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Release #5-20
Jason R. AmoryOctober 20, 2020
Information & Education SupervisorFor Immediate Release
 EPIZOOTIC HEMORRHAGIC DISEASE OUTBREAK NEAR STATE GAME LANDS 214 CREATES LOCALIZED DEER MORTALITY EVENT

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has received many reports from its food and cover crews, State Game Wardens and the public that multiple deer have been found dead.  This mortality event is only occurring in a localized area in and around State Game Lands 214.  The disease, confirmed by testing, has been revealed to be Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD).     

Furthermore, the Game Commission would like to make certain the public is aware that EHD should not be confused with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).  CWD is always fatal to deer, is spread from deer to deer and is much more serious in its potential scope.  CWD has not been detected in areas of the Commonwealth outside of the established Disease Management Areas (DMAs). 

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease is transmitted by a biting midge that frequently will become an issue around bodies of water that have receded due to extended periods of drought.  A recent mortality event in the same area was last observed back in 2012.  Deer become symptomatic of EHD within 2 to 7 days of exposure and normally succumb to the disease within 36 hours of becoming symptomatic.  The disease causes fever and hemorrhage of many of the internal organs of an affected deer, which causes the deer to seek water.  In an event such as this, many deer will be found near streams or bodies of water.

Unfortunately, there is no treatment or known prevention for EHD that has practical applications for wild deer populations.  Hunters may notice that in affected areas, deer populations will be noticeably reduced.  However, the Game Commission wants to inform the public that many deer have succumbed to the disease in a small area, but the disease does not have far reaching affects for the overall deer population.  The effects of EHD and will end immediately after a first hard frost.  Although the Game Commission is aware that this event may be alarming to the residents and hunters in the affected area, the population in the affected area has proved resilient in the past and will rebound quickly.

Additional resources about EHD and many other wildlife diseases may be found by visiting the Game Commission's public website at the following link: https://www.pgc.pa.gov/Wildlife/WildlifeRelatedDiseases/Pages/EpizooticHemorrhagicDisease.aspx

 


 

 

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Release #4-20
Jason R. Amory August 7, 2020
Information & Education SupervisorFor Immediate Release

   

 Barn Owls Have Nested In The Northwest Region!
 A pair of Barn Owls With Four Young Nestlings Has Been Confirmed.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has successfully located a pair of nesting barn owls for the first time in recent memory. The owls, the first on record since 1989, came to the attention of our staff when an owlet was reported in distress, on the ground near its nest site. The owlet was taken in by Carol Holmgren of Tamarack Wildlife Rehab Center, where it was evaluated, given appropriate care and later reintroduced to its parents.

Game Commission staff members consisting of Regional Biologist Supervisor Roger Coup, Regional Biologists Stacy Wolbert and Timothy Hoppe and Tamarack’s Holmgren placed the owlet in a nesting box structure. The structure was placed next to the existing nest. Three siblings of the reintroduced owlet were observed at the time of reintroduction for a total of four young owlets.

Northwest Region Director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Richard T. Cramer, was very pleased to learn of this successful milestone for the Region. “I would like to commend Carol Holmgren of Tamarack Center and all Game Commission staff members involved. I would also request that any member of the public with knowledge of barn owls please give our staff a call”. To report barn owl information call the Northwest Region Office at 814-432-3187 or Regional Wildlife Diversity Biologist Stacy Wolbert at 814-226-4348.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission Regional Wildlife Diversity Biologists developed the Barn Owl Conservation Initiative in 2006 with the goal of securing the species’ future in the Commonwealth. Through this ongoing effort, the agency is compiling information on where barn owls currently exist, including nest sites and incidental occurrences.

When new occurrences are reported, we provide landowners information on how they can help with barn owl conservation by providing secure nesting locations and maintaining appropriate foraging habitat. This valuable information on where barn owls currently exist, allows us to monitor their success and may include banding, providing secure supplemental nesting structures and maintaining appropriate foraging habitat.

The Barn Owl Conservation Initiative has had a positive impact on the ability of barn owls to successfully nest and expand into new areas, such as the Northwest Region. More information about the PGC Barn Owl Conservation Initiative may be obtained by visiting the Pennsylvania Game Commission website: https://www.pgc.pa.gov/InformationResources/GetInvolved/LandownerPrograms/Pages/default.aspx


Contact InformationRelease Details
For Information Contact:Release #3-20
Jason R. AmoryAugust 10, 2020
Information & Education SupervisorFor Immediate Release
 Jacob Olexsak promoted to Conservation Administration Supervisor
 Butler County Game Warden Promoted To CAS

FRANKLIN – Norwest Region Director Richard T. Cramer is honored to announce the promotion of State Game Warden Jacob Olexsak, Butler, Pennsylvania, to the position of Conservation Administration Supervisor, where he will be supervising the Game Wardens in multiple counties in addition to performing several important administrative functions.

