Wednesday, November 30, 2011


HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission officials, joined by veterinarians and laboratory technicians from the Pennsylvania and U.S. departments of Agriculture, will continue their efforts, starting Nov. 29, to sample thousands of hunter-killed deer to determine whether chronic wasting disease (CWD) has come to the Commonwealth. 

“For nearly a decade, we have tested hunter-killed deer, and have not found or confirmed any cases of CWD-infected deer in Pennsylvania,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director.  “We are planning to collect samples from about 4,000 hunter-killed deer to test for CWD in the upcoming firearms deer season.  Last year, we tested samples from 3,882 deer.  CWD was not detected in any of the samples.”

Game Commission deer aging teams will collect deer heads throughout the state beginning today, Nov. 29 – the second day of the state’s two-week rifle deer season.  The heads will be taken to the six Game Commission Region Offices, where samples will be collected for testing.

The CWD tests on these deer samples will be conducted at the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary diagnostic laboratory at the New Bolton Center in Chester County.  Results are expected in 2012.

The Game Commission collected CWD samples (brain tissue and lymph nodes) from elk that were not to be mounted, and requested that taxidermists submit the caped heads from elk provided by hunters seeking to have their trophies mounted.  Elk hunters were provided pre-paid mailers for taxidermists to submit the samples.  All elk samples will be tested for CWD at the New Bolton Center as well. 

The Game Commission also collected lung samples to look for signs of tuberculosis, and blood samples to look for evidence of brucellosis from the 53 elk harvested.  Dr. Walter Cottrell, Game Commission wildlife veterinarian, said the agency will release the elk and deer test results as soon as they are available.

The Game Commission, with the assistance of the Pennsylvania and U.S. departments of Agriculture, has conducted tests on more than 350 elk and more than 30,000 deer killed by hunters in Pennsylvania over the past nine years.  Since 1998, more than 1,100 deer and elk that had died of unknown illness or were exhibiting abnormal behavior also have been tested.  No evidence of CWD has been found in these samples.  The Game Commission will continue to collect samples from deer and elk that appear sick or behave abnormally with special emphasis in the area closest to the known positive case in Allegheny County, Maryland.

Even though CWD had not been detected in Pennsylvania, CWD testing of healthy appearing hunter-killed deer or elk is available through the New Bolton Center.  Hunters who wish to have their deer tested may do so for a fee by making arrangements with the New Bolton Center Laboratory (610-444-5800).

First observed in 1967, CWD is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) that affects cervids, including all species of deer, elk and moose. It is a progressive and always fatal disease, which scientists believe is caused by an agent capable of transforming normal brain proteins into an abnormal form.

There currently is no practical way to test live animals for CWD, and there is no vaccine to prevent an animal from contracting the disease. There is no cure for animals that become infected.  There is no evidence of CWD being transmissible to humans or to other non-cervid livestock under normal conditions.

Deer harboring CWD may not show any symptoms in the disease’s early stages.  The usual incubation period for CWD is between 12-24 months.  Commonly observed signs of an infected animal include lowered head and ears, uncoordinated movement, rough-hair coat, weight loss, increased thirst, excessive drooling, weakness, and ultimately, death.  

Hunters who see deer behaving oddly, appearing to be sick or dying for unknown reasons are urged to contact the nearest Game Commission Region Office.  Hunters should only shoot and consume deer that appear to be healthy and behave normally. The Game Commission also recommends that they use rubber or nitrile gloves for field dressing. 

The Center for Disease Control has investigated any connection between CWD and the human forms of TSEs and stated “the risk of infection with the CWD agent among hunters is extremely small, if it exists at all” and “it is extremely unlikely that CWD would be a food-borne hazard.”

“We count on hunters, who spend a lot of time in the woods, to be our eyes when they head out to hunt,” Roe said. “With the help of the nearly one million deer hunters who go afield, we can cover a lot of ground.

“If hunters see something unusual or abnormal, they should contact us and provide as much specific information as possible.”

CWD is present in free-ranging or captive wildlife populations in 19 states and two Canadian provinces.  The Game Commission has been working with other state agencies to protect the Commonwealth’s wild and captive deer and elk by emphasizing measures designed to prevent its introduction into the state.

In an effort to prevent the introduction of CWD into the Commonwealth, the Game Commission has implemented an executive order prohibiting hunters from importing specific carcass parts from members of the deer family – including mule deer, elk and moose – from 19 states and two Canadian provinces.  This importation ban affects hunters heading to: Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland (only from CWD Management Area), Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York (only from Madison and Oneida counties), North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia (only from CWD Containment Area), West Virginia (only from CWD Containment Area), Wisconsin and Wyoming, as well as the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. 

