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#1682117 - Thu Mar 18 2010 10:20 PM Re: Additional Spring Turkey for PA Hunters! [Re: Don Heckman]
Don Heckman Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: Mon Dec 10 2001
Posts: 1611
Loc: Camp Hill, Pa
2010- 2013 Fall Turkey Seasons

Three Week - Four Saturday Fall Turkey Season Opening & Closing Dates

PA Chapter Board of Director's Meeting, March 7, 2010


PA Chapter of the NWTF supports the Saturday Fall Turkey Season in Wildlife Management Units with three week seasons per the following schedule to protect the integrity of the Hen Harvest Rate Study and Crossover Design.


Year
WMUs
Start Date
End Date

2010
2B, 2F, 2G,3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C, 4E
10/30/2010
11/20/2010

2011
2B, 2F, 2G,3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C, 4E
10/29/2011
11/19/2011

2012
2C, 2E, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D,4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E
11/03/2012
11/24/2012

2013
2C, 2E, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D,4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E
11/02/2013
11/23/2013

.

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#1713083 - Sun Apr 11 2010 08:23 PM Re: Additional Spring Turkey for PA Hunters! [Re: Don Heckman]
Don Heckman Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: Mon Dec 10 2001
Posts: 1611
Loc: Camp Hill, Pa
PGC Proposed Regulation Change Information

Pennsylvania Game Commissioners January 2010 proposal regarding Bear Season opening date and Fall Turkey Season closing date. The proposal would change the opening date of the firearm black bear season to Saturday instead of the traditional Monday opener and would close the fall turkey hunting season on Friday in Wildlife Management Units with three week fall turkey seasons. Pennsylvania Chapter Board of Directors discussed the proposal and its impact on turkey hunters and just as importantly on the new research project on hen survival and fall harvest rates. The Board determined that the proposal was not in the best interest of the wild turkey resource, turkey hunters or the black bear resource. The Board also reviewed other options and turkey hunting season dates suggested by the commissioners and decided that the current season structure was the best approach.

The PANWTF Board of Directors is providing you with the following information to be included in letters and emails to the Pennsylvania Game Commission and individual commissioners in opposition to the proposal. We urge you to contact the commissioners to let them know that your chapter or you as an individual do not support the proposal to reduce turkey hunting opportunity.

The Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation supports the Saturday closing day of fall turkey seasons in all Wildlife Management Units with three week fall seasons to protect the integrity of the Hen Harvest Rate Study and the Crossover Design. For clarity, the chapter listed the WMUs affected for the 2010 and 2011 seasons as 2B, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C and 4E and the closing dates of 11/20/2010 and 11/19/2011. Following the changes in season length required by the study design, the board supports a three week season with Saturday closing dates for 2012 and 2013 in WMUs 2B, 2C, 2E, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E with closing dates of 11/24/12 and 11/23/13.

Some of the most important reasons for the decision on the chapter position to maintain Saturday as the closing day for WMUs with three week seasons were:

• The impact of the loss of an important day of hunting opportunity for a large number of turkey hunters (183,000 hunters, of whom a large number hunt that last day)
• Our belief that fall turkey hunting has greater potential to recruit and maintain young hunters than bear hunting
• The current season structure and proposals for 2010-3013 outlined by the Bureau of Wildlife Management at the January meeting follow the guidelines for recommending fall turkey seasons set forth in the Management Plan for Wild Turkeys in Pennsylvania and the commission proposal does not
• The PGC wild turkey management plan recommends against coincidental season dates for wild turkey hunting and other hunting seasons out of concern for increased incidental harvest of this important game bird by hunters not actually hunting wild turkeys
• Coincidental bear and turkey hunting seasons would require extensive revision of the regulations on wearing and displaying orange
• There has been only one season in recent history in which bear and turkey seasons were open together (1966) and it is not in the best interest of either type of hunting to have that happen again
• The recent initiation of the fall harvest rate and hen survival study, a study called for in the Management Plan for Wild Turkeys in Pennsylvania since 1999
• From 9-14% of the fall harvest occurs on the last Saturday in three week WMUs so eliminating the last Saturday could change the harvest substantially
• 20 to 33% of the total fall harvest in three week WMUs occurs in the final week with nearly half of that harvest taking place on Saturday. Eliminating the Saturday could impact the last week harvest reducing the ability of the study design to detect differences in harvest rates between the two types of seasons
• The potential for the elimination of Saturday to compromise the objectives of the $3 million study of fall harvest rates and hen survival (the study is designed to evaluate the role of season length in affecting survival and harvest rates)
• The reduced ability to accurately assess the impact of fall season length on fall harvest rates (sample sizes for the study were designed specifically to examine harvest rates in traditional seasons structured as they have been since 1981 with season lengths of 13 or 19 days)
• Should the study design be compromised, the ability of the Game Commission to provide additional fall turkey hunting opportunity could be impacted affecting hunter recruitment and retention potential in the future
• Concern for the implications of this proposed change on the ability of the Game Commission to properly manage bear populations and continue to provide maximum recreational opportunity to bear hunters

.


