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

December 2018 Newsletter

Dave Raulfs reported that 2019 fishing licenses are now available. If you buy one now it will be good for Dec. 2018 through Dec. 31, 2019. The price of a resident fishing license this year is $22.90. A trout stamp and a Lake Erie permit, cost $9.90 each, or $15.90 for a combination permit. You also have an option of purchasing several new voluntary permits, with funds generated by their purchase being reinvested into their respective programs. The voluntary permits include: bass ($11.90); musky ($11.90); habitat/waterways conservation permit ($11.90); and wild trout and enhanced waters permit ($26.90). Dave investigated a red food dye spill on I-70 that went into Dutch Fork Creek. The dye was food grade so no damage was incurred. Dave noted that people are catching trout at Canonsburg Lake.

Dan Sitler introduced Cadet Jared Schibek who gave the Game Commission report. The bear harvest for the first 3 days this year was 1,833 which was 12% higher than last year. The largest bear weighed 780 pounds, which is a record. A 679 pounder was taken with a 357 mag pistol. The total bear harvest in the Southwest region was 168. By county it was Somerset, 57 (34); Fayette, 32 (23); Indiana, 30 (8); Armstrong, 25 (30); Cambria, 13 (6); and Westmoreland, 11 (9). The numbers in parentheses are last year's harvest. Jared talked about the deputy that was assaulted in Schuylkill County. Two men from York county were apprehended and charged with aggravated assault, disarming a law-enforcement officer, robbery, simple assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, harassment, and control of property violations. Dan reported that the hunting pressure was very low this deer season.

The second annual wild pheasant youth hunt was held on two Saturdays in November in Montour and Northumberland counties. Forty juniors participated in this year's hunt. On both Saturdays this year, 20-to-40 mph winds and heavy rain the day before each hunt day made it tough on both dogs and hunters. A total of 199 birds, including 93 roosters, were flushed on four farms during two mornings of the hunt. All hunters and handlers were treated to a top- notch luncheon by Central Susquehanna Pheasants Forever Chapter. Note that there will be a late season release of stocked birds on Dec.20 and 21. 750 males and 270 hens will be released in Washington County.

There is an important bill in Congress that needs to be passed. The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Both the House Natural Resources and Senate Energy and Natural Resources committees recently advanced their own versions of LWCF reauthorization legislation, H.R. 502 and S. 569. The House bill would reauthorize and fully fund the program. This program is funded by a portion of funds derived from federal off shore oil and gas drilling fees. This fund has been providing millions of dollars each year for conservation and outdoor recreation. This program expired on Sept. 30 and needs to be reauthorized this year. You can help very easily by clicking here. By simply filling in your name and address a letter will be sent to your congressional representatives. I got an acknowledgement of receipt the next day and a full letter 3 days later from Representative Conor Lamb. He told me everything I already knew about the program and announced that he is a cosponsor of HR 502. Spread the word, this is very easy to do.

We decided to move this year's Sport Show to the second weekend of Feb. to avoid conflict with the Superbowl, don't forget to tell your members it will be at the Crown Center Mall on Feb, 8-10. We will present the George Block Conservation Scholarship at 1 pm on Saturday followed by a sporting dog show on stage in front of Bon Tons. George Block, along with Matt Weinzen and his crew will be measuring horns on Saturday and Sunday. There will be free face painting and Pheasants Forever will have their BB gun range there for the kids all weekend.

I see our illustrious Auditor General, Eugene DePasquale, has decided to delve into the gun control issue again by issuing a Firearm Safety Special Report. The thing that bothers me about this is that he is supposed to be conducting an audit of the PGC so that our legislators can decide whether a license increase is warranted. A copy of his report is available here.

Just thinking: A basic tenant of the North American Wildlife Conservation Model is that wildlife is owned by everyone, managed by professionals, and funded by users. This sets us apart from the rest of the world, however, our ranks are dwindling so we need to be thinking about how to fund wildlife conservation in the future.

Hope you had a safe and enjoyable hunting season. Our next meeting will be Thursday, Jan. 3rd . We will be electing officers and are looking for volunteers.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,


"A peculiar virtue in wildlife ethics is that the hunter ordinarily has no gallery to applaud or disapprove of his conduct. Whatever his acts, they are dictated by his own conscience, rather than that of onlookers. It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of this fact." -Aldo Leopold