The executive order prohibits hunters from bringing back certain parts from any cervid from the listed states or provinces, whether the animal was taken from the wild or from a captive, high-fence operation. The specific carcass parts that cannot be brought back to Pennsylvania by hunters are the ones where the CWD prions (the causative agent) concentrate in cervids, and they are: the head (including brain, tonsils, eyes and any lymph nodes); spinal cord/backbone; spleen; skull plate with attached antlers, if visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; cape, if visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; upper canine teeth, if root structure or other soft tissue is present; any object or article containing visible brain or spinal cord tissue; unfinished taxidermy mounts; and brain-tanned hides.

“The most notable change this year in the list of states impacted by Pennsylvania’s Parts Ban is the detection of CWD in Maryland,” Roe said. “It is important for those Pennsylvania hunters heading to Maryland to become familiar with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources CWD Management Area, which includes a portion of Allegany County noted as Private Land Code 233 in Maryland’s annual Guide to Hunting and Trapping. This section, which includes Maryland’s Green Ridge State Forest east of Flintstone and Oldtown, is directly south of Pennsylvania’s Bedford and Fulton counties.”

In West Virginia, the CWD Containment Area also has been expanded as the disease has moved outside of Hampshire County. The new CWD Containment Area now includes all of Hampshire County and portions of Hardy and Morgan counties. 

For details, hunters should contact the Maryland Department of Natural Resources or the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

Roe noted that the prohibition does not limit the importation of:  meat, without the backbone; cleaned skull plate with attached antlers, if no visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; tanned hide or raw hide with no visible brain or spinal cord tissue present; cape, if no visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; upper canine teeth, if no root structure or other soft tissue is present; and finished taxidermy mounts.

In 2005, Pennsylvania CWD task force members completed the state’s response plan, which outlines ways to prevent CWD from entering our borders and, in the event CWD is found in Pennsylvania, how to detect it and contain it.  The task force was comprised of representatives from several state and federal agencies, including the Game Commission, the state departments of Agriculture, Health and Environmental Protection, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as representatives from stakeholder groups including hunters, deer farmers, deer processors and taxidermists.  The plan is updated annually, and the current plan can be viewed on the Game Commission’s website ( by putting your cursor on “Wildlife” in the menu bar at the top of the homepage, then put your cursor on “Wildlife Diseases” from the drop-down menu, and then clicking on “Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).”  This page also includes links to tips for taxidermists and meat processors, as well as the CWD Alliance’s website (

Information on CWD also is published on page 52 of the 2011-12 Pennsylvania Hunting and Trapping Digest, which is presented to each license buyer.

“We know that Pennsylvania hunters are just as concerned about keeping CWD out of Pennsylvania as we are, and we are confident that they will do all they can to protect the Commonwealth’s whitetail and elk populations,” Roe said.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Successful Friends

After guiding people with disabilities and veterans for a few weeks in Missouri, Chris and Jim were finally able to take a day and do some hunting themselves.  I'm so happy to say they were successful.  These two guys worked extremely hard to make many of our hunting dreams a reality, congratulations boys!
Chris's buck shot the week after I left

Jim's buck shot the day I left

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Missouri Deer Hunt... Part Three, the Final

It was Thursday morning November 17, 2011 at 4:15 AM when Chris and Jim knocked on my motel room door to start the second day of my Missouri deer hunt.  The temperature outside was 19° but thankfully the winds were not as strong as Wednesday morning.

We  decided to hunt in a different location on the second day.  Our plan was to hunt overlooking a creek bottom until around 10 AM then we would move to another location.   So I would hunt from my permobil wheelchair  sitting on the trailer.   Chris secured my wheelchair and towed me through the property using his four wheeler. 

That way, I would not have to transfer into my action trackchair, then transfer back into my permobil for the afternoon drive.    Besides, having the permobil securely tied down with cargo straps is a safe and easy way to get through the woods.

Chris and I settled on the crest of a hill overlooking the creek bottom where his son Matt took a beautiful buck the previous week from a tree stand.  Turkeys were roosted on both sides of us and it was beautiful to hear them clucking and purring as we waited for the sun to come up.  

It wasn't long before we seen a half rack buck making its way along the creek bottom.    Like the day before, I was unable to get it into my scope because of my limited mobility.    But I was not discouraged, I simply stayed vigilant for the next opportunity. 

That opportunity came approximately 30 minutes later  when a beautiful buck and Doe appeared 120 yards out from our position.  I was able to settle my crosshairs on his front shoulder and activated my trigger .    My rifle went off, but I missed him.  As I tried for a follow-up shot my rifle would not go off .  The bolt did not shut all the way, which was a problem when I was sighting it in for this trip. 

Chris quickly tried to clear the action but by then the buck had enough of my mistakes and took off following the Doe.   This was the second monster buck I had missed in two days.  I was pretty depressed by my actions and the problems with my equipment .   But Chris told me to hang in there, I would get another chance. 

