Stoltz Of DuBois

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

2014-15 HUNTING/TRAPPING SEASONS RECEIVE FINAL APPROVAL

2014-15 HUNTING/TRAPPING SEASONS RECEIVE FINAL APPROVAL
Allocation set for antlerless deer licenses, elk licenses.

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today set hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits for the 2014-15 license year, which begins July 1.
A list of all seasons and bag limits appears at the end of this news release.
The commissioners also set the number of antlerless deer licenses to be allocated, as well as the number of elk licenses to be allocated for the coming license year.
The board voted to allocate 779,500 antlerless deer licenses statewide. Allocations by Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) are as follows, with the allocation from the previous license year appearing in parentheses: WMU 1A 47,000 (49,000); WMU 1B 30,000 (31,000); WMU 2A 46,000 (49,000); WMU 2B 60,000 (62,000); WMU 2C 38,000 (43,000); WMU 2D 61,000 (61,000); WMU 2E 21,000 (22,000); WMU 2F 27,000 (29,000); WMU 2G 22,000 (28,000); WMU 2H 5,500 (6,000); WMU 3A 18,000 (23,000); WMU 3B 33,000 (39,000);WMU 3C 32,000 (35,000); WMU 3D 25,000 (32,000); WMU 4A 28,000 (28,000); WMU 4B 26,000 (24,000); WMU 4C 25,000 (27,000); WMU 4D 33,000 (35,000); WMU 4E 21,000 (26,000); WMU 5A 19,000 (19,000); WMU 5B 49,000 (50,000); WMU 5C 95,000 (103,000); and WMU 5D 18,000 (18,000).
In allocating antlerless licenses, the commissioners also voted to change the length of the firearms deer season in two WMUs. Hunters in WMU 4A – which contains portions of Huntingdon, Blair, Bedford, Fulton and Franklin counties – and WMU 4C – which contains portions of Dauphin, Lebanon, Schuylkill, Northumberland, Luzerne, Carbon, Lehigh and Berks counties – will have seven days of concurrent hunting for antlered and antlerless deer in the 2014-15 deer firearms season. In this format, only antlered deer may be taken during the first five days of the firearms season. Both antlered and antlerless deer may be taken from the first Saturday to the close of the season. 
Hunting licenses for 2014-15 go on sale in mid-June and become effective July 1. After hunters purchase a general hunting license, they may apply for antlerless deer licenses based on staggered timelines, which will be outlined in the 2014-15 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest presented to each license buyer. The 2014-15 digest also will be available at the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.state.pa.us in mid-June
The board on Tuesday also voted to issue 108 elk licenses (27 antlered, 81 antlerless) for the 2014 hunt.
While the licenses again will be awarded by lottery, the application process will follow an expedited schedule this year.
The drawing for the 2014 elk hunt this year will be held Aug. 16 or 17 at the Elk Country Visitor Center near Winslow Hill in Benezette Township, Elk County. That’s about a month earlier than last year’s drawing. And it means hunters who are looking to enter the drawing for the 2014 hunt need to get their applications in sooner.  Hunters may apply when 2014-15 hunting licenses go on sale and all applications are due by July 31.
Elk applications cost $10.70, and only one application may be submitted each license year.
Other modifications proposed for the 2014-15 seasons include: changes to fall turkey seasons in several Wildlife Management Units; new extended bear hunting opportunities in WMUs 2C and 4B; an expansion of the fisher trapping season to WMUs 1B, 3B and 3C; and increased possession limits for small game.
Hunters and trappers – particularly those setting vacations for this fall and winter – are advised that, once again, several seasons in the 2014-15 license year will open or run about a week later than they do in many years to accommodate calendar swings related to the timing of Thanksgiving.
Several highlights pertaining to 2014-15 seasons and bag limits follow.

EURASIAN COLLARED DOVES LEGAL TO HUNT
Non-native species difficult to distinguish from mourning dove.

The Eurasian collared dove isn’t native to Pennsylvania, but it’s turning up in the state in larger and larger numbers.
And, especially while in flight, the bird has few characteristics that distinguish it from the mourning dove.
Dove hunters won’t need to make a distinction between the two when they head afield in the coming license year. 
The Board of Game Commissioners on Tuesday approved classifying the Eurasian collared dove as a game bird, meaning they can be hunted with a general hunting license and migratory bird license, and collared doves taken can be counted as part of the bag limit for mourning doves.
Native to Europe and Asia, collared doves were introduced to the Bahamas in the 1970s. The first recorded collared dove sighting in Pennsylvania occurred in 1996. And The Second Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas found possible breeding populations in 15 survey blocks in eight counties.
Studies on interactions between collared doves and other species have not yet identified a negative impact on populations of native birds, including mourning doves.
While the Eurasian collared dove is an introduced invasive species, it must be classified as a game bird in order to establish a hunting season for its take. Game Commission staff recommended the collared dove’s classification as a game bird as a way to better protect the mourning dove.  If the collared dove was classified as an exotic species and subjected to taking year-round, it could lead to mistake kills of mourning doves, staff said.

