From the Field

Connecting YOU with Wildlife – Pennsylvania Game Commission


Lessen the Odds of a Bird/Window Collision at Your Home

media10914.jpg

Photo credit: Jacob Dingle. 

“Thud.”

Your stomach sinks and heart races as you approach the window to see what beautiful bird hit it this time. It’s autumn and birds are on the move to warmer climates.

Bird/window collisions are a common occurrence this time of year. Many times the birds will appear stunned, and will fly away. Unfortunately, many of the birds that fly away from window strikes have likely sustained some sort of damage from the collision and may not survive.

If you’re hoping there’s something you can do to help lessen the odds of a bird flying into your window, good news, there is!

The American Bird Conservancy has compiled excellent information on this topic, including strategies to prevent your windows from reflecting the sky and trees. These reflections are what confuses the birds. To them, they see a nice perch in the distance, only to blindly be stopped short by a window pane. “Thud.”

As you enjoy the phenomena of bird migration this fall, check out these science-based solutions to prevent window collisions – many of which were developed by Pennsylvania ornithologists.

Millions of birds pass through Penn’s Woods in spring and fall during migration, including several Species of Greatest Conservation Need identified in Pennsylvania’s Wildlife Action Plan. These birds face many obstacles along their journey. Each of us can make a difference at our own houses to make their trip a bit easier.

-Cathy Haffner, Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Biologist

 

Advertisements


No. 2 – What is a Disease Management Area?

Through the end of deer season, we will be posting a frequently asked question (FAQ) and answer related to chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania in an album on our Facebook page.

We know many of you – hunters, non-hunters, processors, taxidermists and more – have questions about CWD and the effects this disease can cause. We are here as a resource and want to help everyone understand the complexities and details related to CWD in our state.

If you have a specific question related to CWD, email pgccomments@pa.gov.

Here’s the question for week two:

CWD Fact 2

Answer:

Pennsylvania’s Disease Management Areas, or “DMAs,” have been established because at least one CWD-positive animal has been detected in close proximity. Within DMAs, specific regulations and rules apply to reduce the risk of further spreading CWD.

DMAs are established by creating a 10-mile radius buffer around the new CWD positive. In areas where CWD is present and a new CWD-positive animal is detected, no changes are made to the DMA boundary if the 10-mile buffer associated with that animal falls well within the existing DMA.

However, if the new CWD-positive location falls outside or near the existing DMA boundary, an existing DMA might be expanded or a new one created. Currently, Pennsylvania has three active DMAs.

To learn the location of DMAs within the state, please refer to our interactive map.

Click here for more information about CWD.

As a reminder, if you have a specific question related to CWD email it to pgccomments@pa.gov.

You can learn more about DMAs in Pennsylvania here.


2018 Buck Harvest Photo Contest

2018 Harvest Photo Contest.jpg

The Game Commission is now accepting photos for our 2018 Buck Harvest Photo Contest. Photos will be accepted through Dec. 17.

Finalists will be selected in both the archery and firearms categories. Two winners selected by followers of the Game Commission’s Facebook page each will receive a trail camera.

To enter: Email your photo to pgc-contest@pa.gov. Be sure to include the town where the hunter resides and the county and the date in which the deer was taken.

Please note that when you submit a photo, the agency assumes ownership of it and we have your permission to use the photo for our future use.

Visit our website for FULL contest information!

*This contest is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by Facebook. Good luck to all our deer hunters!


No. 1 – What is Chronic Wasting Disease?

Through the end of deer season, we will be posting a frequently asked question (FAQ) and answer related to chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania in an album on our Facebook page.

We know many of you – hunters, non-hunters, processors, taxidermists and more – have questions about CWD and the effects this disease can cause. We are here as a resource and want to help everyone understand the complexities and details related to CWD in our state.

If you have a specific question related to CWD, email pgccomments@pa.gov.

Here’s the question for week one:

CWD Fact 1

Answer:

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an always-fatal neurodegenerative disease of cervids including deer and elk. CWD is a type of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy disease, other TSE diseases include mad cow disease, scrapie, and Cruetzfeldt-Jakob disease.

The causative agent of TSE diseases is an abnormally folded protein or prion. As these prions accumulate in the brain, they begin to cause tissue damage, eventually leading to holes in the brain.

CWD can be transmitted directly (through animal-to-animal contact) or indirectly (through a contaminated environment). CWD prions can be shed through bodily fluids such as saliva, urine, and feces. CWD was first detected in 1967 in a captive deer facility in Colorado. Since then, CWD has spread to 25 states and three Canadian provinces, including Pennsylvania.

Click here for more information.

As a reminder, if you have a specific question related to CWD email it to pgccomments@pa.gov.

 


Hunter-Style Grouse

swoosh

It’s Wild Game Wednesday!

The ruffed grouse has been Pennsylvania’s official state bird since 1931, and its beauty is admired by hunters and non-hunters alike. Grouse are still plentiful in parts of Penn’s Woods, and they can be found throughout much of the northern part of our continent in areas of suitable habitat. Grouse are gallinaceous birds and are related to quail, turkeys, pheasants and ptarmigan. The statewide grouse season opens this Saturday, Oct. 13 and runs through Nov. 24. Good luck to our grouse hunters who plan to be afield this weekend and beyond.

On Wild Game Wednesday, we take a moment to recognize one of the most important reasons people take to the woods and fields to hunt: to fill their freezers with types of fresh, organic meat. These weekly posts include delicious, easy and seasonal wild game recipes from the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Game Cookbook that you and your family can prepare.

