PA Chapter NWTF Comments BOC Meeting January 30th - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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PA Chapter NWTF Comments BOC Meeting January 30th


January 30, 2011

Executive Director Carl Roe
Pennsylvania Game Commission
2001 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110-9797

Dear Mr. Roe:

The members of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation appreciate the professionalism of Pennsylvania Game Commission employees, their work ethic and the outstanding working relationship we have with this agency. The support of commission biologists, land managers and wildlife conservation officers is essential to our ability to generate interest among our members who in turn do the work of fund-raising and volunteer labor.

As a chapter we strongly support science-based wildlife management and decisions based on species management plans. We value the recreational opportunity afforded by our various hunting seasons but as conservationists we prefer to put the resource first in any decision making process.

Safety continues to be a primary concern of our chapter members. Education is the key element in maintaining a good safety record among hunters. Education and efforts to increase awareness of safe hunting methods among turkey hunters has been successful in bringing the nationwide hunting related shooting incident rate down significantly in the past two decades in spite of increasing turkey hunter numbers in the same period. Reaching turkey hunters with safety reminders can be approached in a variety of ways.

The “Successful Turkey Hunting” curriculum recently developed by the Game Commission and our members is a great tool and our chapter members respectfully request that this optional curriculum be established statewide as soon as possible in an effort to reach turkey hunters at large. A number of our chapter members have indicated a willingness to become instructors for the new optional course.

Several years ago the Game Commission acquired a large number of copies of the NWTF Turkey Hunting Success and Safety DVD. This tool needs to be used in every Hunter Education class in the commonwealth. We would ask if there is any way of determining the extent to which the DVD has been incorporated into the standard Hunter-Trapper Education curriculum.




We are doing all we can to reach our own members with safety messages and our members have a good safety record. We need the commissioners to support methods of reaching turkey hunters who are not members of NWTF. One such method would be the establishment of a turkey hunting license at minimal cost to hunters. A license would provide accurate information on turkey hunter numbers and give the Game Commission improved access to this group of hunters in order to evaluate their satisfaction with management of the wild turkey resource.

A license would also allow the agency to directly contact turkey hunters to furnish safety tips and other information vital to this segment of the hunting population. Such a license would enable the agency to collect timely data on harvests and participation rates in spring and fall seasons. We urge the commissioners to support the development of a low cost turkey hunting license as a stand alone effort or within any hunting license increase package.

There has been much discussion in our organization on the altered fall turkey hunting season structure. The hen survival and fall harvest rate study initiated last year has long been a recommendation within the Management Plan for Wild Turkeys in Pennsylvania. Maintaining a season structure that allows for the crossover design to remain viable within the study is essential to the data being useful in the future.

In addition, a season structure that is likely to remain stable, sustainable and reasonably free of the impacts of mast variability and snowfall in the future is a vital part of the study. We support the design of this study and recommend that the commissioners determine a fall season structure that meets the criteria mentioned above and maintain that structure to protect the integrity of the crossover design.

We have always been pleased with our relationship with the Game Commission and with the commissioners. We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to discuss and provide input on issues that affect our wild turkey resource.

Kindest regards,


Dale C. Butler
President, Pennsylvania Chapter NWTF
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 08:11 PM
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Re: PA Chapter NWTF Comments BOC Meeting January 30th

Keep pushing for a license and I will keep writing saying its not needed.

Dale
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 08:17 PM
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Re: PA Chapter NWTF Comments BOC Meeting January 30th

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Sholder
Keep pushing for a license and I will keep writing saying its not needed.
Why would you say a license is not needed ?

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: PA Chapter NWTF Comments BOC Meeting January 30th

Dale... I know you do not want to hear this, and you will probably not even read this information, but it is the reasons why... long overdue here in Pennsylvania... LONG OVERDUE!!

Pennsylvania Chapter NWTF Spring Turkey Hunting License Position Statement:

The Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation requests legislation to establish a spring turkey hunting license which will identify the number of turkey hunters in order to support communications and safety initiatives at the lowest possible cost to hunters.

PA Chapter NWTF Spring Turkey Hunting License Benefits Statement:

Spring Turkey Hunting License Benefits
By Don Heckman, Wild Turkey Management Committee
January 9, 2011

PA Chapter NWTF supports the need for a spring turkey hunting license. We continue to inform our members and all turkey hunters of the benefits of supporting a spring turkey hunting license.

