Management Bureau Director Calvin W. DuBrock
today announced that agency staff will present state regulatory changes to the Board of Game Commissioners
for its consideration at its upcoming meeting on Oct. 2-3. If approved in October, the Board would be set to
take up final approval at its meeting in January.
On Aug. 11, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a Record of Decision and final rule that will allow state
wildlife agencies, landowners, and airports more flexibility in controlling resident Canada goose populations. The
USFWS's action is in response to growing impacts from overabundant resident Canada goose populations, which
can damage property, agriculture, and natural resources in parks and other areas.
However, DuBrock emphasized that before any changes occur in Pennsylvania's regulations governing resident
Canada goose management, the Game Commission must propose and adopt the changes through the state's
two-step rulemaking process. He also stressed there are some USFWS authorized actions that may not be
permitted for use in Pennsylvania.
Resident Canada geese typically stay in the same area or move short distances. There is no evidence that
resident Canada geese breed with migratory Canada geese that nest in northern Canada and Alaska. The rapid
rise of resident Canada goose populations has been attributed to a number of factors. Key among them is that
most resident Canada geese live in temperate climates with relatively stable breeding habitat conditions. They
tolerate human and other disturbances, have a relative abundance of food and nesting habitat, and fly short
distances for winter compared to migratory Canada goose populations. The absence of waterfowl hunting and
natural predators in urban areas also has contributed to perpetuating overabundance.
In the Atlantic Flyway, the resident Canada goose population has increased an average of two percent per year
over the last four years and was estimated at 1.15 million resident Canada geese this past spring.
In Pennsylvania, the current estimated population of resident Canada geese is 229,000. Last year's estimated
population was 282,000 and, in 2004, the estimated population was an all-time high of 299,000. The
management goal for Pennsylvania's resident Canada goose population is 100,000.
The new federal regulatory program consists of three components. The first creates control and depredation
orders for airports, landowners and agricultural producers that are designed to address resident Canada goose
depredation and damage while managing conflict. This component will allow taking resident Canada geese
without a federal permit, provided certain reporting and monitoring requirements are fulfilled. Game Commission
draft regulations will seek to implement the control and depredation order components for airports, agriculture
facilities and landowners.
The second component of the federal regulation changes consists of expanded hunting methods and
opportunities and is designed to increase the recreational harvest of resident Canada geese. Under this
component, states could choose to expand shooting hours during a portion of the early September resident
Canada goose seasons.
While it is too late for the Game Commission to take action for the 2006 waterfowl season, DuBrock indicated
that agency staff will have discussions to consider whether it should recommend changes for the 2007 season.
The third component consists of a new regulation authorizing state wildlife agencies to implement a resident
Canada goose population control program, or "Management Take." Management Take is defined as a special
management action that is needed to reduce certain wildlife populations when traditional and otherwise
authorized management measures are unsuccessful, not feasible, or not applicable in preventing damage to
property, agricultural crops or other interests. Under Management Take, the taking of resident Canada geese
outside the existing recreational hunting seasons (September 1 to March 10) would be authorized and would
enable states to authorize a harvest of resident Canada geese between August 1 and August 31. This would not
considered a hunting season, because it would occur outside of existing framework for recreational hunting
seasons, but allows states to utilize hunters to harvest geese by shooting to reduce goose populations.
Management Take would be available to states in the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Central Flyways following the first
full operational year of the other new regulations.
DuBrock pointed out that it is too late for the Game Commission to take action to implement the "Management
Take" option for the 2006-07 waterfowl seasons. However, he said that it was unlikely that the Game
Commission would consider implementing this recommendation.
"Recent expansions of the existing annual early Canada goose hunting seasons and bag limits, combined with
the issuance of control permits, have all been used to reduce resident Canada goose numbers," DuBrock said.
"Our management actions over the past few years have brought about a decline in Pennsylvania's resident
Canada goose population; therefore, we want to continue to take measured steps before considering new options
that would ratchet up pressure. We also want to gather input from waterfowl hunters and the general public
before taking action to expand hunting options."
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 8/29/2006 3:09:58 PM
Release #097-06
ELK APPLICATION DEADLINES APPROACH;
ELK GUIDE APPLICATION DEADLINES SET;
ELK APPLICANTS CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF VIDEO OFFER;
SIXTH ANNUAL GREAT OUTDOORS ELK EXPO SCHEDULED FOR SEPT. 22-23
ELK APPLICATION DEADLINES APPROACH
HARRISBURG -- Pennsylvania hunters are reminded about the upcoming deadlines for submitting applications for
one of the 40 elk licenses (15 antlered and 25 antlerless) to be awarded for the Nov. 6-11, 2006 season, and the 10
elk licenses (2 either-sex and 8 antlerless) that will be awarded for the Sept. 17-22, 2007 season, during a public
drawing at the upcoming Elk Expo.
Hunters planning to participate in the elk hunt have until Friday, Sept. 1, to get their paper applications and $10 non-
refundable fee into the Pennsylvania Game Commission's U.S. Post Office box. Applications also may be completed
over-the-counter at any of the Game Commission's six region offices or Harrisburg headquarters by 4 p.m. on Sept.
1.
Individuals submitting applications via "The Outdoor Shop" on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) have
until Sept. 15.
The Game Commission established an earlier deadline for paper applications to enable the agency to properly
process them in time for the public drawing on Sept. 23.
Hunters who wish to apply by mail may print the application from the website, complete it and mail it to:
Pennsylvania Game Commission, Elk License Application, P.O. Box 61890, Harrisburg, PA 17106-1890. An
application also appears on page 106 of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations,
which is provided to license buyers.
A $10 non-refundable fee must be submitted with the application. Forms submitted through the mail must be
accompanied by a check or money order (do not send cash) made payable to "Pennsylvania Game Commission," and
must be received in the Game Commission's Post Office box by Sept. 1. Applications received after that date will be
returned to sender. On-line applications must be accompanied by a credit card payment (VISA, MasterCard,
Discover or American Express accepted), and must be submitted by Sept. 15.
By law, only one application is permitted per person. If a person submits more than one application, all of the
hunter's applications will be ineligible and the applicant will be subject to prosecution. All application fees are non-
refundable.
Individuals are not required to purchase a resident or nonresident general hunting license to apply for the drawing.
However, if they are drawn for one of the elk licenses, hunters then will be required to purchase the appropriate
resident or nonresident general hunting license and view the elk hunt orientation video produced by the Game
Commission before being permitted to purchase the elk license. The elk license fees are $25 for residents and $250
for nonresidents.
The public drawing will be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, as part of the Elk Expo. (See article in this release
for details on the Elk Expo.)
As was done last year, the agency will conduct a computerized drawing to award elk licenses. The agency has been
conducting computerized bobcat drawings since 2003.
With the implementation of a preference point system, the Game Commission exceeded the capacity of the container
used for previous elk license drawings. Also, by eliminating the printing of cards, the agency will save money.
When the drawing begins, enough applications will be selected to award 50 elk licenses for the November 2006 and
September 2007 hunts. The first 17 awarded will be 15 antlered and two either-sex licenses. The next 33 awarded
will be antlerless elk licenses.
There is no cap, or limit, for the number of licenses that may be awarded to nonresidents. Individuals who were not
awarded an elk license in 2003, 2004 or 2005 have three preference points applied to this year's drawing if they
submit an application this year, and will have their name entered into the drawing four times (three preference points
plus the point for this year's application).
As part of the preference point system established by the agency in 2003, consecutive applications are not required to
maintain previously earned preference points, but those points can be activated only in years that a hunter submits an
application. For instance, if a hunter has three preference points, but does not enter the 2006-07 drawing, he/she will
not have any chances in the upcoming drawing. Once a hunter is awarded an elk license - either an antlered or
antlerless elk license - the hunter's preference points will revert to zero.
Those applying for an elk license can choose either an antlered or antlerless elk license, or they may select both
categories on their application. For those who select "antlered only," if they are drawn after the antlered licenses are
allocated, they will not receive an elk license. For those who do receive an antlered or either sex elk license, they
will not be permitted to re-apply for future elk hunting opportunities for five years. However, those who received an
antlerless elk license in any of the previous hunts may submit an application this year.
Applicants also have the opportunity to identify their elk hunt zone preference, or they may select "any." If drawn
and their preference hunt zone is filled, applicants will be assigned a specific area by the Game Commission. To
assist applicants in making this decision, information about the elk hunt zones, as well as an elk harvest map
depicting the locations of every elk taken by hunters over the past five years, are posted on the website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us) along with the application.
ELK GUIDE APPLICATION DEADLINES SET
The Pennsylvania Game Commission has set deadlines for those interested in applying for an elk guide permit for
either the Sept. 18-23 or Nov. 6-11 elk hunts in 2006. Those seeking a guide permit for this year's September elk
hunt must have their application into the Harrisburg headquarters no later than Tuesday, Sept. 5. Those seeking a
guide permit for the November elk hunt must have their application into the Harrisburg headquarters no later than
Friday, Oct. 13.
Those who submit an application by Sept. 5 will be eligible to guide for both the September and November elk hunts
in 2006.
Individuals, especially those who live in the elk range or are familiar with the elk herd, may apply for a permit to
serve as a guide for those who receive elk licenses. Guides may provide assistance in locating, calling or tracking
elk, but may not harvest the elk. Family members and friends accompanying the elk hunter, but not participating in
the hunt, do not need to obtain an elk guide permit.
Guide permits will be $10 for residents and $25 for nonresidents. Permit applications may be obtained from the
Game Commission's Harrisburg headquarters, or from the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), by clicking on
"Forms & Programs," and selecting "PGC-12E: Elk Guide Application" in the "Forms" section of the page.
Completed applications must be received in the Harrisburg headquarters by the appropriate deadline and should be
mailed to: Pennsylvania Game Commission, Bureau of Wildlife Protection, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA
17110-9797.
Licensed elk hunters may choose to use a guide who has been properly permitted, although it is not a requirement to
use a guide. Driving or herding elk is illegal.
Those seeking elk guide permits also should consult the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
concerning special guiding permits and requirements on state forest or state park lands. Check with the local district
forester or park manager for details.
ELK APPLICANTS CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF VIDEO OFFER
Applicants for this year's elk license drawing can take advantage of a special video offer from the Pennsylvania
Game Commission. For $22.95 an individual can apply for the elk hunt and receive a copy of the agency's award-
winning video, "Pennsylvania Elk: Reclaiming the Alleghenies."
The 85-minute video was sifted from 125 hours of field video gathered over a two and a half year period in the wilds
of Cameron, Elk and western Clinton counties. Regularly selling for $19.95, the video contains unparalleled elk
close-ups, an intriguing look at elk natural history, eye-opening footage and insightful commentary.
"This video is the next best thing to spending time in Pennsylvania's elk country," said J. Carl Graybill Jr., Game
Commission Bureau of Information and Education director. "It is the perfect way to become acquainted with the
territory elk inhabit and their habits, if you are interested in hunting or just learning about Pennsylvania elk."
Those interested can complete the order form, which is part of the elk license drawing application on page 106 of the
2006-07 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting & Trapping Regulations, and mail it with one check or money order made
payable to the Pennsylvania Game Commission for $22.95 ($10 for the elk license drawing, $10 for the video and
$2.95 for shipping and handling of the video).
For those who applied for the elk hunt drawing via the agency's website, write the web order number on the elk
video form on page 106, and send it to: Pennsylvania Game Commission, Elk License Application, P.O. Box 61890,
Harrisburg, PA 17106-1890, along with a check or money order made payable to "Pennsylvania Game Commission"
for $12.95 ($10 for the video and $2.95 for shipping and handling of the video). This video offer is not available
through "The Outdoor Shop."
Graybill reminded applicants who already applied online that they may not submit more than one application per
license year, so, if they are interested in taking advantage of this video offer they should be careful not to complete
the remaining portion of the elk license application.
SIXTH ANNUAL GREAT OUTDOORS ELK EXPO SCHEDULED FOR SEPT. 22-23
KERSEY, Elk County - The Northwest Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau is finalizing preparations for
the Sixth Annual Elk Expo, which will offer plenty of things to do for the whole family. Expo officials announced
that admission is $3 per person, and those under 12 years of age are free.
The 6th Annual Elk Expo - in the heart of Pennsylvania's Wilds - promises something for everyone. Northwest
Pennsylvania Great Outdoors will again sponsor the two-day festival all about elk and enjoying the great outdoors.
The event will be held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22 and 23, at the Elk County Fairgrounds and will feature
demonstrations and presentations, contests and exhibitions, plus sports activities, elk watching shuttle buses, arts and
crafts booths, food booths, educational displays, wildlife calling contests, and a marketplace with the latest outdoors
equipment and clothing.
At 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, the Pennsylvania Game Commission will conduct a computerized drawing of the
names of hunters who will participate in the state's elk hunt in Nov. 6-11, 2006, and Sept. 17-22, 2007. The Game
Commission also plans to have a booth at the Expo.
Information on featured entertainment and events will be released in the coming weeks. For more information, visit
www.pagreatoutdoors.com, and click on "Elk Expo."
# # #
Content Last Modified on 8/29/2006 3:05:52 PM
Release #098-06
BOBCAT APPLICATION DEADLINE APPROACHES
HARRISBURG -- Pennsylvania hunters and trappers are reminded that the deadline for submitting online
applications for one of the 720 bobcat permits to be awarded during a public drawing at the Pennsylvania Game
Commission's Harrisburg headquarters is Tuesday, Sept. 5. Online applications can be submitted through "The
Outdoor Shop" on the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) by clicking on "Licenses," then
selecting "Bobcat" in the banner at the top of the page and then completing the application.
The deadline for paper was Aug. 15, and those delivered or postmarked after Aug. 15 will be returned to
applicants.
The bobcat season will be open only in Wildlife Management Units 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D, which are
in southwestern, northcentral and northeastern Pennsylvania. In order to participate in this restricted
opportunity, an individual must have a resident furtaker license or a resident junior or senior combination
license, and a bobcat hunting-trapping permit.
Those who received a bobcat permit last year are not eligible for this year's drawing. Only one application per
person will be accepted. Multiple applications will result in the rejection of all of an individual's applications.
The 720 permits will be selected during a computerized drawing, which will be open to the public, on Friday,
Sept. 8, at the agency's headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg. Those selected will receive their
bobcat permit by U.S. mail in early October.
The bobcat hunting season will take place Oct. 21 through Feb. 17. The bobcat trapping season will be held
from Oct. 22 through Feb. 17.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 8/29/2006 2:51:15 PM
Release #099-06
WMUS 3C AND 4D SELL OUT OF ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES
