Pennsylvania Hunting News

Elk Hunting Apps Available
With the recent approval of the 2002 elk hunt, the Pennsylvania Game Commission will begin accepting applications today from those interested in being included in the public drawing for one of 70 elk hunting licenses to be made available for this fall's season. The public drawing is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 28, and the elk season is set for Nov. 18-23.
Tentative Approval of Crossbow Expansion
The Board of Game Commissioners gave preliminary approval to the use of crossbows during the statewide firearms seasons for deer, bear and elk, as well as in special regulations areas during archery seasons. Legislation made crossbows available to certain hunters with qualifying medical disabilities in 1991. Those medical limitations were broadened in 1993. Today, about 28,000 Pennsylvanians have crossbow permits. In 2001, the Game Commissioners permitted hunters to use crossbows in special regulations counties during the regular and special firearms deer seasons.
Changes Proposed for Muzzleloader Hunting
The Board of Game Commissioners gave preliminary approval to a regulatory change that would allow hunters participating in the October muzzleloader antlerless deer season to use "any long gun muzzleloading firearm." The change, requested by Commissioner Stephen Mohr of Bainbridge at the January meeting, aims to provide hunters more options and opportunities in the early muzzleloader season. The season, which was established by the Game Commission in 2000, serves as a management tool to reduce antlerless deer numbers in the herd prior to the start of the whitetail breeding season. The number of hunters participating in the hunt does appear to be growing.
Deer Harvest Results
Hunters took 486,014 deer during Pennsylvania's 2001-2002 hunting seasons, according to figures released by the Pennsylvania Game Commission today. In the 2000-2001 deer hunting seasons, hunters harvested 504,600 deer. The 2001-2002 antlered (buck) deer harvest was 203,247, compared to 203,221 during the 2000-2001 deer hunting seasons. The 2001-2002 antlerless (doe) deer harvest was 282,767, compared to the 2000-2001 deer harvest of 301,379.
White Tail Hunter Receives Recognition
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners recognized Jim Rowles of Troutville, Clearfield County, for harvesting the largest non-typical white-tailed deer in the Game Commission's 2001 Big Game Awards Program. The buck, taken in Jefferson County in 2000, scored 203-1, and ranks fifth in the state's All-Time Big Game Records for the "non-typical white-tailed deer firearm category". Rowles application was original misplaced by the Game Commission.
Public Meetings on Deer Management
For the third year in a row, Dr. Gary Alt, Pennsylvania Game Commission Deer Management Section supervisor, is keeping his pledge to meet with the public about the agency's new direction in deer management. The meetings will start on January 16th, after the Board of Game Commissioners gives preliminary approval to the 2002-2003 deer seasons and bag limits.
Preliminary Black Bear Harvest Results
The Game Commission announced that hunters came up slightly short in their efforts to establish a new state record bear harvest in the recently concluded three day bear season. "Our preliminary bear harvest figures show hunters took 3,060 bears in the three day season held last week," said Game Commission Executive Director. "It marks only the second time bear hunters have harvested 3,000 or more bears in a three day season and both harvests occurred in the past two seasons."
Reward Offered for Elk Poaching Information
In October 2000 a record sized elk was killed illegally in Grove Township. A task force has been convened to investigate the killing and a reward is offered to anybody who has evidence that would lead to the arrest of the killer. The elk was believed to be the largest in the Pennsylvania herd and was featured in a Game Commission video.
DNA Evidence Used in Illegal Bear Killing Case
Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officials successfully prosecuted a man who illegally harvested a denned sow during the first day of the 2000 bear hunting season. The hunter claimed the bear had been collected legally; however eye witness reports and DNA evidence proved otherwise.