He was right, it wasn't long before another buck presented a shot 115 yards away.  This buck was a large bodied deer but had a busted rack.   I settled the crosshairs on this one and actually made a good shot.  We knew we had my buck, and gave him a few minutes to expire. 

Chris congratulated me and I told him how thankful I was for this opportunity .  To be out hunting again is such a pleasure in itself, but to take a Missouri buck was really incredible.   We called Jim who quickly came over and we all went down to retrieve my trophy . 

It may not be the next  Missouri state record, but believe me, it's a real trophy I will never forget.   Thank you everyone from Dreams Become Reality for making this possible !  I will never forget my time in Missouri with good friends  and the opportunity to go hunting again. 

We Contacted the Department of Natural Resources and reported my 5 point buck.   We also inquired about donating the meat to a local food bank.   As it happened, we were able to donate the buck that evening at the local Wal-Mart by making a $10 donation.  So many individuals were part my successful hunt that I wanted to help others as well. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Missouri Deer Hunt.. Part Two

It was Wednesday morning November 16, 2011, 5 AM, when we arrived at the hunting lease near Kirksville Missouri. The wind was strong and steady as I rolled out of the van. Chris and Jim unloaded my action trackchair from the trailer and I thought about one thing, monster buck.

The guys quickly transferred me from my permobil wheelchair into the action trackchair and got all of my gear ready. I joked with Chris that he needed to improve his driving skills while putting my permobil back into my van. It's obviously not as easy as it looks, right buddy?

Chris and I wished Jim good luck as he would be hunting a different part of the lease after guiding disabled children all last week. This would be Jim's first chance to hunt the property this year.

I was so excited to get started I put my chair into fourth gear, and we made our way quickly and quietly to the ground blind Chris and Jim had set up specifically for me several weeks earlier.

It did not take very long for Chris to set up all of my gear (rifle rest, adapted rifle, battery and adapted trigger) as well as zip up my jacket and pull my hat down tight. The temperatures were very cold (27°) and the winds were blowing hard.

As I sat in the ground blind watching the woods transform from darkness, I thought about how lucky I was to be enjoying this hunting trip. About how many people volunteered their time, donated money or worked to make this possible. I thought how great it was to have this opportunity and how thankful I was to so many people.

We were not in the ground blind long before Chris spotted a half rack five point making its way along the creek bottom. The buck was obviously looking for a hot Doe and actually came 15 yards in front of the ground blind. Unfortunately, I was unable to get it into my scope due to my limited mobility. Chris assured me not to worry, there would be plenty more opportunities.

The day continued like that, watching Does come in, turkeys and even a coyote! This hunting lease had it all and I was enjoying nature at its finest. We hunted from the ground blind all day, thankful that the blind was blocking at least some of the wind. It was cold, I was cold but there was no way I was leaving early.

At around 4:30 PM we spotted a nice eight point about 120 yards away. After some maneuvering using my action trackchair to turn to my left I settled the crosshairs on his shoulder. I used the sip and puff trigger activator and my 270 exploded. For whatever reason I missed. Whether I hit a small branch or simply had buck fever I'm not sure.

We waited around to see if anything else would come by, but nothing did. We made our way back to the van, transferred me back into my permobil and made our way back to the motel without a Missouri Whitetail but with exciting memories.

Stay tuned for Hunting Missouri Part Three

Monday, November 21, 2011

2011 Pa Bear Report

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission officials today announced that hunters started the 2011 black bear season by taking a preliminary harvest of 1,936 black bears in 52 counties on the first day of the four-day statewide bear season, which was the second season to open on a Saturday. 

Archery bear harvest data still is being entered into the Game Commission’s database, and won’t be available for another week.

The 2011 first-day preliminary harvest compares with 1,751 in 2010, which also opened on a Saturday.  Other first-day harvest totals were 1,897 in 2009; 1,725 in 2008; 1,005 in 2007; 1,461 in 2006; 2,026 in 2005; 1,573 in 2004; 1,454 in 2003;1,348 2002; 1,812 in 2001; and 1,691 in 2000.

The top 11 bears processed at check stations on Monday all had estimated live weights that exceeded 591 pounds. Jonathan E. Byler, of Ulysses, harvested the largest bear, which was a male that weighed in at 746 pounds (estimated live weight). The bear was taken in Ulysses, Potter County, at 1:45 p.m.