HARRISBURG -Wildlife Management Units (WMU) 3C and 4D have exhausted their antlerless deer license
allocations as of today, Aug. 28, announced Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe.
WMU 3C covers all of Susquehanna County and portions of Bradford, Wyoming, Lackawanna and Wayne counties
in northeastern Pennsylvania. WMU 4D covers portions of Centre, Clearfield, Cambria, Blair, Huntingdon, Mifflin,
Juniata, Snyder, Union, Lycoming and Clinton counties in central Pennsylvania.
Roe noted that hunters, both residents and nonresidents, are not out of options when looking to hunt in these
WMUs thanks to Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) coupons that remain available for antlerless deer
hunting opportunities on the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' (DCNR) properties and private
lands.
"While DMAP permits may be used only on the specific property for which they are issued, they do offer hunters
additional antlerless deer hunting opportunities on large tracts of public and private lands in WMUs 3C and 4D,
which have exhausted their antlerless deer license allocations," Roe said. "DMAP was developed to provide a way
for hunters to help landowners achieve the type of deer harvest they require to better manage their lands. We
encourage hunters to contact these landowners and to help them manage deer populations on their properties."
Landowners can't charge or accept any contribution from a hunter for a DMAP coupon. While hunters may obtain
up to two DMAP permits per property, DMAP permits do not impact a hunter's eligibility to apply for and receive
antlerless deer licenses issued for WMUs.
DMAP permit allotments are not part of the annual general antlerless deer license allocations for WMUs.
Resident hunters must mail DMAP coupons in a regular envelope, along with a check for $6 made payable to the
Pennsylvania Game Commission, to the address listed on the coupon to receive their DMAP antlerless deer
permit. Nonresidents must include a check for $26. The permit can be used to harvest one antlerless deer on the
specific DMAP property. Maps for the properties are to be provided to hunters by the landowners.
Hunters may not use DMAP permits to harvest an antlered deer.
For more information on DMAP, visit the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on the
"DMAP" box in the center of the homepage. Hunters also can check the state Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources' website to see where coupons still are available for various state forests and parks by clicking
on: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/dmap/available.aspx.
Of the 859,000 antlerless licenses originally allocated, agency employees have distributed to county treasurers
538,867 applications. Following is a listing of the antlerless deer licenses remaining by Wildlife Management Unit
as of today, Aug. 28 (along with the initial allocation for each WMU): WMU 1A, 14,659 (42,000); WMU 1B,
CLOSED (30,000); WMU 2A, 32,636 (55,000); WMU 2B, 62,795 (68,000); WMU 2C, 9,474 (49,000); WMU
2D, 11,313 (56,000); WMU 2E, 703 (21,000); WMU 2F, CLOSED (28,000); WMU 2G, CLOSED (19,000);
WMU 3A, 5,600 (29,000); WMU 3B, 14,159 (43,000); WMU 3C, CLOSED (27,000); WMU 3D, 11,391
(38,000); WMU 4A, 3,227 (29,000); WMU 4B, 6,137 (31,000); WMU 4C, 6,742 (39,000); WMU 4D, CLOSED
(40,000); WMU 4E, 16,120 (38,000); WMU 5A, 14,737 (25,000); WMU 5B, 29,382 (53,000); WMU 5C,
62,159 (79,000); and WMU 5D, 18,899 (20,000).
For updated information, please visit the Game Commission's "Doe License Update" in the "Quick Clicks" box in
the upper right-hand corner of the agency's homepage (www.pgc.state.pa.us).
Beginning Monday, Sept. 11, the Game Commission will accept, only through first-class mail, applications for
the second round of unsold antlerless licenses. Hunters who applied for an unsold antlerless license during the
first round may apply for and receive only one antlerless deer license during the second round. Those hunters
who did not apply for an unsold license during the first round may make separate applications for and receive up
to two unsold antlerless licenses during the second round. The separate applications may be submitted to one or
two WMUs.
As a result of a printer error at Liberty Press, some copies of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping
Digest contain an unsold antlerless deer license application and instructions (which appear on page 54) that had
words cut from the page's right margin during production.
"This error shouldn't create a problem for those who use the application, and it is still valid," said J. Carl Graybill
Jr., Game Commission Bureau of Information and Education director. "Complete instructions for filling out the
application also appear on pages 52 and 53 of the Digest. And, as in the past, the Game Commission has
posted on its website an unsold antlerless deer license application that enables the user to enter his or her
information into the application before printing it."
The printer error left some applications without lines for applicants to fill in their ZIP Code and the date of
signature. Also, wording for instruction point number 4 is cut off. The complete wording is: "All Unsold Antlerless
License applications must be submitted through the U.S. Mail (First Class Only) until Nov. 6. Express and Priority
mail will not be accepted. No more than three (3) individual applications per official envelope. Number of
applications must be circled on front of envelope to avoid delay and possible rejection."
The online application can be found on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) in the "Forms & Programs"
section in the left-hand column on the homepage, and then under the "Forms" heading.
Regular antlerless licenses and first-round unsold licenses will be mailed by county treasurers to successful
applicants no later than Monday, Sept. 18. Second-round unsold licenses will be mailed no later than Sunday,
Oct. 1.
Also, beginning Monday, Sept. 18, applicants may apply over-the-counter at county treasurers' offices in WMUs
2B, 5C and 5D.
Beginning Monday, Nov. 6, hunters may apply over-the-counter for unsold antlerless licenses in all WMUs.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also
conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 8/29/2006 2:48:34 PM
Release #100-06
WMU 2E SELLS OUT OF ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES;
GAME COMMISSION POSTS BEAR MANAGEMENT PLAN ON WEBSITE
WMU 2E SELLS OUT OF ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES
HARRISBURG -Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 2E has exhausted its antlerless deer license allocation as of
today, announced Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe. WMU 2E covers portions of
Clearfield, Cambria, Indiana and Jefferson counties in western Pennsylvania.
Of the 859,000 antlerless licenses originally allocated, agency employees have distributed to county treasurers
596,774 applications. Following is a listing of the antlerless deer licenses remaining by Wildlife Management Unit
as of today, Aug. 29 (along with the initial allocation for each WMU): WMU 1A, 8,959 (42,000); WMU 1B,
CLOSED (30,000); WMU 2A, 30,535 (55,000); WMU 2B, 61,295 (68,000); WMU 2C, 6,074 (49,000); WMU
2D, 3,711 (56,000); WMU 2E, CLOSED (21,000); WMU 2F, CLOSED (28,000); WMU 2G, CLOSED (19,000);
WMU 3A, 2,800 (29,000); WMU 3B, 9,759 (43,000); WMU 3C, CLOSED (27,000); WMU 3D, 6,691 (38,000);
WMU 4A, 1,227 (29,000); WMU 4B, 2,337 (31,000); WMU 4C, 2,242 (39,000); WMU 4D, CLOSED (40,000);
WMU 4E, 14,620 (38,000); WMU 5A, 14,037 (25,000); WMU 5B, 24,881 (53,000); WMU 5C, 54,359
(79,000); and WMU 5D, 18,699 (20,000).
For updated information, please visit the Game Commission's "Doe License Update" in the "Quick Clicks" box in
the upper right-hand corner of the agency's homepage (www.pgc.state.pa.us).
Hunters, both residents and nonresidents, also may apply for antlerless deer permits to use on specific
properties enrolled in the Game Commission's Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP), which was
developed to provide a way for hunters to help landowners achieve the type of deer harvest they require to
better manage their lands. While DMAP permits may be used only on the specific property for which they are
issued, they do offer hunters additional antlerless deer hunting opportunities.
Landowners can't charge or accept any contribution from a hunter for a DMAP coupon. While hunters may obtain
up to two DMAP permits per property, DMAP permits do not impact a hunter's eligibility to apply for and receive
antlerless deer licenses issued for WMUs.
DMAP permit allotments are not part of the annual general antlerless deer license allocations for WMUs.
Resident hunters must mail DMAP coupons in a regular envelope, along with a check for $6 made payable to the
Pennsylvania Game Commission, to the address listed on the coupon to receive their DMAP antlerless deer
permit. Nonresidents must include a check for $26. The permit can be used to harvest one antlerless deer on the
specific DMAP property. Maps for the properties are to be provided to hunters by the landowners.
Hunters may not use DMAP permits to harvest an antlered deer.
For information about landowners with remaining DMAP coupons, visit the Game Commission's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on the "DMAP" box in the center of the homepage. Hunters also can check the
state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' website to see where coupons still are available for
various state forests and parks by clicking on: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/dmap/available.aspx.
Beginning Monday, Sept. 11, the Game Commission will accept, only through first-class mail, applications for
the second round of unsold antlerless licenses. Hunters who applied for an unsold antlerless license during the
first round may apply for and receive only one antlerless deer license during the second round. Those hunters
who did not apply for an unsold license during the first round may make separate applications for and receive up
to two unsold antlerless licenses during the second round. The separate applications may be submitted to one or
two WMUs.
As a result of a printer error at Liberty Press, some copies of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping
Digest contain an unsold antlerless deer license application and instructions (which appear on page 54) that had
words cut from the page's right margin during production.
"This error shouldn't create a problem for those who use the application, and it is still valid," said J. Carl Graybill
Jr., Game Commission Bureau of Information and Education director. "Complete instructions for filling out the
application also appear on pages 52 and 53 of the Digest. And, as in the past, the Game Commission has
posted on its website an unsold antlerless deer license application that enables the user to enter his or her
information into the application before printing it."
The printer error left some applications without lines for applicants to fill in their ZIP Code and the date of
signature. Also, wording for instruction point number 4 is cut off. The complete wording is: "All Unsold Antlerless
License applications must be submitted through the U.S. Mail (First Class Only) until Nov. 6. Express and Priority
mail will not be accepted. No more than three (3) individual applications per official envelope. Number of
applications must be circled on front of envelope to avoid delay and possible rejection."
The online application can be found on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) in the "Forms & Programs"
section in the left-hand column on the homepage, and then under the "Forms" heading.
Regular antlerless licenses and first-round unsold licenses will be mailed by county treasurers to successful
applicants no later than Monday, Sept. 18. Second-round unsold licenses will be mailed no later than Sunday,
Oct. 1.
Also, beginning Monday, Sept. 18, applicants may apply over-the-counter at county treasurers' offices in WMUs
2B, 5C and 5D.
Beginning Monday, Nov. 6, hunters may apply over-the-counter for unsold antlerless licenses in all WMUs.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also
conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
GAME COMMISSION POSTS BEAR MANAGEMENT PLAN ON WEBSITE
After reviewing public comment and making revisions, the Pennsylvania Game
Commission has posted its black bear management plan on its website. The report can be viewed on the
agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), by selecting "Hunting" in the left-hand navigation column on the
homepage, then clicking on the photograph of the black bear and choosing "Bear Management Plan."
"Many Pennsylvanians value the presence of black bears even if they seldom see one," said Mark Ternent, Game
Commission bear biologist and author of the management plan. "Bears are a source of recreation for hunters,
wildlife photographers and people who enjoy watching wildlife. Bears also can be an indicator of ecosystem
health, a symbol of wilderness and have economic impacts. With little doubt, bears are a valuable resource in
Pennsylvania that should be managed wisely."
Ternent noted that, at one time, bear populations were precariously low in Pennsylvania. However, their
abundance and distribution have increased substantially during recent decades, and bears now occur at record
numbers throughout most of the state.
"Their recovery is a wildlife success story, but as bear numbers increase and more people choose to live in areas
occupied by bears, human-bear conflicts also increase," Ternent said. "A comprehensive plan for managing our
bear resource is needed, particularly one that benefits many different groups of people, addresses the growing
number of conflicts and avoids management mistakes made in the past."
The Bear Management Plan presents a guideline for managing Pennsylvania's black bear resource over the next
10 years. The document begins with a mission statement to maintain healthy black bear populations in suitable
habitats throughout the Commonwealth that provide hunting and viewing recreation without human-bear
conflicts exceeding levels acceptable to citizens of Pennsylvania.
The plan outlines four goals necessary for achieving the mission, which are: ensure that black bear populations
remain healthy and self-sustaining; minimize loss of forested habitats and improve quality of existing forests for
black bears; maintain human-bear conflicts at acceptable levels; and provide bear-related recreational
opportunities.
"Necessary steps, referred to as objectives in the plan, for accomplishing each goal are identified," Ternent said.
"For example, develop population targets for individual Wildlife Management Units; accurately monitor survival,
mortality, and population status; monitor and improve bear habitats; improve methods for reducing nuisance
bear behavior; provide hunting opportunities; and enhance bear viewing or photography. A list of strategies
accompanies each objective."
Ternent noted that implementing the strategies outlined in the plan will require personnel and budget
commitments, yet resources are always limited. To assist with implementation planning, appendices are included
that summarize suggested target dates and personnel who may be affected. Additional appendices summarize
laws and policies that relate to bears in Pennsylvania, bear hunting regulations in other states, literature
published about Pennsylvania bears, input gathered from a stakeholder meeting that was used to develop the
goals and objectives, and a summary of public comments received on a previous draft of this document.
"A comprehensive review of what we know about the biology of bears in Pennsylvania, their history of population
decline and recovery, economic impacts, public interest, and current population and habitat conditions is
provided," Ternent said. "We included 21 tables and figures to present information from 25 years of ongoing
bear research and management.
"Bear management techniques from across North America also are summarized. Each technique is explained,
and advantages, disadvantages, or application in Pennsylvania is discussed."
Prior to finalizing the plan, public comments about the draft bear management plan were accepted by the Game
Commission via e-mail and U.S. Postal Service mail from Oct. 11-Dec. 9, 2005. A total of 161 correspondences
containing 251 comments were received by the agency.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also
conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 8/29/2006 2:45:29 PM
Release #101-06
FIVE ADDITIONAL WMUS EXHAUST ANTLERLESS LICENSE ALLOCATIONS
HARRISBURG - Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 2D, 3A, 4A, 4B and 4C have exhausted their antlerless deer
license allocations as of today, announced Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe.
Eleven of the state's 22 WMUs have exhausted their antlerless deer license allocations: WMUs 1B, 2D, 2E, 2F,
2G, 3A, 3C, 4A, 4B, 4C and 4D.
Of the 859,000 antlerless licenses originally allocated, agency employees have distributed to county treasurers
633,429 applications. Following is a listing of the antlerless deer licenses for the remaining WMUs as of today,
Aug. 30 (along with the initial allocation for each WMU): WMU 1A, 7,959 (42,000); WMU 2A, 29,026 (55,000);
WMU 2B, 60,992 (68,000); WMU 2C, 4,370 (49,000); WMU 3B, 6,357 (43,000); WMU 3D, 5,391 (38,000);
WMU 4E, 11,120 (38,000); WMU 5A, 12,437 (25,000); WMU 5B, 19,081 (53,000); WMU 5C, 47,459
(79,000); and WMU 5D, 18,099 (20,000).
For updated information, please visit the Game Commission's "Doe License Update" in the "Quick Clicks" box in
the upper right-hand corner of the agency's homepage (www.pgc.state.pa.us).
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 8/30/2006 1:47:57 PM
Lori Richardson/PGC Photo
Fishers are increasing their range
steadily in Pennsylvania.
Get Image
Thomas Makibbin/PGC Map
Pennsylvania Fisher
Range Map
Get Image
Release #102-06
COLLARING FISHERS
By Joe Kosack, Wildlife Conservation Education Specialist
Pennsylvania Game Commission
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Game Commission has teamed with Indiana University of Pennsylvania in a
research project that aims to provide wildlife managers with a better understanding of fishers, a rapidly
expanding furbearer resource in the Commonwealth.
Fishers - members of the weasel family, which includes skunks and wolverines -
are back in a big way in Pennsylvania's Allegheny and Appalachian mountains.
Their return is a product of both in-state reintroductions and range expansion by
fishers in West Virginia and possibly from New York. This denizen of the North