SPLIT FIREARMS DEER SEASONS APPROVED
WMUs 4A and 4C shifted to split format.

The Board of Game Commissioners adopted a slate of deer seasons for 2014-15 that establishes the split, five-day antlered deer season (Dec. 1-5) and seven-day concurrent season (Dec. 6-13) in 14 Wildlife Management Units. The list includes WMUs 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3B, 3C, 4A 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E. The package also retains the two-week (Dec. 1-13) concurrent, antlered and antlerless deer season in WMUs 1A, 1B, 2B, 3A, 3D, 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D.
The split format is new for WMUs 4A and 4C, and commissioners said changing the format is aimed at increasing deer numbers in those WMUs.
Hunters with Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) antlerless deer permits may use the permits on the lands for which they were issued during any established deer season, and will continue to be permitted to harvest antlerless deer from Dec. 1-13 in WMUs 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3B, 3C, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E. Fees for DMAP permits are $10.70 for residents and $35.70 for nonresidents.
DMAP permits also may be transferred to Mentored Hunting Program participants.
The board retained the antler restrictions in place for adult and senior license holders since the 2011-12 seasons. It remains the “three-up” on one side, not counting a brow tine, provision for the western Wildlife Management Units of 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B and 2D, and the three points on one side in all other WMUs. Those exempt from these antler restrictions are junior license holders, disabled hunters with a permit to use a vehicle as a blind and resident active duty military on leave.

BOARD EXPANDS BEAR SEASONS
WMUs 2C, 4B to offer bear hunting opportunity during deer season.

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today proposed opening up extended bear hunting opportunities to two additional WMUs in 2014.
WMUs 2C and 4B each would be open to bear hunting for four days in deer season, beginning the first Wednesday of the 2014 statewide general deer season Dec. 3.
Game Commission staff had recommended the additions based on increases in the bear populations within those WMUs.
WMU 2C has had a slightly increasing bear population trend. Highway mortalities of bears have been slowly increasing in the area, and there’s been a noticeable increase in human-bear conflicts there.
WMU 4B also has had an increasing trend of human-bear conflicts, and several incidents in recent years involving home entry or injury to pets and people. Highway mortality of bears also has increased there, as has the bear harvest, which has increased by about 20 percent annually since 2003. 
The board retained expanded bear seasons in the state’s most urban Wildlife Management Units – WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D – and will continue to allow the harvest of black bears with a bear license during all deer seasons from September through early December in these WMUs.
The extended bear season dates for 2014 are:
- Sept. 20-Nov. 15 in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, for archery only;
- Oct. 4-Nov. 15 in WMU 5B, for archery only;
- Oct. 18-25 in WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D, for muzzleloaders only;
- Oct. 23-25 and Dec. 1-13 in WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D, using any legal sporting arm for juniors and seniors, disabled person permit holders to use a vehicle as a blind and resident active duty in armed services.
The statewide five-day archery bear season opens Nov. 17 and runs through Nov. 21. The four-day statewide bear season is slated to open on Saturday, Nov. 22, and then continues on Monday and runs through Wednesday, Nov. 24-26.
Extended bear seasons have been proposed as follows:
- Dec. 3-6 in WMUs 2C, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E; and
- Dec. 1-6 in WMUs 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D.
- Dec. 1-13 in WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D.

CHANGES TO FALL TURKEY SEASONS ADOPTED
Season lengths altered in some WMUs.

