Sunday, February 17, 2019

PA Orange rules changes get preliminary approval | Bob Frye

Orange is not appealing to turkey hunters.
Fall turkey hunters might soon no longer have to wear or post orange in Pennsylvania.
Photo: Howard Communications
This is proving the exception so far.
In January, Pennsylvania Game Commissioners preliminarily changed the opening day of the statewide firearms deer season, expanded bear hunting seasons, shortened fall turkey seasons and more.
All generated talk, some of it loud.
But not this.
Commissioners at their last meeting also preliminarily reduced how much fluorescent orange hunters have to wear, and when.
And the response from hunters?
“Crickets,” said commissioner Brian Hoover of Chester County of the silence.
Commissioners have talked about changing the rules for more than a year. Word was out that they were going to do something last month.
Still, they said they received no hunter feedback. Agency staff likewise heard nothing from sportsmen.
Under the proposal adopted — which must get final approval at the board’s April 8-9 meeting to go into effect on July 1 – there are two real changes.
First, archers, whether chasing deer or bear, would not have to wear orange at all, even when moving in or out of the woods. They would not need to post orange around their stand either.
Second, fall turkey hunters wouldn’t have to wear fluorescent orange material either, while moving or when set up.
Commissioner Scott Foradora of Clearfield County said the commission would “highly recommend” that both archers and turkey hunters wear orange while moving, especially at those times when their seasons overlap with others involving firearms.
But the board doesn’t want to require it.
Or, at least, most of the board doesn’t.
The rules changes didn’t pass unanimously. The vote was 7-1, with commissioner Jim Daley of Butler County registering an emphatic “no.”
A long-time hunter education instructor, Daley objected most vociferously to the elimination of orange requirements for fall turkey hunting.
Up until now, fall turkey hunters wore 250 square inches of orange while moving, and placed an orange band around a nearby tree when stationary.
Daley wanted at least some, if not all, of those requirements to remain.
“Why is turkey hunting different? Well, turkey’s different because I sit there and I make turkey sounds with a turkey call. So in many ways I’m imitating the game animal that I’m trying to pursue. The other thing is, while I’m imitating that game animal I may be working a box call so now I’ve added movement to that,” he said.
“That’s what adds danger. That’s why turkey is different.”
He shared the story of 24-year-old widow he met. Her husband was shot in the eye at 24 feet by a 60-year-old hunter. The younger hunter died, and his wife, the cousin he was hunting with, the older hunter who shot him and a 13-year-old accompanying him are all dealing with the consequences,
“Had (the victim) had an orange hat on, that would not have happened,” Daley said.
The majority of the board, though, disagreed.
In explaining their vote, they cited the fact there are fewer hunters in the woods chasing turkeys, and they’re usually using shotguns as opposed to rifles. It’s hard to hunt turkeys while wearing orange, they added, as the birds see color.
Their prime motivation, though, was simplification.
By the commission’s own admission, its rules regarding the wearing of orange are among the most complex anywhere. Even with the changes, the state would still be “one of the most restrictive” in the nation.”
Eleven states require no orange. Ten require it only when hunting big game, and 20 more only when hunting big game with a firearm.
The other nine, including Pennsylvania, “have a mixture of instances in which it is required.”
The commission wants to make things easier for everyone to understand, said commissioner Charlie Fox of Bradford County, who started the whole effort to address the orange rules.
This puts more of an onus on the hunter, he said.
“It’s personal responsibility,” Fox said.
The new rules wouldn’t totally eliminate the need to wear orange.
Hunters in deer, bear, elk firearms seasons, small game season, and those hunting coyotes during daylight hours within open deer, bear or elk firearms seasons, would still need 250 square inches of orange material on the head, chest and back combined, visible from 360 degrees, at all times. Woodchuck hunters would still need an orange hat.
Hunters pursuing deer, bear or elk from an enclosed blind would still be required to post a minimum amount of orange nearby, too.
All of those rules exist now.
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Bob Frye is the everybodyadventures.com editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or bfrye@535mediallc.com. See other stories, blogs, videos and more at everybodyadventures.com.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

