• Pennsylvania Special Snow Goose Season March 11th.

    Lesser Snow Goose
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    HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission officials are set to offer hunters the opportunity to participate in a snow goose conservation hunt designed to help stem the growth of continental snow goose populations.

    Hunters must obtain a free snow goose conservation hunt permit and report cards from the agency to participate in the season, which will be held from March 11 through April 1. To do so, hunters can access the “Snow Goose Conservation Hunt” page by clicking on the appropriate icon in the center of the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and then following the instructions. By completing the application online, hunters will be able to print off the permit and report cards and will not have to wait for the package to be mailed.

    For those individuals with no online access, permits and the required report cards can be obtained by calling the Game Commission at the Harrisburg headquarters (717-787-4250) and asking for the Bureau of Wildlife Management. However, this process will require mailing the permit and report cards to the applicant, so allow a minimum of one week for processing and mail delivery to obtain a permit.

    “Snow goose populations have reached levels that are causing extensive and possibly irreversible damage to their, as well as other nesting birds’, arctic and sub-arctic breeding grounds,” pointed out John Dunn, Game Commission waterfowl biologist. “For some populations of snow geese their nesting habitats can no longer support these large numbers. What’s more, these geese are beginning to impact fragile coastal marsh habitats and crops in Mid-Atlantic States and Quebec.

    “It’s likely that North America has never had as many snow geese as it does now. The current population of greater snow geese that inhabits the Atlantic Flyway is estimated at more than one million birds, more than double the management goal of 500,000. They have become a huge and unexpected problem for themselves and other wildlife that shares the wintering and breeding grounds these waterfowl occupy.”

    The quickest and probably most effective way for wildlife managers to respond to the problem is to allow additional hunting days – and new hunting methods – to reduce and stabilize snow goose populations. That’s why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service first offered states the opportunity to allow hunters to take snow geese at a time when all other waterfowl seasons are closed. This will include an option to allow hunting hours for this special snow goose season to extend one-half hour after sunset. Currently, all waterfowl shooting hours close at sundown, except for the September Canada goose season. Also, the Board of Game Commissioners recently gave preliminary approval to allow the use of electronic calls during this conservation hunt. The daily bag limit during the conservation hunt will be 15 daily with no possession limit.

    “Currently, the regular snow goose season runs from Nov. 6 through March 10, with a daily limit of 15 birds,” Dunn said. “The additional hunting days offered after March 10 will provide hunters additional opportunity to harvest snow geese.”

    Participating states are required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to monitor and assess hunting activity and harvest. That is why the Game Commission has created the free Snow Goose Conservation Hunt Permit.

    “Along with this new permit, hunters must possess a general hunting license, migratory game bird license and a federal duck stamp (for those 16 or older),” Dunn said. “The permit holder will be required to maintain records specifying hunting activity and daily harvest. All permit holders must submit a report, even if they did not hunt or harvest any birds, to the Game Commission no later than April 15. Failure to report by April 15 may result in loss of eligibility to participate in next year’s snow goose conservation hunt.”

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  • Get Your Pheasant Eggs Now!


    Sportsmen’s organizations with approved propagation facilities can augment local
    Applications to participate can be downloaded from the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), by clicking on “Forms & Programs” and then selecting “Pheasant Chick & Egg Program.”  In order for Game Farm superintendents to plan and set hatches to accommodate requests, the Bureau of Wildlife Management must receive completed applications by March 31.

    “To restore self-sustaining and huntable pheasant populations, the Game Commission is committed to creating Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas, as outlined in our pheasant management plan,” said Calvin W. DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director.  “While we strive to create these areas, we continue to urge interested clubs to participate in our pheasant chick and egg programs, which provide wonderful opportunities to get young people involved in raising birds.  In addition to learning about the food and habitat requirements of pheasants, they’ll have the chance to see the chicks mature into adult game birds, and to help augment local pheasant populations and increase hunting opportunities.”


    Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today signed an executive order to authorize hunters and dog trainers to release captive-raised/captive-bred ring-necked pheasants, bobwhite quail, chukar partridges and rock pigeons on State Game Lands for hunting or dog-training purposes.

    Under the executive order, such releases could be done by licensed hunters or those possessing a valid dog trial permit.  Exceptions to the order are during the month of October, unless the activity is done with a valid dog trial permit, when such releases will be prohibited.

    Roe noted that hunters must abide by established bag limits if birds are released during established seasons for pheasants or quail, unless the activity is being conducted as part of a permitted field dog trial.  Outside of the established seasons for pheasants and quail, only individuals who possess a dog training permit may release them.

    For more information, please visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission – State Wildlife Management Agency website: http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/pgc/cwp/view.asp?a=11&Q=175654

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  • Coyotes added to PA Youth Hunting Program

    Pennsylvania Game Commission logo
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    Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that coyotes will become legal game under the Mentored Youth Hunting Program (MYHP) effective Saturday, Dec. 20.

    The addition, which was given final approval by the Board of Game Commissioners at its Oct. 24 meeting, is slated to be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, the Commonwealth’s official compendium of regulatory actions, which is the final step required for the change to take effect.

    Roe noted that the logic behind the MYHP is simple and clear: create expanded youth hunting opportunities without compromising safety afield.

    “This program paves the way for youngsters to nurture their interest in hunting early and allows them to take a more active role in actual hunting while afield with mentoring adults,” Roe said.  “The program accommodates hands-on use of sporting arms and can promote a better understanding and interest in hunting and wildlife conservation that will help assure hunting’s future, as well as reinforce the principles of hunting safely through the close supervision provided by dedicated mentors.”

    When first introduced in the 2006-07 license year, the species identified as legal game were woodchucks (groundhogs), squirrels and spring gobbler.  In the 2007-08 license year, the Board approved the addition of antlered deer.

    According to the agency’s annual Game-Take Surveys, participation in the MYHP has increased in terms of adult mentors and youths.  In 2006, the first year of the program, 43,780 youths were mentored by 32,913 adults.  That year, the mentored youths harvested 52,788 squirrels and 36,351 woodchucks.  In 2007, the number of mentored youth grew to 58,883, and there were 51,141 adult mentors.  That year, mentored youths harvested 61,160 squirrels, 52,114 groundhogs, 5,199 antlered deer and 3,496 spring gobblers.

    For more information, please visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission – State Wildlife Management Agency website: http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/pgc/cwp/view.asp?a=11&Q=175605

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