most likely returned from extirpation in Pennsylvania initially by coming from the
south. Its foothold in Pennsylvania was further strengthened when 190 fishers
were released in the mid- and late-1990s in three areas across the state's
northern tier in reintroductions involving the Game Commission, Pennsylvania
State University and Frostburg State University.
"We believe Pennsylvania is home currently to thousands of fishers," noted Dr.
Matt Lovallo, Game Commission furbearer biologist. "But prior to their natural
expansion from neighboring states into Pennsylvania and our reintroductions,
fishers were non-existent. Their comeback is one of the most exciting stories in
furbearer conservation currently in the Mid-Atlantic States."
Fishers were no longer a member of Pennsylvania's wildlife community by 1900.
They are lanky, mink-like furbearers that typically range in weight from five to 14
pounds, with males being larger than females. Fishers are as at home in the
forest canopy as they are on the forest floor. Their diet includes songbirds, small
mammals, porcupines and carrion, and occasionally includes fruity side dishes.
Ironically, fishers rarely pursue fish.
Lovallo has teamed with Dr. Jeff Larkin and graduate student Christopher Kirkhoff of Pottstown, both of Indiana
University of Pennsylvania, and wildlife technicians Molly Giles of Johnstown, and James C. Kauffman, of
Leesport, to conduct this major field study on State Game Lands 26 in Bedford, Blair and Cambria counties, and
nearby sections of Gallitzin State Forest and Blue Knob State Park. This study will delineate the home range of
fishers via radio-telemetry and provide the means to generate estimates of fisher population size, density and
distribution. The fieldwork includes collecting hair samples to extract DNA for genetic profiling and to establish a
Pennsylvania fisher DNA database. The research effort also will include examining the stomach contents and
reproductive tracts of road-killed fishers to learn more about this growing population.
"The occurrence of fishers in Pennsylvania is the result of fishers expanding their
range from states bordering ours and fishers being reintroduced here and in West
Virginia," Lovallo said. "It appears our study area was colonized by the progeny of
23 New Hampshire fishers that were re-introduced in West Virginia in 1969. Most
other areas of Pennsylvania inhabited by fishers were repopulated by fishers that
were released instate during the '90s."
In West Virginia, the fisher population started to take off in the mid 1990s, based
upon harvest reports, according to Rich Rogers, furbearer program coordinator for
the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.
"Over the last few years, we've had an almost unbelievable jump in the number
of fishers being taken," Rogers said. "Our harvest has increased from 54 in 2003,
to 72 in 2004, to 102 in 2005, without a noticeable increase in trapper numbers.
Hopefully, the reported kills are all animals that were actually taken in West
Virginia.
"With the exception of a couple of counties, it doesn't appear that fisher densities are increasing too
dramatically, but the population is expanding father east and west. Right now, we have more fishers in more
Joe Kosack/PGC Photo
Christopher Kirkhoff, of Pottstown,
refreshes the lure at a live-trap cubby
set.
Get Image
Joe Kosack/PGC Photo
Jim Kauffman, of Leesport uses
telemetry gear to track a radio-
collared fisher on SGL 26.
Get Image
areas than ever in West Virginia."
West Virginia's fisher population has expanded its range into western Maryland and northern Virginia, but they
appear to have pushed deeper and farther into the north in Pennsylvania. And there's a simple explanation for
that.
"Pennsylvania just has more and better habitat for fishers," Rogers noted.
From their reintroduction site in West Virginia, a nucleus of 23 New Hampshire fishers have spurred the return
of fishers in up to four Mid-Atlantic states, which speaks volumes about this furbearer's resiliency, especially
when you consider West Virginia began harvesting fishers six years after they were reintroduced. But the fisher
has a track record of being an almost can't-miss ringer when reintroduced.
"There has never been a failed fisher reintroduction in the eastern United States
that I'm aware of," Lovallo said.
Pennsylvania's fisher population spike seems to be paralleling West Virginia's,
based upon the number of reported fisher observations the Game Commission has
been receiving. In 2002, 106 fisher reports were received; 206 in 2003; 303 in
2004; and 341 (including 49 captured and released by trappers using foothold
traps) in 2005. In fact, hunters have reported observing fishers in 43 of the
state's 67 counties.
Defining the size and range of Pennsylvania's elusive fisher population are long-
term management goals Lovallo and Larkin both believe will become possible
based on the findings of this fieldwork. The project, only weeks old, has already
paid dividends by documenting the fishers' somewhat uncharacteristic use of
deciduous stands and relatively new forestland, and an apparent propensity to
live at higher densities in these areas.
The three-year research project, which carries a $157,555 price-tag, is financed
largely by the State Wildlife Grant Program (SWG). Created by the U.S. Congress
in 2001, SWG is designed to finance the conservation and/or recovery of species
of greatest conservation need at the state level before they decline to the point of
becoming federally endangered and in need of expensive "emergency room care"
through the Endangered Species Act. More than 1,000 animals and plants
currently are listed as federally threatened or endangered species. In
Pennsylvania, the fisher is listed as a species of conservation concern.
Fieldwork for the study started in early August with Game Commission and IUP
personnel setting and running a trapline of 180 cage traps. Fishers, which are
winding down their summer mating season, are being attracted to trap-sets with
commercial lures made from furbearer musk and glands and spices or oils that
arouse curiosity.
"The lure has a strong musky skunk smell to it, and it's not attracting bears,
which we were concerned about, because they'll come in and throw traps
around," explained Larkin. "We build what is called a 'cubby,' and fishers are
forced to enter the trap to investigate the lure. So far the lure, although it smells
pretty bad, has been incredibly effective and pretty specific for fishers."
The goal of the trapping phase is to collect DNA samples extracted from hair
follicles and place radio collars on 20 adult fishers, preferably females. Collars
placed on fishers are permanent, and will transmit a radio signal for about a year
and a half. To date, 18 fishers have been collared. Larkin said he expected the study's trapping phase to
conclude in late August. Then fieldwork will focus almost entirely on using telemetry to track the collared
animals and establish home ranges for each fisher.
"Once we establish an average adult female home-range, we're going to place hair-snares in a randomly
selected locations within the home-range to see how long it takes us to snare a hair sample from a fisher we
know is there," Larkin explained. "What we're attempting to develop is a fisher trapping survey technique that
will provide a 90 percent probability of detection for fishers. This mark-and-recapture approach will determine
Hal Korber/PGC Photo
This study will lead to better
understanding of and overall
management of fishers in the
Commonwealth.
Get Image
the minimum number of days that a hair-snare needs to be placed in a habitat grid, so that if we don't get hair,
we are 90 percent confident that no fisher is in that grid. The results will then be used to develop a standardized
fisher survey technique for other areas of the state."
Larkin pointed out that this fisher project has unique standing.
"This is likely the furthest south that anyone has ever studied fisher to the extent
that we are," Larkin said. "And we're actually studying fishers in a new habitat -
deciduous forest. A lot of work has been done in coniferous forests and mixed
hardwood forests. Our forests are more productive than those where other fisher
studies have been done. We might see some behaviors that vary greatly from
textbook profiles."
The more than two dozen fishers caught to date in the study have been taken in a
relatively small geographic area. For animals that are considered highly territorial
and free-ranging, that was kind of eye-opening.
"I'm going to be surprised if these animals don't show that there is a lot of
overlap in their home ranges," Lovallo said. "It's probably related to the 15 years
or so that this fisher population has been established, and that the habitat in this
area appears to be exceptionally productive. Telemetry will provide answers to
these important questions."
Many sectors of this large forested study area have been and continue to be
intensively managed by the Game Commission and the state Department of
Conservation and Natural Resources. Lovallo and Larkin both suspect that those
alterations have created utopian fisher habitat.
"There's a lot of young forest here and fishers are using it," Lovallo said. "The
long-held beliefs that fishers are shy wilderness carnivores that hound porcupines and prefer to live in old-
growth forest with significant coniferous components likely will not be substantiated in this study. But fishers
apparently will shine as highly-adaptable carnivores that can live in the shadow of civilization so long as there
are forests for them to inhabit."
Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO) Shawn Harshaw, who serves a district in southern
Cambria County that is in the study area, said people report seeing fishers in the county regularly.
"Archery hunters see them more than other hunters, so do people who walk dogs on state game lands," said
Harshaw, who also is assisting with the study. "Interestingly, many of the fishers that I have dealt with don't
seem to be too bothered by people."
Harshaw said his first official fisher complaint was in 1998. It involved a fisher killing, of all things, fish. About
50 coy were removed from a pond, and his investigation revealed a fisher and barred owls were responsible for
the theft.
When this research is completed, the Game Commission expects to have a blueprint to build a management tool
to estimate minimum fisher population size, something the agency has for few other furbearers.
"We'll be able to track our fisher population," Lovallo pointed out. "That's going to drive our management
decisions, and open the door to possibly harvesting fishers, which occurs in three states that border us -- New
York, West Virginia and Maryland.
"Pennsylvanians have expressed considerable interest in trapping fishers. In New York, they're harvesting several
thousand fishers annually in the Adirondacks and Catskills. The only way to decide if Pennsylvania is poised to
offer a fisher season, is to determine - at least minimally - how many fishers there are in Pennsylvania. Time
and this study will help us to begin to understand whether we can have a season, too."
For more natural history background on fishers, visit the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us);
click on "Wildlife," then "Wildlife Notes" in the right column, and select "Fishers."
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 8/31/2006 2:54:00 PM
Release #103-06
WMU 2C SELLS OUT OF ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES
HARRISBURG - As resident and nonresident hunters set their sights on submitting second round unsold antlerless
deer license applications, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that
WMU 2C has exhausted its antlerless deer license allocation. WMU 2C is comprised of all of Somerset County
and portions of Fayette, Westmoreland, Indiana, Cambria, Blair and Bedford counties in southwestern
Pennsylvania.
So far, 12 of the state's 22 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) have exhausted their antlerless deer license
allocations. Those WMUs are: WMUs 1B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3C, 4A, 4B, 4C and 4D.
Of the 859,000 antlerless licenses originally allocated, agency employees have distributed to county treasurers
676,690 applications. Following is a listing of the antlerless deer licenses for those WMUs with remaining
allocations as of today (along with the initial allocation for each WMU): WMU 1A, 3,959 (42,000); WMU 2A,
26,226 (55,000); WMU 2B, 55,292 (68,000); WMU 3B, 5,854 (43,000); WMU 3D, 2,791 (38,000); WMU 4E,
9,420 (38,000); WMU 5A, 10,637 (25,000); WMU 5B, 9,481 (53,000); WMU 5C, 41,651 (79,000); and WMU
5D, 16,999 (20,000).
For updated information, please visit the Game Commission's "Doe License Update" in the "Quick Clicks" box in
the upper right-hand corner of the agency's homepage (www.pgc.state.pa.us).
On Monday, Sept. 11, the Game Commission will accept, only through first-class mail, applications for the
second round of unsold antlerless licenses. Hunters who applied for an unsold antlerless license during the first
round may apply for and receive only one antlerless deer license during the second round. Those hunters who
did not apply for an unsold license during the first round may make separate applications for and receive up to
two unsold antlerless licenses during the second round. The separate applications may be submitted to one or
two WMUs.
As a result of a printer error at Liberty Press, some copies of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping
Digest contain an unsold antlerless deer license application and instructions (which appear on page 54) that had
words cut from the page's right margin during production.
"This error shouldn't create a problem for those who use the application, and it is still valid," said J. Carl Graybill
Jr., Game Commission Bureau of Information and Education director. "Complete instructions for filling out the
application also appear on pages 52 and 53 of the Digest. And, as in the past, the Game Commission has
posted on its website an unsold antlerless deer license application that enables the user to enter his or her
information into the application before printing it."
The printer error left some applications without lines for applicants to fill in their ZIP Code and the date of
signature. Also, wording for instruction point number 4 is cut off. The complete wording is: "All Unsold Antlerless
License applications must be submitted through the U.S. Mail (First Class Only) until Nov. 6. Express and Priority
mail will not be accepted. No more than three (3) individual applications per official envelope. Number of
applications must be circled on front of envelope to avoid delay and possible rejection."
The online application can be found on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) in the "Forms & Programs"
section in the left-hand column on the homepage, and then under the "Forms" heading.
Regular antlerless licenses and first-round unsold licenses will be mailed by county treasurers to successful
applicants no later than Monday, Sept. 18. Second-round unsold licenses will be mailed no later than Sunday,
Oct. 1.
Also, beginning Monday, Sept. 18, applicants may apply over-the-counter at county treasurers' offices in WMUs
2B, 5C and 5D.
Beginning Monday, Nov. 6, hunters may apply over-the-counter for unsold antlerless licenses in all WMUs.
Roe noted that residents and nonresidents hunters may apply for Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP)
coupons that remain available for antlerless deer hunting opportunities, especially in those WMUs that have sold
out of their antlerless deer license allocations.
"While DMAP permits may be used only on the specific property for which they are issued, they do offer hunters
additional antlerless deer hunting opportunities," Roe said. "DMAP was developed to provide a way for hunters to
help landowners achieve the type of deer harvest they require to better manage their lands. We encourage
hunters to contact these landowners and to help them manage deer populations on their properties."
Landowners can't charge or accept any contribution from a hunter for a DMAP coupon. While hunters may obtain
up to two DMAP permits per property, DMAP permits do not impact a hunter's eligibility to apply for and receive
antlerless deer licenses issued for WMUs.
DMAP permit allotments are not part of the annual general antlerless deer license allocations for WMUs. Hunters
may not use DMAP permits to harvest an antlered deer.
Resident hunters must mail DMAP coupons in a regular envelope, along with a check for $6 made payable to the
Pennsylvania Game Commission, to the address listed on the coupon to receive their DMAP antlerless deer
permit. Nonresidents must include a check for $26. The permit can be used to harvest one antlerless deer on the
specific DMAP property. Maps for the properties are to be provided to hunters by the landowners.
For more information on DMAP, visit the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on the
"DMAP" box in the center of the homepage. Hunters also can check the state Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources' website to see where coupons still are available for various state forests and parks by clicking
on: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/dmap/available.aspx.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also
conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 8/31/2006 2:51:40 PM
Release #104-06
MIDDLE CREEK TO HOST WILDFOWL SHOW SEPT. 16-17;
PYMATUNING WATERFOWL EXPO SCHEDULED FOR SEPT. 16-17
MIDDLE CREEK TO HOST WILDFOWL SHOW SEPT. 16-17
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Game Commission's Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area will host its 20th
Annual Middle Creek Wildfowl Show on Sept. 16-17. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
Admission is free, but donations are graciously accepted and benefit the Wildlands Preservation Fund to preserve
wild lands. Middle Creek is along Hopeland Road, two miles south of Kleinfeltersville, on the Lebanon-Lancaster
county line.
The show features wildfowl carvings, artwork, collectibles and carving supplies from more than 60 vendors.
Retriever demonstrations will be at 10 a.m. and noon on Saturday, Sept. 16, and at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on
Sunday, Sept. 17. Two different retriever clubs will display their dogs' abilities, both with water retrievals, and
upland retrievals.
Decoy competitions will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and winners will be announced at 4 p.m. Pennsylvania
