Hunting Licenses Proposal
Inside the Outdoors, September 25,
2015

Before getting to the main story of today, a number of people have approached me with some very good news about the fishing in the area. One fellow cornered me at a church meeting to ask if I had heard about the 24–inch largemouth bass that had been landed at Loyalhanna Lake. He had no further details.

On the other hand, Latrobe’s Jim Miller told me of some youths fishing that same body of water last weekend doing well. One young tyke caught a 16-inch catfish, while another, Luke Strosnideer, 9, landed a largemouth bass of approximate size.

Then, an angler informed me that recently he had caught ten trout in one area on something called the squirmy wormie. I had never heard of it. He referred me to the company that distributes them. A representative told me that they catch anything from carp to all kinds of bass, trout and even panfish.

Missouri has outlawed it because it is so good. Fortunately, Pennsylvania considers this imitation lawful in a much as it is synthetic.

To my knowledge, this fly pattern will not be found in stores. One has to tie them. I am in the process of attempting to do so and will have some at a future date either at the Latrobe Farmer’s Market or the Indoor Vendors’ Market October, November and December at the American Legion, 1810 Ligonier St., Latrobe.

For those who enjoy doing a little fishing, delighting in the scenery of the change of leaves or just taking an excursion around the lake, the Lower Twin Lakes’ Boat House will have its paddle boats available for rental until the end of October.

Make plans to attend the Ducks Unlimited Forbes Trail Chapter Banquet Nov. 5, 2015, at the Stratigo’s Banquet Centre, North Huntington. It will be a night of great food, raffles, auction, prizes, fun and laughter.

For additional information, one may call 724-863-3001 or email alongo@pidpi.com.
The DUFTC is ranked the number one in the state.

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It is rare that upon a season opener of any sport, someone will be heard complaining, “I’m not going out this year. They have raised the prices again and it’s getting too costly.”

Well, when it comes to fishing, people don’t get it. There’s a lot that goes into the raising and stocking of fish, for example, in addition to much, much more.

But, we aren’t entering fishing season now. Instead hunting. And yes, unfortunately the Pennsylvania Game Commission is planning to raise its its hunting license fees. At a meeting at the end of August, the state unveiled a proposal to increase fees for hunting and furtaker licenses for the first time in 16 years. It is a step toward establishing sustainable funding for the agency, which in recent years has seen skyrocketing employee-benefit costs that are beyond its control. Any license-fee
increase must be authorized by legislative action.

According to Travis Lau, public relations director, “Only the state of Hawaii has a hunting license that cost less than the state of Pennsylvania.”

“In New Jersey,” he said, “the cost to hunt antlered deer, spring and fall turkeys, pheasants and other small game and waterfowl costs adult residents $122.

In other top hunting states like Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan, residents pay $116, $106 and $73, respectively.”

Historically speaking, Lau stated, “It was back in 1913 when the state started selling hunting licenses to finance wildlife management. The revenue has been used to rebuild wildlife populations, protect wildlife through law enforcement, and assemble 1.5 million-acre state game lands system to provide wildlife habitat and public hunting opportunities.”

“Seeking an increase is not something we take lightly,” stated Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough. “We understand families often have tight budgets, and everyone needs to live within their means. That’s some of the reason why our license fees are among the lowest in the nation.”

He stipulated that the agency has “overwhelming financial challenges that are beyond our control. Without a license-fee increase, we soon will not be able to provide the same level of service. We will have to make cuts. And, to me, that would be much more costly for hunters and trappers than the increase we’ve proposed.”

Did you know that 40% of the Game Commission’s revenue in Pennsylvania comes from the sales of hunting licenses and permits? With that and other sources, PGC manages 480 species of wild birds and mammals, most of which aren’t hunted.

Unlike a number of other states the Game Commission does not receive tax money from the state’s general fund to help pay for staff and operations. Many planned projects already have been put on hold because of funding shortfalls.


- Paul J. Volkmann
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To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.