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

June 2018 Newsletter


Dan Sitler is having to cover the entire county as Rich Joyce is on sick leave recovering from surgery. I'm getting reports from members sighting fawns and turkey poults; that's encouraging considering all the rain we've been getting. At the June meeting I mentioned that not much is happening in Harrisburg as all the politicians are working on the budget. It doesn't look like any of the bad bills will get anywhere this session. No good news on any of the good bills either.

The only good news I hear from Harrisburg is that on June 5th the senate confirmed the nomination of Dennis Fredericks to represent our district on the PGC board of Commissioners. Our congratulations to Dennis.

On the national level there are a few bills that are important for those of us who like to shoot, hunt, and fish.

HR 788, The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, this would allow P-R funds to pay up to 90 percent, rather than 75 percent, of costs in acquiring land for expanding, or constructing, public shooting ranges.

HR 2591, The Modernizing The Pittman-Robertson Fund For Tomorrow's Needs Act of 2017, this legislation would authorize P-R funds to recruit, retain, and reactivate hunters and recreational shooters. Click here to read about the changes.

HR 4647, The Recovering America's Wildlife Act, this would redirect $1.3 billion in existing royalties and fees annually from drilling and mining on federal lands and waters to conserve "the full array of fish and wildlife." The bill would "intermingle" P-R funds with, potentially, $1.3 billion earmarked to "provide more money for species that don't have stable funding," This will indirectly benefit hunters who ideally want P-R allocations dedicated to game animals, because habitat is habitat. HR 4647 "would get states the money they need for wildlife" using much less P-R money.

Call your Representative and tell him to support these bills. In Allegheny Co. your Rep. is Mat Cartwright, his phone number is: (202)225-5546. If you live in the new district your Rep is Connor Lamb, his phone number is (202)225-2301 and for the rest of us in Washington Co, our Rep. is Mike Doyle, his phone number is (202)225-2135. The attached report: "Pitman-Robertson Changes" has more detail on these and other related issues.

There is also some new information on CWD sent to me by Mary Hosmer (click here to read about it) who is on the PFSC board of directors and who attended a recent CWD informational meeting. Please read the attachment titled "NewCWDinfo", it has some news and describes some new research on the spread of CWD.

We had a detailed discussion regarding a report sent recently to the Governor, Lt. Governor and all the leaders of the state legislature which described the "Mismanagement of Habitat and Wildlife Resources by the PGC". It was written by John Eveland who claims to be an independent wildlife biologist. The report is filled with mostly wrong and misleading statements blaming the PGC for the lack of deer in PA. It was brought out at the meeting that the deer problem began long before Gary Ault came on the scene. Many of us can recall when a browse line was evident in much of the northern PA forests and I can recall when the Boy Scouts in Washington County went up north to cut browse for the deer in the winters. The PGC dropped hay in an effort to relieve some of the starving. People were finding dead dear along the streams while fishing in the spring. This starvation was the result of overpopulation which in turn required that something be done to get the population in balance with what the habitat could support. The PGC was subsequently blamed for "decimating the deer herd".

The PGC's deer management plan recently was rated one of North America's best by Simon Fraser University in a recently published study that measured the scientific soundness and transparency of varied state and provincial wildlife management plans. Pennsylvania tied with Wisconsin for the highest-scoring deer plans in North America among the 62 states and provinces that participated in the research conducted by Kyle A. Artelle and colleagues. If there is one thing the PGC should not be criticized for, it is its scientific deer management program.

Mr. Eveland longs for the day when he saw hundreds of deer a day on a hunt. Those days are gone. The only place one might now see a hundred deer a day on a hunt in North America might be on a deer farm. He claims to have worked for the PGC, he never did. He claims to have written the PGC bear and elk management plans; he did not. His report appears to be bent on destroying the PGC. Ultimately if we lose the PGC and wildlife management reverts to the DCNR then much of the values and many traditions PA hunters have taken for granted all these years will be lost also.


Announcements:

Keystone Coon Hunters are holding a benefit coon hunt June 16th
To benefit the family of recently deceased Brian Tommy Huggins Jr.
Call Tim Proffitt for more info at 724-747-0875

Youth Sportsfest at the McDonald Club
June 23rd
Open to Youths Ages 8-18
Lunch and Refreshments Provided
Application here or at www.mcdonaldsportsmen.com
For Info Call Bernie Dahns, at 724-288-5092

Don't forget the YOUTH FIELD DAY at the Canonsburg Club
SAT. AUGUST 4, 2018
Click here for the application

The next meeting will be Thursday, July 5th at 7:30PM at the Canonsburg Sportsmen's Club.


Have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July.th

Chet