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#1713088 - Sun Apr 11 2010 08:26 PM Re: Additional Spring Turkey for PA Hunters! [Re: Don Heckman]
Don Heckman Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: Mon Dec 10 2001
Posts: 1611
Loc: Camp Hill, Pa
My comments are from DON HECKMAN AND DO NOT REFLECT OR MAY NOT PERFECTLY ALIGN WITH PA CHAPTER NWTF POSITION STATEMENT AND SUPPORT STATEMENTS. I submitted my comments to PGC Commissioners and Executive Staff.

I personally believe the PGC Fall Turkey Hunting Season, 3 week, 4 Saturday’s, across existing Wildlife Management Units are the best management criteria for state-wide wild turkey resource, population densities, fall harvest densities, and regulations for fall turkey hunters.

Proposed rule making change for Fall Turkey Season to end on Friday, November 19, 2010 and early Bear season starting on Saturday, November 20, 2010 goes against the new PGC first ever 4 year Hen Harvest Rate Study and Executive Summary that started this winter, and the PGC Management Plan For Wild Turkeys In Pennsylvania and the Executive Summary. I do not support giving up any Saturday of Fall turkey hunting season, or any overlapping bear hunting season with fall turkey hunting season, or turkey hunting season expansion to Thanksgiving Day, or the following Friday and Saturday.

In Section IV, PGC Management Plan For Wild Turkeys In Pennsylvania, Wild Turkey Population Management, Harvest Management – Fall Turkey Hunting Season, Decision Making Guidelines for Recommending Fall Turkey Hunting Seasons, and Harvest Rates document wild turkey management principles that need to be followed as written.

Any possibility of overlapping big game hunting seasons with Fall Turkey Hunting Season, except for Archery Deer or Archery Bear, would hinder and possibly curtail or cause for discontinuance of scheduled wild turkey research studies and future research proposals needed to continue wild turkey management as documented and supported in the PGC Management Plan For Wild Turkeys In Pennsylvania.

Overlapping with other big game seasons such as regular Bear Season or regular Deer Season would require Turkey Hunters to obey and lawfully use the mandatory 250 sq in requirement for Fluorescent Orange regulation and be aware of and remember other big game season Arms and Ammunition Regulations during those overlapping hunting days.

Recent history of Fall Turkey Hunting Seasons, 1960-2009, include years 1960-1976 for overlapping Bear Season dates and Thanksgiving Day, weekend, turkey hunting dates. Since 1977 there have not been any overlapping dates with Bear Season or a later Thanksgiving Day or weekend Fall Turkey hunting dates.

Severe winters in 1977-1978 and low recruitment the following springs led to a two week fall turkey season in 1979. Turkey Management Areas as proposed by Turkey Biologist Jerry Wunz were instituted starting in 1982. The modern era of wild turkey management and Fall Turkey Hunting Season dates using PGC Turkey Management Areas rather than a state-wide fall turkey seasons begin with 3 fall turkey hunting season turkey management areas. Over the years they were increased to 5 TMAs, then 9 TMAs, then 12 TMAs, and are part of today’s PGC Wildlife Management Units.

Do fall season turkey hunters want to lose the 4th Saturday in those 3 week 4 Saturday WMUs open to fall turkey hunting? This question and the integrity of the PGC Hen Harvest Rate Study and Cross-over WMU management design will be decided on the answer to this question. Maintaining the 3 week, 4th Saturday in WMUs open to fall turkey hunting will continue to provide additional fall turkey hunting opportunities for turkey hunters without possible changes being regulated on those turkey hunters because the wild turkey management plan is not followed in determining decision making guidelines for recommending Fall Turkey Hunting Seasons.

Don Heckman,
Dedicate Wild Turkey Management Enthusiast for 35 years
Passionate Pennsylvania Turkey Hunter for 38 years
.

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#1718841 - Fri Apr 16 2010 10:51 AM Re: Additional Spring Turkey for PA Hunters! [Re: Don Heckman]
gobbler33 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: Fri Jan 04 2002
Posts: 530
Loc: northcentral pa
Don, what is the deal with the PANWTF site? it hasn't been updated in over a year, no new news, missing issues of Turkey Talk, no recent commentary, it just looks abandoned.

