Northcentral Region News
PGC Northcentral Region Office Open Friday, Nov. 29
Pennsylvania Game Commission Northcentral Region Director Dave Mitchell announces the Northcentral Region Office will be open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29, to accommodate persons wishing to purchase a hunting license.
The Game Commission Northcentral Region Office has traditionally been closed for license sales on the Friday after Thanksgiving but will be open this year because the 2019 statewide firearms deer season will start on a Saturday.
“We want to be sure the opportunity is there for sportsmen who want to buy their hunting license at the last minute” Mitchell said.
Normal business hours of the Northcentral Region Office are from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The office is located at 1566 South Rte 44 Hwy, Jersey Shore PA 17740
Public Encouraged to Provide Input on Subject of Wildlife Feeding
Pennsylvania’s wildlife faces a variety of threats. These threats are often related to both natural and human-caused factors. As the agency responsible for managing the state’s wildlife, the Pennsylvania Game Commission must mitigate these threats whenever possible.
Diseases like Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), mange and tuberculous have the potential to significantly affect wildlife populations. Though these diseases do spread naturally, their spread is increased significantly when wildlife is unnaturally concentrated.
When people feed wildlife, they escalate this concentration.
In recent years, the occurrence of both CWD in deer and mange in bears is increasing. The Pennsylvania Game Commission takes the threat of wildlife diseases very seriously and must take appropriate steps to mitigate wildlife diseases and their spread. While this is not an easy problem to solve, it is serious and needs to be addressed.
A citizens advisory committee made up of major stakeholders, assisted Game Commission personnel in looking at the problems associated with wildlife feeding and proposing possible solutions.
Currently, it is illegal to feed bear and elk statewide and it is also illegal to feed deer within a Disease Management Area. With the assistance of the advisory committee, proposed regulations adding deer and turkey to the current feeding ban have been drafted to slow the spread of wildlife diseases.
In a continuing effort to involve the public in this important process, seven public open houses were held in July and August throughout the state to inform the public about the problem, explain proposed solutions and to collect input about those proposed solutions.
For those who were unable to attend one of the open houses,
a link to a video on YouTube has been posted on the Game Commission website giving visitors a tour through the open house displays and offering an opportunity to provide input.
As input is received, it is evaluated on its merit to correct anything that was missed and/or make the plan better. Unfortunately, not all input will work to help solve the problem at hand.
A number of suggestions have been received that would unfortunately, still promote wildlife congregating and would not solve the problem of increased disease transmission. They include:
- Limiting wildlife feeding to particular times of the year.
- Limiting the size of feeders.
- Requiring a better quality of feed.
Several inquiries questioned the difference between planting food plots and artificial wildlife feeding. From a wildlife disease transmission standpoint, there is a difference. Artificial feeding keeps deer and other wildlife concentrated in the same spot with an endless supply of feed, allowing more animal-to- animal contact and more disease transmitting products (urine, feces, mites, etc.) to accumulate. This significantly increases the likelihood of disease spread. On the other hand, food plots have a finite amount of food, available over a shorter period of time and spread wildlife over a larger area. The current proposal does not limit the use of food plots.
In addition, while most advisory committee members also supported banning the use of scents and lures to hunt big game, this current proposal does not limit the use of urine-based attractants.
We understand that banning the feeding of all big game represents a major change, particularly to those who take great personal satisfaction from feeding wildlife. For some, feeding may be their primary means of connecting with Pennsylvania’s wildlife. We want all Pennsylvanians to enjoy and value our great wildlife resources, but we have an increasingly serious problem that we cannot ignore. We believe that it is vitally important for us to work together with the citizens of Pennsylvania to address this very difficult problem.
Please take a moment to view the
video link to learn more about this serious problem and proposed solutions.
You may leave any input regarding this issue at
firstname.lastname@example.org - Subject Line: Wildlife Feeding.
Thank you for your continued interest in wildlife!