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners on Tuesday gave final approval to fall turkey seasons for 2014 and spring gobbler dates for 2015.
Decreasing populations in WMUs 3A, 3B and 3C prompted the adoption of a two-week fall turkey season in those WMUs. Previously, there had been a three-week season there.
The three-day Thanksgiving season segment will continue in WMUs 3A, 3B and 3C despite the one-week decrease in the earlier segment.
Also, 2014 marks the final year of the hen harvest rate and survival rate study. So those WMUs in the study area will continue with the season lengths implemented last year.
The board also opted to retain a three-day fall turkey season in WMU 5A, but shifted it from midweek to a Thursday-through-Saturday framework.
The fall season dates for 2014: WMU 1B, Nov. 1-8 and Nov. 27-29; WMU 2B (shotgun and bow only), Nov. 1-21, and Nov. 27-29; WMUs 1A, 2A, 2D, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B and 3C, Nov. 1-15, and Nov. 27-29; WMUs 2C, 2E, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E, Nov. 1-21, and Nov. 27-29; and WMU 5A, Nov. 6-8. WMUs 5B, 5C and 5D will remain closed for the fall seasons.
For the 2015 spring gobbler season, which will run from May 2-30, the board continued the change in legal hunting hours to reflect the following: from May 2-16, legal shooting hours will be one-half hour before sunrise until noon timeframe; and from May 18-30, hunters may hunt all day, from one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset.
The board adopted the one-day Spring Gobbler Youth Hunt on April 25, 2015, which will run from one-half hour before sunrise until noon. All junior license holders and Mentored Youth Hunting Program permit holders can participate in this special one-day hunt, as well as the other spring season dates.


2014-15 HUNTING SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS


SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined): Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license, and mentored youth – Oct. 11-17 (6 daily, 18 in possession limit after first day).

SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined): Oct. 18-Nov. 29; Dec. 15-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 21 (6 daily, 18 possession).

RUFFED GROUSE: Oct. 18–Nov. 29, Dec. 15-24 and Dec. 26-Jan. 24 (2 daily, 6 possession).

RABBIT (Cottontail) Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license: Oct. 11-18 (4 daily, 12 possession).

RABBIT (Cottontail): Oct. 25-Nov. 29, Dec. 15-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 21 (4 daily, 12 possession).

PHEASANT: Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license – Oct. 11-18 (2 daily, 6 in possession). Male pheasants only in WMUs 2A, 2C, 4C, 4E, 5A and 5B. Male and female pheasants may be taken in all other WMUs. There is no open season for the taking of pheasants in any Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas in any WMU.

PHEASANT: Male only in WMUs 2A, 2C, 4C, 4E, 5A and 5B. Male and female may be taken in all other WMUs – – Oct. 25-Nov. 29, Dec. 15-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 21 (2 daily, 6 in possession). There is no open season for the taking of pheasants in any Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas in any WMU.

PHEASANT: Male or Female combined in WMUs 1A, 1B, 2B, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4D, 5C and 5D – Oct. 25-Nov. 29, Dec. 15-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 21 (2 daily, 6 in possession). There is no open season for the taking of pheasants in any Wild Pheasant Recovery Area in any WMU.

BOBWHITE QUAIL: Oct. 25-Nov. 29 (4 daily, 12 possession). (Closed in WMUs 4A, 4B, 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D.)

HARES (SNOWSHOE RABBITS) OR VARYING HARES: Dec. 26–Jan. 1, in all WMUs except WMUs 3B, 3C and 3D, where the season will run from Dec. 26-29 (1 daily, 3 possession).

WOODCHUCKS (GROUNDHOGS): No closed season, except on Sundays and during the regular firearms deer seasons. No limit.

PORCUPINES: Sept. 1-March 31, except during overlap with the regular firearms deer season. Daily limit of three, season limit of 10.

CROWS: July 4-April 5, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only. No limit.

STARLINGS AND ENGLISH SPARROWS: No closed season, except during the antlered and antlerless deer season. No limit.

EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE: Season dates shall run concurrently with mourning dove season. Shall be counted as part of the aggregate daily limits for mourning dove season.

WILD TURKEY (Male or Female): WMU 1B – Nov. 1-8 and Nov. 27-29; WMU 2B (Shotgun and bow and arrow) – Nov. 1-21 and Nov. 27-29; WMUs 1A, 2A, 2D, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B and 3C – Nov. 1-15 and Nov. 27-29; WMUs 2C, 2E, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E – Nov. 1-21 and Nov. 27-29; WMU 5A – Nov. 6-8; WMUs 5B, 5C and 5D – CLOSED TO FALL TURKEY HUNTING.

SPRING GOBBLER (Bearded bird only): Special season for eligible junior hunters, with required license, and mentored youth – April 25, 2015. Only 1 spring gobbler may be taken during this hunt.

SPRING GOBBLER (Bearded bird only): May 2-30, 2015. Daily limit 1, season limit 2. (Second spring gobbler may be only taken by persons who possess a valid special wild turkey license.) From May 2-16, legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon; from May 18-30, legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset.

