July 12, 2020

Black bear crashes college party, gets collared

And as we have grown wrongly accustomed to reading in all newspapers of encounters with bears, nobody was in danger. In this case, evidently the person making this statement must be a bear whisperer and could read the mind of the bear to KNOW “the bear wasn’t any threat to anybody.” Amazing magic!

“The bear wasn’t any threat to anybody. It was just looking for somewhere to eat, take a break.”

Source: Black bear crashes college party, gets collared | USA TODAY College


Pennsylvania Deer Harvest Information

“The Pennsylvania Game Commission today reported that, in the state’s 2014-15 seasons, hunters harvested an estimated 303,973 deer – a decrease of about 14 percent compared to the 2013-14 harvest of 352,920.

Hunters took 119,260 antlered deer in the 2014-15 seasons – a decrease of about 11 percent compared to the previous license year, when an estimated 134,280 bucks were taken. Also, hunters harvested an estimated 184,713 antlerless deer in 2014-15, which represents an about 16 percent decrease compared to the 218,640 antlerless deer taken in 2013-14.”<<<Read More>>>


Are Deer Truisms Really True?

Survey asks hunters how weather and moonlight impact deer movements; research to test beliefs.

The moon is nearly full, will deer be moving only at night?

Is the cold front that’s coming through the reason deer are out feeding?

In answering questions like these, deer hunters often rely on common wisdom. But are such truisms really true?<<<Read More>>>


Quality Deer Management Association Ranks Pennsylvania Deer Harvest High

In the meantime, the Quality Deer Management Association recently released its 2015 Whitetail Report, which is based on 2013-14 season numbers.

There are 37 states that provide data to QDMA for its annual report.

Basically, it’s every state but those in the West.

For Pennsylvania, the non-profit organization uses data submitted by the PA Game Commission.<<<Read More>>>


PA Sportsmen Having Second Thoughts on State Game Lands Permits

“Upon further review, however, sportsmen began to have second thoughts about non-hunters, especially if they are anti-hunters, having the same rights they have using State Game Lands because they purchased a piece of paper. At one time, worrying about such things would have been diagnosed as a severe case of paranoia, but that was then and this is now.

An organized campaign by the lunatic fringe of the Humane Society of the United States could very easily result in more anti-hunters having permits for state game land use than there are licensed hunters. And with many politicians so willing to make decisions based on potential votes instead of common sense, a Humane Society blitz could result in pressure from Harrisburg being exerted on the board of commissioners that would have a negative impact for hunters.”<<<Read More>>>


Pennsylvania Elk Country, Hunting Heritage Get Upgrade from RMEF Grants

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation awarded $148,800 in grants to acquire and enhance elk habitat in Pennsylvania as well as help fund more than 20 youth hunting heritage and other projects around the state.

The grants directly affect Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Bradford, Bucks, Cameron, Centre, Chester, Clearfield, Clinton, Dauphin, Elk, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lycoming, Perry, Philadelphia, Potter, Sullivan, Tioga, Washington and Westmoreland Counties. Three other projects have statewide benefits.

“We have a long history in the state of Pennsylvania and this latest round of grants demonstrates our continued commitment to improving elk country there,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “A good chunk of the funding went toward the purchase of prime elk country in Elk County’s Benezette Township which is now protected and open for the public to enjoy.”

RMEF has approximately 11,000 members in Pennsylvania. Allen thanked them and the local volunteers who raised the grant funding at banquets, through membership drives and other events. He also thanked volunteers and members around the nation for their dedication to conservation, elk and elk country.

The grants will help fund the following projects, listed by county:

Armstrong County—Provide funding for parents and boys and girls in grades K-12 attending the Armstrong County Sportsmen and Conservation League Youth Field Day where they learn about water safety presented by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission plus other outdoor skills such as fishing, archery, trapping, wildlife identification and calling, compass reading, and shooting muzzleloaders, shotguns and .22 rifles.

Beaver County—Provide funding to purchase equipment and supplies to add muzzleloader as a club and youth field day activity for Aliquippa Bucktails Young Bucks Youth Club participants.

Bedford County—Provide funding for the Bedford County Sportsmen Club’s Youth Pheasant Hunt for youth ages 12-16; provide funding to help purchase ammunition for the Everett Sportsmen Junior Rifle Club which serves 64 members, many of which move on to shoot at the collegiate level; and provide funding to help offset the cost of ammunition for the Everett High School Rifle Team.

Cameron County—Continue long-time habitat enhancement work with herbicide, lime, seed and fertilizer treatments on 2,050 acres of herbaceous openings in the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Northcentral Region (also affects Elk, Clearfield, Clinton and Centre Counties).

Dauphin County—Provide sponsorship funding and volunteer support for the Capital Area Sportsmen Youth Field Day in Harrisburg where more than 300 youth participated in archery, fishing, shooting, fly tying, boating safety, canoeing, a Cherokee Run obstacle course and other activities.