State Duck and Goose Calling Championships will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Food vendors will be selling throughout the show. For further information or directions, call 717-733-1512.
PYMATUNING WATERFOWL EXPO SCHEDULED FOR SEPT. 16-17
The Pennsylvania Game Commission's Pymatuning Wildlife Learning Center is gearing up for the 2006
Pymatuning Ducks Unlimited Waterfowl Expo on Sept. 16-17, in and around Linesville, Crawford County. A
highlight of the two-day event is the selection of the 25th Annual Pennsylvania Waterfowl Management Stamp
from entries by many of the Commonwealth's most accomplished wildlife artists, which will be held at 1 p.m. on
Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Linesville High School, 302 West School Drive.
At 10 a.m., on Sept. 16, the Game Commission will conduct its annual public drawing to select those who will be
afforded an opportunity to use one of the blinds for waterfowl hunting at Pymatuning. The drawing will be held
at the Game Commission's Pymatuning Administration Building, 9552 Hartstown Rd.
At 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 16, Kevin Jacobs, Game Commission waterfowl biologist, will hold a waterfowl
information and banding program, with the opportunity for children to assist in the release of wild ducks, at the
Learning Center, 12590 Hartstown Road. The Learning Center also will be open on Saturday and Sunday for
visitors.
Following conclusion of the Expo, the Learning Center will close for this year's visitor season. However, the
nature trail will remain open.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 9/5/2006 8:08:13 AM
Joe Kosack/PGC Photo
The Wildlife Action Plan strengthens
the management of all species,
including wood turtles.
Get Image
Joe Kosack/PGC Photo
The Game Commission has its hands
full managing wildlife. More public
involvement is needed.
Get Image
Release #105-06
FEDS RECOGNIZE STATE'S WILDLIFE ACTION PLAN
Stable funding needed to support new plan's expanded wildlife management
By Joe Kosack, Wildlife Conservation Education Specialist
Pennsylvania Game Commission
HARRISBURG - The federal government has praised Pennsylvania for assembling a comprehensive Wildlife Action
Plan that will expand and strengthen the state's management of fish and wildlife resources, particularly species
of greatest conservation need.
Partnering with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the Pennsylvania
Game Commission coordinated development of this Wildlife Action Plan.
Contributing technical expertise to this progressive and ambitious wildlife
conservation plan were the Pennsylvania Biological Survey, several universities
and a cadre of the Commonwealth's brightest and best biologists and ecologists.
"We appreciate your hard work, the work of your sister agency, and that of your
partners, and congratulate you on this important achievement," wrote U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service Director H. Dale Hall in a letter commending the Game
Commission for its thorough planning document. "We are confident that your
efforts will yield great benefits in the conservation of Pennsylvania's wildlife."
Developed in response to a federal mandate that required each state to put
together a Wildlife Action Plan to guarantee future State Wildlife Grants (SWG)
appropriations, the plan provides Pennsylvania with an unprecedented opportunity
to focus its management and increase its understanding of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, as well
as invertebrates [l1]. Research projects in Pennsylvania currently being financed jointly by a SWG and state
funding include studies of declining or endangered species such as the northern flying squirrel, Atlantic sturgeon,
the eastern massasauga rattlesnake and the state's second Breeding Bird Atlas.
Pennsylvania's Wildlife Action Plan promotes and champions residents, businesses,
organizations and government working together to attain sustainable wildlife
populations, communities and ecosystems. Its goals are to: improve the scientific
basis for making conservation decisions; conserve the state's biodiversity;
cultivate a knowledgeable citizenry that supports and participates in wildlife
conservation; ensure resources are available to conserve wildlife; and expand and
improve the coordination of public agencies and other partners in wildlife
conservation planning and implementation.
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asked Pennsylvania and every other state for a
comprehensive wildlife action plan, an effort that required us and our conservation
partners to think strategically about our individual and coordinated stewardship
efforts," noted Game Commission Executive Director Carl G Roe. "What evolved
from this extraordinary undertaking is a plan of action that defines where and how
Pennsylvania should focus its resources and energy to more progressively and
adequately manage the myriad members of Pennsylvania's diverse wildlife
community."
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director Doug Austen noted, "Our Wildlife Action Plan will
dovetail with the work of other states to ensure nationwide consistency in the management of species of
greatest conservation need, particularly those creatures with an overwhelming majority of their global range
concentrated in Pennsylvania.
"The shorthead garter snake, for example, has robust populations in some locations in Pennsylvania," he said.
"However, 90 percent of its global range occurs in the Commonwealth, so Pennsylvania has a high responsibility
for the species' long-term survival. If we lose it here, it will likely be gone everywhere."
Although Pennsylvania's Wildlife Action Plan focuses management attention
primarily on species of greatest conservation need, its theme is to monitor and
manage all fish and wildlife proactively, instead of waiting until declining species
Jake Dingel/PGC Photo
The Wildlife Action Plan aims to
manage all fish and wildlife resources
proactively, with emphasis on species
of greatest conservation need, like
this state-endangered eastern
massasauga.
Get Image
Joe Kosack/PGC Photo
A vast array of wildlife species,
including this saw-whet owl, inhabit
Pennsylvania's tapestry of diverse
habitats.
Get Image
require crisis care to resuscitate their populations. The ecology-rooted plan also
strives to create a conservation consciousness that will better protect
Pennsylvania's vast wildlife community and the varied habitats it is dependent
upon. But the unfortunate reality is that many species currently are under the
radar of Pennsylvania's ongoing fish and wildlife management programs. Their
population densities and range - as well as threats they face - are mostly
unverified, and predominantly unknown.
An infusion of state funding or new revenue streams is needed to cover the
currently unmanaged or under-managed species identified in the Wildlife Action
Plan, particularly as declining hunting and fishing license sales continue to impact
the programs of the Game Commission and Fish and Boat Commission.
Managing the state's fish and wildlife resources properly has always been a bigger
job than what could be financed through selling hunting and fishing licenses. Over
the past 20 years, declining license sales and increasing management
responsibilities have contributed to further distance many species from the management attention they require,
or likely never received in the first place.
"Our two agencies have always had limited resources to direct toward species that are not hunted, trapped or
fished, and yet that is where some of our greatest conservation challenges lie," Austen pointed out. "A long-
term, dedicated revenue stream is needed in Pennsylvania to address unmet needs and to match potential future
funding from others sources, such as federal monies."
"We have defined and mapped out the future of fish and wildlife management for the Commonwealth by
developing a Wildlife Action Plan, but the plan won't be effective if we don't have adequate and stable funding to
support it," Roe emphasized. "Pennsylvania is fast approaching a conservation crossroads. The future of this
state's fish and wildlife resources will be shaped as much by funding as it will by our Wildlife Action Plan. A plan,
alone, will not get it done."
Pennsylvania's Wildlife Action Plan covers the diverse species that inhabit the
state's physiographic mosaic, a melting pot of rolling hills, plateaus and ridges,
and valleys, lowlands and river basins. Accented with estuaries, Lake Erie
shoreline, glaciated potholes and the Appalachian and Allegheny mountains,
Pennsylvania's topographic composition creates incredible landform diversity and
an ecological paradise for Pennsylvania's vast wildlife community. Maintaining this
biodiversity requires composite and coordinated management with varying
degrees of specialized species conservation actions.
Game Commission biologist Lisa Williams was primarily responsible for moving
Pennsylvania's unfolding Wildlife Action Plan from myriad drawing boards scattered
across the state to a computerized clearinghouse, where she worked long hours to
standardize and authenticate plan components. She also developed an innovative
system of prioritizing species and conservation actions that address federal plan
requirements and will direct future action toward meeting the state's strategic
conservation goals.
"Lisa Williams' dedication to and directing of this unprecedented task in wildlife
conservation were critical in shaping this multi-dimensional wildlife management
plan for Pennsylvania," noted Cal DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife management director. "She
didn't just get it done, she did it right. Pennsylvania now has a wildlife conservation strategy that can address
the varied needs of the state's exceptional biodiversity."
Since 2001, annual federal appropriations have provided more than $10 million in funding for the Game
Commission and Fish and Boat Commission through the State Wildlife Grants Program. To date, SWG funding
has been used for a variety of fish and wildlife projects that further the conservation of species of greatest
conservation need in the Commonwealth.
The Game Commission and Fish and Boat Commission currently receive between $1.5 million and $2 million
annually from the federal SWG program to be used to conserve low and declining species. Pennsylvania's Wildlife
Action Plan now guides the Commissions in how to spend future SWG funds. The plan provides information on
the location and general condition of habitats used by wildlife in Pennsylvania; threats to these habitats and the
species that use them; conservation actions, and research, survey and monitoring efforts needed to address
these threats; priorities for implementing these conservation needs; and distribution and abundance of species
of greatest conservation need in Pennsylvania. Additionally, the plan identifies the necessity for cooperation
between agencies, businesses, organizations and individuals interested in Pennsylvania's wildlife diversity.
Congress expressed two driving interests when creating the State Wildlife Grants program and the Wildlife Action
Plan requirement: a focus on "endangered species prevention" and "keeping common species common."
Pennsylvania's Wildlife Action Plan addresses these concerns by including low and declining species that are in
great need of proactive conservation, by focusing on more abundant species for which Pennsylvania bears a
special responsibility in their long-term conservation, and by emphasizing habitat-level management rather than
case-by-case, species-specific intervention.
Pennsylvania's Wildlife Action Plan can be viewed on the internet by going to the Game Commission's website at
www.pgc.state.pa.us and clicking on "Wildlife" in the left column, and then selecting "State Wildlife Grants" in
the "Wildlife" box atop the right column. Finally, select "Pennsylvania's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation
Strategy."
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
Founded in 1866, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) is one of the oldest and most effective
conservation agencies in the nation. The Commission is an independent state government agency with
responsibilities for protecting and managing Pennsylvania's fishery resources and regulating recreational fishing
and boating on Pennsylvania waters. The PFBC's mission is "To provide fishing and boating opportunities
through the protection and management of aquatic resources."
The funds to accomplish this mission come primarily through the sale of fishing licenses and boat registrations.
No General Fund tax dollars are used in the operations of the PFBC.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 9/6/2006 7:33:29 AM
Release #106-06
PUBLIC DRAWING FOR 720 BOBCAT PERMITS TO BE HELD SEPT. 8;
ELK APPLICATION DEADLINE APPROACHES
PUBLIC DRAWING FOR 720 BOBCAT PERMITS TO BE HELD SEPT. 8
HARRISBURG - With a limited bobcat season slated for the upcoming hunting and trapping seasons, nearly 4,900
individuals have submitted an application for one of the 720 permits that will be selected by the Pennsylvania
Game Commission at a computerized public drawing at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 8, in the auditorium of the
agency's Harrisburg headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Ave.
Applications from holders of resident furtaker licenses or junior or senior combination licenses, along with a non-
refundable $5 fee, had to be postmarked no later than Aug. 15, or submitted via the agency's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us) no later than Sept. 5. Those selected in the random drawing will receive one permit for
no additional charge to either hunt or trap one bobcat. The hunting season will run from Oct. 21- Feb. 17. The
trapping season will run from Oct. 22- Feb. 17.
Hunting and trapping bobcats is restricted to Wildlife Management Units 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D. A
statewide map of the WMUs, as well as a series of maps of each WMU, appears on pages 42 through 45 of the
2006-07 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations.
In 2000-2001, when the first bobcat hunting and trapping seasons in 30 years were held, 290 permitted hunters
and trappers took 58 bobcats. In 2001-2002, 520 permitted hunters and trappers harvested 146 bobcats; in
2002-2003, 545 permitted hunters and trappers harvested 135 bobcats; in 2003-2004, 570 permitted hunters
and trappers harvested 140 bobcats; and in 2004-05, 615 permitted hunters and trappers harvested 196
bobcats. Last year, in 2005-06, 615 permitted hunters and trappers took 221 bobcats.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
ELK APPLICATION DEADLINE APPROACHING
Hunters seeking to be included in the public drawing for a license to participate in Pennsylvania's elk hunts have
until Friday, Sept. 15, to submit an application and $10 non-refundable fee via "The Outdoor Shop" on the
Pennsylvania Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). The deadline for submitting a paper
application closed Sept. 1.
The Game Commission established an earlier deadline for paper applications to enable the agency to properly
process them in time for the public drawing on Sept. 23. At the drawing, 40 licenses (15 antlered and 25
antlerless) will be awarded for the elk season set for Nov. 6-11, 2006, and another 10 licenses (2 either sex
and 8 antlerless) will be awarded for the elk season set Sept. 17-22, 2007.
Information on the upcoming elk hunts appears on pages 106-111 in the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Digest of
Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is provided to license buyers.
A $10 non-refundable fee must be submitted with the application, and may be charged to VISA, MasterCard,
Discover or American Express. No Game Commission office will accept hand-delivered applications.
By law, only one application is permitted per person. If a person submits more than one application, all of the
hunter's applications will be ineligible and the applicant will be subject to prosecution. All application fees are
non-refundable.
Individuals are not required to purchase a resident or nonresident general hunting license to apply for the
drawing. However, if they are drawn for one of the elk licenses, hunters then will be required to purchase the
appropriate resident or nonresident general hunting license and view the elk hunt orientation video produced by
the Game Commission before being permitted to purchase the elk license. The elk license fees are $25 for
residents and $250 for nonresidents.
The public drawing will be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, as part of the Elk Expo. As was done last year,
the agency will award elk licenses through a computerized drawing, which is similar to the computerized
drawings that the agency has been using to award bobcat permits since 2003.
With the implementation of a preference point system, the Game Commission exceeded the capacity of the
container used for previous elk license drawings. Also, by eliminating the printing of cards, the agency will save
money.
When the drawing begins, enough applications will be selected to award 50 elk licenses for the November 2006
and September 2007 hunts. The first 17 awarded will be 15 antlered and two either-sex licenses. The next 33
awarded will be antlerless elk licenses.
There is no cap, or limit, for the number of licenses that may be awarded to nonresidents. Individuals who were
not awarded an elk license in 2003, 2004 or 2005 have three preference points applied to this year's drawing if
they submit an application this year, and will have their name entered into the drawing four times (three
preference points plus the point for this year's application).
As part of the preference point system established by the agency in 2003, consecutive applications are not
required to maintain previously earned preference points, but those points can be activated only in years that a
hunter submits an application. For instance, if a hunter has three preference points, but does not enter the
2006-07 drawing, he/she will not have any chances in the upcoming drawing. Once a hunter is awarded an elk
license - either an antlered or antlerless elk license - the hunter's preference points will revert to zero.
Those applying for an elk license can choose either an antlered or antlerless elk license, or they may select both
categories on their application. For those who select "antlered only," if they are drawn after the antlered
licenses are allocated, they will not receive an elk license. For those who do receive an antlered or either sex
elk license, they will not be permitted to re-apply for future elk hunting opportunities for five years. However,
