Sunday, April 24, 2016

Women In The Outdoors Event At Bull Creek June 4th 2016!


Women ages 14 and over are discovering a world all of their own; the National Wild Turkey Federation's Women in the Outdoors program was created just for them. Today millions of women enjoy outdoor activities such as camping, fIShing, shooting, hiking, and more. 

By becoming a member of Women in the Outdoors, you'll join a network of women who share the same hobbies and interests. You'll learn new skills, tune up existing ones, and make memories that last a lifetime in a relaxed, non-competitive environment. 

Spread the word to your mom, sister, friend or co-worker. Bring them all to the Allegheny Valley Chapter event for a fun and exciting day of learning and fellowship. Ages 14-17 must be accompanied with an adult. Pre-registration is required

What Will Be Provided: 
* Choice of 4 expertly instructed classes 
* Continental breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages 
* Equipment & materials needed for classes 
* A 1-year $35 membership in the NWTF 
* 1-year subscription to Turkey Country magazine and Turkey Talk 

If you are unable to attend our event, please visit WWW.WOMENINTHEOUTDOORS.ORG to find other events in the state of PA throughout the year! 

CANCELLATION POLICY: The cancellation deadline is May 24, 2014. If you cancel after the deadline, you will be responsible for the full program fee. You may send a substitute if you cannot attend.

Please print the following 2 forms and mail, click on the images to enlarge:

Lots Of Places To Find Gobblers This Spring Turkey Season

It would be a stretch to say Pennsylvania's turkey hunters have suffered greatly in recent years.
It's true the number of birds is down. At its peak in 2001, the statewide flock numbered 288,000, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission estimates. Last year it was thought to be 234,500.
But that's still a lot of turkeys.
Last year's spring gobbler harvest was 41,180, for example. That's the second highest of the last five years.
Western Pennsylvania in particular has plenty of birds.
“Every one of my game lands is a good one for turkeys,” said Art Hamley, the commission's land management group supervisor for Armstrong and southern Indiana counties. “They're literally everywhere.”
The recent weather may make it a bit easier for hunters to call them in during the season that runs from April 30-May 31, too.
Mary Jo Casalena, the commission's turkey biologist, said “early springs” like this one coax hens into nesting ahead of schedule. They're on eggs one to two weeks earlier than is typical.
“That's great news for hunters, because those lonely toms will be gobbling more and coming in easier to calling hunters,” Casalena said.
That doesn't guarantee success, of course. But, Casalena added, gobblers' vulnerability to hunters increases as their “go-to harem hens” drop out of circulation and the competition for those remaining becomes greater.
As for where to find birds, a poll of commission land management group supervisors reveals some game lands offer potentially better hunting than others.
Travis Anderson has authority for almost all of the game lands in Somerset County, as well as those in eastern Westmoreland. Two stand out, he said.
One is game land 82 in southern Somerset.
“It has a lot of fields, a lot of herbaceous openings, a lot of food plots, a lot of sharecropping fields. It's also got some nice high ridges so guys can sit up high and call,” Anderson said.
The other is game land 42 in eastern Westmoreland, he said. It's big, mountainous and wooded. Hunters can access it at many points, though, with one of the most popular an 8-mile road located off Route 271 north of Ligonier.
Typically gated, it's open for spring gobbler season and offers access to the interior of the game lands.
“I've seen a lot of turkeys up there, a lot of gobblers,” Anderson said.
Elsewhere, land manager Steve Leiendecker recommended game lands 296, near Smithton in Westmoreland County, and 51, near Dunbar in Fayette.
At the former, typically gated administrative roads — one off Mt. Etna Road, another off Banning Road — will be open for hunters. As for the latter, the area around an unnamed commission road that intersects with Dunbar-Ohiopyle Road, near an enormous PennDOT gravel pile, is promising.
“Extensive border edge cuts performed by the food and cover crew have really benefited the turkeys there,” Leiendecker said.
In northern Indiana County, land manager Dan Yahner suggested trying game land 262 and in Cambria County, game lands 108 and 158. All feature reverting strip mines.
“The birds seem to do well on them,” Yahner said. “As soon as the grasshoppers come out, you'll see an awful lot of birds feeing in those areas.”
In Butler County, land manager Jeff Kendall suggested game land 95, most specifically the portion of it closest to Parker and Bruin. Habitat is the reason. In addition to having food plots, he said, it's home to aspen cuts and other cover where birds can hatch and raise young.
“Those are two of the main two things for turkeys, brood-rearing habitat and nesting cover,” Kendall said.
In Armstrong County, game land 105 is worth a try, Hamley said. That's as much because of the country and lack of competition as the birds. It's rugged in spots, with steep hills bordering the Allegheny River.
“For a quality hunt, that's a real pretty area. It's got a lot of birds,” Hamley said. “And you can escape the crowds, so to speak.”
Game land 332 in Indiana, in what's known locally as the Coon Hollow area of Route 286 near Aultman Run, is also good, he said. The 3,000-acre property recently became a state game land. It hasn't been surveyed yet, but there are signs up to identify it, he added.
As for Beaver and Washington counties, land manager Doug Dunkerly said he couldn't really pick any game lands as being better than another.
He did say, though, that hunters visiting those in Washington County could increase their odds of finding birds by focusing on gas pipeline right-of-ways — the newer the better.
“They usually have a lot of forbs, so they have a lot of insects, a lot of bugs. Of course, the male turkeys aren't doing a lot of feeding right now. But the females are. And where the ladies are, that's where the gobblers are going to be,” Dunkerly said.
“They're pretty open so a guy can see a ways. And there's usually enough vegetation right on the edges so that a guy can tuck himself back in and not be seen.”
Everywhere, patience can pay off, Casalena said.
Some areas likely have a lot of jakes, or younger gobblers, she said. Kendall said he has noticed that in his area, for example.
They typically gobble the least, Casalena said.
“Just because you're not hearing much gobbling doesn't mean they're not there, and hunters anywhere might be pleasantly surprised by the outcome of a hunt, even if there's not a lot of calling activity leading up to it,” Casalena said.
Bob Frye is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter@bobfryeoutdoors.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Women The Focus Of Recruitment In Fishing Circles


