The Pennsylvania Game Commission has announced that Pennsylvania’s furtakers will play a critical role in a study to determine the extent to which mouse and rat poisons might be affecting the state’s bobcats, fishers and otter populations. As such, hunters and trappers are being asked to participate in the study by submitting carcasses from these species to the PGC.
For those who harvest a bobcat, fisher or otter and who want to submit the carcass for the study are asked to contact the Game Commission by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Game Commission region office serving the county where the animal was taken. The email should note which species was harvested and include the trapper’s: first/last name; CID number; address or pick-up location; phone number; and email address. The most local locations are as follows:
Northeast Region: Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties – 570-675-1143.
Southeast Region: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill counties – 610-926-3136.
The study is being conducted by the Game Commission in partnership with PennVet’s “Wildlife Futures ProgramOpens In A NEW Window,” an organization whose mission is to increase disease surveillance, management and research to better protect wildlife across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and beyond.
Those conducting the study hope to collect over 100 carcasses each of bobcats, fishers and otters harvested this season.
Submitted carcasses can be skinned, but must have all organs and the skull intact. Furtakers should freeze the carcass until it can be collected by the Game Commission or Wildlife Futures Program.
Consumption of rodents that have been poisoned, known as secondary exposure, has been shown to negatively impact small- to medium sized mammals with diets primarily consisting of meat. Better understanding the effects on these species is a critical component of monitoring their populations in the Northeast according to the PGC.
Furtakers’ participation in this study will provide valuable data to continue to manage these species appropriately, says the PGC.
PENNSYLVANIA WATERFOWLERS EXPERIENCING FALL MIGRATION DELAY
Pennsylvania waterfowlers are in the same boat as many of their counterparts in other Atlantic Flyway states as mild weather has delayed the progress of fall migration, says the PA Game Commission. Hunters who scout and get access to places where ducks are congregating have enjoyed some success. For others, well, it’s a waiting game as the clock runs down on the final 30 days of the season (except for the South Zone, which s open through Jan 22).
Nate Huck, waterfowl program specialist for the PGC, reports that the Keystone State’s North and South Zones have had decent wood duck numbers as well as a few local mallards. In addition, water levels are at average levels in most areas.
DU Regional Biologist Jim Feaga adds that most of the Mid-Atlantic region has experienced a warm dry fall. Moreover, waterfowl are concentrated on prime habitats that receive light hunting pressure.
“Hunters in all four zones report very slow duck hunting with a few sporadic good hunts mixed in,” Huck says, adding that Pennsylvania’s Northwest Zone did have a fair amount of birds around that have generally become stale.
As for locally, most of the mallards I’ve seen are floating in small streams like the Jordan Creek around the SGLs 205 off Route 100 and in Egypt at the Bridge Street bridge. There are also a few on some New Tripoli farm ponds.
WORLD’S LARGEST OUTDOOR SHOW
With 2021 coming to a close, what better way to start 2022 than planning a trip to the Great American Outdoors Show held historically in the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. And as many call it, “The Harrisburg Outdoor Show,” is scheduled to kick off Feb 5-13.
Coined the World’s Largest Outdoor Show, it showcases most of the major outdoor companies and firearm manufacturer’s with over 1,100 exhibitors.
There will be wild game cooking demonstrations, celebrity appearances, free seminars, DockDogs competition, kid’s activities, fishing boats, RVs, new trucks, NRA Country Music Concert and more.
Tickets are available online and recommended to avoid standing in a ticket line. Go to the “Great American Outdoor Show” to purchase them and for added information, show times and directions both driving and exhibitor locations within the complex.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.