BLACK BEAR (Statewide) Archery: Nov. 17-21. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (Statewide): Nov. 22-26. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 2C, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E): Dec. 3-6. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D): Dec. 1-13. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D): Dec. 1-6. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D) archery: Sept. 20-Nov. 15. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (WMU 5B) archery: Oct. 4-Nov. 15. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D) muzzleloader: Oct. 18-25. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D) special firearms: Oct. 23-25, for junior and senior license holders, disabled hunters with a permit to use a vehicle as a blind and resident active duty military.

ELK (Antlered or Antlerless): Nov. 3-8. Only one elk may be taken during the license year.

ELK, EXTENDED (Antlered and Antlerless): Nov. 10-15. Only one elk may be taken during the license year. Eligible elk license recipients who haven’t harvested an elk by Nov. 8, in designated areas.

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlerless Only) WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D: Sept. 20-Oct. 3, and Nov. 17-29. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D: Jan. 12-24. One antlered deer per hunting license year. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) Statewide: Oct. 4-Nov. 15 and Dec. 26-Jan. 10. One antlered deer per hunting license year. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 1A, 1B, 2B, 3A, 3D, 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D: Dec. 1-13. One antlered deer per hunting license year. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER (Antlered Only) WMUs 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3B, 3C, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E: Dec. 1-5. One antlered deer per hunting license year. (Holders of valid DMAP antlerless deer permits may harvest antlerless deer on DMAP properties during this period.)

DEER (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3B, 3C, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E: Dec. 6-13. One antlered deer per hunting license year. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ANTLERLESS (Statewide): Oct. 23-25. Junior and Senior License Holders, Disabled Person Permit (to use a vehicle) Holders, and Pennsylvania residents serving on active duty in
U.S. Armed Services or in the U.S. Coast Guard only, with required antlerless license. Also included are persons who have reached or will reach their 65th birthday in the year of the application for a license and hold a valid adult license, or qualify for license and fee exemptions under section 2706. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ANTLERLESS MUZZLELOADER (Statewide): Oct. 18-25. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ANTLERED OR ANTLERLESS FLINTLOCK (Statewide): Dec. 26-Jan. 10. One antlered deer per hunting license year, or one antlerless deer and an additional antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ANTLERED OR ANTLERLESS FLINTLOCK (WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D): Dec. 26-Jan. 24. One antlered deer per hunting license year, or one antlerless deer and an additional antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ANTLERLESS EXTENDED REGULAR FIREARMS: (Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties): Dec. 26-Jan. 24. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ANTLERLESS (Military Bases): Hunting permitted on days established by the U.S. Department of the Army at Letterkenny Army Depot, Franklin County; New Cumberland Army Depot, York County; and Fort Detrick, Raven Rock Site, Adams County. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.



2014-15 FURBEARER HUNTING SEASONS


COYOTES: No closed season. Unlimited. Outside of any big game season (deer, bear, elk and turkey), coyotes may be taken with a hunting license or a furtaker license, and without wearing orange. During any big game season, coyotes may be taken while lawfully hunting big game or with a furtaker license.

RACCOONS and FOXES: Oct. 25–Feb. 21, unlimited.

OPOSSUM, STRIPED SKUNKS and WEASELS: No closed season, except Sundays. No limits.

BOBCAT (WMUs 2A, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4C, 4D and 4E): Jan. 20-Feb. 10. One bobcat per license year, but all licensed furtakers may obtain one permit.



2014-15 TRAPPING SEASONS


MINKS and MUSKRATS: Nov. 22–Jan. 11. Unlimited.

COYOTES, FOXES, OPOSSUMS, RACCOONS, STRIPED SKUNKS and WEASELS: Oct. 26–Feb. 22. No limit.

COYOTES and FOXES (Statewide) Cable Restraints: Dec. 26-Feb. 22. No limit. Participants must pass cable restraint certification course.

BEAVERS (Statewide): Dec. 26–March 31 (Limits vary depending on WMU).

BOBCATS (WMUs 2A, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4C, 4D and 4E): Dec. 20-Jan. 11.
One bobcat per license year, and all licensed furtakers may obtain one permit.

FISHERS (WMUs 1B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3D, 4D and 4E): Dec. 20-25. One fisher per license year, and all licensed furtakers may obtain one permit.



2014-15 FALCONRY SEASONS


SQUIRRELS (combined), BOBWHITE QUAIL, RUFFED GROUSE, COTTONTAIL RABBITS,

SNOWSHOE OR VARYING HARES, RINGNECK PHEASANTS (Male or Female combined): Sept. 1-March 31. Daily and Field Possession limits vary. (Migratory game bird seasons and bag limits for falconers will be set in accordance with federal regulations in August.)

No open season on other wild birds or mammals.
Waterfowl and Migratory Game Bird seasons to be established in accordance with federal regulations this summer.