PA BEAR HARVEST ELEVENTH-BEST ALL-TIME

HARRISBURG, PA - One of these years, Pennsylvania is going to break the 4,000-bear
barrier for a third time in annual black bear harvests.
There was hope it would in 2018 with a bear population estimated at 20,000 and a fine start to the November firearms season. But unfavorable weather conditions dashed those hopes.
The 2018 bear harvest came in at 3,153 bears, 11th-best all-time, but also the lowest bear harvest in the past 11 years.
“I thought Pennsylvania was capable of producing a 4,000-bear harvest the past two years,” explained Mark Ternent, Game Commission bear biologist. “But we’ve had some bad breaks with weather events during our bear seasons the past two years.
“With better hunting conditions, I do believe hunters would have taken another 1,000 bears in each of the past two seasons,” he said.
A season-by-season breakdown shows hunters took 2,017 bears (1,862 in 2017) in the general firearms season, 699 (1,083) in the extended season, 424 (493) in the archery season, and 12 in the early season.
A rainy bear firearms opener hamstrung the 2017 harvest by hundreds of bears. The same thing happened on the 2018 extended bear season opener, which also is the opening day of firearms deer season.
Opening-day harvests are typically responsible for 50 to 60 percent of the bear harvest during that particular season segment. When weather interferes, the season’s take suffers.
Seventy bears weighing 500 pounds or more, including 20 weighing 600 pounds or more, were part of the 2018 harvest.
Bears were taken in 60 counties and 22 of Pennsylvania’s 23 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs).
Even with new bear-hunting opportunities – including an earlier bear archery season that overlapped with a week of the archery deer season and expanded extended bear seasons – the bear harvest failed to reach management objectives.
That unfulfilled harvest potential has generated interest to further increase bear-hunting opportunities. Proposals to expand the mid-October muzzleloader and special firearms deer seasons to include bears statewide; increase to two weeks the length of the statewide archery bear season and shifting it to the two weeks following the muzzleloader and special firearms bear seasons; and expanding four-day extended bear seasons to six days in most WMUs in the 2019-20 bears seasons could be adopted at the April Board of Game Commissioners meeting.
Pennsylvania’s all-time bear harvest high was recorded in 2011, when 4,350 bears were harvested. Hunters harvested 4,164 in 2005. All other bear harvests have been under 4,000.
While the 2018 harvest was down compared to 2017’s harvest of 3,438, harvest totals increased within the Game Commission’s Northcentral and Northeast regions.
The largest bear harvested in 2018 weighed an estimated 780 pounds. It was taken with a rifle in Howe Township, Forest County, on the second day of the general bear season in WMU 2F by Michael J. Rubeo, of Mercer.
A day later, a 708-pound male was taken by Timothy J. Weaver, of Dallas, Pa., with a rifle in Harvey’s Lake Borough, Luzerne County.
Other large bears taken during the state’s slate of bear seasons – all but one taken with a rifle – include: a 704-pound male taken Nov. 17 in Goshen Township, Clearfield County, by Mickey L. Moore, of Clearfield; a 697-pound male taken Nov. 19 in Chapman Township, Clinton County, by Scott Yorty, of Bloomsburg; a 688-pound male taken in the extended season in Stroud Township, Monroe County, by Phillip R. Counterman, of East Stroudsburg; a 681-pounder taken Nov. 17 in Coal Township, Northumberland County, by Robert L. Britton III, of Coal Township; a 680-pounder taken Nov. 19 in Chest Township, Clearfield County, by Douglas D. Routch, of Curwensville; a 679-pound male taken with a handgun Nov. 17 in Farmington Township, Warren County, by Jordan Tutmaher, of Warren; a 666-pound male taken Nov. 20 in Snyder Township, Jefferson County, by Earl F. Timothy, of Brockway; and a 627-pound male taken Nov. 19 in Snyder Township, Jefferson County, by Wayne C. Kline, of Reynoldsville.
Tioga County finished with 166 bears to take the top county bear harvest. It was followed by Lycoming County with 159. Other top counties for bear harvests in 2018 were: Clinton, 158; Huntingdon, 142; Potter, 109; Luzerne, 105; Pike, 104; and Monroe, 103.
Final county harvests by region (with 2017 figures in parentheses) are:
Northwest – 517 (388): Venango, 96 (61); Crawford, 79 (40); Jefferson, 79 (55); Warren, 72 (109); Forest, 70 (35); Clarion, 52 (51); Erie, 29 (13); Butler, 26 (18); Mercer, 13 (6); and Lawrence, 1 (0).
Southwest – 261 (237): Somerset, 85 (75); Fayette, 58 (66); Indiana, 34 (11); Armstrong, 33 (36); Westmoreland, 26 (26); Cambria, 21 (21); Allegheny, 2 (1); Beaver, 1 (0); and Greene, 1 (1).
Northcentral – 989 (1,187): Tioga, 166 (214); Lycoming, 159 (252); Clinton, 158 (153); Potter 109 (161); Centre, 87 (93); Clearfield, 87 (66); Cameron, 67 (52); McKean, 67 (86); Elk, 54 (72); and Union, 35 (38).
Southcentral – 474 (383): Huntingdon, 142 (91); Bedford, 80 (57); Fulton, 58 (29); Blair, 44 (27); Juniata, 34 (41); Perry, 31 (44); Mifflin, 29 (43); Franklin, 26 (24); Cumberland, 12 (8); Adams, 7 (6); Snyder, 7 (13); and York, 4 (0).
Northeast – 775 (1,112): Pike, 104 (193); Luzerne, 105 (108); Monroe, 103 (82); Bradford, 96 (112); Wayne, 70 (156); Carbon, 60 (57); Sullivan, 53 (156); Susquehanna, 46 (66); Wyoming, 40 (70); Lackawanna, 34 (65); Columbia, 38 (29); Northumberland, 24 (16); and Montour, 2 (2).
Southeast – 137 (131): Schuylkill, 50 (47); Dauphin, 48 (49); Northampton, 17 (19); Lebanon, 10 (8); Berks, 8 (7); and Lehigh, 4 (1).
The final bear harvests by Wildlife Management Unit (with final 2016 figures in parentheses) were: WMU 1A, 23 (17); WMU 1B, 161 (103); WMU 2A, 7 (3) WMU 2B, 4 (4); WMU 2C, 193 (207); WMU 2D, 155 (131); WMU 2E, 75 (39); WMU 2F, 259 (232); WMU 2G, 422 (474); WMU 2H, 73 (87); WMU 3A, 222 (213); WMU 3B, 223 (457); WMU 3C, 134 (262); WMU 3D, 323 (417); WMU 4A, 218 (96); WMU 4B, 114 (130); WMU 4C, 168 (157); WMU 4D, 252 (296); WMU 4E, 105 (94); WMU 5A, 8 (7); WMU 5B, 4 (1); and WMU 5C, 10 (11).
While the overall harvest was down in 2017 and 2018, primarily because of weather events, those light harvests could lead to excellent bear hunting this fall, Ternent said. Prior to the start of the 2017 and 2018 hunting seasons, the statewide bear population was estimated at 20,000. It’s still appears to be holding strong.
Lower-than-expected bear harvests the past two years still produced a combined bear harvest of more than 6,500 bears, including more than a hundred 500-pounders, said Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans. Just 40 years ago, the agency had closed bear season to protect the resource.
“Just 40 years removed from a time when the Game Commission was closing bear season to safeguard the resource, Pennsylvania has become one of North America’s premier black-bear destinations,” emphasized Burhans. “You probably would have to go back in time more than 100 years to find bear hunting comparable to what Penn’s Woods offers today!”

