What game commissioners didn't pass was significant
The big news out of any Pennsylvania Game Commission always centers around measures passed by the board.
Changes to seasons, bag limits, license allocations -- it all grab's everyone's attention.
But what caught my eye during the Game Commission board meeting last month wasn't necessarily what they passed, but what they didn't. Two motions in particular.
The first was made by commissioner David Schreffler, who wanted to change all wildlife management units in the state back to the concurrent buck and doe two-week season. It didn't pass.
The fact that the motion was made tells me there is still interest across the state in the concurrent concept, obviously, and also there are still those who believe the deer herd is either too high or high enough that it can withstand a two-week concurrent season.
And the fact that the motion didn't pass tells me that there are more people who like the split season -- which will stay in place for 11 management units, and it's a concept that we might possibly see expand in the future.
I'm with the second group. Two weeks to hunt antlerless deer is just too long and simply too much pressure on the resource, especially on public lands. The split concept is working fine.
Another motion that failed - by a 4-4 tie, was one made by commissioner Ron Weaner to direct an agency review of mentored youth hunting age.
There isn't one, and with a program that allows children of any age to hunt deer with high-powered rifles (if their parents feel they're ready), I feel there should be a minimum age.
On the surface, enacting a restriction that limits the opportunity that children have to hunt will be a hard sell. But it needs to be done, at least when it involves species such as deer and turkeys where the use of rifles or shotguns with beefy shot are needed in order to increase the odds of a clean kill.
Sure, Weaner's motion may not have passed this time, but the fact that it ended in a deadlock told me at least half the board believes a minimum age may be needed.
One could argue that there isn't any news value in writing about things the board couldn't get done -- i.e. motions that don't pass. But I think such actions provide valuable insight into what the board is thinking and, more importantly, what their constituents are wanting.