Other large bears (all estimated live weights) included: a 734-pound male, taken by Steven Camasta, of Lakeview, in Salem, Wayne County; a 733-pound male, taken by John J. Hennick, of Cambria, in Bell, Clearfield County; a 714-pound male, taken by Timothy Kiser, of Karns City, in Bradys Bend, Armstrong County; a 706-pound male, taken by Paul Hoyt, of Levittown, in Bradys Bend, Armstrong County; a 629-pound male, taken by Jeremiah M. Bauer, of Hebron, Ohio, in Wharton, Potter County; a 618-pound male, taken by Matthew Hazelton, of Wellsboro, in Delmar, Tioga County; a 611-pound male, taken by Carl Eyler, of Greencastle, in Dublin, Huntingdon County; a 594-pound male, taken by Lindsay King, of Hillsgrove, in Hillsgrove, Sullivan County; a 591-pound male, taken by John Kissling, of Bernville, in Beaver, Columbia County; a 591-pound male, taken by John Vinton, of Waymart, in Canaan, Wayne County.

The preliminary first-day bear harvest by Wildlife Management Unit was as follows: WMU 1A, 8; WMU 1B, 39; WMU 2A, 2; WMU 2C, 141; WMU 2D, 82; WMU 2E, 42; WMU 2F, 200; WMU 2G, 612; WMU 3A, 160; WMU 3B, 181; WMU 3C, 50; WMU 3D, 146; WMU 4A, 55; WMU 4B, 46; WMU 4C, 41; WMU 4D, 108; and WMU 4E, 23. 

The top bear harvest county in the state on the first day of season was Potter with 160, followed by Tioga, 149; Lycoming, 146; McKean, 120; and Clinton, 100.

County harvests by region for the opening day are:

Northwest: Warren, 83; Forest, 50; Venango, 28; Jefferson, 25; Clarion, 22; Crawford, 10; Butler, 7; Erie, 6; and Mercer, 4.

Southwest: Somerset, 57; Fayette, 40; Armstrong, 39; Cambria, 23; Westmoreland, 10; and Indiana, 7.

Northcentral: Potter, 160; Tioga, 149; Lycoming, 146; McKean, 120; Clinton, 100; Clearfield, 93; Elk, 82; Cameron, 65; Centre, 60; and Union, 18.

Southcentral: Huntingdon, 42; Bedford, 41; Juniata, 19; Mifflin, 17; Blair, 14; Fulton, 7; Franklin, 7; Perry, 7; Snyder, 6; and Cumberland, 1.

Northeast: Sullivan, 68; Wayne, 61; Pike, 50; Monroe, 31; Bradford, 29; Luzerne, 26; Susquehanna, 19; Carbon, 16; Wyoming, 16; Lackawanna, 13; Columbia, 10; and Northumberland, 1.

Southeast: Dauphin, 14; Schuylkill, 12; Lebanon, 3; Lehigh, 1; and Northampton 1

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Missouri Deer Hunting.. Part One

I just returned from hunting near Kirksville Missouri with Dreams Become Reality.  Beth and I made  the 13 hour trip to  hunt with Chris and Tina Gillin and Chris's brother Jim.

This was a fantastic opportunity to harvest  a mature whitetail with some true sportsman .  Dreams Become Reality is a charity that serves individuals with disabilities (children and adults) as well as Veterans.   There was absolutely no cost for me to participate in this hunt! 

We arrived at approximately 7 PM  Tuesday evening in Kirksville Missouri.   We were staying at the Super 8 Motel.    The motel was older, but accessible, very clean and the employees were extremely friendly .   They even made arrangements for me to charge my Action TrackChair on my trailer in the parking lot.  We kept the tarp on it and charged it outside because it was 38 inches wide, to wide to take into the room.  

The first thing  Chris and I did was go to the local Wal-Mart, to purchase an out-of-state hunting license.    Make sure you know your Social Security number and also take along your hunter safety cards from your home state. 

 After obtaining the necessary license, we all went to dinner at a steakhouse beside the motel.   We talked about where we would be hunting the next morning and what to expect. I finally settled into bed at around 11:30 PM with a wake-up call for 3:30 AM.  Needless to say I did not sleep a wink, I was too excited.  After all, this was better than Christmas! 

The temperature was 23° so  Beth had me dressed as warm as possible .  Chris and Jim knocked on my door at 4:15 AM  and we were ready to begin my dream. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

2011 PA Deer Season

The following news release contains six articles related to the upcoming deer season:



HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania’s only unofficial holiday - the Monday after Thanksgiving –marks the opening day of the two-week general deer season, and will feature nearly 750,000 individuals sporting fluorescent orange throughout Penn’s Woods, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe.

New antler restrictions are in place this year for the five Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) in western Pennsylvania previously designated as a four-point on one side area. Under the new antler restrictions, which represent the first change since 2002, hunters in WMUs 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B and 2D need to identify three antler points, not including the brow tine, which is the point immediately above the antler burr. (Please see second article for details.)