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

PRELIMINARY 2019-20 PA HUNTING/TRAPPING SEASONS APPROVED- 1st Day Of Rifle Buck Season Moving To Saturday After Thanksgiving Instead of Monday!

HARRISBURG, PA - The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave preliminary approval to hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits for the 2019-20 license year. 
Modifications proposed for the 2019-20 seasons include: moving the opening day of the firearms deer season to the Saturday following Thanksgiving, creating an 13-day season that includes three Saturdays; shortening to two days the late November turkey seasons to accommodate a Saturday firearms deer opener; expanding the mid-October muzzleloader and special firearms deer seasons to include bears statewide; increasing to two weeks the length of the statewide archery bear season and shifting it to the two weeks following the muzzleloader and special firearms bear seasons; expanding four-day extended bear seasons to six days in most wildlife management units (WMUs) where they are held; establishing a September archery season and a January antlerless season for elk hunters; expanding bobcat hunting and trapping seasons to WMU 4B; extending fisher trapping opportunity to WMU 4A; increasing the season limit on beavers from 20 to 40 in WMUs 2A and 2B; and reducing the length of the porcupine season by about 10 weeks statewide.
The public may offer comments on all proposed 2019-20 seasons and bag limits, as well as other board actions, between now and the board’s next quarterly meeting, when 2019-20 seasons and bag limits will be finalized, and antlerless license allocations will be determined.
The board’s next quarterly meeting is scheduled to be held April 8 and 9 at the Game Commission’s Harrisburg headquarters.
Following are several articles on meeting highlights. 
SPLIT FIREARMS DEER SEASONS UP FOR APPROVAL
The Board of Game Commissioners adopted a slate of deer seasons for 2019-20, proposing a split, six-day antlered deer season (Nov. 30-Dec. 6) and seven-day concurrent season (Dec. 7-14) in 20 Wildlife Management Units. The list includes WMUs 1A, 1B, 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E, 5A and 5B. The package also retains the full-season (Nov. 30-Dec. 14) concurrent, antlered and antlerless deer season in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D.
The preliminarily adopted season would start on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, rather than on Monday.
Hunters with Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) antlerless deer permits may use the permits on the lands for which they were issued during any established deer season, and would continue to be allowed to harvest antlerless deer from Nov. 30-Dec. 6 in 1A, 1B, 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E, 5A and 5B. Fees for DMAP permits are $10.90 for residents and $35.90 for nonresidents.
DMAP permits also may be transferred to Mentored Hunting Program participants.
The board retained the antler restrictions that have been in place for adult and senior license holders since the 2011-12 seasons. It remains the “three-up” on one side, not counting a brow tine, provision for the western Wildlife Management Units of 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B and 2D, and the three points on one side in all other WMUs. Those exempt from these antler restrictions are mentored youth hunters, junior license holders, disabled hunters with a permit to use a vehicle as a blind and resident active-duty military on leave.
Once again this year, the commissioners gave tentative approval to concurrent hunting of antlered and antlerless deer in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D during most seasons, with the first segment of the archery season to run from Sept. 21 to Nov. 29 in those WMUs.
All preliminarily approved seasons and bag limits will be brought back to the April meeting for a final vote. 
FALL TURKEY SEASON CHANGES MOVE FORWARD
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave preliminary approval to fall turkey seasons for 2019 and spring gobbler dates for 2020.
All recommendations on fall turkey season length are made in accordance with guidelines in the Game Commission’s Wild Turkey Management Plan.
With final approval at the board’s next quarterly meeting, the fall season in WMUs 1A, 2A, 4A and 4B would be one week (Nov. 2-Nov. 9), plus a two-day Thanksgiving season (Nov. 28 and 29).
In WMU 1B, the season would remain one week (Nov. 2-9), with no Thanksgiving season.
In WMU 2B (shotgun and bow only), the season would run from Nov.2-22 and Nov. 28 and 29.
In WMU 2C, the season would be Nov. 2-22 and Nov. 28 and 29.
In WMUs 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C, 4D and 4E, the season would be Nov. 2-16 and Nov. 28 and 29.
In WMU 5A, the season would be from Nov. 7-9.
In WMU 5B, the season would be from Nov. 5-7.