those who received an antlerless elk license in any of the previous hunts may submit an application this year.
Applicants also have the opportunity to identify their elk hunt zone preference, or they may select "any." If
drawn and their preference hunt zone is filled, applicants will be assigned a specific area by the Game
Commission. To assist applicants in making this decision, information about the elk hunt zones, as well as an
elk harvest map depicting the locations of every elk taken by hunters over the past five years, are posted on the
website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) along with the application.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 9/6/2006 12:47:23 PM
Release #107-06
GAME COMMISSION TO STOCK 16,700 PHEASANTS FOR YOUTH-ONLY SEASON;
TWO ADDITIONAL WMUS SELL OUT OF ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES
GAME COMMISSION TO STOCK 16,700 PHEASANTS FOR YOUTH-ONLY SEASON
HARRISBURG - Young Pennsylvania hunters will have 22 different mentored youth pheasant hunts to choose
from thanks to the efforts of sportsmen's clubs that stepped forward to sponsor the programs as part of the
Pennsylvania Game Commission's annual youth pheasant season, which will be held on Oct. 7-13. This hunting
opportunity is open to youth ages 12 to 16 who have successfully completed a Hunter-Trapper Education course.
However, there is no requirement that they purchase a hunting license.
"The future of hunting is directly related to the continuing participation of young Pennsylvanians in our hunting
seasons," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "One of the keys to promoting youth hunting
is the tremendous effort of our hunting clubs. These groups are the grassroots organizations that sponsor Youth
Field Day events and Hunter-Trapper Education courses throughout the year."
Working with the Pennsylvania State Chapter of Pheasants Forever, the Game Commission's Youth Pheasant
Hunt Committee prepared a "Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt Planning Guide" to enable groups to develop and
sponsor a mentored youth pheasant hunt program.
Also, the youth pheasant hunt overlaps with the state's youth squirrel hunt, which also runs Oct. 7-13.
"Holding concurrent youth seasons for squirrels and ring-necked pheasants will offer variety to youths who
participate in these small game-hunting opportunities," Roe said. "The state's long-standing daily bag limit of two
pheasants will apply to junior hunters participating in this season. Also, hens remain protected in the male-
pheasant-only zones."
The Game Commission will release 15,000 pheasants on land open to public hunting prior to the start of the
seven-day season, and an additional 1,700 pheasants - an increase from the planned 1,500 birds - will be
divided and shipped to the 22 sportsmen's clubs that have signed up to host a mentored youth pheasant hunt.
Hunters, however, are not limited to hunting in only those areas where pheasants have been stocked. The
pheasant stocking locations and pheasant hunting area maps are outlined on pages 26-28 of the 2006-07
Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, as well as on the agency's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us).
"Thanks to excellent production and limited mortalities from weather events, such as excessive rain and wind,
our pheasant propagation farms were able to exceed the number of pheasants we planned to provide to clubs,"
Roe said. "On behalf of the Game Commission, I would like to extend my sincere thanks and praise to the
members of these clubs for sponsoring a mentored youth pheasant hunt, and for all that they do to preserve
and pass along our state's rich and proud hunting heritage to a new generation."
Following is a county listing of the clubs that are hosting mentored youth pheasant hunts on Saturday, Oct. 7, as
well as information about the hunts:
Allegheny County
Bull Creek Rod & Gun Club will host their annual Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt in Fawn Township for 30 youth.
To register, contact Randy Strzeszewski at 724-224-7047 or jally@stargate.net.
Armstrong County
The Apollo-Spring Church Sportsman's Club will host their annual Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt at their club
near Apollo for 25 youth. To register, contact Daniel Shaffer at 724-478-4396 or Rocco Ali at 724-478-4303
roco_1@exeite.com.
Bedford County
Bedford-Fulton Pheasants Forever will host a Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt for 40 youth on SGL 97 Elk Lick Rd.
near Everett. To register, contact Jeff Green at 814-977-5458 or mailto:jeff@green-ranch.com
Berks County
The Bally Sportsman Club hosts their annual Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt near Bally for 20 youth. To register,
please contact Bruce Moll at 610-845-0224 or hillbilly88@netscape.com.
Centre County
The Three Point Sportsman Club will host their annual Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt at Sproul SF near Clarence
for 60 youth. Contact Steven Demyan to register at 814-387-6779 or smdguide@yahoo.com or Dick Biggans at
814-387-4248.
Clearfield County
Pennsylvania Wildlife Habitat Unlimited hosts a Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt at Big "A" Hunting Lodge near
Luthersburg for 25 youth. To register, contact Laura Johnson at 814-371-4856 or lauraj@ducom.tv.
Elk County
Pheasants Forever Chapter 630 hosts their annual Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt at Jack Butler's property near
Ridgeway for 35 youth. Contact Leon Blashock to register at 814-885-8950 or rusty@usachoice.net.
Fayette County
Wharton Township Hunting & Fishing Club will host their annual Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt at the Rishel
Farm near Gibbon Glade for 20 youth. To register, contact Eric Baker at 724-323-4068.
Fayette County
The Fairbank Rod & Gun Club will host their annual Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt at their club in Fairbank for
50 youth. To register, contact Bob Valente at 724-246-9828.
Franklin County
Cumberland Valley Pheasants Forever will host a Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt at Hijo and Brake Farms for 25
youth near Mercersburg. To register, contact Michael Baehr at 717-725-3673 or mfbaehr@duke-energy.com.
Indiana County
The Keystone Sportsmen's Club hosts a Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt at Ernie Burns Farm for 48 youth. To
register, contact George Douglass at 724-463-0653.
Lawrence County
The Ellwood Wampum Rod & Gun Club will host an annual Mentored Youth Pheasant hunt at their club in
Wampum for 25 youth. A $5.00 fee required. Contact William Boots at 724-891-1240 or
bootcamp@zoominternet.net.
Luzerne County
Northeast PA Chapter of Pheasants Forever will host their annual Mentored Youth Pheasant hunt at SGL 119 near
the Village of Bear Creek for 50 youth. Contact Jay Delaney to register at 570-825-4424 or firehunt44@aol.com.
Mifflin County
Mifflin County Pheasant Forever will host their annual Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt at Harvey Yoder Farm,
Belleville for 40 youth. To register, contact Mike Pruss at 717-242-4157 or mpruss@state.pa.us.
Montour County
Central Susquehanna Pheasants Forever and the North Montour Sportsman's Association will host their annual
Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt on PPL Montour hunting area near Washingtonville for 50 youth. Contact Jack Kile
to register at 570-379-2095 or kile@epix.net.
Pike County
Promised Land Sportsman's Association will host a Mentored Youth Pheasant hunt at the Delaware State Forest
near Greentown for 50 youth. Contact John Staton at 570-676-9448 or staton7@ptd.net to register.
Schuylkill County
The Valley View Gun Club hosts a Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt at their club for 50 youth. A $5.00 fee is
charged to register, contact Kenneth Wetzel at 610-682-3971.
Warren County
Kalbfus Rod & Gun Club will host their annual Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt at the Hibner's property near
Lander for 25 youth. To register, contact Chuck Travis at 814-726-1913 or travis39@atlanticbb.net.
Westmoreland County
Kingston Veterans & Sportsmen's Club & Pheasants Forever will host their annual Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt
on their grounds near Derry for 50 youth. To register, contact Kevin Adams at 724-423-8445 or Walter C. Poole
at 724-537-2958 or w.poolejr.@localnetdot.com.
Westmoreland County
The Little Sewickley Sportsman Association will host their annual Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt in Lycippus for
50 youth. To register, contact Jay Bossart at 724-423-6714.
Westmoreland County
Law Enforcement Officers of Westmoreland County will host their annual Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt at
Mammoth Park for 50 youth. To register, contact Ed Farzati at 724-423-2931 or fraz66@zoominternet.net.
Westmoreland County
The Rostraver Sportsmen & Conservation Association hosts a Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt at their club in Belle
Vernon for 25 youth. To register, contact Gary Osilka at 412-469-8173 or 724-872-4399.
More information about pheasant stocking for the general small game season will be released in the near future.
For additional details about the Game Commission's pheasant program, visit the agency's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on "Hunting" and then click on the pheasant photograph.
Other recent Game Commission youth hunting opportunities include: a youth spring gobbler season established
in 2004; a youth squirrel hunt created in 1996 and expanded in 2004; a waterfowl hunt initiated in 1996; special
antlerless deer harvesting opportunities opened in 1998, and expanded in 2000; and youth field days
implemented in the early 1990s.
New this year is the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, which permits a properly licensed individual 21 years of
age or older to serve as a guide to a youth under the age of 12. Those species that may be hunted during
established seasons, including youth seasons, are squirrels, woodchucks (groundhogs) and spring gobblers.
Under this new program, mentors may not have more than one youth with them hunting at a time, and each
pair may possess only one sporting arm while hunting. While moving, the sporting arm must be carried by the
mentor. When the pair reaches a stationary hunting location, the mentor may turn over possession of the
sporting arm to the youth, and then must keep the youth within arm's length at all times while he or she is in
possession of the sporting arm. The program also requires that both the mentor and the youth abide by
fluorescent orange regulations for the species being hunted.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also
conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
TWO ADDITIONAL WMUS SELL OUT OF ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES
Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that WMUs 1A and 3D have
exhausted their antlerless deer license allocation. WMU 1A is comprised of all of Mercer and Lawrence counties
and portions of Beaver, Butler, Crawford and Venango counties in western Pennsylvania. WMU 3D is comprised
of all of Pike and Monroe counties and portions of Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Northampton and
Wayne counties in northeastern Pennsylvania.
So far, 14 of the state's 22 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) have exhausted their antlerless deer license
allocations. Those WMUs are: 1A, 1B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C and 4D.
Of the 859,000 antlerless licenses originally allocated, agency employees have distributed to county treasurers
734,982 applications. Following is a listing of the antlerless deer licenses for those WMUs with remaining
allocations as of today (along with the initial allocation for each WMU): WMU 2A, 13,102 (55,000); WMU 2B,
51,192 (68,000); WMU 3B, 2,953 (43,000); WMU 4E, 7,219 (38,000); WMU 5A, 7,526 (25,000); WMU 5B,
4,981 (53,000); WMU 5C, 22,246 (79,000); and WMU 5D, 14,799 (20,000).
For updated information, please visit the Game Commission's "Doe License Update" in the "Quick Clicks" box in
the upper right-hand corner of the agency's homepage (www.pgc.state.pa.us).
On Monday, Sept. 11, the Game Commission will accept, only through first-class mail, applications for the
second round of unsold antlerless licenses. Hunters who applied for an unsold antlerless license during the first
round may apply for and receive only one antlerless deer license during the second round. Those hunters who
did not apply for an unsold license during the first round may make separate applications for and receive up to
two unsold antlerless licenses during the second round. The separate applications may be submitted to one or
two WMUs.
As a result of a printer error at Liberty Press, some copies of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping
Digest contain an unsold antlerless deer license application and instructions (which appear on page 54) that had
words cut from the page's right margin during production.
"This error shouldn't create a problem for those who use the application, and it is still valid," said J. Carl Graybill
Jr., Game Commission Bureau of Information and Education director. "Complete instructions for filling out the
application also appear on pages 52 and 53 of the Digest. And, as in the past, the Game Commission has
posted on its website an unsold antlerless deer license application that enables the user to enter his or her
information into the application before printing it."
The printer error left some applications without lines for applicants to fill in their ZIP Code and the date of
signature. Also, wording for instruction point number 4 is cut off. The complete wording is: "All Unsold Antlerless
License applications must be submitted through the U.S. Mail (First Class Only) until Nov. 6. Express and Priority
mail will not be accepted. No more than three (3) individual applications per official envelope. Number of
applications must be circled on front of envelope to avoid delay and possible rejection."
The online application can be found on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) in the "Forms & Programs"
section in the left-hand column on the homepage, and then under the "Forms" heading.
Regular antlerless licenses and first-round unsold licenses will be mailed by county treasurers to successful
applicants no later than Monday, Sept. 18. Second-round unsold licenses will be mailed no later than Sunday,
Oct. 1.
Also, beginning Monday, Sept. 18, applicants may apply over-the-counter at county treasurers' offices in WMUs
2B, 5C and 5D.
Beginning Monday, Nov. 6, hunters may apply over-the-counter for unsold antlerless licenses in all WMUs.
Roe noted that residents and nonresidents hunters may apply for Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP)
coupons that remain available for antlerless deer hunting opportunities, especially in those WMUs that have sold
out of their antlerless deer license allocations.
"While DMAP permits may be used only on the specific property for which they are issued, they do offer hunters
additional antlerless deer hunting opportunities," Roe said. "DMAP was developed to provide a way for hunters to
help landowners achieve the type of deer harvest they require to better manage their lands. We encourage
hunters to contact these landowners and to help them manage deer populations on their properties."
Landowners can't charge or accept any contribution from a hunter for a DMAP coupon. While hunters may obtain
up to two DMAP permits per property, DMAP permits do not impact a hunter's eligibility to apply for and receive
antlerless deer licenses issued for WMUs.
DMAP permit allotments are not part of the annual general antlerless deer license allocations for WMUs. Hunters
may not use DMAP permits to harvest an antlered deer.
Resident hunters must mail DMAP coupons in a regular envelope, along with a check for $6 made payable to the
Pennsylvania Game Commission, to the address listed on the coupon to receive their DMAP antlerless deer
permit. Nonresidents must include a check for $26. The permit can be used to harvest one antlerless deer on the
specific DMAP property. Maps for the properties are to be provided to hunters by the landowners.
For more information on DMAP, visit the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on the
"DMAP" box in the center of the homepage. Hunters also can check the state Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources' website to see where coupons still are available for various state forests and parks by clicking
on: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/dmap/available.aspx.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also
conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 9/7/2006 3:56:15 PM
Release #108-06
GAME COMMISSION DRAWS BOBCAT PERMITS FOR UPCOMING SEASON;
YOUTH ESSAY CONTEST DEADLINE APPROACHES
GAME COMMISSION DRAWS BOBCAT PERMITS FOR UPCOMING SEASON
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Game Commission, with assistance from several interested observers, today
publicly drew by computer the names of 720 individuals who each will be awarded one bobcat permit for the
upcoming 2006-07 hunting and trapping season. The drawing was held at the agency's Harrisburg headquarters
today at 10 a.m.
After a review of the 5,000 applications received for the drawing, the Game Commission disqualified 20
individuals for failing to follow instructions, including mailing in multiple applications and bounced checks. Of the
4,980 eligible applicants in the drawing, an additional 20 applications were drawn as alternates in case any of
the first 720 individuals are declared ineligible during an application review by the Bureau of Wildlife Protection.
Those selected in today's random drawing will receive one permit for no additional charge to either hunt or trap
one bobcat in the next few weeks. The hunting season will run from Oct. 21- Feb. 17. The trapping season will
run from Oct. 22- Feb. 17.
Top counties for those receiving bobcat permits are: Lancaster (39); Lycoming (36); Berks (34); Tioga (31);
York (31); and Westmoreland (30). Also, of the 720 drawn for a permit, 27 were women.
Hunting and trapping bobcats is restricted to Wildlife Management Units 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D. A
statewide map of the WMUs, as well as a series of maps of each WMU, appears on pages 42 through 45 of the
2006-07 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations.
In 2000-01, when the first bobcat hunting and trapping seasons in 30 years were held, 290 permitted hunters
and trappers took 58 bobcats. In 2001-02, 520 permitted hunters and trappers harvested 146 bobcats; in
