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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-01-2014, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
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Woodcock Habitat – PGN Bog Sucker Article

PA_Sportsman has an article in the most recent issue of PA Game News, you knew I had to mention it, right?


PA Game News Oct 2014, page 34

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/.../index.php#/36

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Miller, Lisa Williams – PGC Biologists
Although [woodcock] populations have been declining steadily since the 1960’s, few people took notice. Woodcock hunters, intrepid individuals who brave dense thickets with eager pointing dogs and small-gauge shotguns, sounded the alarm decades ago. But only recently have others concurred: The dense shrubby thickets and sapling stands required by woodcock have been disappearing for decades, and with them an entire wildlife community is in peril.

Declining wildlife of this “young forest” habitat type include ruffed grouse, eastern box and spotted turtles, Appalachian cottontail, snowshoe hare, northern bobwhite, the golden-winged warblers, yellow-breasted chat, whip-poor-will, brown thrasher, prairie warbler, common yellowthroat and indigo bunting.

Game species such as deer, bears, bobcats and wild turkeys also make use of these young forest patches, because they provide excellent cover, and are so rich in food abundance and diversity.

Biologists suspect that the reduced availability of thick nesting habitat may be at least partially to blame for observed declines in turkey productivity and populations across much of the Northeast in the past decade.

Early successional habitat is in short supply across Pennsylvania…
Do you believe me now?

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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-01-2014, 10:44 AM
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Re: Woodcock Habitat – PGN Bog Sucker Article

Where in the world have you been. Start attending the BOC Quarterly meetings or watch the working group meetings - they talk about the need for more early successional forests - ALL THE TIME.

Again, none of this happens in a vacuum. You need timber cuts and other habitat interventions to get the early habitat. The GC directly controls 1.4 / 1.5 million acres. DCNR 2.5 million acres. The public at large all the rest.

In a state the size of PA, even if the GL's and DCNR land - all of it, were combined and uniformly managed for early successional habitat, it would be a pimple on the landscape. We need the buy in by private landowners and corporations to really make a difference.


Like any other wildlife issue, this discussion goes from early successional habitat to all the side issues with multiple viewpoints, costs, ability or desire to preform the tasks, and ultimate end use / result expectations and a time line.

There is a huge number of variables in getting more early habitat. The GC, and BOC are on board, so is DCNR. The larger issue is the private landowner looking at his woodlands as a cash cow to be milked once per lifetime twice if lucky.

Bottom line is, you are preaching to the choir. The GC is on board. But they control a very small piece of the pie in the much larger bakery.

I will also - again - point you to Outdoor Issues to watch the March BOC Working Group meeting - Financial Video, now likely on page 2, 3, 4 or maybe 5. It is the one with Dott Derr explaining to the BOC the GC financial limitations and ability to use the entire PR allotment due to the Governor's imposed limitations with budget constraints, and the employee compliment size.

As stated above, you can't yell about this or that without understanding and including all the side issues, that might in reality be larger issues in the discussion.

Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-01-2014, 02:12 PM
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Re: Woodcock Habitat – PGN Bog Sucker Article

Does anyone know what the PGC theory is behind bulldozing lanes into a 3 year old timber cut so they can seed them into clover?

Bordering this area is probably 50 plus acres of plots with various plantings including clover. One would think the early successional is more valuable for game in the area.
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-01-2014, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Woodcock Habitat – PGN Bog Sucker Article

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluetick
In a state the size of PA, even if the GL's and DCNR land - all of it, were combined and uniformly managed for early successional habitat, it would be a pimple on the landscape. We need the buy in by private landowners and corporations to really make a difference.
Ha! The *point* is that SGL is not even HALFWAY towards stated goal (in terms of % young forest).

IMHO instead of pointing the finger at others, PGC needs to LEAD BY EXAMPLE and get their own house (the SGL) in order before there is any hope whatsoever of addressing what you cite. It has to start somewhere, and SGL is the place. If a turn-around can’t be showcased on SGL, how do you ever expect it to happen anywhere else? I would bet that most hunters and/or landowners have no clue that there is even a need for more young forest. There has to be an example.

