PANWTF April 2014 PGC Commissioner Meeting Comment
April 7, 2014
Director Matt Hough
Pennsylvania Game Commission
2001 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110-9797
Dear Executive Director Hough:
The members of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation are pleased to provide comments regarding proposed regulation changes for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. We reviewed the proposals for turkey hunting season dates and season lengths given preliminary approval at the January commission meeting.
Current data supports continuation of the one week fall season in WMU 1B. Based on population and harvest trends the fall seasons in WMUs 3A, 3B and 3C should be shortened and should include the three day segment around the Thanksgiving holiday. Our members support the three day fall season in WMU 5A and running that season Thursday through Saturday. The opening date of the spring gobbler season should follow recommendations in the Management Plan for Wild Turkeys in Pennsylvania by opening on the Saturday closest to May 1st as proposed by the Bureau of Wildlife Management staff.
The future of conservation and our hunting heritage depends on providing opportunity to everyone who has an interest in hunting. We very much appreciate the commissionersí support of the new mentored adult and the current mentored youth hunting program including the parentís ability to choose when a youth is ready to participate in the hunt. Providing opportunities to those with a new found interest in hunting is an essential ingredient in keeping our hunting tradition viable no matter the age of the person with that interest.
NWTF outreach programs encourage participation by women, youngsters and those with disabilities in hunting and shooting sports. We support providing opportunities to those groups through special hunts and access programs in an effort to keep people interested in these historic Pennsylvania traditions active in those activities. The mentored youth hunting license program has been an outstanding success and deserves continued support.
Our chapter recently approved funding for 74 wildlife habitat enhancement projects at the cost of about $140,000. Fifty-four of the projects will be completed on state game lands. We have a long-standing relationship with Pennsylvania Game Commission staff. The land managers, biologists and wildlife conservation officers with whom we work are outstanding professionals. It is our pleasure to provide them with additional support to enable them to reach their goals.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on issues and decisions affecting our wildlife resources.
President- Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation