Pennsylvania’s coming firearms deer season looks as promising as ever to the hundreds of thousands of hunters awaiting its start on the Monday after Thanksgiving.
Deer hunters have seen the statewide buck harvest increase over each of the past three years, and more than a million whitetails have been taken by hunters over the same period. Many are wondering, “Can it get any better?”
Unseasonably warm weather, later leaf-drop and rain made it more challenging to pattern deer movements and take whitetails throughout the statewide six-week archery season, which concluded Nov. 12. Now the Commonwealth’s “orange-clad army” awaits its next opportunity to hunt deer in the statewide firearms season.
Pennsylvania’s firearms season draws the biggest crowd and consequently has been the state’s principal deer-management tool for more than a century. In many rural areas, the opener is equivalent to a holiday, and some schools still close their doors to allow their students – and teachers – to hunt.
DALLAS – Two wolf hybrids were seized in mid-October by the Pennsylvania Game Commission after the animals in May attacked a two-year-old child at the Wilkes-Barre Dog Park.
David Cannon Jr., 54, of Plains, faces two counts of unlawful acts related to exotic wildlife possession permits and one count of failure to safeguard the public from attack by exotic wildlife. Charges were filed by State Game Warden Phil White at the office of Magisterial District Judge Joseph D. Spagnuolo Jr., Plains, and carry a maximum total penalty of $1,500.
The two wolf hybrids – a male and a female – were seized during a search warrant executed on Oct. 18 at Cannon’s residence. Wolf hybrids are considered exotic wildlife under the PA Game and Wildlife Code.
Free app can be installed on mobile devices for handy use anywhere.
Whether you’re looking for a place to hunt, need a license or want an easy way to report your deer or turkey harvest, the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s new mobile-device app is a one-stop shop that’s loaded with information hunters and trappers need most.
Through the app, which is free to download at the iTunes and Google Play stores, hunters can find out what’s in season and where, when hunting hours start and end, and whether they’ll need to wear fluorescent orange while in the field, and how much.
The app provides instant access to the Hunting & Trapping Digest – the Game Commission’s complete regulations handbook – as well as the agency’s Mapping Center, which charts hunting opportunities including pheasant releases on state game lands and other hunting properties.
Those in need of licenses can buy them online through the app, or find an issuing agent nearby where they can pick up a license in person. And those who are successful in big-game pursuits can report their harvests through the app, learn the locations of bear and elk check stations, or find a processor where they can donate venison through the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program.
FRANKLIN – An Erie man has been charged by the Pennsylvania Game Commission for unlawfully killing antlerless two deer while his hunting license is revoked.
Jonathon M. Gindy, 32, faces two felony counts for unlawfully killing the deer and one first-degree summary count for hunting while his hunting license was revoked. As part of a major revision to the Game and Wildlife Code enacted in 2010, any person convicted of a third offense inside of a seven-year period faces felony charges. These charges mark the third time Gindy has been charged in the last three years. Additionally, when wildlife is taken unlawfully there are replacement costs. The replacement cost of an unlawfully taken deer is a minimum of $800 each.
Also charged is an accomplice, Anthony J. Double, 40, of Erie. As a first-time offender, Double is charged with one first-degree summary count for the unlawfully killing big game.
Fall season begins Oct. 27 in most parts of state; season lengths vary by WMU.
Pennsylvania’s wild turkey season begins Oct. 27 in most parts of the state, but hunters are reminded that season lengths vary by Wildlife Management Unit, and fall-turkey hunting is closed in some areas.
Overall, the season structure and season lengths in each Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) is nearly identical to 2017.
The seasons are as follows: WMU 1B – Oct. 27-Nov. 3; WMU 2B (Shotgun and archery gear only) – Oct. 27-Nov. 16 and Nov. 22-24; WMUs 1A, 2A (Shotgun and archery gear only in Allegheny County), 4A and 4B, – Oct. 27-Nov. 3 and Nov. 22-24; WMUs 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C, 4D and 4E – Oct. 27-Nov. 10 and Nov. 22-24; WMU 2C – Oct. 27-Nov. 16 and Nov. 22-24; WMU 5A – Nov. 1-3; WMU 5B – Oct. 30-Nov. 1; WMUs 5C and 5D – CLOSED TO FALL TURKEY HUNTING.
Charges Filed before Magisterial District Judge
FRANKLIN – The Pennsylvania Game Commission has charged an Erie County man with killing a bald eagle.
Daniel Haddix, of Waterford, was charged unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife for shooting and killing a mature bald eagle. If found guilty, the fine will range from $100 to $200, plus court costs. Restitution for the bald eagle is $2,500.
On Oct. 12, State Game Warden Michael Stutts was sent to investigate a report of a dead bald eagle in McKean Township field near South Hill Road. The recently killed eagle was found across the road from Haddix’s home. After several interviews, SGW Stutts concluded Haddix was responsible.
Haddix also faces a safety zone charge for shooting the firearm too close to a neighboring home.
Citations were filed at Magisterial District Judge Denise Stuck-Lewis’ office in McKean, Pennsylvania.
Bald eagles were listed as federally endangered species until 1995, when their status was upgraded to "threatened." In 2007, following a remarkable population recovery, the bald eagle was removed from the federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in the lower 48 states.
Although no longer listed on federal and state endangered species lists, the bald eagle remains protected under the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Lacey Act and the Migratory Bird Protection Treaty Act. In Pennsylvania, the bald eagle is given additional protections under the state Game and Wildlife Code.
Game Commission campaign seeks to increase hunter safety.
Scouring nearly 30 years of medical-database records, a group of doctors has found that nearly 40 hunters each year in Pennsylvania experience falls from tree stands that result in traumatic injuries.
On its own, that number might be surprising; even sobering. But it tells only part of the story.
Little is known about the exact number of Pennsylvania hunters who fall from tree stands each year or the reasons why they fall.
But one thing is clear – if every tree-stand user wore a full-body harness and kept it attached to the tree at all times while hunting from or installing or taking down an elevated platform, or climbing or descending trees, 100 percent of severe falls to the ground could be eliminated.
In Pennsylvania, there’s no requirement to report tree-stand falls, and even if there were, some falls inevitably would be missed. But by delving into records available on the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation database, Dr. Joseph Smith and his colleagues have compiled what’s believed to be the only report on tree-stand falls endured by Pennsylvania hunters.
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