HARRISBURG, Pa. (May 18) – In partnership with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), the Wildlife Leadership Academy is offering a new, fifth field school this summer called Pennsylvania Bass, focusing on smallmouth bass and the Susquehanna River.
Twenty-four youth leaders and four adults from 18 counties across the state will attend the program June 26-30 in southeastern Pennsylvania.
The Wildlife Leadership Academy, which is coordinated and administered by the Pennsylvania Institute for Conservation Education, is a year-round program that focuses on wildlife and fisheries conservation and leadership development. The mission of the Academy is to engage and empower high school age youth to become Conservation Ambassadors to ensure a sustained wildlife, fisheries and natural resource legacy for future generations.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission today offered testimony to legislators on two issues important to the state’s hunters and trappers.
First, Game Commission Deputy Executive Director Bryan J. Burhans testified before the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee about the potential expansion of Sunday hunting. Then, Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough testified before the House Policy Committee on the importance of a license-fee increase and Senate Bill 1166, which would enable the Game Commission to set its own fees for licenses.
Their testimony is provided in full below:
HARRISBURG, Pa. (May 18) – Boating safety experts want to get something off their chest and onto yours – a life jacket. The importance of flotation devices and other watercraft safety tips are the focus of the 2016 National Safe Boating Week, May 21-27.
“During National Safe Boating Week, and throughout the entire boating season, we are reminding boaters to practice safe and responsible boating, always wear your life
jacket, and be alert while on the water,” said Colonel Corey Britcher, director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission ‘s (PFBC) Bureau of Law Enforcement. “By practicing these simple steps you can save your life as well as the lives of the people boating with you.”
Each year, on average, 700 people die in boating-related accidents nationwide. Nearly 80 percent of the victims were not wearing a life jacket.
Two Venango County men were sentenced to pay more than $11,000 in fines and restitution after pleading guilty to poaching multiple deer on two nights in September, and leaving them behind to waste.
Tyler Jeffrey Brand, 20, of Oil City, and John Levi Meehan, 19, of Franklin, pleaded guilty to a host of charges after a joint investigation determined the men shot seven deer from a vehicle in the span of a week, using a .22-caliber rifle and a spotlight.
“This was clearly a case where two men were out thrill-killing deer at night,” said Wildlife Conservation Officer Ronda Bimber, who filed the charges. “Only the front and hind quarters were removed from three of the deer, and those were ultimately thrown in the Allegheny River in an effort to dispose of evidence. No meat was removed from the other four. Those deer simply were dumped at the end of the road after being shot.”
It ain’t just about looking for guys with too many fish any more.
Waterways conservation officers around Pennsylvania prosecute over-the-limit cases, and handle pollutions, littering and the like. But they also get into some scarier stuff.
The Fish and Boat Commission’s bureau of law enforcement – reviving something that had gone away for years – put out an annual report of its activities recently. This one was for 2014.
It revealed that officers are sometimes called to deal with people handling illegal drugs, guns and more.
Are boating and alcohol compatible?
Alcohol is the most commonly used drug in the U.S. Many people who use it are not aware of its dangers. Alcohol affects judgment, balance and vision. All of these faculties are integral components to boat operation. If any of the senses is affected, the likelihood of a boating accident increases. When mixing unpredictable water conditions, reckless behavior and alcohol, the combination is often tragic.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission during 2015 found 12 additional white-tailed deer infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD) – all in Disease Management Area 2 (DMA 2), located in southcentral Pennsylvania.
DMA 2 is the only area of the state where CWD has been detected in free-ranging deer.
The latest cases bring to 22 the total number of free-ranging deer found with CWD within DMA 2 since 2012. This is the highest number of cases to be found in a single year, and more than doubles the total number of CWD-positive deer found in the wild in Pennsylvania.