To give waterfowl hunters another tool to assist with efforts to address overabundant snow goose populations, the Pennsylvania Game Commissioners board of game commissioners gave preliminary approval by an 8-0 vote at its quarterly meeting earlier this month to a regulatory change to allow the use of electronic decoys during the Snow Goose Conservation Hunt.
Final approval of the board is expected at its January meeting, which means this regulatory change could be in effect for hunters participating in the 2011 Snow Goose Conservation Hunt, which is scheduled to be held Monday, Feb. 21-Saturday, April 16. For this year's Snow Goose Conservation Hunt, the board approved the use of electronic calls and expanded hunting hours to one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
"Snow goose populations have reached levels that are causing extensive and possibly irreversible damage to the arctic and sub-arctic breeding grounds they and other nesting birds use," PGC waterfowl biologist Kevin Jacobs said. "For some populations of snow geese, their nesting habitats can no longer support these large numbers.
"What's more, these geese are beginning to impact habitat and crops in Mid-Atlantic States and Quebec. It's likely that North America has never had as many snow geese as it does now.
"They have become a huge and unexpected problem for themselves and other wildlife that shares the wintering and breeding grounds these waterfowl occupy. More hunting hours and electronic decoys should provide hunters additional opportunity to harvest snow geese."
A public comment meeting to review the 2010 Francis E. Walter Dam recreation plan and solicit feedback for the 2011 plan will be held by the U.S. Army Corps Engineers Philadelphia District, Monday, Nov. 1, beginning at 6 p.m., at the Holiday Inn Express in White Haven.
In 2010, the Corps held 22 of 24 scheduled whitewater events and numerous releases for fisheries throughout the recreation season. Following the large rainfall remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole, the Corps was able to make additional large releases in early-mid October.
Organizational leadership is encouraged to attend and provide recommendations and feedback. Space will be limited. For more information, visit the Corps website or Facebook page.
"Must Have Outdoors" host Andrew Howard is today's guest of Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz on "Experience The Outdoors," from 7:30-8 a.m. on Oldies 1410-AM; Sunday, from 9:30-10 a.m., on WMGH, 105.5-FM; and on the Web at www.wmgh.com by clicking the "Experience The Outdoors" link.
A trap shoot will be held, Thursday, Oct. 28, beginning at 6 p.m., at Orwigsburg Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 443 East, Orwigsburg. For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Schuylkill Spurs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation meets, Thursday, Nov. 4, beginning at 7:30 p.m., at West Penn Archery, South Tamaqua. For information, call Kevin Titus at 570-668-5903.
First Frontier Militia, the muzzleloader arm of Bowmanstown Rod and Gun Club, will hold muzzleloader shoots on the following dates: Sunday, Nov. 14 and Dec. 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bowmanstown Rod and Gun Club is located on Gun Club Road, off Route 248, Bowmanstown. For information, call Roger Fisher at 610-377-2812.