Archery Season Advisories

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The Pennsylvania Game Commission today issued three important advisories to bowhunters heading afield for the upcoming archery deer season, which begins this Saturday, Oct. 4.

"These advisories are intended primarily to reduce confusion some hunters currently have about existing fluorescent orange regulations and a new broadhead on the market that has been determined to be unlawful by a panel of archery experts and Game Commission personnel," said Game Commission Executive Director Vern Ross. "In addition, the agency also is reminding hunters to report any deer they harvest that have been tagged as part of the agency's ongoing deer research projects."

Ross stressed that the proposed fluorescent orange regulations that will be considered by the Board of Game Commissioners are not slated to take effect until the 2004-2005 seasons, if approved on Oct. 7. Fluorescent orange regulations have not changed from last year to this year, and the current regulations are outlined on pages 80 and 81 of the 2003-2004 Digest of Pennsylvania Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is provided to each license buyer.

The Game Commission also is reminding bowhunters that regulations require all broadheads to have an outside diameter of at least 7/8th-inch with no less than two cutting edges. The cutting edges must be in the same plane throughout the length of the cutting surface. This definition makes a brand of broadheads known as "Crimson Talon Broadheads" unlawful.

The broadheads - relatively new on the market - incorporate a design that includes curved blades that reportedly help stabilize arrow flight.

"The problem is that Crimson Talon Broadheads don't have cutting edges in the same plane throughout the length of the blade," noted Mike Dubaich, Bureau of Law Enforcement director. "We understand that several hunters have bought these broadheads. However, they are not legal to use in Pennsylvania."

On a final note, the Game Commission is asking hunters for their cooperation in reporting tagged bucks currently being monitored in the agency's ongoing buck field research. Over the last two years, nearly 1,200 deer have been marked or tagged in Armstrong and Centre counties.

"While hunters may legally take deer tagged or marked during the hunting seasons, we encourage hunters to report the harvest of study deer so researchers can record the deer's mortality and improve the study's reliability," noted Dr. Christopher Rosenberry, Game Commission wildlife biologist. "Mortalities caused by hunting are an important part of the information we are trying to collect as part of this study.

"Study bucks have ear tag transmitters, neck collars with transmitters, and plastic ear tags. If a hunter harvests a buck with any identification on it, he or she should contact the Game Commission at the telephone numbers listed on the transmitter."

In addition, Rosenberry noted, large numbers of does were tagged with numbered plastic ear tags during the field research. Hunters also are encouraged to report any tagged antlerless deer they harvest. Contact information is listed on the ear tags.