Also, WMUs 2A, 2F and 3B have been added to the split-season structure, in which the first five days are open for antlered deer only and the remaining seven days are open for antlered and antlerless deer. 

“Pennsylvania’s deer season has a dramatic and beneficial effect on the Commonwealth, as it provides hunters a chance to put venison in the freezer,” Roe said. “In addition to being a rich part of our state’s heritage, deer season is critical in managing Pennsylvania’s whitetails. The efforts of hunters are far-reaching; they help to keep deer populations in check, and enable the agency to meet deer management goals that benefit those who reside, visit or travel through this state.”

Roe noted that hunters will need to make sure that they have done their pre-season scouting, as fall food conditions, development, posted property and other factors will impact deer movements.

“Deer will respond to food availability and hunter pressure, both of which can vary from year to year, and from one area to another,” Roe said. “Pre-season scouting can improve a hunter’s chance for success this year, particularly in the week leading up to the start of season.

“Dramatic changes on the landscape will be just as important – if not more important – as looking for the highly nutritious acorns and other natural foods sought by game animals.”

Specifically, Roe cited Marcellus Shale-related drilling and recent Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee damages as examples of larger impacts on the landscape that may alter what hunters and trappers find in the forests and fields of Pennsylvania. 

“The ‘Big Woods’ area of northcentral Pennsylvania, home to many of the traditional hunting camps, lies within the area being explored for Marcellus Shale natural gas, and has seen a dramatic increase in drilling,” Roe said.  “Northeastern Pennsylvania also has seen a large volume of Marcellus Shale activity.”

Roe also noted that there have been significant impacts on hunter accessibility in many areas of the state.

“Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee created widespread access issues on State Game Land roads, parking areas and trails,” Roe said. “Although our Food and Cover Corps crews have worked hard to alleviate these problems, there just isn’t enough time before the season to make all of it right.  Pre-season scouting will acquaint you with access issues that may impact your hunting plans.  So, do your homework before the opening day to ensure your days afield will be all you expect them to be.”

Deer season will open with a five-day, antlered deer-only season in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3B, 3C, 4B, 4D and 4E from Nov. 28-Dec. 2. It is followed in these WMUs by seven days of concurrent, antlered and antlerless deer hunting beginning Dec. 3, and continuing through Dec. 10. The rest of the state follows the two-week concurrent, antlered and antlerless season – Nov. 28-Dec. 10 – that has been in place since 2001.

Hunters must wear 250 square inches of fluorescent orange material on the head, chest and back combined at all times while afield during the seasons. They also are advised that it’s illegal to hunt, chase or disturb deer within 150 yards of any occupied building without the occupant's permission if they are using a firearm, or 50 yards if they are using a bow or crossbow.

During the two-week season, hunters may use any legal sporting arm, as outlined on page 45 of the 2011-12 Digest.  Rifles are not permitted to be used in Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware or Montgomery counties, however, shotguns and muzzleloaders are legal.  Deer hunters in Philadelphia may use only bows or crossbows.

All hunters who take a deer must fill out their harvest tag and attach it to the deer’s ear before moving the carcass. The tag can be secured to the base of the ear with a string drawn very tightly, if the hunter plans to have the deer mounted. Cutting a slit in the ear to attach the tag will require additional work by a taxidermist.

Roe noted that properly licensed bear hunters who still possess an unused bear tag come deer season may take a bear during the first week of deer season but only in selected WMUs.  Specific seasons and reporting requirements for taking bear during deer season are outlined on page 36 of the 2011-12 Digest issued with the purchase of a hunting license.  The Digest also may be viewed on the Game Commission’s website (

Hunters are reminded that they have 10 days to report deer harvests (five days for persons using homemade tags).  Reporting is easier than ever before.  Hunters can report their kill using the postage paid card supplied with their 2011-12 Digest, or online using the Internet at, or calling 1-855-PAHUNT1 (1-855-724-8681). (Please see third article for more information.)

Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe reminds deer hunters that the Board of Game Commissioners approved a change in antler restriction definitions in the previous four-point area in the western Wildlife Management Units of 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B and 2D.

Under the new antler restrictions, which represent the first change since 2002, hunters in these five WMUs need to identify three antler points, not including the brow tine, which is the point immediately above the antler burr. This regulatory change requires three points on the main antler beam, excluding the brow tine, for a buck to be legal.

The idea of changing antler restrictions in the four-point area began a year ago when Game Commissioners Ralph Martone and Robert Schlemmer heard from many sportsmen about the difficulty of seeing brow tines.

A review of antler data collected prior to antler restrictions from the southeastern part of the state indicated this change may affect only a small percentage of antlered deer.  For more information on antler restrictions, hunters should refer to page 53 of the 2011-12 Digest that they received with the purchase of their license. 