If there's one day a year that's likely to put even the most casual anglers on the water, it's opening day of trout season.
So how many women did you see casting a line Saturday?
Not many, probably, proportionately speaking.
Women have been one of the fastest-growing components of the outdoors — fishing, shooting and hunting — in recent years but still represent a fraction of the people on the water and in the woods.
That seems especially true in Pennsylvania.
A 2011 report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revealed that about 27 percent of anglers nationally are female.
However, Carl Richardson, education section manager for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, said that while women make up 56 percent of Pennsylvania's population, just 6.6 percent of them buy a fishing license in a given year.
Richardson said some survey work determined that three times as many women call themselves anglers as actually buy a license from year to year.
“So we have a big audience that's dropping out,” he said.
The commission wants to address that by year's end.
An internal commission work group of female employees has met twice to figure out how to keep women fishing. Members include women who are avid anglers, as well as those who occasionally fish and some who don't fish at all, Richardson said.
One thing that's clear is women — unlike men — don't necessarily fish to catch fish, Richardson said. They talk about wanting to spend time with family, to be outdoors and relax, he said.
The work group's task is to figure out how to take that information and craft a female-angler recruitment, retention and reactivation plan by this fall. Richardson hopes to present a strategy to commissioners at their September meeting and initiate it in time for 2017 licenses to go on sale Dec. 1.
Commissioners had suggestions for the plan.
Norm Gavlick of Luzerne County runs a combination gun and bait shop and said the key to success is showing customers “added value.” The commission needs to do the same with women who might fish.
“You buy a fishing license, it allows you to fish. But what else do you get?” Gavlick said.
He also suggested the commission do a better job making women, especially single moms, aware they can borrow fishing equipment for a day from commission and many state park offices.
Commissioner Glade Squires of Chester County agreed, suggesting the agency market itself to women by creating learn-to-fish seminars for them.
The potential payoff is huge, commission president Ed Mascharka of Erie County said. He said women account for only about 64,000 of the 800,000 licenses being sold.
“That's nothing compared to the millions of women who are possible license buyers,” he said.
Bob Frye is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter@bobfryeoutdoors.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Important Changes To Hunting Regulations and Deadlines Announced By PA Game Commission

Measure seeks to minimize disturbance of wildlife.
The recreational flying of drones rapidly has gained in popularity, and as it has, the number of cases where drones have caused concern for wildlife has increased as well.
During the snow-goose migration season at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area this year, for instance, Game Commission staff detected at least five instances where drones disturbed wildlife. In one case, a drone was flown into an off-limits propagation area that serves as a sanctuary for resting waterfowl, and another disturbance caused hundreds of waterfowl to suddenly flush. There also were reports of drones being flown close to bald-eagle nests, which causes an obvious risk to eagles and their eggs.
Clearly, this type of activity runs counter to the intended use of properties like Middle Creek and other tracts of state game lands owned by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
And today, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners cast a unanimous preliminary vote to enact a ban on the flying of unmanned aerial vehicles over lands or waters designated as state game lands.
The measure will be brought back to the July meeting, where commissioners will consider it for final approval.
In addition to protecting wildlife, the commissioners said the ban also would ensure drones aren’t used to interfere with lawful hunting and trapping on game lands.
The preliminarily approved measure provides for exceptions to be made through written permission by the executive director.
ANTLERLESS APPLICATION SCHEDULE CHANGESLength between resident and nonresident application periods shortens.
Hunters who are Pennsylvania residents traditionally have been able to apply for antlerless deer licenses a full two weeks before nonresidents.
But the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today voted to shorten the time between resident and nonresident application periods to one week, allowing nonresidents to apply the third Monday in July each year.
The measure is part of an ongoing effort by the Board of Commissioners to make the application process fairer to nonresident deer hunters, many of whom are native Pennsylvanians who have moved away, but return to hunt with family.
Antlerless deer licenses are valid only in the Wildlife Management Unit for which they’re issued. In many of the state’s 23 Wildlife Management Units, licenses typically are available at the time nonresidents first can apply. But in some WMUs – particularly a handful in northcentral Pennsylvania where many nonresidents have camps – antlerless licenses sell out quickly and before nonresidents have a chance to apply.
Commissioners said the change will give those nonresidents a better chance to obtain a license, while still giving preference to residents.
PORCUPINE COULD BE RECLASSIFIED AS A FURBEARERProvision could allow porcupines to be hunted or trapped, with proper licenses.
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today preliminarily approved reclassifying the porcupine as a furbearer.
If given final approval, the measure could allow for porcupines to be trapped, as well as hunted. Commissioners said a porcupine trapping season would not be implemented in the 2016-17 license year, and would be implemented in future seasons only if porcupines are reclassified and staff recommends a trapping season.
Based on the proposal, license requirements for hunting and trapping of porcupines would mirror those for coyotes. Porcupines could be hunted by those possessing either a hunting or furtaker license, and could be trapped by furtakers, as well, during established seasons.
The measure will be brought back to the July meeting to be considered for final approval.

