News Archive

CWD discovered in West Virginia deer

By Bob Frye Capital Correspondent Charleston, W. Va. — Chronic wasting disease, the mysterious, always fatal-for-deer-and-elk malady has been found in West Virginia’s Hampshire County, just 25 miles due south of the Pennsylvania state line. A sliver of Maryland is all that separates Hampshire County in the Mountaineer State’s panhandle from Pennsylvania’s Bedford County in that area. The infected deer…

Superior lamprey increase may be cyclical

By Marty Kovarik Correspondent Marquette, Mich, — A large increase in Lake Superior’s population of sea lamprey from 2004 to 2005 has many anglers and some biologists concerned that the blood-sucking parasite is once again out of control in the world’s largest freshwater lake. However, officials at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Great Lakes Sea Lamprey Management Program in…

Wolf backers score win

Staff report Montpelier, Vt. (AP) — In what environmentalists hailed as a major victory, a federal judge last month ordered the Bush administration to step up efforts to restore the gray wolf to Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. “The wolves are howlin’” in celebration, Patrick Parenteau, director of the environmental law clinic at Vermont Law School, said with…

Green Bay yellow perch hearings set for October

Burnett County vet warns of timber wolf problems By Tim Eisele Correspondent Spooner, Wis. — The Natural Resources Board (NRB) approved public hearings, to be held in October, that could lead to an increase in the sportfish daily bag limit of perch in Green Bay from 10 to 25 while also increasing the commercial harvest from 20,000 pounds to 60,000…

DNR: Deer herd is about 1.7 million

Staff Report Madison — When the 2005 archery deer season opens on Saturday, Sept. 17, bowhunters should be perched on the threshold of some pretty good hunting opportunities and a pre-hunt deer herd estimated at 1.7 million, according to Keith Warnke, DNR deer ecologist. However, Warnke said he does not expect bowhunters to set new harvest records during the 2005…

‘Pre-qualify’ for EAB likely on the way

By Dean Bortz Editor Madison — Bowhunters and Conservation Congress Big Game Committee members have been asking for some way to “pre-qualify” for an earn-a-buck (EAB) sticker for about three years. With any support at 10 October deer hearings, those hunters will see that process begin in 2005. DNR deer ecologist Keith Warnke has been working on developing some kind…

DECALS snafu costing some hunters DMPs

By Brad Sisson Contributing Writer Albany — A flaw in the DEC Automated Licensing System (DECALS) is costing some hunters their chance at obtaining a second Deer Management Permit (DMP) for the upcoming season. The problem stems from an oversight that lets hunters apply for DMPs in areas where they have no chance of getting the permit. Forty-three Wildlife Management…

CWD zones to offer either-sex bowhunt

Staff Report Madison — Archers hunting deer in CWD zones this fall will not be restricted by earn-a-buck requirements early in the 2005 bow season. Earn-a-buck rules have been relaxed this year, and bowhunters in CWD units will be able to shoot a deer of either sex when the bow season opens statewide on Saturday, Sept. 17 for the early…

Bowhunters will see some changes

By Steve Piatt Editor Albany — New York’s 200,000-plus bowhunters are preparing for a 2005 season that will see some changes from last year, but not nearly as drastic as once proposed by DEC. That said, while archers are happy that deer season is approaching, some aren’t happy about the season itself. At one time, DEC had proposed an Oct….

Huhn death worsens PF&BC problem

By Deborah Weisberg Contributing Writer Harrisburg — Ross Huhn, the longest-serving member of the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission board, died Aug. 14, following complications from a series of strokes. He was 79, lived in Saltsburg, and had represented southwestern Pennsylvania on the board for 25 years. He was reappointed three times. “He was a resource guy, not a raceway…

Wigeon painting wins duck stamp contest

By Eric Gaertner Correspondent Bay City, Mich. — When Peter Mathios was a young boy growing up in northern California, he enjoyed drawing different species of waterfowl. His passion for waterfowl and art continues today. One of his original paintings of a duck was recently selected as the winner of the 2006 Michigan Duck Stamp Design Contest. Mathios’ painting called…

USP files lawsuit against agencies

By Jeff Mulhollem Editor Harrisburg — The Pennsylvania Game Commission recently asked for citizen input into deer management, but it is safe to say what it got from the Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania in mid-August was not what the agency was looking for. The group, which has long been a vocal critic of the commission’s deer herd-reduction efforts, filed suit…

Catch-and-release bass season is looking likely

By Bill Parker Editor Lansing — It looks like an early catch-and-immediate-release (CIR) bass fishing season is coming to Michigan waters. For more than a year, biologists, fisheries managers, tournament anglers, and others involved with and interested in bass fishing in Michigan have been working on regulation changes for black bass. At a meeting last week between the DNR’s Fisheries…