And in WMUs 5C and 5D, the season would remain closed for the fall seasons.
For the 2020 spring gobbler season, which is proposed to run from May 2-30, the board continued with legal hunting hours to reflect the following: from May 2-May 16, legal shooting hours will be one-half hour before sunrise until noon; and from May 18-30, hunters may hunt all day, from one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset.
The board proposed holding the one-day Spring Gobbler Youth Hunt on April 25, 2020, which will run from one-half hour before sunrise until noon. All junior license holders and Mentored Youth Hunting Program permit holders can participate in this special half-day hunt, as well as the other spring season dates. 
PROPOSED 2019-20 HUNTING SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS
SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined): Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license, and mentored youth – Oct. 5-Oct. 19 (6 daily, 18 in possession limit after first day).
SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined): Oct. 19-Nov. 29; Dec. 16-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 29 (6 daily, 18 possession).
RUFFED GROUSE: Oct. 19–Nov. 29 and Dec. 16-24 (2 daily, 6 possession).
RABBIT (Cottontail) Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required licenseOct. 5-Oct. 19 (4 daily, 12 possession).
RABBIT (Cottontail): Oct. 19-Nov. 29, Dec. 16-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 29 (4 daily, 12 possession).
PHEASANT: Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license – Oct. 12-19 (2 daily, 6 in possession). Male pheasants only in WMUs 4E and 5A. Male and female pheasants may be taken in all other WMUs. There is no open season for taking pheasants in Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas, except within the Central Susquehanna Wild Pheasant Recovery Area, as authorized by executive order.
PHEASANT: Oct. 26-Nov. 29, Dec. 16-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 29 (2 daily, 6 in possession). Male pheasants only in WMUs 4E and 5A. Male and female pheasants may be taken in all other WMUs There is no open season for taking pheasants in Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas, except within the Central Susquehanna Wild Pheasant Recovery Area, as authorized by executive order.
BOBWHITE QUAIL: Oct. 19-Nov. 29, Dec. 16-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 29 (8 daily, 24 possession).
HARES (SNOWSHOE RABBITS) OR VARYING HARES: Dec. 26–Jan. 1, in all WMUs (1 daily, 3 possession).
WOODCHUCKS (GROUNDHOGS): No closed season, except on Sundays and during the regular firearms deer seasons. No limit.
CROWS: July 5-April 12, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only. No limit.
STARLINGS AND ENGLISH SPARROWS: No closed season, except during the antlered and antlerless deer season. No limit.
WILD TURKEY (Male or Female): WMU 1B – Nov.2-Nov. 9; WMU 2B (Shotgun and bow and arrow) – Nov. 2-Nov. 22 and Nov. 28-29 WMUs 1A, 2A, 4A and 4B, – Nov.2-Nov. 9 and Nov. 28 and 29; WMUs 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C, 4D and 4E– Nov.2-Nov. 16 and Nov. 28 and 29; WMU 2C – Nov.2-Nov. 22 and Nov. 28 and 29; WMU 5A – Nov. 7-9; WMU 5B – Nov. 5-7; WMUs 5C and 5D – CLOSED TO FALL TURKEY HUNTING.
SPRING GOBBLER (Bearded bird only): Special season for eligible junior hunters, with required license, and mentored youth – April 25, 2020. Only 1 spring gobbler may be taken during this hunt.
SPRING GOBBLER (Bearded bird only): May 2-May 30, 2020. Daily limit 1, season limit 2. (Second spring gobbler may be only taken by persons who possess a valid special wild turkey license.) From May 2-16, legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon; from May 18-30, legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset.
BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY (WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D): Sept. 21-Nov. 29. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.
BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY (WMU 5B): Oct. 5-Nov. 16. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.
BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY (Statewide): Oct. 28-Nov. 9. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.
BLACK BEAR, MUZZLELOADER (Statewide): Oct. 19-26. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.
BLACK BEAR, SPECIAL FIREARMS (Statewide): Oct. 24-26, Junior and Senior License Holders, Mentored Youth Permit Holders, Disabled Person Permit (to use a vehicle) Holders, and Pennsylvania residents serving on active duty in U.S. Armed Services or in the U.S. Coast Guard only. 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. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.
BLACK BEAR (Statewide): Nov. 23-27. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.
BLACK BEAR (WMUs 1B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 5A): Nov. 30-Dec. 7. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.
