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Sunday, July 26, 2020

HIGHLIGHTS FROM TODAY’S COMMISSIONERS MEETING

ALL GAME-LAND USERS NEED ORANGE FROM NOV. 15 TO DEC. 15

During the height of the fall hunting seasons – from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15 – nonhunters using state game lands long have been required to wear fluorescent orange, except on Sundays.

But now that expanded Sunday hunting has been approved, additional hunting will occur on three Sundays within that timeframe.

And the Board of Game Commissioners today adopted amended regulations that require hikers and other nonhunters to wear at least 250 square inches of fluorescent-orange clothing on the head, chest and back combined, visible from 360 degrees, when visiting state game lands at any time during that period.

Those using shooting ranges are exempted from the requirement.


PROPOSED DEER AND BEAR CALIBER REQUIREMENTS VOTED DOWN

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today unanimously voted down a proposal that would have established 24-caliber as the minimum caliber for hunting deer and bear with centerfire rifles.

Commissioner Dennis Fredericks, who had asked for the proposal to be drafted, said the board received many comments from hunters opposed to prohibiting smaller-caliber centerfire rifles such as the .223 and .22-250 for big-game hunting, and that continuing to permit use of these could benefit the recruitment of young hunters, as well as the retention of aging hunters.

Fredericks said the Game Commission always considers wildlife’s needs in setting hunting regulations, and it will work with ammunition manufacturers and experts to establish guidelines for hunters using smaller calibers for big game, and work to inform the public about them.

REGULATIONS COULD CHANGE REGARDING CROP DAMAGE BY CANADA GEESE

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave preliminary approval to a measure that would pull state regulations into line with recently changed federal guidelines that provide farmers and other landowners additional time to address problems from resident Canada geese.

Landowners properly registered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were previously allowed to destroy Canada goose nests and eggs on their properties from March through June, and properly permitted agricultural producers could kill small numbers of adult geese causing crop damage from May through August.

The proposed changes would allow take of nests and eggs year-round, and expand the period during which take for agricultural depredation is allowable to April through August.

Other registration and permitting requirements for both types of control activities remain unchanged.

Game Commission staff said incorporating the federal changes into state regulations isn’t expected to greatly increase the taking of Canada geese by permit, and little or no impact on overall goose populations is anticipated.

The measure will be brought back to a future meeting for a second vote.

ENERGY AGREEMENT APPROVED

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today approved a five-year non-surface agreement to develop natural gas and oil beneath State Game Lands 134 in Plunketts Creek Township, Lycoming County.

Alta Marcellus Development LLC, of Houston, Texas, would pay the Game Commission a one-time bonus payment of $3,932,500, as well as future royalty payments, as part of the deal.

All payments will be added to the agency’s Game Fund.



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