COMMISSIONERS EMPHASIZE DEER CONTROL THROUGH HUNTINGPreliminarily approved provision requires deer-control permit holders to consider hunters first.
Municipalities and other political subdivisions that request permits to manage deer populations soon might need to more strongly consider managing deer through hunting before gaining approval to use another method.
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave preliminary approval to a series of amendments to the application process for special deer-control permits.
As part of the background information on deer populations and damage they’re required to submit, permit applicants would be asked to specifically define how licensed public hunting has been used in the problem area previously, and how it will be used during the period the permit would be valid.
Commissioners said the measure helps to ensure hunters will have an opportunity to manage deer on properties where high deer populations have created problems.
The amendments will be brought back to the July meeting for a final vote. 

DISABLED VETERANS’ HUNTS PRELIMINARILY APPROVEDOne shooting day at each Middle Creek, Pymatuning could be designated.

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave preliminary approval to a measure that would allow the Game Commission’s executive director to designate one shooting day at each the Middle Creek and Pymatuning Wildlife Management Areas as open only to veterans with disabilities.
Participants would be selected by a random drawing, and only those who qualify for and possess a disabled veteran license could apply. Successful applicants who participate in the hunt would be permitted to bring along three guests, so long as they possess proper general or base hunting licenses.
The measure will be brought back to the July meeting, where it will be considered for final approval.
EXPIRED-LICENSE POSSESSION MADE ILLEGALIntentional or accidental, violations arise from tagging big game with expired tags.

When July rolls around, a new hunting license year will begin and those licenses carried over the previous 12 months no longer are valid.
But the Wildlife Conservation Officers working for the Pennsylvania Game Commission sometimes encounter hunters and trappers who still are in possession of expired licenses and tags from the previous year. And in some cases, those in possession of expired licenses and tags are carrying them with the intention to use them unlawfully to tag an animal taken in the current season.
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners has addressed that problem, voting today to make it unlawful to possess any license or big-game tag from a previous license year while engaged in hunting or trapping activities. Licenses and tags that have been fulfilled, revoked or suspended also have been made unlawful to possess in the field.
Commissioners have noted the color of hunting licenses can’t be changed from year to year to make it easier for hunters to know which tags are valid. The PALS system through which hunting licenses are issued is operated jointly in Pennsylvania by the Game Commission and the state Fish and Boat Commission.
Because the license years for hunting and fishing licenses start and end at different times, hunting and fishing licenses for different licenses years are issued at the same time, meaning the color for each must remain consistent.
Commissioners reminded hunters it is unlawful to possess the licenses or tags of junior hunters and mentored youth.
RANGEFINDER USE CLARIFIED BY BOARDGame Commission long has considered use of rangefinders ethical and in compliance with the law.

Electronic rangefinders have been added to the list of electronic devices Pennsylvania hunters are permitted to use.
While many hunters have used rangefinders for years, and the Game Commission long has considered them lawful, rangefinders never formally were added to the narrow list of permitted electronic devices.
That changed today through a vote of the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners. Both hand-held rangefinders and those contained within a scope or archery sight formally have been permitted, but those that cast a beam of any sort continue to be unlawful to use.
The state’s Game and Wildlife Code carries a broad prohibition on the use of electronic devices during hunting and trapping, but over the years, several devices have been reviewed – and in some cases – added to a list of devices that are an exception to the broad rule and can be used lawfully.
In reviewing devices and considering whether their use should be considered lawful, the Game Commission considers if and the degree to which the device might negatively impact principles of resource conservation, equal opportunity, fair chase and public safety.
LAW-ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY CLARIFIEDBoard adjusts regulation to reflect officers’ role in changing times.
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave final approval to minor changes to regulatory language that clarify the role officers play in enforcing criminal violations they encounter in the performance of their official duties.
Wildlife Conservation Officers are given authority under state law to enforce not only the state’s Game and Wildlife Code, but also the Crimes Code and a variety of other laws. The regulatory change removes a requirement for WCOs to attempt to transfer all general crime matters to local or state police. In almost all cases, state and local police decline to pick up cases from WCOs, and ask that the Game Commission prosecute the cases.
The primary responsibility of WCOs remains enforcement of the Game and Wildlife Code.