BLACK BEAR (WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D): Nov. 30-Dec. 14. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.
holders, disabled hunters with a permit to use a vehicle as a blind and resident active duty military.
ELK, ARCHERY: Sept. 14-28
ELK (Antlered or Antlerless): Nov. 4-9. Only one elk may be taken during the license year.
ELK, EXTENDED (Antlered and Antlerless): Nov. 11-16. Only one elk may be taken during the license year. Eligible elk license recipients who haven’t harvested an elk by Nov. 9, in designated areas.
ELK, LATE (Antlerless only): Jan. 4-11, 2020
DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D: Sept. 21- Nov. 29 and Dec. 26-Jan. 25, 2020. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license. One antlered deer per hunting license year.
DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) Statewide: Oct.5-Nov. 16 and Dec. 26-Jan. 11. One antlered deer per hunting license year. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.
DEER (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D: Nov. 30-Dec. 14. One antlered deer per hunting license year. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.
DEER (Antlered Only) WMUs 1A, 1B, 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E, 5A and 5B: Nov. 30-Dec. 6. One antlered deer per hunting license year. (Holders of valid DMAP antlerless deer permits may harvest antlerless deer on DMAP properties during this period.)
DEER (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 1A, 1B, 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E, 5A and 5B: Dec. 7-14. One antlered deer per hunting license year. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.
DEER, ANTLERLESS SPECIAL FIREARMS (Statewide): Oct. 24-26. Junior and Senior License Holders, Mentored Youth Permit Holders, Disabled Person Permit (to use a vehicle) Holders, and Pennsylvania residents serving on active duty in 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. 19-26. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.
DEER, ANTLERED OR ANTLERLESS FLINTLOCK (Statewide): Dec. 26-Jan. 11. One antlered deer per hunting license year, or one antlerless deer and an additional antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.
DEER, ANTLERED OR ANTLERLESS FLINTLOCK (WMUs 2B, 5C, 5D): Dec. 26-Jan. 25. One antlered deer per hunting license year, or one antlerless deer and an additional antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.
DEER, ANTLERLESS EXTENDED REGULAR FIREARMS: (Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties): Dec. 26-Jan. 25. 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. 
PROPOSED 2019-20 FURBEARER HUNTING SEASONS
COYOTES: No closed season. Unlimited. Outside of any big game season (deer, bear, elk and turkey), coyotes may be taken with a hunting license or a furtaker license, and without wearing orange. During any big game season, coyotes may be taken while lawfully hunting big game or with a furtaker license.
RACCOONS and FOXES: Oct. 26-Feb. 22, unlimited.
OPOSSUM, STRIPED SKUNKS and WEASELS: No closed season, except Sundays. No limits.
BOBCAT (WMUs 2A, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E): Jan. 11-Feb. 5. One bobcat per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.
PORCUPINES: Oct. 12-Feb.1, 2020. (3 daily, season limit of 10). 
PROPOSED 2019-20 TRAPPING SEASONS
MINKS and MUSKRATS: Nov. 23-Jan. 12. Unlimited.
COYOTES, FOXES, OPOSSUMS, RACCOONS, STRIPED SKUNKS and WEASELS: Oct. 27–Feb. 23. No limit.
COYOTES and FOXES, CABLE RESTRAINTS (Statewide): Dec. 26-Feb. 23. No limit. Participants must pass cable restraint certification course.
BEAVERS (Statewide): Dec. 26-March 31 (Limits vary depending on WMU).
BOBCATS (WMUs 2A, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E): Dec. 21-Jan. 12.
One bobcat per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.
FISHERS (WMUs 1B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E): Dec. 21-Jan. 2. One fisher per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.
RIVER OTTERS (WMUs 3C and 3D): Feb. 15-22, 2020. One river otter per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each. 
PROPOSED 2019-20 FALCONRY SEASONS
SQUIRRELS (combined) Sept. 2-March 31, 2020 (6 daily, 18 possession)
BOBWHITE QUAIL Sept. 2-March 31, 2020 (8 daily, 24 possession)
RUFFED GROUSE Sept. 2-March 31, 2020 (2 daily, 6 possession)
COTTONTAIL RABBITS Sept. 2-March 31, 2020 (4 daily, 12 possession)
SNOWSHOE OR VARYING HARES Sept. 2-March 31, 2020 (1 daily, 3 possession)
RINGNECK PHEASANTS (Male or Female combined): Sept. 2-March 31, 2020 (6 daily, 18 possession)
No open season on other wild birds or mammals.
Waterfowl and Migratory Game Bird seasons to be established in accordance with federal regulations at a later date.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Waterway goes from most polluted to River of the Year- The Clarion River


