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Monday, August 27, 2012

GAME COMMISSION TO PARTICIPATE IN AND HOST EVENTS PROMOTING WILDLIFE, HUNTING AND TRAPPING

GAME COMMISSION TO PARTICIPATE IN AND HOST EVENTS PROMOTING WILDLIFE, HUNTING AND TRAPPING

HARRISBURG – Each year, Pennsylvania Game Commission officials, in September, participate in and host three outdoors events promoting wildlife, hunting and trapping.

“Hunting and trapping are deeply woven in the cultural fabric that defines Pennsylvania’s heritage, and both remain an important wildlife management tool and outdoor activity,” Roe said. “Hunters and trappers were – and remain - our nation’s first and most vocal conservationists. In the late 1800s, they were the leaders among the groups that pushed to have state and federal agencies create and enforce laws and regulations to protect and conserve wildlife and its habitat.

“The three upcoming events celebrate more than a century of conservation efforts, as well as the abundance of wildlife we have to enjoy that is a result of that work.”

In Crawford County, the 31st annual Pymatuning Ducks Unlimited Waterfowl and Outdoor Expo will be held Sept. 15-16 in and around Linesville, Crawford County. A highlight of the two-day event is the selection of the 31st Annual Pennsylvania Waterfowl Management Stamp from entries by many of the Commonwealth’s most accomplished wildlife artists. Judging will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Linesville High School, 302 West School Drive, Linesville.

At 10 a.m., on Sept. 15, the Game Commission will conduct its annual public drawing to select those who will be afforded an opportunity to use one of the blinds for waterfowl hunting at Pymatuning. The drawing will be held at the Game Commission’s Pymatuning Administration Building, 9552 Hartstown Rd., Hartstown.

At 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 15, Kevin Jacobs, Game Commission biologist, will hold a waterfowl information and banding program, with the opportunity for children to assist in the release of wild ducks, at the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Pymatuning Wildlife Learning Center, 12590 Hartstown Rd., Linesville. The Learning Center also will be open on Saturday and Sunday for visitors.

Also on Sept. 15-16, the Game Commission’s Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area will host the 26th Annual Middle Creek Wildfowl Show. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at the Visitor Center, which is along Hopeland Road, two miles south of Kleinfeltersville, on the Lebanon-Lancaster county line.

Admission is free, but donations are graciously accepted and will benefit the Wildlands Preservation Fund, which has helped to preserve more than 46,000 acres in an 18-county area in eastern Pennsylvania, including more than 1,200 acres at Middle Creek.

The show features wildfowl carvings, artwork, collectibles and hunting items from many vendors. Retriever demonstrations will be at 10 a.m. and noon on Saturday, Sept. 15, and at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16. Two different retriever clubs will display their dogs' abilities. Demonstrations on Saturday will be performed by the Keystone Retriever Club, and on Sunday, by the Northern Piedmont Retriever Club.

Decoy competitions will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and winners will be announced at 4 p.m. Carvers may enter their creations into different categories to include decorative, working and shorebird gunning rigs. Each year, a different duck is chosen for the decorative competition. This year, the blue-winged teal was selected.

Pennsylvania State Duck and Goose Calling Championships will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The winner of the duck calling competition will likely go to the world duck calling championship in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and the winner of the goose calling competition will likely go to the world goose calling championship in Easton, Maryland.

On Sunday, Sept. 23, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Middle Creek will host a National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration. Planned events include hands-on activities for people of all ages.

Activities include exhibits/displays from local, state, and national sportsmen's organizations; archery shoot; muzzleloading rifles; and upland bird dog and trapping demonstrations.

There will be roasted venison for visitors to sample, courtesy of the Izaak Walton League. Additionally, Red Creek Rehabers will conduct live birds of prey demonstrations at noon and 3 p.m.

Another highlight will be the laser SHOT system, available for kids of all ages to try. The SHOT system is a simulated hunting experience to test an individual’s marksmanship and decision-making in hunting situations.

In 1970, the first to suggest an official “day of thanks” to sportsmen was Ira Joffe, owner of Joffe’s Gun Shop in Upper Darby, Delaware County. Gov. Raymond Shafer adopted Joffe’s idea and created “Outdoor Sportsman’s Day” in the state.

With determined prompting from various sportsmen, the concept soon emerged on the national level when, in early 1972, Congress unanimously passed legislation authorizing a National Hunting and Fishing Day. On May 2, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed the first proclamation of National Hunting and Fishing Day, and soon after, all 50 governors and more than 600 mayors had joined in by proclaiming state and local versions of National Hunting and Fishing Day.