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

February 2020 Newsletter

Our February meeting was held at the Crown Center Mall after setting up for the Sport Show. Dan Sitler reported on the recent Commissioners meeting. Everything recommended at this meeting will be discussed and given final approval at the April meeting. Dan talked about the 3 Sunday hunting days, concurrent buck and doe seasons and that the Saturday opener for rifle deer season seems to have increased the license sales by about a half percent. If you take into account the reductions over the last few years this year's increase is more like a 3%.increase. A new proposal would allow archery deer hunters to carry muzzleloaders when the archery and muzzleloader seasons overlap. Deer tagging may change, (may not have to tag one before shooting another). The commissioners are looking at allowing E-bikes on game land trails. I'll cover more of the January Commissioners meeting in my next newsletter. There are 36 applicants signed up for the next class at the academy which starts in March. The classes are now open to anyone, not just PA residents. Dan says he has noticed an increase in the number of small game hunters this year, sales of pheasant and bobcat permits were up. The House Game and Fisheries committee will hold a public hearing on the Saturday opener at 5 pm on Feb. 20th at the Mon Valley Career Technology Center at 5 Guttman Blvd, Charleroi, PA.

During his 2020 Budget Address, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf appeared to have bought-in to the anti-gun narrative that law-abiding gun owners are the problem, not criminals. The Governor's proposed gun control agenda includes:

These bills have one thing in common; they don't go after criminals, they target law-abiding gun owners and the Second Amendment.

PURPLE PAINT MEANS NO TRESPASSING Landowners have new option for posting properties. Landowners who post their properties now have the option of using purple paint rather than signs to alert others that lands are private and trespassing isn't permitted. House Bill 1772, which was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf in November, and took effect this week. The bill adds language to the section of state law dealing with criminal trespass. Under the law, a person is considered a "defiant trespasser" - which carries enhanced penalties - if he or she enters or remains in any place where notice against trespassing is given by actual communication, lawful posting or fencing. House Bill 1772 makes the use of purple paint on trees or posts a lawful posting method in all but Allegheny and Philadelphia counties.

Vertical purple lines must be at least 8 inches long and 1 inch wide. The bottom of the mark must not be less than 3 feet or more than 5 feet from the ground. And painted marks must not be more than 100 feet apart. Now that the "purple paint law" is effective, hunters should know they might encounter purple markings on trees and that these marks are meant to define the boundary of an adjoining private property that's posted against trespassing. The new law also authorizes unarmed persons to go onto private property for the sole purpose of retrieving a hunting dog.

Everything went well at this years Sport Show. John Koval did an outstanding job as DJ for the entire show. He MC'd the dog show as well as taking requests for music all 3 days. We had the Liberty dancers give a square dance demo on Friday night and they were well received on Saturday afternoon after the dog show when they succeeded in getting some of the spectators to dance with them.

The George Block Conservation Scholarship recipient this year was an extremely talented senior from Canon McMillan High School, Gabriella Popovsky. Her love of the environment started at a very young age while exploring the environment outside her home and day dreaming about exploring the entire world. She has been a leader of her school team in the Washington County Envirothon competition. In her Sophomore year she attended the Wildlife Leadership Academy, where her study that summer centered around white-tailed deer. She did a visual display about the causes and consequences of CWD in Pa. She worked together, along with her AP Environmental Science Class, in initiating the first CM compost project where bins were set up for the students to deposit biodegradable materials used during their lunch period. The compost bins are still in use today at the High School. Gabriella is a member of many organizations and groups at Canon-Mac including Marching Band (majorette) Symphonic Band (Alto-Sax), Peer Jury, National Honor Society, Drama Club and many more. She is also the Captain of her Envirothon team, winner of Majorette of the year (twice) and a Carson Scholar, with a GPA of 4.47. Gabriella is planning to study Environmental Science in college. She has been accepted at the University of Pittsburgh and other schools for this major. We congratulate Gabriella for her achievements and wish her the best of luck in her future.

We thank all the dog owners who brought their best friends to the show: George Cummins and Chief; Jeff Armstrong and Cody; Randy and Lloyd Workman who brought Cooter, Duke and Daisy; Steve Brink and Suzy; Brinton and Colt Bedillion who brought Edge; Colt Bedillion and Penny; Lee Bedillion with Dan and Sheba; and Kristin Loughman who brought Skylar.

Matt Weinzen and his crew: Dale Robison, Jack McEwen, Mike Weber, and John Dino were on hand to measure horns on Saturday and Sunday. We thank them for their volunteer efforts which help maintain our hunting heritage. The highest scoring PA buck this year was 168 4/8 taken by James Rush.

We thank the guys from the Dormont-Mt Lebanon club for manning the BB gun range, also Bud and Peggy Bice for keeping the coffee and doughnuts fresh all 3 days. We thank Bernie Dhans, Larry Jacobs and the crew from the McDonald club for the great job of setting up and taking down our display as they always do and we thank Bob Tohey for displaying all three of the trophies on our display board.

All our member clubs as well as all the vendors at the show asked me to give their best regards for a speedy recovery to Lou Brandenberg. Lou has been running the sport show for the past 15 or 20 years and he is now suffering from liver cancer. The only good news is, he starts chemo this Thursday.

A good friend of ours died since my last newsletter: Fred Warrel, a Korean war veteran and founding member of the Claysville Sportsmen's Club. He will be fondly remembered by all who knew him.

Pheasant, squirrel, and rabbit seasons are open until Feb, 29th.

The next meeting will be Thursday, March 5th at the Canonsburg Club.

Hope to see you there,