Once infamous as Pennsylvania’s most polluted waterway, the 110-mile Clarion River has been cleaned up and designated the state’s 2019 River of the Year.
In a joint statement Jan. 16, the Pennsylvania Organization for Waterways and Rivers, Allegheny Watershed Improvement Needs Coalition and state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced that in a public vote, paddlers, boaters, anglers and other outdoors users chose the Allegheny River tributary over three eastern waterways. The Clarion has attracted federal attention and is part of the National Wild and Scenic River program. The state designation opens some DCNR resources for maintenance of the waterway and is expected to focus public attention on the river and its conservation success story.
“For us the Clarion is the western gateway to the Pennsylvania Wilds, an iconic river flowing through Clear Creek and Cook Forest state parks,” said Cindy Adams Dunn, DCNR secretary. “It has a remarkable story -- the Clarion used to be too polluted for fishing and now the fishing is great, the water is clean. When I paddled it in July there were hemlock trees right down to the clean water and hundreds of people enjoying themselves, then you go around a curve and there’s no one. Solitude. You can have both experiences on the Clarion River.”
From its East and West Branch headwaters in Elk and McKean counties, the Clarion rolls off the western slopes of the Appalachian Mountains, slowly meandering to the west-southwest forming the Forest-Jefferson county line and across Clarion County to its beautiful confluence with the Allegheny River south of Foxburg.
Mysterious petroglyphs carved into river boulders support
evidence of the river’s use by Native American cultures. European settlers called it Stump Creek. In 1817 a surveyor is said to have commented that the river sounded like a distant clarion, a trumpet used in warfare.
The need for timber and wood chemicals led to massive clearcutting in the region, and in 1859 the world’s first commercially successful oil well in nearby Titusville, Crawford County, turned Pennsylvania’s west central counties into an industrial powerhouse. The Clarion was used to float timber and barges downstream as far as the Mississippi River, and became a receptacle for decades of industrial leakage, sediment, tannery waste and deep-mine acid.
Near the middle of the 20th century the clearcutting had stopped, the tanneries closed and the oil industry moved to other parts of the world. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, waterfowl hunters and anglers noted the river was slowly healing itself, and in the 1980s federal and state resources were used to clean it up.
Hillsides — once deforested and muddy — regenerated, and land wildlife returned. Mines were sealed. Fish returned by natural means and through a state stocking program. With the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers designation in 1996, 52 miles of the Clarion were protected. Today much of the river is an eco-tourism destination well-known for paddling, boating, fishing, wildlife watching and other recreation.
The Pennsylvania Organization for Waterways and Rivers administers the River of the Year program, which has drawn attention to the state’s waterways since 1983. As acting fiscal agent for the Watershed Improvement Needs Coalition, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy will receive a $10,000 Leadership Grant funded by DCNR to help pay for River of the Year activities that will be scheduled throughout the year.
Also nominated for the designation were the Delaware River, Lackawanna River and Conodoguinet Creek. The 2018 River of the Year was Loyalsock Creek in northcentral Pennsylvania.
In a statement, Kylie Maland of the Allegheny Watershed Improvement Needs Coalition noted the recent 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the Clarion River’s induction. 
“We are elated to continue to honor the Clarion as the 2019 Pennsylvania River of the Year to celebrate its remarkable recovery and pay tribute to it as a treasured resource of the state,” she said.
John Hayes: 412-263-1991, jhayes@post-gazette.com.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Winter Trap League Shoot For Tomorrow (Sunday) Has Been Cancelled

