2020/21 proposals

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dpms
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2019/12/18 18:35:06 (permalink)

2020/21 proposals

Here there are;
 
But, during a working group meeting in Harrisburg this week, agency biologists provided an “initial overview and preview” of what changes they’re seeking. That includes where they plan to include the three Sundays available to hunters.

Some hunters and trappers are sure to like the proposals, other not so much, based on previous comments.

Here’s a look at what’s under discussion.

White-tailed deer
Biologists want to return to the past and open the two-week firearms deer season to concurrent buck and doe hunting statewide.

This year, hunters outside of special regulations areas were limited to shooting only bucks during the first six days of the rifle deer season. Doe hunting was legal the last seven days.

Biologists want to make it so hunters with the right tag can shoot a buck or doe any time in what will be a 14-day season. It would start the Saturday after Thanksgiving and include that Sunday.

That’s not to drive deer populations down, said Ian Gregg, chief of the commission’s game management division.

“You hear very commonly, from people who want more deer and from people who want less deer, that concurrent, longer seasons is automatically going to mean a lower deer population. But that doesn’t necessarily go together,” Gregg said.

“What really controls deer harvest and future population is the antlerless allocation.”

Biologists examine forest and deer health and deer-human conflicts in every wildlife management unit, Gregg said. They recommend increasing, decreasing or maintaining stable deer populations accordingly.

With split seasons, that requires lots of doe tags, he said. With concurrent seasons it would take less.

The commission can reach its deer management goals either way, he noted.

The benefit of concurrent seasons might be more social, it seems.

Board president Tim Layton of Somerset County pointed out that wildlife agencies all around the country – the commission included – are suffering from declining license sales. That’s a long term trend that goes beyond deer numbers.

As a result, those agencies are almost singularly focused these days on recruiting and retaining hunters.

Moving opening day of deer season to a Saturday attracted some, Layton noted. Many, he added, were people who would not have bought a license or hunted otherwise because of time and travel constraints.

He believes concurrent seasons might build on that momentum.

That’s because the one complaint most commonly heard about the Saturday opener was from people who had just that day to hunt, he said. They spoke of having to let “doe after doe after doe” walk by.

Layton said allowing them to kill a doe they have a tag for then as opposed to later just makes sense, he argued.

“I think we would just attract more people on that opening weekend,” Layton said.

Commissioner Scott Foradora of Clearfield County agreed. College students in particular, he noted, can buy a doe tag. But few really get an opportunity to use it because they’re back in school by the time doe season opens.

So if concurrent seasons are really about when someone can shoot a deer rather than how many they can shoot, he said he’s OK with that.

But commissioner Brian Hoover of Chester County isn’t. He’s a proponent of split seasons, he said, in part because it allows – or even forces – hunters to return to the woods on a second weekend.

That supports local economies, he added.

He also warned board members that cutting the number of doe tags to accommodate longer seasons will have consequences.

“So the complaint will be we reduced the allocation and less people are going to get doe licenses,” Hoover said.

Black bears
Biologists are proposing two changes to black bear hunting.

First, they want to tweak the statewide firearms season.

This year, it opened on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and ran the following Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Next year, biologists want to open it on that Saturday, then continue it on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Second, they want to move up the timing of the statewide archery bear season.

This year, the state had a week of muzzleloader bear hunting. On the last three days of that week, junior and senior hunters could also kill a bear with a rifle.

That was all followed by two weeks of archery bear hunting.

For next year, they want to have one week of bear hunting open to muzzleloaders and archers, with the last three days open to juniors and seniors carrying rifles. A second week of archery-only hunting would follow.

Turkeys
Two changes are also proposed to turkey hunting.

First, if commissioners agree to remove the Wednesday before Thanksgiving from bear season, biologists want to give that day back to fall turkey hunters.

That would provide a three-day – Wednesday through Friday – Thanksgiving season in many units, Gregg said.

Second, biologists want to shorten the fall turkey season in wildlife management units 4C and 4E from two weeks plus two days of Thanksgiving hunting to one week and three days of Thanksgiving hunting. That, Gregg said, is to protect shrinking flocks.

Squirrels
When it comes to squirrels, biologists are suggesting moving the start of the youth-only squirrel season up to mid-September, and the statewide season up to late September. That’s about three weeks earlier than the norm in both cases.

“Basically, this just provides additional harvest opportunity for a species that can sustain that harvest at a time when there are not a lot of other hunting seasons open,” Gregg said. “It could help with hunter recruitment and retention.”

It would also bring Pennsylvania closer into line with nearby states.