Elk County—Provide funding for disking, fertilization and the planting of clover and desired grasses and natural forbs on 16 acres of reclaimed surface mines at State Game Lands #311 to benefit elk, elk viewing and hunting in an area visited by more than 100,000 people annually; provide $100,000 of Torstenson Family Endowment (TFE) funding to acquire and open 81 acres of prime elk habitat in Benezette Township to the public which also includes parking areas and walking trails to enhance elk viewing; provide funding for the Elk County Sportsmen for Youth 2014 Field Day where youth ages 10-14 participate in eight different hands-on events dealing with hunting, fishing, trapping and conservation.

Fayette County—Assist the Fayette County Sportsmen’s League in providing six months of weekly training for youth in preparation for the regional and statewide Pennsylvania Youth Hunter Education Challenge competitions.

Fulton County—Provide volunteer manpower and funding for the Fulton County Sportsmen for Youth Field Day at Camp Sinoquipe near Ft. Littleton where boys and girls ages 10-15 take part in outdoor-related activities ranging from small bore and black powder rifle shooting, clay bird shooting and archery, to trout fishing, fly tying, waterfowl retrieval, wild turkey hunting tips and hunter safety, furbearer trapping, ATV safety and wildlife education (also affects Franklin, Huntingdon and Perry Counties).

Greene County—Provide co-sponsorship and volunteer manpower for Hunting Hills Youth Day which introduces boys and girls from across the Tri-state region to bird dogs, shotgun shooting, rifle shooting, muzzleloader shooting, archery, nature walks, history of firearms, fishing, turkey calling and gun safety; and provide funding for the Hunting Hill Hawkeyes, Greene County’s Scholastic Clay Target Program team, in order to promote the program’s mission and teach young people the fundamentals of gun safety and the value of wildlife conservation.

Lycoming County— Provide funding and volunteer support for the Consolidated Sportsmen of Muncy Creeks Fishing Derby for boys and girls ages 12 and under to get out and fish (also affects Sullivan County).

Philadelphia County—Offer funding for the Pennsylvania Master Naturalist Program which trains a corps of citizen volunteers who provide education, outreach and stewardship toward the conservation of natural resources within their communities by providing service to local organizations through projects such as invasive species removal, habitat restoration, citizen science, educational materials development, public presentations and educational program support. Since 2010, volunteers engaged in 3,880 hours of conservation outreach and stewardship, contributed more than $84,000 in conservation value and impact to more than 65 partners in southeastern Pennsylvania, reached more than 6,017 people through outreach and education, improved 257 acres of habitat through stewardship service, and completed 1,281 hours of continuing education in natural sciences (also affects Bucks, Chester and Lancaster Counties).

Sullivan County—Provide funding for a day of hands-on instruction about Pennsylvania’s elk herd, shooting, archery, Native American culture, water conservation, and wildlife identification through tracks, scats and skulls for sixth grade students in East Lycoming and Sullivan County School Districts. Sponsorship of the program began in 1993 (also affects Lycoming County).

Tioga County—Provide funding for more than 100 boys and girls and their parents to learn about shooting and safety, wildlife identification, orienteering, fishing and turkey calling at the Tioga County Sportsmen for Youth Field Day (also affects Bradford and Potter Counties).

Washington County—Provide co-sponsorship and volunteer support for the Roscoe Sportsmen’s Association Youth Day where boys and girls ages eight to 16 receive hands-on outdoor skills experience in fly tying, turkey calling, firearms safety, wildlife conservation, ethics and sportsmanship as well as archery, trap, muzzleloader, pistol and rifle shooting (also affects Fayette County); provide volunteer manpower plus funding to cover the cost of materials and supplies for the 12-week Roscoe Sportsmen’s Association Junior Trap League; help offset practice fee and travel costs for members of the California Hill Gun Club competing in the state Scholastic Clay Target Program; and provide funding for the California University of Pennsylvania Sport Shooting Association which provides a setting for Cal U students to learn proper gun safety, continue to practice and compete in pistol, rifle, and shotgun disciplines while at college, and introduce first-time participants to the shooting sports.

Westmoreland County—Provide funding for a guided hunt for first-time hunters in order to engage youth in the excitement of pheasant hunting at the Kingston Veterans and Sportsmen Club Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt.

Statewide—Provide funding for the Wildlife Leadership Academy (WLA) which empowers high school students from across the state to become ambassadors for wildlife conservation in order to ensure a sustained wildlife legacy for future generations. The WLA begins with rigorous five-day summer field schools that focus on wildlife biology, conservation, leadership skills and teamwork development lead by wildlife biologists, media professionals and educators. Over the last seven years, the program assisted more than 150 students who conducted 745 outreach projects, engaging in more than 3,300 contact hours with the public and reached an audience of greater than 15,000 people across the state; provide funding for the Wildlife Society Northeast Student Conclave which brings students in majors related to wildlife and natural resource conservation together with professionals in the field to gain hands-on experience as they learn skills through workshops and compete in an intercollegiate quiz bowl; and assist with the cost of awards given to shooters at the Scholastic Clay Target Program state competition and various regional competitions.