How Will a Spring Turkey Hunting License Help?
. Turkey hunter safety material can be provided directly to turkey hunters.
. Determine how many turkey hunters there are in Pennsylvania, allowing biologists to make wild turkey management decision recommendations based on actual turkey hunter density numbers.
. Turkey hunter opinions and satisfaction levels can be acquired more efficiently because the Game Commission will be able to contact turkey hunters directly.
. As state-wide wild turkey populations increase better research data will provide additional information biologists need to make future management decisions.
. Improved and more detailed information on wild turkey harvest densities will be available.
. Better law enforcement aimed specifically at wild turkey violations.

How Will the Turkey Hunter Benefit?
. Will provide turkey hunters with specific turkey hunting and wild turkey biology information, turkey hunting safety and ethics material.
. Turkey hunter surveys will give you the ability to express your concerns and opinions about wild turkey management in Pennsylvania.
. Better research data and hunting information about our wild turkey populations could result in expanded hunting opportunities in the future.

Why Should Turkey Hunters Support a Spring Turkey Hunting License?
. Wild turkey populations peaked above 400,000 in 2001; spring 2010 population is 360,000, above the previous 6 year average of 318,000.
. With more than 258,000 estimated turkey hunter's additional state-wide wild turkey research needs to be completed, obtaining better data on state-wide population and harvest densities, hunter densities, and improved turkey hunter safety education and informational material needs to be developed.

Our wild turkey resource is a valuable asset to Pennsylvania. During the past 20 years Pennsylvania Game Commission has completed wild turkey restoration throughout the Commonwealth. Wild turkey management is now shifting focus to acquiring additional wild turkey population and turkey hunter management data while helping Pennsylvania remain a leading wild turkey research and resource management state.

Spring turkey hunting license will identify the number of turkey hunters in order to support communications and safety initiatives, improve methods to provide better wild turkey management data, support increased habitat management programs, and support the future for the wild turkeys in Pennsylvania.

For further PA Chapter NWTF information on wild turkey management look on:
<http://www.panwtf.org> http://www.panwtf.org

PGC web site links wild turkey management plan:
http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/pgc/lib/p...urkey_plan.pdf


With a turkey hunting license these ideas can be used to educate and promote turkey hunters to “Think Safety Hunt Safely” during turkey hunting seasons.

PA Chapter would like PGC to add a new panel to the hunting license tags for anybody that purchases a spring turkey hunting license that would say “Positively Identity Your Target”, “Look For The Beard”, “Think Safety Hunt Safely”.

Could be also used for the existing special second spring gobbler tag when that is purchased also.

When PGC gets the names of spring turkey hunters off PALS, work with PANWTF to create a mailing that PGC would do to turkey hunters prior to season, with PANWTF helping to create and help fund the mailing material, to get more safety information directly into turkey hunters hands.

Could also be done for a fall turkey hunting license.

Use the NWTF Turkey Hunting Success and Safety tri-fold brochure as a handout in all hunter trapper education classes. Revive the NWTF turkey hunting safety video in all hunter trapper education classes. This video was created especially for state’s hunter trapper education classes.

Working with HTE Safety coordinators identify methods to get the new PGC Turkey Hunting Safety voluntary course into the hunters communities. Keith Snyder is getting this program ready to roll out this year. Need more volunteers to be instructors.

Create a 1” green sticker “HUNT SAFELY” to be put on the stock of turkey hunting firearms right behind magazine. Missouri does that today and is mailed to all turkey hunters buying a turkey hunting license.

Develop eye catching, information reminders through seasonal turkey hunter safety news release, one additional page in PGC Hunting and Trapping Digest dedicated to turkey hunter safety message, with additional turkey hunter safety information reminders for the PGC Web Site, Spring and Fall Game News issues, and materials that could be mailed to outdoor writers, sportsmen's clubs, and hunting license buyers.

Working together with PGC, PA Chapter NWTF is willing to step forward and help identify additional turkey hunter safety information and help get this information into turkey hunters hands.
.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 10:01 PM
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Re: PA Chapter NWTF Comments BOC Meeting January 30th

I realize in these hard economic times, another license fee does not make everyone happy. However, the future of turkey hunting and in PA really depends on the license and the benifits that Don has mentioned. I am sure that many of those opposed do not want to see wild turkey managment go the way of the deer management plan over the last 15 years. Those results are not good. I believe what the PANWTF is trying to do is ward off another failure in game management in PA and the great turkey hunting heritage we all have enjoyed. Sometimes there is a price to pay for that and a stamp is one way to help prevent failure in PA.

Full Fans, Longbeards, and Sharp Spurs
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 10:10 PM
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Re: PA Chapter NWTF Comments BOC Meeting January 30th

NY has a separate license.
WV has a separate license.
MD has a separate license.

I paid for them there......and I would pay for one here!

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