PGC Updates for 2014
Inside the Outdoors, August 15
, 2014

The Pennsylvania Game Commission announced recently it has put into action new updates that will affect the 2014-2015 license year. It looks at the changes as ‘exciting’ “which will increase hunting and trapping opportunities for sportsmen and sportswomen heading afield.

In making this announcement, several seasons around Thanksgiving “will open or run a week later than they do in many years to accommodate calendar swings” related to the timing of that holiday.

Some of the highlights for the year include: “changes to fall turkey seasons in several Wildlife Management Units (WMUs); new extended bear hunting opportunities in WMUs 2C and 4B; an expansion of the fisher trapping season to WMUs 1B, 3B and 3C; and increased possession limits for small game.”

According to the PGC Digest, “In WMUs 3A, 3B and 3C, where wild turkey populations have declined substantially in recent years, the first segment of the fall season has been shortened from three weeks to two to help the population recover. The second segment (three-day Thanksgiving season) in these WMUs remains unchanged. In WMU 5A, which had a three-day midweek season from 2009 to 2013, the three day season length will continue, but will now be Thursday through Saturday. Including the Saturday should increase hunter opportunity and satisfaction, and we believe the turkey population has recovered sufficiently to absorb a minor increase in harvest,” it said.

In discussing the extended bear hunting opportunities, the Digest revealed, “Two new WMUs have been added to the extended season for 2014. For the first time, WMUs 2C and 4B will be open to four additional days of bear hunting during Wednesday through Saturday of the first week of the firearms season. These two WMUs,” it stated, “were added to the extended season because of increasing bear populations and associated human-bear conflicts.”

Trapping for fishers will take place this season Dec. 20 – 25. All licensed furtakers may obtain one fisher permit with one animal being taken per license year.

Check the Digest for the desired small game and note the changes made from last year.

There was also a change made to the regular firearms deer season. “WMUs 4A and 4C were moved from the concurrent antlered/antlerless season format to the split season format.”

Make note that the after-Christmas antlerless deer firearms season is open in the Special Regulations Area counties only. Be sure to read the deer season section in the Digest.

It also stated that this year’s Pennsylvania Automated Licensing System (PALS) harvest tags now have perforated holes in them to make easier to attach the tag to the animals. Also, “All personal information will be printed on the tags, so all the hunter will need to do is enter the time, date and place of harvest,” it said.

“Hunters and furtakers can also report online,” the Digest stated, “for deer, turkey, bobcat and fisher harvests or over the telephone through the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system by calling 1-855PAHUNT1 (1-855-724-8681).” The website for the PGC is


Thirteen year-old Marcus Statturs likes to fish the Loyalhanna Creek in and about the Legion Keener Park area. All of a sudden at the closing of the Latrobe Farmer’s Market on Aug. 5 he appeared on his bicycle near the grove area entrance as venders who were packing vehicles to head home for the day. In his right hand, he held his fishing rod, while in his left, a 14-inch smallmouth bass.

When asked what he caught it on, he proclaimed, “An orange and yellow Jitterbug!”

The teen is the son of Jason Statturs of Latrobe.


Question of the Week: “Why do muskies have to be 40 inches to be kept?” Answer: According to Al Woomer, area fisheries manager for the Northwest, limit sizes weigh on anglers’ feedback. “There was one time they considered raising the harvest size to 50 inches, because fishermen wanted it that way. However, we decided to keep it at 40 as a good compromise.”

Woomer, who works out of an office in Tionesta, stated a lot of these fish are caught in the waters in his vicinity particularly the Allegheny. “There are some very large fish being caught,” he said. “However, nobody every keeps them.”

When asked about the legal size, the expert stated, “You have to remember that there hasn’t been a change in limit size since 2007.”

“Do they eat trout,” I asked. He replied to the affirmative, “but very few,” he said.

Mike Depew, fisheries biologist for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, commented about the fish’s diet stating, “Muskies love to eat carp as part of their diet.”

“Trolling with artificial lures is one way anglers catch muskies,” Woomer said. “This works well,” he concluded.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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