Those participating in the upcoming deer season will be able to file their mandatory harvest reports through the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s online system; the toll-free Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone harvest reporting system, which is 1-855-PAHUNT1 (1-855-724-8681); or via postage-paid postcard.

To report a deer harvest online, go to the Game Commission’s website (, click on “Report Your Harvest” above the “Quick Clicks” box in the right-hand column, click on “You can link to PALS by clicking here,” check “Harvest Reporting,” scroll down and click on the “Start Here” button at the bottom of the page, choose the method of validating license information, and click on the checkbox for the harvest tag being reported.  A series of options will appear for a hunter to report a harvest. After filling in the harvest information, click on the “Continue” button to review the report and then hit the “Submit” button to complete the report. Failing to hit the “Submit” button will result in a harvest report not being completed.

Hunters should have their Customer Identification Number (hunting license number) and field harvest tag information with them when they call, and should speak clearly and distinctly when reporting harvests, especially when providing the Wildlife Management Unit number and letter.

“Hunters may report one or more harvests in a single session,” Roe said. “Responses to all harvest questions are required.

“Hunters who use the toll-free number to submit a harvest report will receive a confirmation number, which they should write down and keep as proof of reporting.  Those who report online should print or save a copy of their harvest report submission as proof of reporting.”

Roe noted that hunters still have the option to file harvest report postcards, which are included as tear-out sheets in the current digest.

“We certainly are encouraging hunters to use the online reporting system, which will ensure that their harvest is recorded,” Roe said.  “The more important point is that all hunters do their part in deer management and report their harvested deer to the agency.”

Hunters and trappers are reminded that they still are required to display their licenses on an outer garment, said Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe.

“The Game Commission is supporting legislation to remove the statutory requirement that licenses be displayed, and thereby allow hunters to place their hunting license in their wallet with other ID,” Roe said. “However, until such time as the General Assembly removes this statutory requirement, hunters and trappers will need to continue to display their licenses.”

Hunters can check traffic and road conditions on more than 2,900 miles of roadways by simply calling 511 or logging onto the Department of Transportation’s website ( before heading out to deer camp this year.

“‘511PA’ is Pennsylvania’s official travel information service,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “This service from PennDOT provides travelers with reliable, current traffic and weather information. This site enables hunters to check on the status of road conditions before heading out to camp.”

Hunters who are successful in the upcoming deer hunting seasons are encouraged by the Pennsylvania Game Commission to consider participating in the state’s Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH) program, which channels donations of venison to local food banks, soup kitchens and needy families.  Pennsylvania’s HSH program is recognized as one of the most successful among similar programs in about 40 states.

“Using a network of local volunteer area coordinators and cooperating meat processors to process and distribute venison donated by hunters, HSH has really helped to make a difference for countless needy families and individuals in our state,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “Pennsylvanians who participate in this extremely beneficial program should be proud of the role they play. HSH truly does make a tremendous difference.”

Started in 1991, HSH has developed into a refined support service for organizations that assist the Commonwealth’s needy.  Each year, Hunters Sharing the Harvest helps to deliver almost 200,000 meals to food banks, churches and social services feeding programs.

“This program is all about the generosity of hunters and their desire to help make a difference,” Roe said. “It’s a program that many hunters have become committed to and enjoy supporting. After all, what is more gratifying than helping others in need?”

As part of the program, hunters are encouraged to take a deer to a participating meat processor and identify how much of their deer meat - from an entire deer to several pounds - that is to be donated to HSH.  If the hunter is donating an entire deer, he or she is asked to make a $15 tax-deductible co-pay, and HSH will cover the remaining processing fees.  However, a hunter can cover the entire costs of the processing, which is tax deductible as well.

HSH established a statewide toll-free telephone number – 1-866-474-2141 – which can answer hunters’ questions about where participating meat processors can be found or other general inquiries about the program.

To learn more about the program and obtain a list of participating meat processors and county coordinators, visit the Game Commission’s website ( and click on “Hunters Sharing the Harvest” in the “Quick Clicks” box in the right-hand column of the homepage, or go to the HSH website (

Illinois State Record Poached

DNR: Potential Illinois State Record Buck Was Poached | Outdoor Life

Poachers are stealing from you and I. It really is a crime that affects all sportsmen. If you suspect poaching in Pennsylvania, here is what to do

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has established a "Turn-In-a-Poacher" program to strengthen the Commonwealth's efforts to apprehend people who are suspected of killing threatened or endangered species or big game animals, and a witness report is instrumental in securing a successful conviction.

You can get involved by either calling a toll-free-telephone number - 1-888-PGC-8001 - or filling out a "TIP" Reporting Form.

The TIP program was authorized by the General Assembly as part of a legislative package to deter crimes against wildlife. The act authorizes the Game Commission to increase by $500, fines against individuals convicted of killing threatened or endangered species or unlawfully taking big game animals.