The Winter Trap League shoot at Frazier Sportsmens has been cancelled due to weather.  It will be rescheduled later

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

A Drone's Eye View Of Bull Creek


A Drone's Eye View Of Bull Creek!
When you get a drone for Christmas you must get drone shots of the club...
Posted by Bull Creek Rod and Gun Club on Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Thursday, November 29, 2018

PA STATE’S HUNGRY THANKFUL FOR HUNTERS

HARRISBURG, PA - When they sit down at the dinner table on Thursday, Pennsylvania’s hunters will have plenty for which to be thankful. It's prime time for Pennsylvania hunting and, with any luck, some game bags or ear tags have been filled already, or are nearly about to be.
But as hunters are giving thanks, they should know also they’re in a prime position to receive thanks for what they might choose to give.
Each year, the generosity of Pennsylvania’s hunters results in about 200,000 meals for the state’s hungry.
By donating venison through Hunters Sharing the Harvest – a program that works through a network of meat processors to channel venison donations to local food banks, soup kitchens and hungry families – hunters extend their helping hands to those in need.
And, once again this year, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and other partners are making it easy for hunters to help out. The Game Commission again donated $20,000 to the program – money that enables Hunters Sharing the Harvest to accept venison donations without charging hunters. In prior years, hunters who donated venison needed also to pay a $15 tax-deductible fee to cover deer-processing costs.
This partnership helped Hunters Sharing the Harvest in the 2017-18 deer seasons set a record for donations, when hunters donated 3,337 deer yielding 130,930 pounds of venison that provided 667,400 meals for people in need. Through Hunters Sharing the Harvest, hunters have donated more than 1.3 million pounds of venison to the state’s hungry since 1991.
Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said the agency is proud to partner with Hunters Sharing the Harvest, a program that exemplifies the generosity of Pennsylvania’s hunters.
“There’s no greater gift than feeding someone who is hungry, and our state’s hunters have stepped up to do that, time and again, by working through the program to generously donate meat from the deer they harvest to people in need,” Burhans said.
At a Tuesday news conference to kick off the busiest season for venison donations, Hunters Sharing the Harvest Executive Director John Plowman thanked the Game Commission and others who have helped to make the program a success. All deer donated through Hunters Sharing the Harvest must be processed professionally by a participating butcher. For information on where to take deer to be donated, or to learn more about the program generally, visit Hunters Sharing the Harvest’s website, www.sharedeer.org.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

PRELIMINARY THREE-DAY PA 2018 BEAR HARVEST RESULTS

A hefty 780-pound male was taken with a rifle Nov. 19 by Michael J. Rubeo,
of Mercer, in Howe Township, Forest County.
Hunters during the third day of Pennsylvania’s statewide bear season harvested 211 bears, raising the three-day total to 1,833 – a 12 percent increase over the 1,628 bears taken during the 2017 season’s first three days.