2002-03, 545 permitted hunters and trappers harvested 135 bobcats; in 2003-04, 570 permitted hunters and
trappers harvested 140 bobcats; and in 2004-05, 615 permitted hunters and trappers harvested 196 bobcats.
Last year, in 2005-06, 615 permitted hunters and trappers harvested 221 bobcats.
Based on Game Commission survey methods, Dr. Matthew Lovallo, Game Commission furbearer biologist, noted
that Pennsylvania's bobcat population is healthy.
"Using the results from our annual Game-Take and Furtaker surveys, sighting reports and incidental captures by
trappers, we clearly see that the state's bobcat population is expanding numerically, as well as geographically,"
Dr. Lovallo said.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
YOUTH ESSAY CONTEST DEADLINE APPROACHES
Young hunters ages 12 to 16 from throughout Pennsylvania are reminded all entries for the Pennsylvania Game
Commission's Hunter Education Youth Essay Contest must be postmarked no later than Oct. 31.
The theme for the contest is: "What will hunting be like in the future?" The prize list features the grand-prize
winner receiving a scholarship to the Safari Club International's Apprentice Hunter Program at the Indianhead
Ranch in Del Rio, Texas, during the summer of 2007. The scholarship is provided by the Pennsylvania chapters
of Safari Club International (SCI).
The grand-prize winning essay also will be published in the agency's Pennsylvania Game News magazine.
Previous grand-prize winners will not be eligible for this year's grand prize.
The first-prize winner will receive a .50 caliber Pursuit muzzleloading rifle from Traditions, and the second-prize
winner will receive a Garman "etrex" global positioning system (GPS), provided by Grice Gun Shop in Clearfield,
Clearfield County. The third-prize winner will receive a Buck Knives limited-edition knife, and a Sightron 10x42
binocular will be presented to the fourth-prize winner. All entries receive a Game Commission "Working
Together for Wildlife" embroidered patch.
Entrants must be Pennsylvania residents, have successfully completed an accredited hunter-trapper education
course and possess a current hunting or furtaker license.
Entries must include: full name; mailing address with zip code; telephone number and area code; year, state
and county where hunter-trapper education course was successfully completed; current hunting or furtaker
license number; and age and date of birth.
Essays must be printed or typed, double-spaced and contain no more than 300 words. Mail entries directly to:
Pennsylvania Game Commission, Hunter Education Youth Essay Contest, 2001 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg, PA
17110-9797.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 9/8/2006 3:16:15 PM
Release #109-06
AND WASHINGTON COUNTY MAKES 23;
GAME COMMISSION TO HOLD BOARD MEETING OCT. 2-3
AND WASHINGTON COUNTY MAKES 23
HARRISBURG - Thanks to a "just-under-the-wire" submission from the Centerville Borough Sportsmen's
Association in Washington County, young Pennsylvania hunters will have 23 mentored youth pheasant hunts to
choose from as part of the Pennsylvania Game Commission's annual youth pheasant hunt on Oct. 7. The youth
pheasant season runs from Oct. 7-13.
Centerville Borough Sportsmen's Association will host a Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt near Brownsville for 40
youths. To register, please contact Maureen L. Tkach at 724-323-5623 or mitimo55@yahoo.com
This hunting opportunity is open to youth, ages 12 to 16, who have successfully completed a Hunter-Trapper
Education course. Participants are not required to purchase a hunting license.
Also, the youth pheasant hunt overlaps with the state's youth squirrel hunt, which also runs Oct. 7-13.
More information about pheasant stocking for the general small game season will be released in the near
future. For additional details about the Game Commission's pheasant program, visit the agency's website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on "Hunting" and then click on the pheasant photograph.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
GAME COMMISSION TO HOLD BOARD MEETING OCT. 2-3
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners will be meeting Oct. 2-3, at the agency's Harrisburg
headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Ave., just off the Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81. The meetings will begin at
8:30 a.m. both days.
On Oct. 2, the Board will hear public comments and receive agency staff reports and updates.
On Oct. 3, the Board is scheduled to take official action to various agenda items, including final adoption of
regulations to permit baiting by deer hunters in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia
counties. The Board gave the proposal preliminary approval at its meeting in June. In giving the measure
unanimous approval, the Board noted that it was interested in gathering public input before taking the matter up
for final adoption at its October meeting.
Under the measure given preliminary approval, hunters would be permitted to distribute no more than 10
pounds of bait up to a maximum of three times per day, during legal hunting hours only. Hunters also will be
permitted to harvest deer near any deer treatment bait station that is used by communities to address tick
control.
To ensure a thorough review of this new tool, should it receive final approval, the Board also included a three-
year sunset provision. Also, if approved by the Board at its October meeting, the regulatory language would
need to be published in the PA Bulletin, the Commonwealth's official gazette for information and rulemaking,
before taking effect. Publication would not be expected until November, at the earliest.
To save money and provide greater public dissemination, an agenda for the meeting will be posted on the
website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) in the "Next Commissioners' Meeting" box on the homepage when it is finalized.
A limited number of copies of the agenda will be made available to those who attend the meeting on Oct. 3.
Once the October meeting ends, copies of the meeting minutes will be posted on the website as soon as they
are transcribed, which generally takes between two to three weeks.
"By posting the minutes on the website we again will be cutting the costs of printing and mailing copies of this
document, which averages around 140 double-sided pages, and will reach a wider audience," said Carl G. Roe,
Game Commission executive director. "This is not only a cost-savings measure, but it also is a move to make
Game Commission actions and decisions more accessible to the public."
Roe noted that the minutes for the Board's meeting back to April 2005 are available in the "Reports/Minutes"
section of the homepage.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 9/14/2006 7:50:14 AM
Release #110-06
WMU 5B SELLS OUT OF ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that WMU 5B in
southcentral Pennsylvania has exhausted its antlerless deer license allocation. WMU 5B is comprised of portions
of Adams, Berks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.
So far, 15 of the state's 22 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) have exhausted their antlerless deer license
allocations. Those WMUs are: 1A, 1B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 5B.
Of the 859,000 antlerless licenses originally allocated, only 99,537 antlerless deer licenses remain. Following is a
listing of the available antlerless deer licenses for those WMUs with remaining allocations as of today (along with
the initial allocation for each WMU): WMU 2A, 9,151 (55,000); WMU 2B, 49,411 (68,000); WMU 3B, 701
(43,000); WMU 4E, 5,019 (38,000); WMU 5A, 5,376 (25,000); WMU 5C, 16,130 (79,000); and WMU 5D,
13,749 (20,000).
For updated information, please visit the Game Commission's "Doe License Update" in the "Quick Clicks" box in
the upper right-hand corner of the agency's homepage (www.pgc.state.pa.us).
Regular antlerless licenses and first-round unsold licenses will be mailed by county treasurers to successful
applicants no later than Monday, Sept. 18. Second-round unsold licenses will be mailed no later than Sunday,
Oct. 1.
Also, beginning Monday, Sept. 18, applicants may apply over-the-counter at county treasurers' offices in WMUs
2B, 5C and 5D.
Beginning Monday, Nov. 6, hunters may apply over-the-counter for unsold antlerless licenses in all WMUs.
Resident and nonresident hunters may apply for Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) coupons that
remain available for antlerless deer hunting opportunities, especially in those WMUs that have sold out of their
antlerless deer license allocations.
"While DMAP permits may be used only on the specific property for which they are issued, they do offer hunters
additional antlerless deer hunting opportunities," Roe said. "DMAP was developed to provide a way for hunters to
help landowners achieve the type of deer harvest they require to better manage their lands. We encourage
hunters to contact these landowners and to help them manage deer populations on their properties."
Landowners can't charge or accept any contribution from a hunter for a DMAP coupon. While hunters may obtain
up to two DMAP permits per property, DMAP permits do not impact a hunter's eligibility to apply for and receive
antlerless deer licenses issued for WMUs.
DMAP permit allotments are not part of the annual general antlerless deer license allocations for WMUs. Hunters
may not use DMAP permits to harvest an antlered deer.
Resident hunters must mail DMAP coupons in a regular envelope, along with a check for $6 made payable to the
Pennsylvania Game Commission, to the address listed on the coupon to receive their DMAP antlerless deer
permit. Nonresidents must include a check for $26. The permit can be used to harvest one antlerless deer on the
specific DMAP property. Maps for the properties are to be provided to hunters by the landowners.
For more information on DMAP, visit the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on the
"DMAP" box in the center of the homepage. Hunters also can check the state Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources' website to see where coupons still are available for various state forests and parks by clicking
on: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/dmap/available.aspx.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also
conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 9/14/2006 7:53:30 AM
Release #111-06
WMU 3B SELLS OUT OF ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSES
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that WMU 3B in
northeast Pennsylvania has exhausted its antlerless deer license allocation. WMU 3B is comprised of Sullivan
County and portions of Bradford, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Tioga and Wyoming counties.
So far, 16 of the state's 22 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) have exhausted their antlerless deer license
allocations. Those WMUs are: 1A, 1B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 5B.
Of the 859,000 antlerless licenses originally allocated, only 86,908 antlerless deer licenses remain. Following is a
listing of the available antlerless deer licenses for those WMUs with remaining allocations as of today (along with
the initial allocation for each WMU): WMU 2A, 5,150 (55,000); WMU 2B, 47,270 (68,000); WMU 4E, 4,342
(38,000); WMU 5A, 4,425 (25,000); WMU 5C, 12,573 (79,000); and WMU 5D, 13,148 (20,000).
For updated information, please visit the Game Commission's "Doe License Update" in the "Quick Clicks" box in
the upper right-hand corner of the agency's homepage (www.pgc.state.pa.us).
Regular antlerless licenses and first-round unsold licenses will be mailed by county treasurers to successful
applicants no later than Monday, Sept. 18. Second-round unsold licenses will be mailed no later than Sunday,
Oct. 1.
Also, beginning Monday, Sept. 18, applicants may apply over-the-counter at county treasurers' offices in WMUs
2B, 5C and 5D.
Beginning Monday, Nov. 6, hunters may apply over-the-counter for unsold antlerless licenses in all WMUs.
Resident and nonresident hunters may apply for Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) coupons that
remain available for antlerless deer hunting opportunities, especially in those WMUs that have sold out of their
antlerless deer license allocations.
"While DMAP permits may be used only on the specific property for which they are issued, they do offer hunters
additional antlerless deer hunting opportunities," Roe said. "DMAP was developed to provide a way for hunters to
help landowners achieve the type of deer harvest they require to better manage their lands. We encourage
hunters to contact these landowners and to help them manage deer populations on their properties."
Landowners can't charge or accept any contribution from a hunter for a DMAP coupon. While hunters may obtain
up to two DMAP permits per property, DMAP permits do not impact a hunter's eligibility to apply for and receive
antlerless deer licenses issued for WMUs.
DMAP permit allotments are not part of the annual general antlerless deer license allocations for WMUs. Hunters
may not use DMAP permits to harvest an antlered deer.
Resident hunters must mail DMAP coupons in a regular envelope, along with a check for $6 made payable to the
Pennsylvania Game Commission, to the address listed on the coupon to receive their DMAP antlerless deer
permit. Nonresidents must include a check for $26. The permit can be used to harvest one antlerless deer on the
specific DMAP property. Maps for the properties are to be provided to hunters by the landowners.
For more information on DMAP, visit the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on the
"DMAP" box in the center of the homepage. Hunters also can check the state Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources' website to see where coupons still are available for various state forests and parks by clicking
on: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/dmap/available.aspx.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also
conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 9/15/2006 11:15:55 AM
Release #112-06
MIDDLE CREEK EVENT TO MARK NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY
NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY AT STATE CAPITOL SET FOR SEPT. 26
MIDDLE CREEK EVENT TO MARK NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY
HARRISBURG -- Have you ever wanted to try outdoor recreational activities but never had the opportunity? Do
you have an interest in the outdoors, wildlife, and conservation? If so, plan to visit the Pennsylvania Game
Commission's Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 24, to help
celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day.
"National Hunting and Fishing Day is designed to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of hunters and
anglers in the conservation of Pennsylvania's diverse wildlife resources," said Jim Binder, Middle Creek Wildlife
Management Area supervisor. "It also is an opportunity for people with no previous experience to learn about
the values and enjoyment of outdoor pursuits."
Binder said planned events include hands-on activities for people of all ages. Also, several local outdoor groups
will have food and refreshments for sale, as well as a free taste of "Pennsylvania surf and turf" (panfish and
venison).
Activities include (* denotes hands-on activities): exhibits/displays from local sportsmen's organizations; birddog
demonstrations; archery shoot*; muzzleloading rifles*; BB gun shoot*; fly rod casting instruction*; introduction
to turkey calling*; fishing*; fly-tying instructions; trapping demonstrations; and wild game cooking instructions.
Bert Myers, Game Commission educational specialist, will present a program about the Middle Creek Wildlife
Management Area and wildlife-related videos will be shown in the auditorium throughout the day.
"Another highlight will be the laser SHOT system, available for kids of all ages to try," said Myers. "The SHOT
system is a simulated hunting experience that will test your marksmanship and decision-making. It's an
outstanding way to experience what hunting is all about and test your hunting skills."
National Hunting and Fishing Day is open to the public free of charge and will be held rain or shine. The Middle
Creek Wildlife Management Area is on Hopeland Road on the Lancaster/Lebanon county line, two miles south of
Kleinfeltersville, Lebanon County. For more information, contact the management area at (717) 733-1512.
NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY AT STATE CAPITOL SET FOR SEPT. 26
Representatives of the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, along
with several respected statewide sportsmen's organizations, will host a National Hunting and Fishing Day
celebration on Tuesday, Sept. 26, in the East Wing Rotunda of the State Capitol in Harrisburg.
The event, which will feature a series of informational booths, will run from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., and will include
a noon news conference. The event will highlight the importance hunting, trapping, fishing and boating and the
related activities supported by the two independent state agencies have had on and continue to provide to the
state's cultural heritage, outdoors recreation and economy.
In addition to the Game Commission and Fish and Boat Commission, organizations scheduled to have a booth at
the event include the Governor's Youth Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation; the Pennsylvania
Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs; the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation; the United
Bowhunters of Pennsylvania; and the Ruffed Grouse Society.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also
conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
Founded in 1866, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) is one of the oldest and most effective
conservation agencies in the nation. The Commission is an independent state government agency with
responsibilities for protecting and managing Pennsylvania's fishery resources and regulating recreational fishing
and boating on Pennsylvania waters. The PFBC's mission is "To provide fishing and boating opportunities through
the protection and management of aquatic resources."
The funds to accomplish this mission come primarily through the sale of fishing licenses and boat registrations.
No General Fund tax dollars are used in the operations of the PFBC.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 9/18/2006 1:14:31 PM
Release #113-06