Hunting license sales down 12 percent

By Jeff Mulhollem Editor Harrisburg — Pennsylvania Game Commission officials confirmed widespread speculation recently, admitting that hunting license sales are down considerably from last year. Comparing July 2005 sales totals to July 2004 totals reveals some startling trends, conceded agency press secretary Jerry Feaser: Adult resident hunting license sales are down 12 percent and sales of other general licenses, such…

Pataki waiting for deer/bear rifle bill

Staff report Albany — Gov. George Pataki hasn’t signed a long-awaited bill that would allow rifles for deer and bear hunting in several Southern Zone counties because he hasn’t yet received the legislation. A spokesman for the governor said earlier this month the bill had yet to reach Pataki. “It doesn’t appear the governor has received that bill yet,” said…

Drought may boost bear take

By Steve Piatt Editor Albany — New York’s 2005 bear harvest will almost assuredly be impacted by changes in hunting seasons, notably in the Catskills, which will see a longer season by three days. A widespread drought in the same area could also boost harvest numbers as bears are forced to range wide for food, DEC officials predict. “The Southern…

Manure spill wreaks havoc on Black River

Staff report Lowville, N.Y. — Three million gallons of liquid manure that spilled into a river snaked its way toward Lake Ontario as workers diluted the stinking mess already blamed for killing thousands of fish. The manure flowed into the Black River in northern New York when a wall of a holding lagoon blew out late Aug. 10 or early…

Duck openers set for Sept. 24, Oct. 1

Exterior goose could go 92 days By Tim EiseleCorrespondent Spooner, Wis. — It will be 60 days and six ducks for Wisconsin’s duck hunters in 2005. The Natural Resources Board, at its Aug. 17 meeting in Spooner, approved a duck season that will run for 60 days and allow hunters a daily bag limit of up to six ducks. There…

DU festival, Aug. 26-28, takes hand-on approach

By Dan Hansen Correspondent Oshkosh, Wis. — Men, women, and kids who enjoy the outdoors aren’t spectators – they’re participants. They won’t settle for just watching, they need to be a part of the action. And participation is what the Ducks Unlimited (DU) Great Outdoors Festival is all about, according to the event’s local chairman Jack Nugent. The seventh annual…

Lake Erie ‘trophy’ bass size will be 20

By Steve Piatt Editor Albany — Lake Erie’s early trophy bass season will remain intact under a proposal to overhaul the statewide bass season, albeit with a higher size limit for the one fish anglers may keep. DEC officials indicated the final proposal will contain a minimum size limit of 20 inches for bass taken on Lake Erie during the…

The Classic was great; only the fishing wasn’t

By Deborah Weisberg Contributing Writer Pittsburgh — Fish were few and far between but fans were everywhere at the recent record-setting CITGO Bassmaster Classic on western Pennsylvania’s Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers, where Kevin VanDam took the second title of his 18-year professional career. Despite a 4-ounce penalty for a dead bass, VanDam, 38, of Kalamazoo, Mich., and a three-time…

Agency director fields lawmakers’ questions

By Bob Frye Capital Correspondent Harrisburg — Pennsylvania residents can keep roadkills. Farmers in the state’s southeastern corner need help controlling deer. And Game Commission employees do get sued on occasion, though it’s rare for one to be named in more than one suit. Oh, and the Pennsylvania Game Commission is in desperate need of a license fee increase. All…

Animal rightists sue over wolf kill permits

By John Flesher Associated Press Traverse City, Mich. — A federal agency didn’t follow required procedures when giving Michigan and Wisconsin permission to kill wolves that attack livestock or pets, an animal protection group says. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued permits allowing the two states to use lethal control measures against problem wolves. Michigan’s permit, received in April,…

S.S. number flap hitting PGC hard

By Jeff Mulhollem Editor Harrisburg — Already facing a fiscal crisis that has resulted in nearly $10 million in program cuts and a continuing firestorm of hunter and politician anger over its much-maligned deer-management program — the last thing the Pennsylvania Game Commission needed was another controversy. But as unexpected as a terrorist bomb going off in a subway, the…

NRC approves 60-day ’05 waterfowl season

By Steve Griffin Field Editor Midland, Mich. — Michigan waterfowl hunters will enjoy relatively liberal waterfowl hunting regulations this year – similar to last year’s, with a few adjustments. The Natural Resources Commission, which oversees policies and programs of the DNR, set rules at its Aug. 11 meeting that established season dates and reduced bag limits on scaup and, in…

By Bill Parker Editor

Newberry, Mich. — Michigan bear hunters eyeing the Sept. 10 start of the 2005 season have plenty to get excited about. Wildlife managers expect a harvest close to last years, which was the second highest on record. “I think it will be pretty similar to last year,” said DNR wildlife biologist Doug Wagner from his office in Newberry. “Now that…