Saturday, February 19, 2011

Allegheny Valley Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation's 12th Annual Hunting Heritage Banquet

The Allegheny Valley Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation would like you to join them at Futule's Harmer House in Cheswick, PA.

The annual banquet will be March 25th, 2011 with the doors open at 5:30PM and dinner at 7:00PM.  The banquet will feature prizes, raffles, special merchandise and of course great food!

Tickets are $55.00 per person (includes annual membership in the NWTF) or $25.00 for dinner only.  For more information and to order tickets please contact Bull Creek members Chuck Grey at 412-767-4780 or Mike Zourelias at 724-265-0903.

Purchase tickets by March 15th and be eligible for some special Early-Bird raffle ticket offers!

Click on application below to print and mail:

The Turkey Hunt!

Found on Youtube! :-)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Massive Stink Bug Invasion Predicted

By BRUCE LESHAN • Gannett• February 18, 2011

KNOXVILLE, MD. — As the weather warms, scientists warn that billions of stink bugs -- far worse than last year -- will be awakening and reproducing by the end of the month.
Stink bugs invaded our country
from Asia in the 1990s.

In his 90-year-old farmhouse south of Frederick, Md., Doug Inkley is already under siege. He's a biologist for the National Wildlife Federation and he loves bugs. He has a big beetle sculpture on his front porch.

But he absolutely hates stink bugs. They land on his face at night while he's sleeping. They die in enormous quantities just inside his window screens. They've spent the winter in his attic.

"Oow, yeah. I just found dozens fly out at me," he says, showing masses of them under his insulation. "There's another 50 right there." This past weekend, he sucked up 8,000 of them with the vacuum cleaner he keeps close at hand.

As the temperatures rise, the stink bugs crawl toward the nearby farm fields and orchards to devoir millions, maybe billions of dollars in fruit and vegetables. They lay their eggs on the foliage of fruit trees and other crops.

"I keep meticulous records," Inkley says. "I'm a scientist. But I didn't want my house to become an experiment in invasive species. "I now have a total that I've collected just since Jan. 1 of 12,000 of them," he says. "I've got to kill 'em."

Brown marmorated stink bug -- different from green stink bugs kept in check by natural predators here -- invaded from southeast Asia, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They were first collected in 1998 in Allentown, Pa., but the agency thinks they probably arrived here a few years earlier in shipping crates, hitchhikers in global commerce.

They've now spread throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northwest and are making their way into the Midwest and South -- about two dozen states, the Pennsylvania State University researchers say.

They have no natural predators, and every year their population has climbed exponentially. Michael Raupp, an entomologist at the University of Maryland who's been studying the bugs, predicts this year will be the worst so far.

The bugs don't bite, sting, or carry human diseases as far as we know. But they do stink -- some say like a skunk -- if you smash them.

How to deal with stink bugs

You may be tempted to crush them, but you'll be rewarded with an odor you won't like. Instead:

- Vacuum them. This also will help kill stink bug eggs. But dispose of the vacuum bag, maybe dousing it with some insecticide as you set it in the trash can.

- Attract them. Use a wide-mouth can. Fill with an inch of water, sweet-scented dish soap, and a little cooking oil on top. Make sure that pets cannot lick this trap. The sweet smell lures the bugs; the oil smothers their discharge; the soapy water smothers them as they sink.

- Exterminate them with commercially available insecticides. But apply the chemicals outside. If you do so when they are in your walls, you could attract carpet beetles that feed on their carcasses and potentially your woolens.

- Repel them. They don't like the smell of garlic - if you can handle it.

- Block them. Caulk small openings and cracks in your house or elsewhere to keep them out of structures. Repair damaged screens.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Hunting May Get Strongest Push Yet


A collection of national sportsmen's groups aimed at getting Sunday hunting legalized has Pennsylvania and the rest of the Northeast in its sights.

The group is known as the Sunday Hunting Coalition. It's made up of some of the same heavy-hitting groups — the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, National Rifle Association and others — that got mentored youth hunting programs legalized, first in Pennsylvania, then in 28 other states, over the past five years.

The coalition formed during the SHOT Show, the hunting and shooting industry's annual convention held last month.

"The Coalition has just one goal: to facilitate the repeal of laws prohibiting hunting on Sundays in the 11 remaining states that still have the archaic blue law in place," said Rob Sexton, vice president for government affairs for the Sportsmen's Alliance.

Repealing the blue law would not, in and of itself, lead to hunting on Sundays. But it would give the Pennsylvania Game Commission the authority to include Sundays in hunting and trapping seasons if it saw fit.

Pennsylvania's blue law — which dates to 1794 — initially forbade any kind of "work or toil" being done on Sundays. It's since largely been eliminated, so that it's legal to gamble, open a store, buy alcohol and work seven days a week.

There have been numerous efforts to repeal the ban on hunting— something only the state legislature can do — but they've always failed.

This might be the time for that to finally change, said state Rep. Marc Gergely, an Allegheny County Democrat and officer with the National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses, another of the coalition members.

In the past, allowing hunting on Sundays was always touted as a way to recruit and retain hunters. Those reasons remain valid, he said. But there's more, too.