Bears have been harvested in 54 counties so far during the statewide season, which closes today.

The top 10 bears processed at check stations by Wednesday were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 600 pounds or more.

Two huge bears overtook the state’s largest harvested bear, which wasn’t easy, considering it weighed 704 pounds.

A hefty 780-pound male was taken with a rifle Nov. 19 by Michael J. Rubeo, of Mercer, in Howe Township, Forest County.

A day later, a 708-pound male was taken by Timothy J. Weaver, of Dallas, Pa., with a rifle in Harvey’s Lake Borough, Luzerne County.

Other large bears taken over the season’s first two days – all but one taken with a rifle – include: a 704-pound male taken Nov. 17 in Goshen Township, Clearfield County, by Mickey L. Moore, of Clearfield; a 697-pound male taken Nov. 19 in Chapman Township, Clinton County, by Scott Yorty, of Bloomsburg; a 681-pounder taken Nov. 17 in Coal Township, Northumberland County, by Robert L. Britton III, of Coal Township; a 680-pounder taken Nov. 19 in Chest Township, Clearfield County, by Douglas D. Routch, of Curwensville; a 679-pound male taken with a handgun Nov. 17 in Farmington Township, Warren County, by Jordan Tutmaher, of Warren; a 666-pound male taken Nov. 20 in Snyder Township, Jefferson County, by Earl F. Timothy, of Brockway; a 627-pound male taken Nov. 19 in Snyder Township, Jefferson County, by Wayne C. Kline, of Reynoldsville; and a 623-pound male taken Nov. 17 in Newport Township, Luzerne County, by Corrina M. Kishbaugh, of Nanticoke.

The overall 2017 bear harvest was 3,438 was the ninth-largest in state history. In 2016, hunters took 3,529 bears, for the fifth best all-time harvest. The largest harvest – 4,350 bears – happened in 2011, when preliminary three-day totals numbered 2,709.

The preliminary three-day bear harvest by Wildlife Management Unit was as follows: WMU 1A, 17 (14 in 2017); WMU 1B, 100 (53); WMU 2A, 5 (1); WMU 2C, 115 (75); WMU 2D, 114 (91); WMU 2E, 56 (25); WMU 2F, 198 (182); WMU 2G, 344 (356); WMU 2H, 59 (70); WMU 3A, 99 (103); WMU 3B, 117 (167); WMU 3C, 45 (80); WMU 3D, 141 (173); WMU 4A, 123 (59); WMU 4B, 53 (30); WMU 4C, 83 (42); WMU 4D, 112 (79); WMU 4E, 48 (26); and WMU 5A, 4 (2).

Archery and other early-bear season harvest data is not included in this report.

The top bear-hunting county in the state after three days of season was Clinton County with 119. It was followed by Lycoming County with 103.

Three-day harvests by county and region are:
Northwest (366): Venango, 68 (41); Jefferson, 64 (47); Forest, 52 (28); Warren, 52 (79); Crawford, 49 (20); Clarion, 37 (29); Butler, 17 (9); Erie, 15 (6); and Mercer, 12 (6).

Southwest (168): Somerset, 57 (34); Fayette, 32 (23); Indiana, 30 (8); Armstrong, 25 (30); Cambria, 13 (6); and Westmoreland, 11 (9).

Northcentral (643): Clinton, 119 (106); Lycoming, 103 (120); Tioga, 86 (113); Clearfield, 72 (49); Cameron, 61 (40); Potter, 54 (108); Centre, 46 (31); Elk, 46 (59); McKean, 43 (54); and Union, 13 (10).

Southcentral (245): Huntingdon, 76 (39); Bedford, 51 (26); Fulton, 33 (16); Blair, 21 (6); Juniata, 15 (9); Franklin, 14 (7); Perry, 14 (9); Mifflin, 10 (9); Adams, 4 (2); Cumberland, 4 (3); and Snyder, 3 (2).

Northeast (355): Luzerne, 50 (35); Bradford, 46 (28); Monroe, 46 (33); Pike, 46 (89); Sullivan, 30 (60); Wayne, 29 (54); Wyoming, 24 (29); Carbon, 25 (23); Lackawanna, 15 (25); Columbia, 17 (9); Northumberland, 17 (3); Susquehanna, 10 (19); and Montour 0 (1).

Southeast (56): Dauphin, 25 (13); Schuylkill, 17 (6); Lebanon, 7 (2); Lehigh, 3 (0); Northampton, 3 (2); and Berks 1 (4)