GAME COMMI SSI ON TO HOLD STATE GAME LAND TOURS FOR PUBLI C

HARRISBURG - As part of the Pennsylvania Game Commission's efforts to highlight its ongoing habitat improvement initiatives,
the public is invited to take part in upcoming tours of four State Game Lands between Sept. 23 and Oct. 15. All tours are free.

"State Game Land tours provide the opportunity for those who enjoy nature to come out and talk with our employees - the people
who are directly responsible for managing and protecting these lands," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director.
"With autumn nearly here, these tours will provide a chance to see some of the best scenery the Commonwealth has to offer.
These tours afford hunters and trappers and others who appreciate wildlife the opportunity to see how the Game Commission is
spending hunting and furtaker license fees to acquire and manage these lands for wildlife."

Roe noted that staff shortages and limited financial resources forced a reduction in the number of State Game Lands this year.

"Recognizing the benefit of the tours, the agency has maintained some tours," Roe said. "It was a difficult decision to scale back
on the number of tours we offer this year. However, the agency's current financial situation required that we make tough
choices."

During fiscal year 2004-05, the Game Commission exceeded the legislated mandate for habitat spending by more than
$800,000. Under this provision, the agency was required to spend at least $6,106,381 on habitat improvement. At the end of the
fiscal year, the agency had actually spent $6,913,502 - $807,121 above the legislated mandate.

Also during 2004-05, Game Commission Food and Cover Corps, Land Managers and Foresters planted 3,228 acres of grain and
1,513 acres of grasses and legumes for wildlife, and 268 acres were planted in or converted to warm-season grasses. About
2,850 acres of wildlife food plots were limed and fertilized to improve wildlife food production, 21,624 acres were mowed to
maintain high-quality grasses and legumes, and 1,094 acres of field and road borders were cut to provide nesting and escape
cover. Wetland restoration work was completed on 11 sites across the state. There were 7,922 trees pruned to improve fruit and
seed production, and 398 new nest boxes and 185 waterfowl nest structures were erected.

For the 2004-05 fiscal year, the agency's Howard Nursery in Centre County produced and distributed 2,696,600 seedlings for
planting on State Game Lands and public access lands. Twenty-six species of important food and cover trees and shrubs are
grown at and distributed from the nursery, and new species of native trees are being added annually. Deciduous trees and
shrubs accounted for 1,040,450; the remaining being evergreens for winter thermal cover.

The Howard Nursery wood shop also produced 2,741 bluebird/chickadee/wren boxes; 7,290 bluebird box kits; 465 wood duck
boxes and kits; 377 squirrel, kestrel, barn owl and bat boxes requested by land managers for placement on State Game Lands;
and nearly 7,000 signs and backboards for use on State Game Lands and public access cooperator lands.

In 1919, the Game Commission was granted authority to purchase lands for the protection, propagation and management of
game and wildlife, and to provide areas for public hunting and trapping. Since that time, the Game Commission has acquired
more than 1.4 million acres in 65 of the state's 67 counties (Philadelphia and Delaware counties being the exceptions).

With few exceptions, State Game Lands were purchased using revenues from hunting and furtaker license sales; State Game
Lands timber, coal, oil, gas and mineral operation revenues; the state's share of a federal excise tax on sporting arms and
ammunition, known as the Pittman-Robertson Program; from Working Together for Wildlife artwork and patch sales; and from the
Pennsylvania Waterfowl Management stamp and print sales.

Information on the various tours by region is as follows:

Br adf or d Count y: Saturday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. (rain or shine). This will be a 20-mile self-guided driving
tour through State Game Lands 12 and 36, and will take about two hours to complete. The route will start at the parking lot on
top of Wheelerville Mountain along Route 154 just south of Canton, Bradford County. Roads are passable for most vehicles.
Since the tour goes by Sunfish Pond County Park, a picnic lunch may be the order of the day! The local history of the mountain
and the Game Commission's refuge system is intriguing. A tour guide packet that is full of information and old Game
Commission photographs will be given to each vehicle at the start of the tour.

El k Count y: Sunday, Oct. 1, 1-5 p.m., State Game Land 44. The tour will start at the Game Commission State Game Lands
Headquarters on Game Commission Road, which is six-tenths of a mile south of Route 949 at the Toby Creek Bridge. Take
Route 949 South from the Elk County Courthouse in Ridgway for about 8 miles and then turn left (south) onto Game
Commission Road. During the tour visitors will travel to various locations on SGL 44 with Game Commission personnel to view
habitat improvement projects and to see deer and wildlife habitat demonstration areas. Anyone who plans to attend should wear
hiking boots and hiking clothes as the group will be walking over rocks and fields and through the woods. Persons attending will
use their own vehicles to travel from site to site and only high clearance vehicles can be used on the dirt backwoods roads,
although four-wheel-drive is not necessary.

Luzer ne/Wyomi ng c ount i es: Sunday, Oct. 8, State Game Land 57. Registration will be held from 7:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
at the headquarters building complex on State Game Land 57, Ricketts Station near Lopez, Forkston Township, Wyoming
County. Game Commission personnel will be on hand to explain various points of interest, including wildlife habitat improvement
projects. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are strongly recommended for this three-hour, 30-mile, self-guided driving tour. The Game
Commission may refuse entry to vehicles that don't have sufficient clearance. All vehicles must exit the route by 3 p.m. Each
vehicle will receive a map and brief explanation of wildlife management programs being carried out on this parcel. More than
120 species of trees are found in Pennsylvania, many of which will make this State Game Land a colorful autumn showplace.
Directions: At the intersection of Routes 487 and 118, take Route 487 north for 7.5 miles and turn onto a dirt road near the
State Game Land sign on the right. Travel on a dirt road one-tenth of a mile to a "Y" intersection and go left for three-tenths of
a mile to the headquarters complex.

Dauphi n/Lebanon/Sc huyl k i l l c ount i es: Sunday, Oct. 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., State Game Land 211, which
encompasses more than 44,000 acres in a three-county area. The tour will start at the Ellendale gate in Middle Paxton
Township, Dauphin County, just northeast of Dauphin Borough. The 19-mile trip will be made along an abandoned railroad bed,
and will end at Goldmine Road, southwest of Tower City, Schuylkill County. Game Commission personnel will be on hand to
explain various points of interest, including wildlife habitat improvement projects.

Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and managing all wild
birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits, enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and
managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking
license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic
organizations and sportsmen's clubs.

The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The agency is
funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is an excise tax collected
through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas, coal, timber and minerals derived from
State Game Lands.

