Hunters encouraged to use any of the collection bins placed within Disease Management Areas.
Hunters within the state’s Disease Management Areas (DMAs) have the opportunity to have their deer tested – free of charge – for chronic wasting disease (CWD), and at the same time help the Game Commission fight this deadly disease.
The Game Commission has installed large metal bins at about two dozen locations for the collection of harvested deer heads within DMA 2 and DMA 3. The bins, which are similar to those used for clothing donations, keep contents secure and are checked and emptied every other day through the deer-hunting seasons.
All deer heads retrieved from the bins that can be tested for CWD, will be tested, and the hunters who submitted them will be notified of the results as soon as they’re available.
Hunters during the final day of Pennsylvania’s statewide bear season harvested 168 bears, raising the 2017 statewide season harvest to 1,796 – an about 30 percent decrease compared to the 2,579 bears taken during the four days of the statewide season in 2016.
Extensive rain on the season’s opening day, Nov. 18, led to the harvest decline.
Archery and other early-bear season harvest data is not included in this report. Comprehensive bear harvest totals that include bears taken during the early and extended seasons will be released in the coming months.
During the statewide season, bears were harvested in 54 counties.
The top 10 bears processed at check stations were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 576 pounds or more.
Use of approved semiautomatic rifles and air guns now permitted in Special Regulations Areas.
Four electronic devices recently approved for use while hunting now may be used afield.
Within established seasons, hunters now may use electronic decoys in hunting waterfowl; electronic dove decoys solely for hunting doves; electronically heated scent or lure dispensers; and electronic devices that distribute ozone gas for scent-control purposes.
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners in September gave final approval to a measure to allow the devices, but with all regulatory changes, the changes do not become law until they are published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
The changes will be published in the Nov. 18 Pennsylvania Bulletin.
The following snippets from the Altoona Tribune give an interesting glimpse of hunting in Blair County back in 1927.
All records for the sale of hunters' licenses, for any one day, were broken yesterday in the county, when 1,415 licenses were issued, the total number sold to date reaching 9,415.
It was thought the increase in the price of licenses from $1.25 to $2.00 would decrease the number sold this year, but such did not prove to be the case.
As yesterday was the last day, prior to the opening of the fall hunting season there was a rush of belated sportsmen to attend to this necessary procedure and the office of County Treasurer John F. Royer at Hollidaysburg was crowded all day. Mr. Royer, his deputy, Charles Way, and clerks, Misses Edna Snowberger and Rose Connors, were kept as busy as beavers attending to the hundreds who crowded the office. Only two nonresident licenses were issued during the day, the total number of those licenses to date being four. Most of the applicants for this form of license are deer hunters, who do not apply until later in the year as the deer season does not open until December 1.
Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Tuesday, November 1, 1927, page 1
Grandfather, granddaughter returned to safety.
Two hunters who became lost Saturday on State Game Lands 33 in Centre County were tracked down by specially skilled Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife conservation officers and returned to safety early the next morning.
The Game Commission was notified on the evening of Oct. 21 that the two hunters, 58-year-old Jeff Cherry, of Altoona, and his 17-year-old granddaughter Megan Settlemyer, did not meet up with the rest of their hunting party when expected. As darkness fell and the hours passed, concern for the hunters’ safety grew because Cherry is diabetic and did not have insulin or food with him.
At about 11 p.m., wildlife conservation officers and their deputies, state police, members of the Mountain Top Fire Company, and family and friends of the lost hunters gathered to begin a search.
Rusty Stephen Garlock, 25, of Three Springs, Pa., was sentenced on Friday, Oct. 13 in Huntingdon County court after pleading to charges stemming from an assault on Wildlife Conservation Officer Richard Macklem II as he attempted to stop his vehicle during a poaching incident, Friday, Nov. 11, 2016.
Huntingdon County President Judge George Zanic sentenced Garlock to serve 18 months to three years in a State Correctional Institution for the felony count of aggravated assault on a law-enforcement officer.
Garlock also was fined $2,000 and ordered to pay the costs of prosecution.
For the felony count of criminal mischief, Garlock was sentenced to seven years of probation, to be served consecutive to his confinement. He was fined $250 and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $6,624.35 for the damage caused to the WCO’s patrol vehicle.
Hunters can help keep eagles safe by burying entrails of harvested game.
An increasing number of bald eagles have been admitted to wildlife-rehabilitation centers across Pennsylvania exhibiting signs of illness such as weakness, lethargy, emaciation, labored respiration and drooping wings. Blood tests often reveal that the eagles are suffering from lead toxicity.
Lead poisoning occurs when toxic levels of lead are absorbed into the body.
Raptors are particularly susceptible to lead poisoning because when they ingest lead particles, the acidic nature of their stomach causes rapid absorption of the metal, said Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Veterinarian Justin Brown.
“Lead poisoning is a debilitating disease in bald eagles,” said Brown. “You have this powerful bird and you find it in the field – limp and weak. You can pick it up and it doesn’t even know you are there. “
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