Washington County Sportsmen and Conservation League

©1998 Washington County Sportsmen and Conservation League

Member Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs

Affiliated with The National Rifle Association of America

August 2019 Newsletter

At the August meeting Dan Sitler reported that he has been spending time chasing dirt bike riders on the game lands. He also reported on some items from the last Commissioners meeting. The board agreed to increase the donation to Hunters sharing the harvest up to $55,000. Last year almost 150,000 pounds of venison was donated by hunters. The Hegins- Gratz valley wild pheasant recovery area was dissolved in WMU 4E. This area will now be open for pheasant releases and hunting. The Central Susquehanna WPRA boundary was changed to reduce the size. This unit has a reproducing population such that the PGC held a youth hunt the last two years. The Franklin Co. WPRA was also reduced in size.

The 6.5 Creedmoor is now a legal round for elk in PA. The board passed a measure adding more cable restraint locks to the list of approved locks. This change was recommended by the PA Trappers Assoc. Applicants for deer control permits must now verify that they allow hunters to have the first chance at reducing the deer population in urban areas and private land. They will have to report the harvest numbers along with the CID numbers of the hunters.

The Sunday hunting bill, SB-147, has passed the senate and is now in the house. Harold Dauber, executive director of the PFSC has been asked to testify at a House Game and Fisheries Committee hearing on this bill on September 10 th . This bill allows the PGC to pick 3 Sundays to hunt. Its possible that the bill could be amended to get the 3 Sundays this calendar year.

The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation held a sportsmen's reception in Pittsburgh on July 26 th . Harold Dauber was invited and was asked to invite other PFSC members. Lou Brandenburg, Jim Locke, Lou Romito, and I were invited by Harold. The MCs for the meeting were Brent Miller, Sr. Director, Northeastern States CSF headquartered in Vermont and Joe Mullen, New England States Coordinator CSF from Washington. The objective of the event was to provide information sharing for legislators across state lines, so they can be better informed about issues that other states have been grappling with in case bills pop up in their states on similar topics. Talks were given by Nikki Ghorpade of Ducks Unlimited, Mike Nerrozzi - PA Fish and Boat Comm. Director, Policy and Planning, and Brian Burhans - Executive Director PGC.

Ghorpade talked about the declining number of hunters resulting in a reduction in funding for wildlife management. He noted that the public should be made aware that hunters are the ones who fund wildlife management programs which everyone enjoys.

Mike Nerrozzi talked about the need to get Congress to pass HR 3742. This bill will amend the Pittman- Robertson Act to provide $1.3 billion to state fish and wildlife agencies for wildlife recovery projects. He urged all state agencies to contact their congressional delegation. The bill is sponsored by Debbie Dingell, wife of John Dingell Jr. whose father sponsored the Dingell-Johnson Act.

Brian Burhans talked mostly about CWD and the need for states to act now. He described how the governor of Wisconsin had the WDNR stop its efforts to control the spread. Now some areas of Wisconsin have a 40% infection rate. This means if you shoot 2 deer, one will most likely be infected. The only and widely accepted control method is selective removal in areas where a positive test is found. Deer populations have not been appreciably affected in states like New York and Illinois where he infection rate has been held to a couple percent by selective removal. It seems many hunters have a hard time accepting this. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't recall anyone complaining about a lack of deer in the fall after it was reported that 5 or 600 deer died of EHD in one small area of southern Washington County a few years ago. Bryan reported that the commission will soon begin a wide spread effort to educate hunters on what must be done to minimize the spread. We need to support the PGC in this effort, think of what it would be like if we had a positive test in Washington County. The PGC will pay for testing but you would have to keep the meat separate for several months before you would know whether it is safe to eat.

The Canonsburg club had their annual Youth Field Day last Saturday. 47 youngsters attended, and I'm told, all had a good time. Wish I could have been there.

The Frazier-Simplex rife club held a hunter safely course a couple Sundays ago and they had 12 juniors and 5 adults. Canonsburg will hold theirs on Saturday, Aug. 17 th register on their website: canonsburgsportsmen.com

The next meeting will be Thursday, September 5th