That money is then placed in a special fund from which $250 will be used to pay the individual providing the "tip," as long as the district justice imposes the additional $500 fine. The additional fine money will be used to maintain the TIP Hotline.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

This Would be a Shooter For Me

How about you?



CLUB PHONE: 724-489-4777

Wednesday Nights - 7:00 PM

First Scoring Night Will Be January 18, 2012

Format Will Be 16 Ends of 3 Arrows On
Vegas 40 cm Vegas” 3-Spot or Single Spot Targets.

Total Possible Score Is 480.

League Is Open to Club Members
And Non-Club Members

Two Hold Scores Must Be Submitted Between December 28, 2011 And January 18, 2011

Must Shoot 10 Scores Over the 11 Week League Duration
To Be Eligible For the Shoot Off
$5.00 League Fee for Each Score Shot (Including Hold Scores)

For More Information, Contact:

Mike Loughman – (412) 370-3510

Directions and Club Information are on our website shown above.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ram Cat Broadheads

A friend of mine uses these broadheads and was very successful this year. I may give these a try next year. What are your thoughts ? Have you used this broadhead ?

Pa Rut

Last night I had the opportunity to go out hunting with my crossbow, before the weather turned cold.  I can't believe how warm it has been, it is November after all.

At about 4 PM the farmer next door to my ground blind decided it was time to cut his field with his John Deer backhoe.  He was approximately 150 yards from my blind and I thought I would not see a single deer.  He finally finished at about 4:40 PM , prime time for the deer to start moving.

10 minutes later I seen the first buck, he was directly in front of me at about 90 yards.  He had his head down and was definitely following a trail of a hot doe.    He never looked up or paid any attention to me .  Unfortunately, he came in to 65 yards then went to my left and up the hill, something I have not seen this year . 

At 5:15 PM the second buck came in identical to the first .  He did the exact same thing.   So much for pattering behavior, the rut is on in Pa and all bets are off. 

Darkness fell and those were the only two deer I seen.  The three  Doe who usually make their trek  through were no where to be found

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Boot follow-Up

If you remember I purchased new boots last week and wanted to do a follow-up review.

I started off wearing the boots for one hour, then I had my feet  inspected for any redness, blisters etc.

My feet looked no worse for wear, so I increased the time to a few hours.  We did see some redness on my ankle, but it should be fine.   

Looking at the temperatures in Missouri I will need good boots. The temperatures range from the low 30s to a high of mid-50s so the insulated boots should protect my feet from the cold rather well.

I'm also taking along insulated boot covers just in case the temperatures drop drastically. Footwear has to be taken seriously when dealing with paralysis or diabetes. A sore can quickly develop and turn serious in a few hours, ending a once in a lifetime hunt.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that 53 of the 57 licensed elk hunters were successful during the 2011 elk seasons.  Of that total, 19 were antlered elk and 34 were antlerless elk. 

“Elk are one of North America’s premier big game animals,” Roe said.  “Pennsylvania is privileged to offer this unique hunting opportunity, a product of successful wildlife management that supports Pennsylvania’s rich hunting heritage.  It’s an unparalleled experience for hunters, without all the travel and expense of a one- or two-week guided elk hunt out West.”

The heaviest antlered elk was taken by William G. Zee, of Doylestown, Bucks County.  He took a 930-pound (estimated live weight), 9x8 on Nov. 1, in Goshen Township, Clearfield County.  It’s unofficial Boone & Crockett green score was 426 and five-eighths inches.  If this score holds up after the required 60-day drying time, it would be ranked second on Pennsylvania’s Big Game Records for non-typical elk.

Other high-scoring antlered elk (all estimated live weights) were: Jesse M. Heiple, of Somerset, Somerset County, took a 772-pound, 8x7 on Nov. 1, in Jay Township, Elk County, which green-scored at 399 and three-eighths inches; Ken Kastely, of Carroll, Ohio, took a 780-pound, 9x9 on Nov. 1, in Covington Township, Clearfield County, which green-scored at 386 and five-eighths inches; and Calvin E. Wallace, of Kylertown, Clearfield County, took a 711-pound, 6x7 on Oct. 31, in Jay Township, Elk County.

The heaviest antlerless elk was taken by Garry L. Foreman, of Hershey, Dauphin County, who harvested a 601-pound (estimated live weight) antlerless elk on Nov. 5, in Jay Township, Elk County. 