New York and Ohio opened their statewide squirrel seasons on Sept. 1 this year, while Maryland did so on Sept. 7 and West Virginia and Delaware on Sept. 14. New Jersey’s squirrel season opened Sept. 28.

Pheasants
This year, hunters can shoot male and female pheasants in all wildlife management units statewide except two, 4E and 5A.

Each of those is home to a wild pheasant recovery area.

Going forward, biologists want to allow hunters to harvest hen pheasants in those units, as well.

That wouldn’t apply to the pheasant recovery areas, Gregg said. But it would create uniformity and increase opportunity otherwise, he noted.

Furbearers
Biologists are proposing a couple of changes here.

First, biologists want to open three management units in northwestern Pennsylvania – 1A, 1B and 2F – to a conservative one-week otter trapping season.

“That’s an opportunity that’s been desired in that part of the state for a long time. And it looks like the population can support it,” Gregg said.

Biologists might also recommend extending the otter trapping season in two units in the northeast, 3C and 3D, to two weeks. But they won’t make that decision until after the current season, set for February, ends, he added.

They are also proposing increasing the season limit on beavers in units 1A and 1B from 40 to 60. That wouldn’t make a huge different, Gregg said, as few trappers reach the lower mark now.

But it might help address nuisance beaver complaints in some areas.

Another change biologists are suggesting is opening management unit 2B, which surrounds Pittsburgh, to bobcat trapping and hunting.

Elk
For nine years the commission has offered and extended elk hunting season. Hunters who didn’t fill their tag in the regular season could hunt the following week and kill an elk if they found one outside the traditional elk range.

Never once has anyone done so.

As a result, biologists want to eliminate the season altogether, as it serves no biological or recreational purpose, Gregg said.

Archery deer
And finally, the commission has the opportunity to add one Sunday to the statewide archery deer season.

There’s no real good biological data pointing to any one particular Sunday over another, Gregg said. So staff is recommending tacking on Nov. 15 next year. That would extend the season one day longer than normal.

Gregg promised all of these possible changes will be explained in greater detail at the commission’s January meeting. The biologists responsible for each species will make their cases to the board then.

MORE FROM EVERYBODY ADVENTURES
Check this out now: Late season squirrel hunting tips for the winter sportsman

And coming soon: Changes to Pennsylvania’s system of checking bears may be coming.

My rifle is a black rifle
#1

18 Replies Related Threads

    dpms
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    Re: 2020/21 proposals 2019/12/18 18:38:05 (permalink)
    2 week concurrent deer starting on Saturday with the first Sunday included. 
    Sunday included in bear rifle.
    Sunday added onto end of general archery season. 

    My rifle is a black rifle
    #2
    Moses Guthrie
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    Re: 2020/21 proposals 2019/12/18 19:24:12 (permalink)
    I am all for the concurrent seasons. Should help deer movement in the areas I hunt. Currently the 1st Saturday seems to be the day when the shooting and deer numbers seen really get going.
    #3
    CAPTAIN HOOK
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    Re: 2020/21 proposals 2019/12/18 19:39:17 (permalink)
    Biologists want to return to the past ! Imagine that !
     
    Finally someone is thinking with common sense ....it's a good move on this.
     
    Next ....toss out the AR's ....posted land is working fine on aging deer .   
     
    Thanks for the updated posts .
    #4
    BeenThereDoneThat.
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    Re: 2020/21 proposals 2019/12/18 20:46:12 (permalink)
    Go back to the past as in drop the ARs & HRs.

    Sounds to me, the biologist are using the doe as candy, to hush an irate hunting community.

    But that's just me. 🙉
    post edited by BeenThereDoneThat. - 2019/12/18 20:47:52

    Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a life time. ~Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie (1837–1919)~
     
     
     
      Old fisherman never die; we just smell that way. 
     
    #5
    thunderpole
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    Re: 2020/21 proposals 2019/12/18 22:49:54 (permalink)
    +1 for otter trapping there everywhere, eating up all those stocked trout

    I'd rather be lucky then good,but im to good to be lucky
    #6
    psu_fish
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    Re: 2020/21 proposals 2019/12/19 08:22:26 (permalink)
    How can we take in even more money? 14 days of brown and down!!
    #7
    holly107
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    Re: 2020/21 proposals 2019/12/23 07:01:10 (permalink)
    another bonehead move keep it up and there goes deer hunting period. people that hunt private land is one thing but public ground will be cleaned completely out. say what you will that's fine but the herd cant take much more trimming.
    #8
    dpms
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    Re: 2020/21 proposals 2019/12/24 08:23:52 (permalink)
    I do feel for those that primarily hunt public land, especially close to population centers. Two weeks concurrent will certainly impact these areas. I do know some folks that do extremely well on public land though. 