Let us know if you try this recipe. Enjoy!

grouse

If you are interested in more wild game recipes, visit www.theoutdoorshop.state.pa.us//FBG/game/GameProductSelect.asp?catid=BKS to purchase the second edition of the cookbook for less than $10!


Sweet and Sour Pheasant

swoosh

It’s Wild Game Wednesday!

We deemed this week “Pheasant Week” to get our pheasant hunters excited for the upcoming season and provide all our followers with some fun pheasant facts. Did you know that nearly a quarter of a million pheasants will be stocked in the field this year? Male pheasants (roosters) will comprise 75 percent of the releases.

If you’re a pheasant hunter, or you are thinking about giving it a try this season, then this week’s recipe is for you to keep in mind. Also, make sure to explore our new interactive 2018 pheasant allocation map to view the more than 200 pheasant stocking locations across Pennsylvania. You might be surprised at how close some of these areas are to you.

On Wild Game Wednesday, we take a moment to recognize one of the most important reasons people take to the woods and fields to hunt: to fill their freezers with types of fresh, organic meat. These weekly posts include delicious, easy and seasonal wild game recipes from the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Game Cookbook that you and your family can prepare.

Doc3

Tag us in your pheasant hunting posts across the state at #pheasanthuntpa! Get your pheasant permit today over at www.pa.wildlifelicense.com. Let us know if you try this recipe. Enjoy!

If you are interested in more wild game recipes, visit www.theoutdoorshop.state.pa.us//FBG/game/GameProductSelect.asp?catid=BKS to purchase the second edition of the cookbook for less than $10!


Wishing Our Bowhunters Safe Days Afield

6

The time has almost come! Pennsylvania’s statewide archery deer seasons begins tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 29.

This exciting day marks the start of a brand new hunting season, where archers will be afield and have the opportunity to make lifelong memories in Penn’s Woods. We wish all of our bowhunters lots of luck while hunting safely throughout the season.

Statewide, properly licensed archers can hunt for antlered or antlerless deer from Sept. 29 through Nov. 12, and again during the late archery deer season, which runs from Dec. 26 through Jan. 12. (The statewide season was moved to end on a Monday this year so it could include the Veterans Day holiday.)

At the time of the statewide opener, archery hunters in three urbanized areas of the state will have had a two-week head start to their seasons. An early season for antlered and antlerless deer in Wildlife Management Units (WMU) 2B, 5C and 5D kicked off on Sept. 15 and ends Nov. 24. Properly licensed bowhunters in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D also may take antlered and antlerless deer during an extended late archery season, which runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 26.

In order to make safety a first priority, archery hunters should…

  • Make sure someone knows where he or she is hunting and when they expect to return home. Perhaps even leave a note or topographic map describing their whereabouts.
  • Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for all equipment and check their equipment before each use.
  • Always carry broadhead-tipped arrows in a protective quiver.
  • Avoid walking with a nocked, broadhead-tipped arrow or bolt. Cocked crossbows should always be pointed in a safe direction.
  • Always keep their index finger away from the trigger when drawing, when using a mechanical release.
  • Keep themselves in good physical condition. Fatigue can impact judgment, coordination and reaction time, as well as accuracy.
  • Carry a whistle to signal a passerby in the event the hunter becomes immobile. Carrying a flashlight, compass, matches and tinder are also essential survival gear items to have.

 

Hunter Safety Awareness Harness Logo RGB

Archery hunters using a tree stand…

  • Should always use a fall-restraint device – preferably a full-body harness – when hunting from a tree stand. The device should be worn from the moment they leave the ground until they return. Don’t climb dead, wet or icy trees. Stay on the ground on blustery days. Remember: Hunt Safely. Wear a Harness.
  • Should use a haul rope to pull gear, including unloaded firearms and bows, to the tree stand from the ground once safely and properly positioned.
  • Should be prepared to self-rescue, should a fall occur. We recommend carrying a screw-in step or a relief strap so hunters can hang comfortably until they are rescued, or so they can rescue themselves.
  • Should practice climbing with his or her tree stand before dawn on the opening day of the season. Consider placing non-slip material on the deck if it’s not already there.
  • Should not sleep! Hunters should return to the ground if they experience fatigue while in the stand to prevent potential injury.

 

Group 1

In order to hunt ethically and legally, archery hunters…

  • May use long, recurve or compound bows, or crossbows. Bows must have a draw weight of at least 35 pounds; crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 125 pounds.
  • May use illuminated nocks for arrows and bolts; however, transmitter-tracking arrows are illegal.
  • Must conspicuously mark tree stands placed on state game lands with a durable identification tag that identifies the stand owner. Tags may include the owner’s name and address, the CID number that’s on their hunting license or a unique identification issued by the Game Commission.
  • May not use tree stands and climbing devices that cause damage to trees and are unlawful to use or occupy unless the user has written permission from a landowner. It is unlawful to build or occupy tree stands screwed or nailed to trees on state game lands, state forests or state parks.
  • Are urged to take only responsible shots at deer to ensure a quick, clean kill. They should take only broadside or quartering away shots at deer within their maximum effective shooting range.

Related Information

The Game Commission encourages hunters to spend as much time as possible afield this fall prior to and during the hunting seasons to pattern deer movements and identify areas where fall foods are abundant. Food availability changes from year to year, and in areas where food is spotty, deer move to find it. Hotspots change from one year to the next, even from early to later weeks of the season, so tracking deer activity and their keying on food sources is important to success.

Click here for information about archery season venison care.

Click here for information about hunting in a Disease Management Area (DMA).

What is a DMA?

To all our archery hunters heading afield on Saturday and beyond, we wish you the best for a successful, safe and fun 2018 archery season!

Group 2