Furthermore, this objective (the SGL) is something that ALL sportsmen can rally behind. But, any thread I start about this topic always has its detractors airing their differences and flat out crusading AGAINST PROGRESS on SGL. While I enjoy the petty banter and appreciate the attention it draws to the topic, the failure to climb on board is puzzling and a hindrance to progress.

Perhaps you missed such posts as:

“simply cutting more is the stupidest idea”
“I can show you good grouse habitat already”
“the SGL around here seem fine to me”
“declining woodcock/grouse harvests indicate decline in HUNTER numbers, not a declining game population”

and my favorite:
predator numbers cannot increase while prey numbers decline”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluetick
There is a huge number of variables in getting more early habitat. The GC, and BOC are on board, so is DCNR. The larger issue is the private landowner looking at his woodlands as a cash cow to be milked once per lifetime twice if lucky.

Bottom line is, you are preaching to the choir. The GC is on board. But they control a very small piece of the pie in the much larger bakery.
What’s your point? Again, SGL is stuck at about HALFWAY towards goal amount of young forest (seedling/sapling), while the commission may be “on board” the train is still at the station because % young forest hasn’t changed since the plan’s inception 6 years ago.

The take home message is, nothing will change unless sportsmen come together and begin to holler in unison. That is my purpose here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluetick
I will also - again - point you to Outdoor Issues to watch the March BOC Working Group meeting - Financial Video, now likely on page 2, 3, 4 or maybe 5. It is the one with Dott Derr explaining to the BOC the GC financial limitations and ability to use the entire PR allotment due to the Governor's imposed limitations with budget constraints, and the employee compliment size.

As stated above, you can't yell about this or that without understanding and including all the side issues, that might in reality be larger issues in the discussion.
PGC sub-contracts someone to cut the trees all the time, but no one can answer why PGC cannot sub-contract a forester to MARK the trees that make up the gap between current capacity and annual quota. Explain that…

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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-02-2014, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Woodcock Habitat – PGN Bog Sucker Article

Just what I expected...


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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 04:08 AM
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Re: Woodcock Habitat – PGN Bog Sucker Article

Well Casey Jones seems no one is climbing on your train. Maybe because we don't want to allow you the enjoyment of the petty banter and provide you with the attention it draws to the topic. Maybe not. Waugh!

AR is only a pacifier.You will never grow if it's not in your genes.
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 04:35 PM
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Re: Woodcock Habitat – PGN Bog Sucker Article

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbridger
Well Casey Jones seems no one is climbing on your train. Maybe because we don't want to allow you the enjoyment of the petty banter and provide you with the attention it draws to the topic. Maybe not. Waugh!
My hypothesis is that Woodcock harvest is down because none of them meet the minimum antler restrictions. After all, there are 2 Woodcock discussions in the AR/HR & Deer Management Forum.
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 06:19 PM
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Re: Woodcock Habitat – PGN Bog Sucker Article

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbridger
Well Casey Jones seems no one is climbing on your train. Maybe because we don't want to allow you the enjoyment of the petty banter and provide you with the attention it draws to the topic. Maybe not. Waugh!
ouch.

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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 08:09 PM
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Re: Woodcock Habitat – PGN Bog Sucker Article

They can subcontract it. If they can subcontract tree removal for a planned new access road, they can subcontract tree cutting in a habitat project.
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-04-2014, 12:41 AM
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Re: Woodcock Habitat – PGN Bog Sucker Article

Quote:
My hypothesis is that Woodcock harvest is down because none of them meet the minimum antler restrictions. After all, there are 2 Woodcock discussions in the AR/HR & Deer Management Forum.
That's because it is all really about more deer. Waugh!

AR is only a pacifier.You will never grow if it's not in your genes.
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