Pennsylvania Big Game Scoring Results Available

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Results of the Pennsylvania Game Commission's 2008 Big Game Scoring Program are featured in the February issue of the agency's monthly magazine, Pennsylvania Game News, which also includes stories of how most of the top deer, bear and elk trophies were taken.

In 1965, the Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association (POWA) started the big game measuring program to showcase the outstanding big game hunting opportunities available in Pennsylvania. There have been 14 measuring sessions since, and the top entries from the 2008 scoring sessions and the hunters who harvested the animals were honored at the September POWA conference.

"Scoring and keeping track of big game animals is important because harvesting a record book animal brings to attention the excellence of habitat and wildlife management practices that produce healthy wildlife populations," said Bob D'Angelo, associate editor of Pennsylvania Game News, coordinator of the agency's big game scoring program and certified measurer for both Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young. "The scoring program also stresses hunter and conservation ethics, and is another tool that promotes recreational hunting and supports Pennsylvania’s strong hunting heritage."

With this latest scoring session, recognizing trophies scored from 2002-2008, 454 new deer and bear and, for the first time, elk, have been added to the Game Commission's official big game records list. More specifically, these consist of 91 typical white-tailed deer taken with a firearm; 13 nontypical white-tailed deer taken with a firearm, including the new number two all-time rack in that category, which scores 230-2, taken by Michael Ambrosia in 2001(see story on page 16 of the February issue); 207 typical white-tailed deer taken with a bow, including the new number 1 all-time rack, which scores 178-2, taken by Michael Nicola Sr. in 2004 (see story on page 4); 14 nontypical white-tailed deer taken with a bow, including the new number 1 all-time rack that scores 209-1, taken by Gerald Simkonis in 2007 (The story of this impressive buck was featured in the September 2008 Game News); and 116 black bears taken with a firearm, including the new number 1 all-time skull that scores 23-03, taken by Andrew Seman Jr. in 2005 (This bear will tie for number three in the world in the Boone & Crockett Club's records, and the story of this magnificent trophy was featured in the June 2006 issue of Game News).

In the new elk categories, John Shirk took the number one nontypical elk taken with a firearm, with a bull taken in 2006 that scores 425-2 (see story on page 20); Edward Polashenski took the number one typical elk taken with a firearm with a bull taken in 2003 that scores 364-5; and Todd Yoder holds the number 1 typical elk taken with a bow with a bull taken in 2001 that scores 319-1 (see story on page 14).

"One thing that really stood out from our recent scoring session was the quality of our bears," D’Angelo said. "A whopping 37 percent of those measured not only made our records, but also made Boone & Crockett's all-time record book. In fact, Boone & Crockett Club officials have told me that they expect the new world record black bear to come out of Pennsylvania."

In addition to being available on many newsstands, subscriptions to Pennsylvania Game News can be ordered via "The Outdoor Shop" on the agency's website www.pgc.state.pa.us. Just click on "Subscribe" and you can order a new subscription, renew a subscription, order a gift subscription or change your mailing address. One-year subscriptions are $18; three-year subscriptions are $45. Orders also may be taken via a toll-free number (1-888-888-1019) and placed on Visa, Discover, MasterCard or American Express. Mail orders should be sent to: Pennsylvania Game News, 2001 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.

For a complete list of Pennsylvania big game records, visit the Game Commission's website www.pgc.state.pa.us, click on "Hunting" in the left-hand column of the homepage, and select "Pennsylvania Big Game Records."