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#1727358 - Fri Apr 23 2010 08:31 AM Re: Additional Spring Turkey for PA Hunters! [Re: gobbler33]
Don Heckman Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: Mon Dec 10 2001
Posts: 1611
Loc: Camp Hill, Pa
From Turkey Hunting Forum new topic All Day Spring...
In general, my reply to everyone posting thus far and for those that will on this Spring and Fall Turkey Hunting Season regulation changes...

I would have liked consideration for those last two weeks of spring gobbler season plus a couple extra days till May 31 ending time to be two hours before sunset, instead of one hour after sunset, for at least 3 years from the start year. Based on your comments above not too hard to figure out my reasoning and comment, and from hunting many other states with all day spring season hunting. With numbers of hunt able wild turkeys state-wide, hunt able habitat, public vs private land hunting, and turkey hunter numbers being foremost decision makers.

And heck in Pennsylvania the best that has ever been done to date is a seasonal estimate of turkey hunter numbers, after many states now have a turkey hunting license to pin point the license sales and develop a history of turkey hunter numbers. Pennsylvania still remains behind the times when actual number of licenses sold spring and fall. The reality is accurate counts for turkey hunter numbers are more inportant now in 2010 than they were in the 1960's-1980's. Using accurate turkey hunter license numbers, spring and fall, for data collection will benefit wild turkey population modeling and wild turkey management decision. Without those accurate turkey hunter license numbers PGC continues to be in a spin zone while trying to determine state-wide turkey hunter densities, a missing link in the wild turkey population modeling program.

Likewise staggered fall turkey hunting season start dates, and 3 extra days at end of Thanksgiving weekend. And just as important the expected issue status with the integrity and data collection for the first time in PGC history the 4 year Hen Harvest Rate Study that just got under way this past 2010 winter.

Huge mistakes made IMHO after 75 years of almost mistake free wild turkey management programs and guidelines for regional based reintroduction, completed state-wide restoration program, and now into sustain and enhance at or below social carrying capacity, {{and in my words: maintain and growth criteria at or below habitat carrying capacity}}.

However I do recognize a couple minor mistakes in wild turkey management that were successfully corrected by knowledgeable wild turkey biologists in the 1960’s-1970’s, and 1980’s-1990’s, during reintroduction and restoration periods and programs. But those days I thought were over, the experiment days are over, the personal agendas were over, social based decision making was finally over, habitat carrying capacity should be the rule of thumb with sound scientific wildlife – wild turkey – management planning and principles as baseline “resource first” decision making foremost at wildlife biologists, executive staff, and commissioner levels.

These current decisions at this time for fall turkey hunting seasons IMHO have definite possibility of setting wild turkey management back 10-15 years if not corrected soon. After these past 50-75 years of developing an exception state-wide wild turkey population and additional hunting opportunities based on science based wildlife - wild turkey - management principles and now the PGC Management Plan For Wild Turkeys In Pennsylvania, and not based on personal, social based, agendas.

Getting from 3,000-5,000 population in the early 1900's to 100,000 in the 1950's was rather easy so to speak, a lot of trial and error, and a lot of program corrections and trying new innovative ideas. Getting from 100,000 state wide population to 200,000 in the early 1990's was a little more challenging. Getting from the 200,000's to 400,000 in 2001 was difficult, but over the years wild turkey biologists got it right by following a proven controlled, documented management plan. How does PGC manage state-wide wild turkey populations to reach and sustain 450,000 sustainable 3 year population?

I personally wonder what/how the next revised PGC Management Plan For Wild Turkeys In Pennsylvania will be written for Section I: Management Goal, Objectives, and Strategies; for Section II: Background; Section III: Wild Turkey Habitat; Section IV: Wild Turkey Populations; Section V: Recreational Significance and Public Interest?

I also personally would wish PGC Bureau Of Wildlife Management fall turkey hunting season criteria and comments, data collected supporting these fall season changes, management indices being referenced to support these changes, and recommendations and support reasons on spring and fall turkey hunting season proposed rule making and final rule adoptions be made public knowledge.

Don...
.

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#1727792 - Fri Apr 23 2010 05:23 PM Re: Additional Spring Turkey for PA Hunters! [Re: Don Heckman]
Don Heckman Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: Mon Dec 10 2001
Posts: 1611
Loc: Camp Hill, Pa
From Turkey Hunting Forum, Jayson...

Don, that is the best most factual answer I've read so far and couldn't agree anymore, you hit the nail on the head...