A 2005 study showed that allowing Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania would generate $629 million in economic impact, $18 million in state sales tax and support 5,300 new full- and part-time jobs. "This goes beyond just hunter opportunity," Gergely said. "Those were big figures in 2005, when we were flush with money. They're even bigger now I'm sure, and we're in a recession, too. We need that money, and we need those jobs."

There's opposition out there, though.

The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau has always opposed the legalization of Sunday hunting for a variety of reasons, ranging from religious ones to the fact it's the only day most farmers "take off" from work, said spokesman Mark O'Neill. That sentiment remains strong, he said.

"The last time our members discussed this, it was overwhelming, no question about it, no wavering opposition to Sunday hunting," O'Neill said.

Gergely said the Democratic leadership in the House plans to push the issue by updating its economic impact figures and holding a hearing sometime this year. He's urged the organizations in the Sunday Hunting Coalition to become a presence at the state Capitol to lobby their case in person, too.

If all of that comes to pass, Sunday hunting may yet become legal here, he said.

"I think maybe we've reached the tipping point where this finally gets done," Gergely said

Read more: Sunday hunting may get strongest push yet - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pennsylvania Puts a New Dauphin County Buck Into the Record Book!

By MARCUS SCHNECK, The Patriot-News

The gang at Camp Swamp Hole near Loyalton, in northern Dauphin County, continues to carve out their niche in the big game record books of Pennsylvania. For 2010, it’s a white-tailed buck that has scored among the largest typical set of antlers ever harvested in the state.
Brothers Brian and Jeff Sitlinger share a moment
of triumph around the monster buck that the
latter bagged near Loyalton in northern
Dauphiun County on the first day of the 2010
firearms hunting season for deer.

Jeff Sitlinger, an Elizabethville native who now lives in Peachtree City, Ga., downed the massive 13-pointer at 7:22 a.m. Monday, Nov. 29, the first day of the 2010 firearms hunting season for deer.Scores are derived by measuring various aspects of a deer’s antlers under guidelines established by the Boone and Crockett organization. The same system is used by the Game Commission’s Big Game Scoring Program, which previously listed the top five typical bucks taken in Pennsylvania as follows:

He waited a bit more than the 60 days of required drying period before bringing the rack back to the Pennsylvania Game Commission for official scoring today.

Some friends who have made a hobby out of learning to score deer antlers gave it an unofficial gross score of 192-3/8 and unofficial net score of 183-5/8.

However, today the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Bob D’Angelo scored the rack at 182-0/8, which ranks it as the No. 4 typical rack ever recorded in Pennsylvania.

No. 1, score of 189-0, taken in Bradford County in 1943 by Fritz Janowsky, of Wellsburg, N.Y.
No. 2, score of 184-6, taken in Greene County in 1974 by Ivan Parry, of Graysville.
No. 3, score of 182-5, taken in Blair County in 1951 by Chester Allison, of Harleysville.
No. 4, score of 180-4, taken in Sullivan County in 1931 by Floyd Reibson, of Forksville.
No. 5, score of 177-5, taken in Bedford County in 1957 by Raymond Miller, of Bedford.

Sitlinger’s buck may also score among the top 300 ever registered with Boone and Crockett

Friday, February 4, 2011

Commissioners Tweak Hunting Seasons


HARRISBURG — It looks as though the shape of deer-hunting seasons is going to change again this year.

Pennsylvania Game Commissioners gave tentative approval Tuesday to seasons and bag limits for the 2011-12 license year. The deer, turkey, bear and small-game seasons all got tweaked.

When it comes to whitetails, commissioners added three wildlife management units - 2A, 2F and 3B - to the list of those where the first five days of the firearms deer season will offer bucks-only hunting. The antlerless season would start on the season's first Saturday and continue through the second week.

The move - if given final approval when commissioners gather in April - would leave 11 of the state's 22 wildlife management units with two weeks of concurrent buck and doe hunting and 11 with a split-season format. Commissioner Ralph Martone of New Castle said the move was in response to requests from hunters.

As expected, commissioners also expanded the state's black bear season. For the second consecutive year, it will open on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. But it will also continue Monday through Wednesday of the following week, bringing the season to four days — one more than it has been in about two decades.

Commissioners also added days to the fall turkey seasons. Generally speaking, the seasons will open on the last Saturday in October - as they did prior to changes last year - and continue for two to three weeks, depending on wildlife management unit. They will reopen on Thanksgiving and continue through the following Saturday — something that was first tried this past year.

"This allows us to take what was positive from the Thanksgiving segment of the season and what was positive from the traditional segment of the season and put them together," Martone said.

When it came to small game, commissioners added a week to the tail-end of ruffed grouse season, so that it would close Jan. 28, 2012. But they rejected a staff recommendation to open all small-game seasons - for squirrels, grouse, rabbits and pheasants - on the same day in the fall, Oct. 15. Instead, squirrels and grouse become fair game that day, while the rabbit and pheasant seasons open one week later on Oct. 22.

Commissioner Jay Delaney of Luzerne County said those changes were suggested by sportsmen, especially dog owners, who are concerned about everything from ticks and dog health to cooler weather and having less vegetation standing. That's what drove it," Delaney said.

The move will allow youth hunters two exclusive Saturdays for hunting rabbits and pheasants, Martone added.

Read more: Commissioners tweak hunting seasons - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review