Olexsak was a graduate of the 28th class of Game Wardens from the Game Commission’s Ross Leffler School of Conservation in 2010. Upon graduation, he was assigned to Western Crawford County, which includes the Pymatuning Wildlife Management Area. In his time as a field officer, Olexsak excelled, winning the Northeast Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs Association Officer of the Year Award in 2016 and the Kalbfus Berrier award in 2019. In 2018 he accepted a transfer to his home district in Butler County.

As the Conservation Administration Supervisor, Olexsak will be responsible for overseeing the Northwest Region Budget, maintaining the vehicle fleet of the Agency, supervising the dispatch center and providing multiple other administrative tasks.

Warden Olexsak is a graduate of Butler High School and a graduate of Butler County Community College where he obtained an Associate Degree in Parks and Recreation Management.

Northwest Region Director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Richard T. Cramer stated that he is “happy to have Jacob as a part of the management team within the Region”. “Jacob was an outstanding officer in the field, and he will no doubt bring that same level of hard work and dedication to the office”.


Contact InformationRelease Details
For Information Contact:Release #2-20
Jason R. AmoryAugust 10, 2020
Information & Education SupervisorFor Immediate Release
 Jason Amory Promoted To Information And Education Supervisor
 Crawford County Game Warden Promoted To Information And Education Supervisor

FRANKLIN – Northwest Region Director Richard T. Cramer is honored to announce the promotion of State Game Warden Jason R. Amory of Meadville, Pennsylvania, to the position of Information and Education Supervisor. Amory will be supervising the State Game Wardens in multiple counties as well as the Hunter-Trapper Education Program and the Information/public relations needs within the Northwest Region.

Amory was a graduate of the 29th class of Game Wardens from the Game Commission’s Ross Leffler School of Conservation in 2013. Upon graduation, he was assigned to Warren County. Amory later transferred to Venango County and then accepted a transfer to his home district in central Crawford County in 2019.

While in the field, Amory excelled, winning the Northeast Conservation Law Enforcement Chief’s Association officer of the year award in 2019 and the Kalbfus Berrier award the same year.

As the Information and Education Supervisor, IES Amory will be responsible for maintaining Legislative contacts and will serve the public as the informational officer for all press and public relations related matters within the 10 Counties of the Northwest Region.

Warden Amory is a 1993 graduate of Cambridge Springs Junior Senior High School and a 1998 graduate of Gannon University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a concentration in Political Science and Public Administration.

Northwest Region Director Richard T. Cramer stated that “Jason will make a great addition to our management team”. “He was an outstanding officer in the field, and I am sure that he will bring that same level of hard work and enthusiasm to the office”.


Contact InformationRelease Details
For Information Contact:Release #1-20
Chip BrunstMarch 26, 2020
Information & Education SupervisorFor Immediate Release
 Poaching is still illegal!
 Shooting a deer now is poaching.

How many times have you heard it said, “If someone really needs the meat, they could just go shoot a deer”? Or, “As long as it doesn’t go to waste, it’s not poaching”?

These are both phrases we hear to justify someone who has broken the law and does not want to feel guilty about it. Nor does this person want anyone to think of them as a bad person. No matter how you look at it though, shooting game or wildlife out of season is unlawful. This is often referred to as poaching.

According to Title 1 Pa. Consolidated Statues, all wildlife in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania belongs to the citizens of the Commonwealth. Because of this, every time someone poaches a deer, turkey, rabbit or any other wildlife, they are stealing from every Pennsylvanian. The only people who may possess game or wildlife are those that have a permit to do so. This usually is accomplished by buying a hunting license and through lawful hunting.

Northwest Region Director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Richard T. Cramer, would like to remind folks that even in these current times with economic conditions brought on by COVID-19, it remains ILLEGAL to shoot game or wildlife contrary to state laws, seasons and bag limits. Our game wardens remain on duty; ready to respond to all incidents including game-law infractions, which will be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is also here to help. The Agricultural Deer Control Permit, also called the Red Tag Permit, is available to licensed hunters and will allow the hunter to harvest an antlerless deer on enrolled properties from February 1st to September 25th. Obtain a list of these enrolled properties by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Pennsylvania Game Commission Northwest Region Office at 1509 Pittsburgh Road, Franklin PA 16323. Any person who would like to receive lawful deer meat may call our Northwest Region Office in Franklin to be placed on our list. Also, if you see a violation, such as poaching, you should report it by calling the same Northwest Region Office in Franklin at 814-432-3187