_________________________
Jayson Wilt
Foiles Migrators Prostaff
Hevishot Prostaff
Rigem Right Prostaff

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#1727793 - Fri Apr 23 2010 05:24 PM Re: Additional Spring Turkey for PA Hunters! [Re: Don Heckman]
Don Heckman Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: Mon Dec 10 2001
Posts: 1611
Loc: Camp Hill, Pa
Jayson... I've been doing and saying this wild turkey management, turkey hunting, habitat management, turkey hunting safety, wild turkey information education, and other volunteer stuff for 35 years. It is not difficult to add 1 + 1 and get 2 every time in my wild turkey management book. While some times in some other ways by some other means for some other people... 1 + 1 = 3.
Go figure...

And you haven't seen the final draft copy yet...
Don...

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#1729016 - Sat Apr 24 2010 09:55 PM Re: Additional Spring Turkey for PA Hunters! [Re: Don Heckman]
gobbler33 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: Fri Jan 04 2002
Posts: 530
Loc: northcentral pa
So what input/support did PANWTF have towards the newly adopted all-day hunt? I know I didn't know about it and I plan on writing some letters to Commissioners, and with your answer, I may be writing to PANWTF as well. What ever happened to hunter input on these changes as well as a little advance notice?


Edited by gobbler33 (Sat Apr 24 2010 09:56 PM)

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#1729420 - Sun Apr 25 2010 11:30 AM Re: Additional Spring Turkey for PA Hunters! [Re: gobbler33]
Don Heckman Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: Mon Dec 10 2001
Posts: 1611
Loc: Camp Hill, Pa
Gobbler33... my apologies, it has been a hectic February, March and April and I forgot to post these positon and personal statements... remember there was no motion or comment at january Commissioner meeting about spring gobblers season changes. PANWTF did not find out about proposed spring season changes until very late in the process...

April 16, 2010

Executive Director Carl Roe
Pennsylvania Game Commission

Dear Director Roe:

Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on proposed regulation changes affecting the wild turkey resource. Our members appreciate the chance to consider and discuss changes proposed by the Bureau of Wildlife Management and the commissioners. We also appreciate the dialogue we have been able to have with both agency staff and the commissioners concerning the proposals.

Our Pennsylvania Chapter Board of Directors was taken by surprise by the proposal to change the opening day of the firearm black bear season and eliminate the final Saturday of the three week fall turkey season. In comments presented at the January Commission meeting our membership supported seasons and bag limits on wild turkeys as proposed by the Bureau of Wildlife Management in order to accommodate the study of fall harvest rates and hen turkey survival. We have had time to consider the new proposal and various possible options. Following our discussions the board decided on a position regarding the proposal.

The Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation supports the continued Saturday closing day of fall turkey seasons in all Wildlife Management Units with three week fall seasons to protect the integrity of the Hen Harvest Rate Study and the Crossover Design.

The most important reasons for the decision on our chapter position to maintain Saturday as the closing day for Wildlife Management Units with three week seasons were:

• The impact of the loss of an important day of hunting opportunity for a large number of turkey hunters (183,000 hunters, of whom a number hunt that last day)
• Our belief that fall turkey hunting has great potential to recruit and maintain young hunters
• The recent initiation of the fall harvest rate and hen survival study, a study called for in the Management Plan for Wild Turkeys in Pennsylvania since 1999
• The fact that from 9-14% of the fall harvest occurs on the last Saturday in three week WMUs so eliminating the last Saturday could change the harvest substantially
• 20 to 33% of the total fall harvest in three week WMUs occurs in the final week with nearly half of that harvest taking place on Saturday. Eliminating the Saturday could impact the last week harvest reducing the ability of the study design to detect differences in harvest rates between the two types of seasons
• The potential for the elimination of Saturday to compromise the objectives of the $3 million study of fall harvest rates and hen survival (the study is designed to evaluate the role of season length in affecting survival and harvest rates)
• The reduced ability to accurately assess the impact of fall season length on fall harvest rates (sample sizes for the study were designed specifically to examine harvest rates in traditional seasons structured as they have been since 1981 with season lengths of 13 or 19 days)
• If the study design is compromised, the ability of the Game Commission to provide additional fall turkey hunting opportunity could be impacted affecting hunter recruitment and retention potential in the future

Should the commissioners pass the change of the black bear season opening day to Saturday, we request that the fall turkey season be moved forward a week to open on October 23, 2010. Opening the statewide season one week earlier and closing the season on November 13 instead of November 20 in Wildlife Management Units with a three week season would eliminate any possible conflicts with the Saturday opening of bear season and preserve the integrity of the hen survival and fall harvest rate study. While this change would not be ideal, it is acceptable to our members who value maintaining the current season structure with fifteen weekdays and four Saturdays.