    My rifle is a black rifle
    #9
    CAPTAIN HOOK
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    Re: 2020/21 proposals 2019/12/26 14:32:14 (permalink)
    With the PGC you never know what's going to change year to year ...but there will be change ....that you can count on !
     
    What do you mean no deer ? I seen 6 today dead on the roads .... cars get more than hunters now days !
    #10
    Big Tuna
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    Re: 2020/21 proposals 2019/12/26 23:58:47 (permalink)
    Do they change rules every year because they don't exactly know what they're doing......or to bust people that don't keep up with the ever changing rules....
    #11
    dpms
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    Re: 2020/21 proposals 2019/12/27 07:49:35 (permalink)
    Big Tuna
    Do they change rules every year because they don't exactly know what they're doing......or to bust people that don't keep up with the ever changing rules....



     
    The bear regulations this year were insane. They need to wipe the slate clean on some things and start over. Bear being one of them. 

    My rifle is a black rifle
    #12
    DarDys
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    Re: 2020/21 proposals 2019/12/27 08:59:09 (permalink)
    Concurrent seasons won’t change anything in my area. The CWD permits have had concurrent seasons for years.

    The poster formally known as Duncsdad

    Everything I say can be fully substantiated by my own opinion.
    #13
    CAPTAIN HOOK
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    Re: 2020/21 proposals 2019/12/27 15:13:37 (permalink)
    I do remember the first year ever it was buck or doe on opening day ...no AR's were in place yet either .....I do believe I heard 1100 shots that day !  Can't remember the exact year ?  Big T  will probably know or dpms . 
     
    Remember back when rifle buck opener was almost a state holiday  ! Everything was shut down, schools , businesses , people taking off work ,  and cars were heading to the hills by the droves ...that was the good old deer hunting days ....now it comes in with a whimper . 
     
    People from out of state were totally amazed ! 
     

     
     
    #14
    CAPTAIN HOOK
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    Re: 2020/21 proposals 2019/12/27 15:50:54 (permalink)
    Welcome to 2020

     
    I'm surprised they allow reading !  ....it is what it is ...thanks to idiots that ruin it for others more of these are seen everyday ....kind of sad for future outdoor kids when one looks back how open hunting and things were years ago for a lot of us. I like to see more ask permission signs instead of these.....might keep some kids interested in outdoor activity and out of trouble. 
     
    Now it's I phones , computers , video games , vaporing & drugs .
    #15
    Big Tuna
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    Re: 2020/21 proposals 2019/12/27 17:20:21 (permalink)
    2001.....war zone.... I couldn't count shots....I was two busy hiding behind trees....looked at my diary.....got a 8 pt  15" spread and 2 mature does....
    #16
    Panfisher
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    Re: 2020/21 proposals 2020/01/03 10:22:39 (permalink)
    14 days of buck/doe season will wipe out the herd in my area.   I hunt in 2C which is CWD area.  They also sell a lot of DMAP permits besides the regular allotment of doe tags.  All the public land will get shot off.  Most private property owners around here will not let you hunt their land.  They want it for themselves.  People have asked for permission to no avail.  One guy I know his parents won't let even him hunt their land.  
     
    With less deer a lot more hunters will give it up.  Maybe I will be one of them.

    The only thing better than 1 day of fishing is 2 days of fishing.
    #17
    Panfisher
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    Re: 2020/21 proposals 2020/01/03 10:24:14 (permalink)
    CAPTAIN HOOK
    I do remember the first year ever it was buck or doe on opening day ...no AR's were in place yet either .....I do believe I heard 1100 shots that day !  Can't remember the exact year ?  Big T  will probably know or dpms . 
     
    Remember back when rifle buck opener was almost a state holiday  ! Everything was shut down, schools , businesses , people taking off work ,  and cars were heading to the hills by the droves ...that was the good old deer hunting days ....now it comes in with a whimper . 
     
    People from out of state were totally amazed ! 
     

     
     




    +1

    The only thing better than 1 day of fishing is 2 days of fishing.
    #18
    Panfisher
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    Re: 2020/21 proposals 2020/01/03 10:28:03 (permalink)
    Moses Guthrie
    I am all for the concurrent seasons. Should help deer movement in the areas I hunt. Currently the 1st Saturday seems to be the day when the shooting and deer numbers seen really get going.

    Will help to wipe out the deer herd in my neck of the woods.

    The only thing better than 1 day of fishing is 2 days of fishing.
    #19
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