Hunting Changes Coming
I attended the first Fish and Wildlife Laws in Pennsylvania seminar put on by the PBI yesterday.
Executive Director Vernon Ross was there and answered questions and explained the path the PGC is traveling.
The hightlights include:
1. The number of hunters in PA is up 2%; most claim that number is declining, Ross claims the opposite.
2. PA is the only state with a rise in youth hunters.
3. The PGC budget has not been changed in 3 years. As aside, there were several claims the PC does not depend on taxpayor funds. Yet the pie chart showed a significant amount of money coming from the federal government. Wonder where those monies come from? Taxpayeors? Or does the government just print money for such programs?
4. Expect a license fee increase this year, and every year thereafter based on some COLA formula.
5. Ross claims the PGC is cutting back on doe license allocations.
6. Mandatory kill (harvest) reports, whether successful or not (like the DMAP program). If no report, then no license will issue the following year.
7. No more back tags. Hunters will buy one license (much like a driver’s license) and just renew it every year.
8. Ross raised a concerned about the aging of PA hunters. We are apparently getting older. That is why they are so focused on youth programs.
9. When asked, the PGC admitted the Sunday hunting laws have never been challenged in court. There was no defense or justification offered as to how such laws are constitutional.
The discussion on RULWA (Recreational Use of Land and Water Act) was great. We need to educate landowners on this Act’s ability to limit their liability when they open their lands to public hunting.
Read some other comments here.
I enjoyed reading Ross’s comments. I’m glad to see that we are finally doing away with the arcane back tag system too.
Annual hunting license increases based on cost of living? Why? Many working citizens do not get COLA increments every year, and seniors consistently receive even less.
Back Tags: In my youth, for 5 years, I was a PA Deputy Game Protector (that’s what we were called then). Citizens reporting violations always responded “No” when we asked if they got the offender’s back tag number (a near impossibility). We would customarily ask if they got the vehicle plate number, and frequently that was our only method of finding the culprit. PA is one of just a hand full of states still requiring back tags. Most western states use a slip of paper, you must carry it while hunting. That’s OK, unless the PGC loads up our wallet with paper tags for buck and doe deer, bear, turkeys, archery, muzzleloader, trapping, waterfowl, varmints, etc., etc. Do I see a trend here? I understand the saving for paper licenses is about $800,000 per yr. I’ll give odds they will find a way to waste that saving.
When goose hunting, we take our backtags off to avoid the “flash” of the license to circling birds. To explain: we don’t use blinds. Instead, we hunkered down in the tall grass as the geese circle to land – we designate one person to keep his eyes on the birds and give the word when the geese commit to landing. Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that I wouldn’t be opposed to going to a pocket-license system – it would be more practical
I. – If you believe anything the PA. Game Commission says, I have some oceanfront property in Somerset County for sale at a very reasonable price as I would like to move to a state who has game to hunt as we once did before the Pa. Game Commission and other groups have managed to decimate the populations of wild game and wild fish.
II. – In my lifetime, (and I’m only 50) the PA “Game Commission” has:
#1 – Completely lost due to mismanagement some of the best Wild Pheasant Hunting in the Country. (Eastern PA in the 60’s & 70’s) They have lots of excuses, none of which are valid, but bottom line is they were in charge of “protecting” the resource and have totally lost it.
#2 – Completely lost, in my lifetime, due to total mismanagement, Wild quail huntable populations across much of the state!
#3 – Will have soon have placed the State Bird (Grouse) Population on the Endangered Species list due to total incompetance.
#4 – Have totally sold out to the pressures of the insurance companies, farmers, and timber companies while totally disregarded their duty of “protecting” the wildlife for those who pay their way – the hunter.
#5 – Regarding increasing license sales, come to York County or Adams County for the opening day of Pheasant Season. Listen to the number of shots being fired at Wild Pheasants. It used to sound like the Civil war. Nowdays the silence speaks for itself. Come to Somerset County for the opening day of “Deer” Season. Now
listen, when the two sexes have been combined — a couple shots here and there. There are nowhere near the hunters in the woods there were 10-20-30 years ago. Anyone who says otherwise, is as big of a liar as the
PA. Game Commission.
#6 – This season, I’ve shot 6x more WILD game while hunting 5 days out of state compared to 8 weeks in the Former Great State of Pennsylvania! The cover is as good as ever. The food supply was much better than normal. There is still leftover feed for game, even at the end of winter!!! Of course, you have to have game to eat the food, so there in lies the answer!!! Save your money boys, go somewhere else to hunt!!!! Maybe there is still hope if the money pit dries up. Maybe, when faced with a financial crisis, policies will change. The Pa. Game Commission still have lots of trees to cut, but that resource will dry up too some day. Of course, if you want to shoot some poor quality stocked chickens, chase a truck dumping out stocked pellet eating hatchery raised fish they try to palm off as “trout”, or genetically inferior and doomed to stay that way “deer”, by all means, the PA. Game Commission will take your money for your license and then hound you
every step of the way in your pursuit of happiness. If that trips your trigger, by all means, but a license
to hunt in the wonderful Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and please contact me regarding the oceanfront property
I have for sale in the Laurel Highland of PA!!!!!
#7 – Hunting and fishing WILD Grouse, Pheasants, Quail, Trout, and Deer in Pennsylvania has been reduced to a