Those hunters rounding out the top five heaviest (all estimated live weights) antlerless elk harvested were: Daniel W. Saulter, of Coudersport, Potter County, who took a 594-pound antlerless elk on Nov. 3, in Jay Township, Elk County; Gregory Collins, of Clearfield, Clearfield County, who took a 579-pound antlerless elk on Nov. 2, in Goshen Township, Clearfield County; David Grata, of Johnstown, Cambria County, who took a 546-pound antlerless elk on Nov. 1, in Goshen Township, Clearfield County; and Joshua Brubaker, of Edinboro, Erie County, who took a 517-pound antlerless elk on Oct. 31, in Benezette Township, Elk County.

Agency biologists extracted samples needed for chronic wasting disease testing. Results are expected in early 2012.

Roe also noted that Michael McGinnis, of Lyndhurst, Virginia, who was the successful bidder for the Elk Conservation Tag, harvested an antlered elk.  McGinnis harvested a 7x9 on Oct. 19, in Jay Township, in Elk County.   McGinnis purchased the Conservation Elk Tag during the Safari Club International’s national conference in early 2011, and was able to hunt from Sept. 1-Nov. 5. 

Under the state law that created the Elk Conservation Tag, of the $29,000 that McGinnis bid for the tag, $23,200 will go to the Game Commission’s Game Fund and $5,800 will be retained by Safari Club International.

For more information on elk in Pennsylvania, visit the Game Commission’s website (, put your cursor over “HUNT/TRAP” in the menu bar in the banner, choose “Hunting,” and then click on “Elk” in the listing under “Big Game.”

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sip N Puff Trigger

Saturday afternoon I went shooting with Hayes and Gus from the Western Pennsylvania wounded warrior group . It was a beautiful afternoon, not a cloud in the sky and we were able to sight in my semi automatic Remington .270 using a sip and puff trigger.

I wish I could say I shot extremely well like the old days. But the truth is, my grouping was less than spectacular. Oh well, the rifle is sighted in and I should be good to go for the Missouri deer hunt.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Miss November

Two nights ago I was out hunting and seen two beautiful six-point Bucks.  They were checking a scrape line  and passed 30 yards to my left without realizing I was even there.

So last night I had the idea to use a deer decoy ( Miss November ) and also put out some deer in heat lure.  To persuade the six points to walk in front of me  or possibly the large eight point I had seen previously.

At 5:50 PM a mature Doe and two yearlings came over the hill again to my left , at 50 yards .   They took one look at  Miss November and stopped in their tracks.    They wanted absolutely nothing to do with this decoy and walked behind me.

I'm not sure if the decoy would have the same effect on Bucks, but I'm not going to use it again just in case.   What are your experiences with using deer decoys ?  Do Bucks react better than Doe? 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

PA Game Commission on Facebook and Twitter

I think it's great that the game commission is using the Internet to the best of its ability, it certainly makes it easier for people with disabilities to obtain information quickly and easily.

HARRISBURG – Recognizing the benefit of new communications tools available to reach a broader audience, the Pennsylvania Game Commission today joined social media in a big way by unveiling a Facebook page, as well as destinations on Twitter and YouTube. The Game Commission’s Facebook page is at, and the Twitter account is or @PAGameComm.

The agency has posted videos on YouTube, which can be accessed directly at Most of the Game Commission video postings on YouTube are in high-definition, and nearly all of those are broadcast-quality for use by television news stations.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


HARRISBURG -- Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that the agency is again participating in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves’ “Toys for Tots” program by opening the doors of the Game Commission’s Harrisburg headquarters to serve as a drop-off collection site. 

The Game Commission’s office is at 2001 Elmerton Avenue in Susquehanna Township, just off of Progress Avenue. (For those using mapping devices, the mailing address is Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.)  Donations will be accepted until noon on Friday, Dec. 9, at which time all items will be taken to the USMC’s central collection facility for distribution to area children.

“During the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s more than 100 years, we have been honored to have many men and women who served in the United States armed forces, including the U.S. Marine Corps, as part of our workforce,” Roe said. “It is in their honor that we serve as a collection site for the Toys for Tots program.

“We recognize it is important to share with those in need. And, much like our hunters support programs to help feed their fellow Pennsylvanians through the Hunters Sharing the Harvest, we want to support a program that has been around for 60 years to make sure that disadvantaged children are not forgotten at Christmas time.”  

Roe encouraged hunters who visit the agency’s headquarters to purchase their licenses prior to the bear and deer seasons, or employees in office complexes along Elmerton Avenue, to consider bringing a toy to donate to deserving children.

In addition to serving as a collection point for the program, for the fifth year, Roe announced that the agency was donating stuff black bears to the Toys for Tots program. 

“Each of these 30 stuffed animals has a small tag with a bit of information about our black bears,” Roe said. “The black bear is just one of the 467 species of wild mammals and birds that the Pennsylvania Game Commission is responsible for managing. We hope that these stuffed animals will provide those who receive them some joy this season, as well as help them learn about this important part of Pennsylvania’s wildlife community.”