Our members fully support the proposed extension of the spring gobbler season through May 31 annually and the closing of the fall turkey hunting season in Management Units 5C and 5D where turkey numbers have declined. Our Board of Directors and members also agree with the establishment of a three day fall season in WMU 5A.

Our chapter members support wildlife management decisions based on sound science. The recent work on gobbler harvest rates and the new study designed to determine fall harvest rates are wonderful examples of the dedication of the Pennsylvania Game Commission to collecting good data and developing management strategies based on science. We commend the agency and the commissioners for their support of these research projects. Our members sincerely appreciate the quality and professionalism of the commission employees with whom we interact and the outstanding working relationship we have with this agency.

Thank you for the chance to provide input and share our thoughts on wild turkey management.

Kindest Regards,

Dale C. Butler
President, Pennsylvania Chapter NWTF

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#1729425 - Sun Apr 25 2010 11:34 AM Re: Additional Spring Turkey for PA Hunters! [Re: Don Heckman]
Don Heckman Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: Mon Dec 10 2001
Posts: 1611
Loc: Camp Hill, Pa
PGC Executive Director Roe and Board of Commissioners,

My comments are from DON HECKMAN AND DO NOT REFLECT OR MAY NOT PERFECTLY ALIGN WITH PA CHAPTER NWTF POSITION STATEMENT AND SUPPORT STATEMENTS.

I personally believe the PGC Fall Turkey Hunting Season, 3 week, 4 Saturday’s, across existing Wildlife Management Units are the best management criteria for state-wide wild turkey resource, population densities, fall harvest densities, and regulations for fall turkey hunters.

Proposed rule making change for Fall Turkey Season to end on Friday, November 19, 2010 and early Bear season starting on Saturday, November 20, 2010 goes against the new PGC 4 year Hen Harvest Rate Study and Executive Summary that started this winter, and the PGC Management Plan For Wild Turkeys In Pennsylvania and the Executive Summary. I do not support giving up any Saturday of Fall turkey hunting season, or any overlapping bear hunting season with fall turkey hunting season, or turkey hunting season expansion to Thanksgiving Day, or the following Friday and Saturday.

In Section IV, PGC Management Plan For Wild Turkeys In Pennsylvania, Wild Turkey Population Management, Harvest Management – Fall Turkey Hunting Season, Decision Making Guidelines for Recommending Fall Turkey Hunting Seasons, and Harvest Rates document wild turkey management principles that need to be followed as written.

Any possibility of overlapping big game hunting seasons with Fall Turkey Hunting Season, except for Archery Deer or Archery Bear, would hinder and possibly curtail or cause for discontinuance of scheduled wild turkey research studies and future research proposals needed to continue wild turkey management as documented and supported in the PGC Management Plan For Wild Turkeys In Pennsylvania.

Overlapping with other big game seasons such as regular Bear Season or regular Deer Season would require Turkey Hunters to obey and lawfully use the mandatory 250 sq in requirement for Fluorescent Orange regulation and be aware of and remember other big game season Arms and Ammunition Regulations during those overlapping hunting days.

Recent history of Fall Turkey Hunting Seasons, 1960-2009, include years 1960-1976 for overlapping Bear Season dates and Thanksgiving Day, weekend, turkey hunting dates. Since 1977 there have not been any overlapping dates with Bear Season or a later Thanksgiving Day or weekend Fall Turkey hunting dates.

Severe winters in 1977-1978 and low recruitment the following springs led to a two week fall turkey season in 1979. Turkey Management Areas as proposed by Turkey Biologist Jerry Wunz were instituted starting in 1982. The modern era of wild turkey management and Fall Turkey Hunting Season dates using PGC Turkey Management Areas rather than a state-wide fall turkey seasons begin with 3 fall turkey hunting season turkey management areas. Over the years they were increased to 5 TMAs, then 9 TMAs, then 12 TMAs, and are part of today’s PGC Wildlife Management Units.

Do fall season turkey hunters want to lose the 4th Saturday in those 3 week 4 Saturday WMUs open to fall turkey hunting? This question and the integrity of the PGC Hen Harvest Rate Study and Cross-over WMU management design will be decided on the answer to this question. Maintaining the 3 week, 4th Saturday in WMUs open to fall turkey hunting will continue to provide additional fall turkey hunting opportunities for turkey hunters without possible changes being regulated on those turkey hunters because the wild turkey management plan is not followed in determining decision making guidelines for recommending Fall Turkey Hunting Seasons.

Don Heckman,
Turkey Hunter and Wild Turkey
Management Enthusiast

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