# # #
Content Last Modified on 9/18/2006 1:41:01 PM
Release #114-06
FALL PHEASANT STOCKING PLANS ANNOUNCED
Agency posts more detailed information on website
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Game Commission has slated 101,800 ring-necked pheasants for release on
public lands throughout the Commonwealth for the upcoming small game hunting seasons.
"Based on agency's budget cuts first implemented in the 2004-05 fiscal year and carried forward since, we
reduced our pheasant propagation program by 50 percent," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive
director. "Reducing the pheasant propagation program has saved the agency nearly $1.1 million over the three
fiscal years. Without a hunting license fee increase, we expect to continue producing at the 100,000-bird level.
"Despite the overall reductions, this year our game farm staff had an excellent production season. They have
worked hard with limited resources to achieve the goal to have 100,000-birds available for stocking this fall, as
well as providing an additional 1,800 birds to offer to sportsmen's clubs who signed up to sponsor mentored
youth pheasant hunts on Oct. 7."
Carl F. Riegner, chief of the agency's Propagation Division, said that early this spring Roe reinstated an allocation
of birds to be offered to sportsmen clubs and other organizations to conduct mentored youth hunts. These birds
would normally come from the county allotment in which the hunt is conducted. However, since there was such
a great production season, the agency has been able to provide the 1,800 birds as extra without reducing the
county allotment for the regular season releases. The region staff will begin the stocking season Oct. 5, when
the agency will release 15,000 birds (7,420 males and 7,580 females) for the youth pheasant hunt scheduled for
Oct 7-13. A listing of stocking locations for the youth hunt can be found on pages 26-28 of the 2006-07
Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is provided to each license buyer.
Opening day of the general pheasant hunting season is Oct. 21, and closes on Nov. 25. Preseason releases will
consist of 50 percent of the fall allocation, and will be stocked in each region beginning Oct. 18 followed by the
first in-season stocking consisting of 25 percent. The second in-season stocking will be held the week of Nov.
6 consisting of another 25 percent. Only male pheasants are legal game in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs)
2A, 2B, 2C, 4C, 4E, 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D. Male and female pheasants are legal game in all other WMUs.
During the regular fall season, we focus pheasant stocking on State Game Lands and select state parks and
federal lands. However, in some areas where habitat conditions on public lands are marginal, birds may be
stocked on properties signed in the Game Commission public access program. Game Commission regional offices
have an updated publication titled "A Guide To Pheasant Releases And More," which identifies State Game Lands,
and those state parks and federal lands with suitable habitat that receive pheasant stockings. The publication,
posted on the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), can be viewed by selecting on "Hunting" in
the left-hand column, clicking on the photograph of the pheasant and then choosing "Pheasant Management
Program."
A regional breakdown for the and regular season stocking is as follows: Northwest Region, 5,260 males and
10,330 females; Southwest Region, 17,430 males and 5,550 females; Northcentral Region, 2,710 males and
5,160 females; Southcentral Region, 6,280 males and 3,880 females; Northeast Region, 5,660 males and 3,010
females; and Southeast Region 14,960 males. Regional allocations are based on the amount of suitable
pheasant habitat open to public hunting and pheasant hunting pressure.
To offer hunters better information about the stocking schedule, the Game Commission has posted on its
website charts for each of its six regions outlining the number or birds to be stocked in each county, the public
properties slated to be stocked and a two- to three-day window in which stockings will take place within the
counties. To view the charts, go to the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), select "Hunting" in
the left-hand column, clicking on the photograph of the pheasant and then choose "Pheasant Allocation" and
click on the map for the county or region of interest.
"As financial considerations have forced us to reduce the number of pheasants we are stocking, it was decided
that we should provide hunters with additional information to assist them in deciding when and where to hunt
those pheasants stocked," Roe said. He reminded hunters that, two years ago, the agency enacted a regulation
aimed at improving safety for agency employees and vehicles involved in pheasant stocking.
"Each year, when Game Commission personnel are releasing pheasants from the stocking trucks, employees and
trucks are shot at by unsuspecting hunters in the field. To prevent this, the agency approved a regulation that
prohibits hunters from discharging a firearm within 150 yards of a Game Commission vehicle releasing
pheasants.
"As we provide better information about when and where stockings will be conducted, we remind hunters that
they have an obligation to ensure that no stocking trucks or personnel are in the vicinity."
This year, the late season is scheduled for Dec. 11-23 and Dec. 26-Feb. 3, for Wildlife Management Units 1A,
1B, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B and 4D. Male and female pheasants are legal game in these
WMUs. All other WMUs are closed during these dates. Although small game season comes back in following the
close of deer, we are holding an allocation of 4,770 hen pheasants to be stocked Dec 21.
"We are holding these birds to be released as close as possible to the holiday season so youth can take
advantage of going afield during their school break and some business close down for the holiday's as well,"
Riegner said.
For details on the pheasant seasons, please see pages 25-28 of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting
and Trapping Regulations.
For more information about the 23 clubs who sponsored mentored youth pheasant hunts, go to the Game
Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), select on "Hunting" in the left-hand column, then click on the
photograph of the pheasant and then choose "Youth Pheasant Hunt Listing." Additional information on the youth
pheasant season, which runs Oct. 7-13, is available in News Release #107-06, issued on Sept. 7.
To augment the Game Commission's pheasant stocking program, Roe noted that each January sportsmen's clubs
are invited to enroll in the agency's "Pheasant Chick Program." As part of the program, clubs are required to
erect appropriate facilities, purchase feed and cover other expenses, and then they can receive pheasant chicks
to raise and release for hunting and dog training purposes on lands open to public hunting in their local
community.
Riegner adds, "this is a wonderful opportunity for sportsmen to get kids involved in raising pheasants and to
learn more about wildlife and habitat requirements. Kids can be involved in raising the birds, assist in
developing habitat in their community, and help release the pheasants into the wild. Our game farm
superintendents can assist sportsmen clubs by providing technical advice and training to get a facility started."
"We are striving to live within our current revenues," Roe said. "Now, more than ever, we need sportsmen's
clubs to help us in many aspects, including raising pheasants."
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 9/19/2006 8:36:50 AM
Release #115-06
DEER ARCHERY SEASON KICKS OFF STATE'S BIG GAME HUNTING SEASONS;
DON'T FORGET TO SUBMIT A HARVEST REPORT CARD
DEER ARCHERY SEASON KICKS OFF STATE'S BIG GAME HUNTING SEASONS
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania's longest, uninterrupted big game season begins before daybreak Sept. 30, as
bowhunters head into the hills, woodlots of suburbia and even up trees in pursuit of white-tailed deer, according
to Pennsylvania Game Commission officials.
Thousands of archers will shoot a deer on the opening day, always the season's most productive hunting day.
But most of the state's 300,000 bowhunters - roughly one in three of all hunters is a bowhunter - won't. It's a
feeling most archers are accustomed to; they know the action often can be slow in the six-week opportunity -
Sept. 30 to Nov. 11 - that is Pennsylvania's early archery deer season.
"Hunting with a bow-and-arrow is challenging and requires a tremendous commitment from a hunter if he or she
wants to be successful," explained Calvin W. DuBrock, Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Management
Bureau director. "Bowhunters must be exceptional woodsmen just to get themselves within 20 yards of a deer.
Then they have to make a move on that incredibly perceptive animal that concludes with making the shot.
Pulling it off is exhilarating, an exceptional accomplishment.
"Field officers are reporting that whitetails are available in fair to good numbers throughout most of the state,
and that deer populations near our urban centers are still larger than they should be. Many Wildlife Conservation
Officers (WCOs) reported that although buck numbers are not what they were prior to antler restrictions, there
are more older-aged bucks in their districts than many have seen during their entire careers with the agency.
Hunting in Pennsylvania will be exciting this fall."
"Pennsylvania deer hunters are the primary managers to keep deer populations at levels where we have healthy
deer and healthy habitat, while minimizing deer-human conflicts," added Dr. Chris Rosenberry, Game
Commission Deer Management Section supervisor. "Bowhunters are the start of this process, and an integral
part of the Pennsylvania deer hunting heritage."
The Game Commission encourages bowhunters - in fact, all hunters - to spend more time afield this fall prior to
hunting seasons to pattern deer movements and identify areas where fall foods are abundant. Even as the
season unfolds, hunters can increase their chances of success afield by doing in-season scouting, and keeping an
eye on areas adjacent to their hunting locations while on stand. Patterning daily movements in relation to
feeding areas and noting the prevailing wind direction are critical components to scouting and hunting.
It seems unlikely that hunting will be less demanding or easier in Pennsylvania's upcoming seasons. That means
hunters must put in more time and work harder to find and take whitetails. Receiving permission to access
private property, particularly in urban/suburban areas, can provide distinct advantages over hunting public lands.
So can morning hunts on weekdays before work when fewer hunters are afield. The more time a hunter spends
afield seeking fresh sign, the greater his or her chances will be. Hunting from a tree-stand can improve a
hunter's odds, as will hunting in multiple locations, and as undetectable as possible.
Jeannine Tardiff, Game Commission deer biologist, said hunters who live in the greater Philadelphia and
Pittsburgh areas could help Pennsylvania's deer management program and residents immensely by staying close
to home to hunt.
"There's no shortage of deer in these areas and hunters are sorely needed to reduce the conflicts posed by
urban/suburban deer populations," Tardiff explained. "Deer populations can quickly exceed landowner tolerances
in suburbia on landscapes that simply cannot accommodate their impacts. They become a constant threat to
motorists and a landscaper's nightmare. The stumbling block, of course, is hunter access. But more and more
landowners - even municipalities - are looking for assistance.
"If seeing lots of deer is what you crave as a hunter, then bowhunting in the suburbs may be for you. You'll see
more deer, but you'll have to knock on doors and possibly talk to municipal officials to find some places to go.
Make no mistake, the opportunities are there, just waiting for hunters to make the contacts to secure
permission."
The Game Commission expects many hunters to find satisfying hunting opportunities afield this fall, but that
doesn't mean hunters should expect to find deer populations unchanged, or at pre-antler restrictions levels. Nor
will they necessarily find deer where they have found them in past years. Deer numbers vary from one Wildlife
Management Unit (WMU) to the next, even from township to township or within a township. There are areas
with sizeable deer numbers and areas with limited numbers. Deer, however, can be found everywhere; they're
just not as abundant or as visible in some areas as residents have become accustomed to seeing them over the
past 10 years.
Antler restrictions, implemented in 2002, have led to an increasingly higher percentage of 2.5-year and older
bucks being available to hunters each year. Last year, about 50 percent of bucks taken were 2.5 years old, or
older. Typically, about 80 percent of the state's overall buck harvest is taken in the concurrent rifle season. But
archers still manage to take their share. Older bucks offer a more challenging hunt, since many bucks also have
another year of experience to draw upon.
"Over the past five years, the deer management program has succeeded in reducing deer numbers across much
of the state," Dr. Rosenberry said. "Although hunters may see fewer deer, opportunities to see and possibly
harvest a 2.5-year-old and older buck are better as a result of antler restrictions."
The best hunting days of the 2005 early archery season were the first day, followed by the last Saturday, the
sixth Saturday and the fifth Saturday. That pattern was duplicated in the firearms deer season, when hunters
did their best on the first day of season, followed by the first Saturday and the last Saturday of season.
Increased hunter participation likely influences hunter success on these openers and Saturdays.
The Game Commission urges bowhunters to take only responsible shots at deer to ensure a quick, clean kill. For
most, that's a shot 20 yards or less at a deer broadside or quartering away. Bowhunters should shoot at only
deer that are in their maximum effective shooting range - the furthest distance from which a hunter can
consistently place arrows into a pie pan-sized target.
Archers also are reminded of regulatory changes in equipment requirements that took effect in 2002.
All bows must have a peak draw weight of at least 35 pounds, and broadheads must have at least a 7/8th-inch
outside diameter and no less than two cutting edges. Cutting edges must be in the same plane throughout the
length of the cutting surface.
Bowhunters may use deer calls, attractant and cover scents, mechanical broadheads, lighted sight pins (as long
as they don't cast a beam) and mechanical releases. However, it is illegal to use baits, salt blocks, liquid mineral
mixes and transmitter-tracking arrows. DuBrock noted that the Board of Game Commissioners is set to take
final action on a proposal to permit baiting for deer hunting in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and
Philadelphia counties at its meeting on Oct. 3. However, if approved, the measure still will not take effect until
after the early archery season is closed.
Bowhunters may not possess a firearm at any time while hunting, nor may they possess a sporting arm while
tracking a deer after hunting hours.
Tree-stands and climbing devices that cause damage to trees are unlawful to use or occupy unless the user has
written permission from the landowner. Tree-stands - or tree steps - penetrating a tree's cambium layer cause
damage. It is unlawful to construct or occupy constructed tree-stands on State Game Lands, state forests or
state parks.
Other safety tips bowhunters should consider before heading afield and while hunting include:
- Make sure someone knows where you're hunting and when you expect to return home. Leave a note or
topographic map with your family or a friend. Pack a cellular telephone for emergencies.
- Always use a fall-restraint device - preferably a full-body harness - when hunting from a tree-stand. Wear the
device from the moment you leave the ground until you return. Don't climb dead, wet or icy trees. Stay on the
ground on blustery days.
- Get in good physical condition before the season starts. Fatigue can impact judgment, coordination and
reaction time, as well as accuracy. Staying physically fit makes a difference.
- Always carry a whistle to signal passersby in the event you become immobile. A compass and matches or
lighter and tinder also are essential survival gear items to have along. An extra flashlight bulb also can be
helpful.
- Use a hoist rope to lift your bow and backpack to your tree-stand. Trying to climb with either will place you at
unnecessary risk.
- Don't sleep in a tree-stand! If you can't stay awake, return to the ground.
- Always carry broadhead-tipped arrows in a protective quiver.
- If you use a mechanical release, always keep your index finger away from the trigger when drawing.
- Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for all equipment and check your equipment before each use.
- Practice climbing with your tree-stand before dawn on the opening day of the season. Consider placing non-
slip material on the deck of your tree-stand if it's not already there.
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
DON'T FORGET TO SUBMIT A HARVEST REPORT CARD
The Game Commission relies on information from hunters to estimate deer harvests. If all hunters who
harvested a deer would send in their harvest report cards, as required by law, harvest estimates wouldn't be
needed. However, the agency was forced to begin using reporting rates to estimate deer harvests in the 1980s,
when report card returns from hunters began to decline.
In 2005, the reporting rate for deer harvests was 40 percent for antlerless deer and 36 percent for antlered
deer. In 2004, reporting rates dropped to 40 percent, then the lowest level ever recorded by the Game
Commission. Although the agency's method of estimating deer harvests works with these low reporting rates,
the dropping compliance by hunters to report their harvests reflects poorly on them.
Each year, according to Game Commission Wildlife Management Bureau Director Calvin W. DuBrock, about 75
deer-aging personnel check and record information from harvested deer. Over the 2005-2006 hunting seasons,
more than 28,000 deer were examined. The information collected then was cross-checked with harvest report
cards submitted by hunters to establish reporting rates for antlered and antlerless deer by Wildlife Management
Units (WMU).
"Slightly more than 136,600 deer harvest report cards were received from hunters for deer taken in the most
recent deer seasons," DuBrock noted. "That we continue to receive such a significant number of report cards
indicates many Pennsylvania hunters are following through with their obligation to report their deer harvest, and
that they do believe reporting is important.
"But when you consider more than 350,000 deer were taken by hunters in those seasons, it quickly becomes
obvious that we can - and must - do better. The Game Commission is committed in its efforts to manage deer
to the best of its ability for all Pennsylvanians, but we have to rely on hunters to provide critical harvest
information."
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
# # #
Content Last Modified on 9/19/2006 2:57:03 PM
Release #116-06

GAME COMMI SSI ON TO HOLD OPEN HOUSE TO EXPLAI N DEER HARVEST ESTI MATI NG PROCESS
Meeting to emphasize importance of hunters submitting harvest report cards; address check station vs. report card systems

HARRISBURG - With archery season set to open on Sept. 30, the Pennsylvania Game Commission will review how the agency's
Deer Management Section estimates deer harvests at an open house from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28. The
open house will be held in the auditorium and lobby at the agency's Harrisburg headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, just off the
Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81.

"With deer seasons just around the corner, the timing was right to hold an open house for hunters, the general public and the
news media to review our deer harvest estimating process and the important role that hunters play," said Calvin W. DuBrock,
Game Commission Wildlife Management Bureau director. "We scheduled this to begin prior to lunch and extend into the evening
to maximize the opportunity for those interested in attending."

As part of the open house, every 90 minutes, the agency will conduct in the auditorium a 20- to 30-minute powerpoint
presentation on the deer harvest estimating process. Following the six presentations, members of the agency's Deer
Management Section will answer questions. Visitors also will have an opportunity to search computer records to find their deer
harvest report among the more than 136,000 report cards received by the agency for last season. All report cards will be on
display on the stage in the auditorium.

Other displays will focus on the scientific support for the Game Commission's deer harvest estimating process; how to properly
determine the age of a deer based on the examination of the deer jaw and teeth; why the agency uses deer harvest estimates
instead of check stations; and a map showing the field data collection process the agency uses to support its deer harvest
estimates.

Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and managing all wild
birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits, enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and
managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking
license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic
organizations and sportsmen's clubs.

The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The agency is
funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is an excise tax collected
through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas, coal, timber and minerals derived from
State Game Lands.

# # #
Content Last Modified on 9/19/2006 3:57:26 PM
Release #117-06
END-OF-SUMMER DEER POACHERS NABBED NEAR MARYLAND BORDER;
OCTOBER MEETING AGENDA POSTED ON GAME COMMISSION WEBSITE
END-OF-SUMMER DEER POACHERS NABBED NEAR MARYLAND BORDER
HUNTINGDON -- For three Maryland adults and a Pennsylvania juvenile apprehended over the past weekend by
Pennsylvania Game Commission officers, the temptation to skirt the laws to get their deer early has resulted in
fines that may total more than $4,000.
According to Fulton County District Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO) Kevin Mountz, he and Deputy WCOs
Robert Strait, Anthony Carbaugh and Ashley Ramsey were acting upon several citizens' complaints of finding
deer carcasses with the heads removed. The four were apprehended while Game Commission officers were
conducting surveillance in Thompson Township.
A vehicle driven by Jason Lee Gross, 27, of Clear Spring, Maryland, was stopped by officers for spotlighting after
legal hours. During the stop, officers secured a .17 caliber rifle, a loaded magazine, a knife, two spotlights and
additional live cartridges from the front seat of the car. Accompanying Gross was Harvey Samuel Benedict IV,
34, and Lloyd Patrick Macereth, 33, both of Hagerstown, Maryland; and an unnamed 15-year-old youth from
Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.
Further inspection of the exterior of the vehicle produced dried hair and blood that led to a confession by Gross
that he and Benedict illegally killed a deer several days earlier. Maryland Natural Resources Police were
contacted to assist with the investigation and, at 3:30 a.m., a search of a shed in Clear Spring produced a set of
antlers from the illegal deer. The deer was shot in Pennsylvania and transported across state lines where the
antlers were removed and the entire carcass discarded along the roadside.
All four are charged with spotlighting while in possession of a firearm. Both Gross and Benedict face charges of
unlawful possession of a deer taken in a closed season. In addition to penalties in Pennsylvania, Maryland DNR
is conducting an investigation and is expected to file additional charges.
WCO Mountz thanked the citizens who stepped forward with the information.
"People do not support illegal killing of wildlife," Mountz said. "While legal hunting enjoys a huge support base in
Pennsylvania, there is increasingly less patience for those who won't follow the rules. My Deputy WCOs and I
are a team with our residents."
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and
managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits,
enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has
purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The
agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is
an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas,
coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.
OCTOBER MEETING AGENDA POSTED ON GAME COMMISSION WEBSITE
HARRISBURG -- The agenda for the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners' October meeting has been
posted on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). To view a copy of the agenda, click on the "Next
Commissioners' Meeting" box in the center of the homepage and then select the "October 2006 Commission
Meeting Agenda" icon at the bottom of the page.
The two-day meeting will be held at the agency's H