TFE funding is only used to further RMEF’s core mission programs of permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage. RMEF volunteers and staff along with representatives from partnering agencies and universities use science-based criteria to select conservation projects for grant funding.

RMEF volunteers and staff select hunting heritage projects to receive funding.

Partners for the Pennsylvania projects include the Pennsylvania Game Commission and various business, university, sportsmen, wildlife and civic organizations.

Since 1985, RMEF and its partners completed 341 different conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Pennsylvania with a combined value of more than $22.8 million. RMEF also made ten land acquisition purchases that opened or secured public access to 8,546 acres of Pennsylvania elk country.


RMEF Pennsylvania Elk Tag Auction to Benefit Conservation

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will auction off a Pennsylvania Special Elk Conservation Tag to benefit conservation in the state of Pennsylvania.

“RMEF has a long history in Pennsylvania and we appreciate this opportunity to raise funds to benefit Pennsylvania elk and Pennsylvania elk country,” said Dave Ragantesi, RMEF senior regional director. “We want to thank our conservation partners at the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) who will receive 100 percent of the proceeds from the auction to put back on the ground.”

RMEF auctioned off the same tag in 2010 and again in 2013, returning a total of $60,000 to the PGC.

The bull tag will be sold in advance of the Sept. 1—Nov. 8 elk season. It can be used in any Pennsylvania elk hunt zone with any legal weapon as per Pennsylvania hunting regulations. Hunters must purchase an elk hunting license (resident $25 or nonresident $250) and a general hunting license (resident $20.70 or nonresident $101.70.)

The Pennsylvania Special Elk Conservation Tag auction will take place via the Internet. It begins on July 31 and continues until 3:00 p.m. on August 5 MDT. For more information, contact Kristy Bosworth at kbosworth@rmef.org or call (406) 523-0242.

Additional details are available here: http://www.rmef.org/Events/PennsylvaniaElkTagAuction.aspx.

“RMEF and the PGC have a long and productive partnership in stewarding elk habitat in the Keystone State as well as enhancing conservation education,” added Ragantesi.

Since 1991, RMEF and its partners completed 301 conservation and hunting outreach projects in Pennsylvania with a combined value of more than $22.6 million that opened or secured public access to 8,465 acres. Approximately 11,000 Pennsylvanians are RMEF members.



Pennsylvania Considering Study of Predator Impact on Deer

*Editor’s Note* – The linked-to article below contains information about a coyote/deer study conducted in New York. It is my opinion that much of the information given about that study is bogus. It appears as though conclusions were drawn through the desires of a predator protector’s outcome based research with too many “possibles”, “maybes”, etc. The proposed Pennsylvania study might be of interest as it will deal with predator manipulation and the effects of that on deer.

From YDR.com:

“Under the proposed study, three 150-square-mile blocks would be used. One would be a control area, another where black bear populations are reduced by as much as 50 percent over two years and the same thing is done with coyotes in the third. Then, for the following two years, both predators would be reduced in each of the two study areas.

Then, the study may start generating some answers to three questions:

Does eliminating predators equate to an increase in deer numbers?

By lowering the population of one predator, will the other increase and kill more fawns than before?

Is there a way to control predators efficiently enough to increase deer numbers?”<<<Read More>>>


Why An Increase in Bear Sightings?

“Why the spurt in sightings?

Yes, this is peak roaming season for Ursus americanus. But wildlife officials say the uptick is also a symptom of a robust increase in the bear population, the result of hunting restrictions and the dramatic comeback of forests that had all but disappeared a century ago.”<<<Read More>>>


RMEF Helps Acquire Key Pennsylvania Elk Country

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation teamed up with the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) to purchase and conserve 81 acres of prime elk habitat. The land is located in the heart of the Pennsylvania elk range in Elk County’s Benezette Township which is among areas with the highest elk population density in the state.

“This new land acquisition complements the work we funded in Pennsylvania through our habitat enhancement projects and our state grant program,” said Blake Henning, RMEF vice president of Lands and Conservation. “The RMEF is proud to further our commitment to Pennsylvania’s elk program. This once private property may now be enjoyed by the public forever.”

RMEF committed $100,000 to secure the purchase and it marks RMEF’s tenth land acquisition in Pennsylvania.

“The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has been a monumental partner over the years for the Pennsylvania Game Commission in regards to elk management,” said Barry Zaffuto, PGC Northcentral Regional Director. “Those that have ever seen an elk in Pennsylvania owe that experience to the men and women of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.”

Known as Woodring Farm, the property now becomes part of State Game Lands 311. Future plans include parking areas and walking trails to an overlook that will offer the public an opportunity to view Pennsylvania’s wild elk herd.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission and RMEF are making plans for an on-site dedication ceremony later this fall.

Funding for the acquisition came from the Torstenson Family Endowment, which is only used to further RMEF’s core mission programs of permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage.Since 1991, RMEF and its partners completed 311 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Pennsylvania with a combined value of more than $22.6 million that opened or secured public access to 8,546 acres.