Pennsylvania Game Commission biologists are seeking assistance from residents in a regional monitoring effort to collect bat maternity colony data this summer. This monitoring is especially important to measure bat mortalities caused by White-Nose Syndrome, a disease that affects hibernating bats in Pennsylvania and other parts of the eastern United States.
"WNS primarily kills during the winter, but the true impact of WNS on bat populations cannot be determined using estimates from winter hibernacula alone," PGC wildlife biologist Nate Zalik said. "Pennsylvanians can help us more fully gauge the impact of WNS on bats by hosting a bat count this summer."
In particular, those who have conducted a bat count in the past for the PGC are encouraged to do a count this year. To obtain applications and information on how to participate, visit the PGC website at http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/ and click on "Wildlife" in the menu bar at the top of the homepage, click on "Wildlife" in the drop-down menu, scroll down and choose "Pennsylvania Bats" in the Wild Mammals section, and then click on "Appalachian Bat Count."
Forms on the website guide interested participants through the steps of timing, conducting a survey and submitting their findings to the PGC. Scout groups, 4-H clubs, local environmental organizations and individual homeowners can all participate in this important effort.
"Pennsylvania's two most common bat species, the little brown bat and the big brown bat, use buildings as their summer roosts," Zalik said. "Abandoned houses, barns, church steeples – and even currently-occupied structures – can provide a summer home to female bats and their young.
"Monitoring these 'maternity colonies' can give biologists a good idea of how bat populations in an area are doing from year to year. With the occurrence of WNS in Pennsylvania, monitoring these colonies is more important than ever."
A muzzleloader shoot will be held Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by the First Frontier Militia at Bowmanstown Rod and Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 248.
Sunday's edition of "Experience The Outdoors," hosted by award-winning Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz, at 7 a.m. on 1410-AM WLSH, at 9:30 a.m. on Magic 105.5-FM and on the Web at http://www.wmgh.com/ by clicking the link to the program, features National Shooting Sports Foundation vice-president and Pennsylvania native Chris Dolnack.
A hike of the Lofty Tunnel and Dam will be held Sunday, from 2-4:30 p.m., and participants meet at the carpool lot off Delano exit of Interstate 81.
For the second year in a row, the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society Bass Classic will be held on the upper Susquehanna River out of Shikellamy State Park, Saturday, July 20, beginning at safe light and weigh-ins at 2 p.m.
Entry forms can be downloaded from the club website at http://www.capitalcitybass.com/, and information is available by calling Bob Herman at (717) 938-8752.
Pennsylvania Game Commission Carbon County wildlife conservation officer Cory Bentzoni reports that individuals have been citing using the shooting range on State Game Lands 141 without a permit or a valid hunting license. He also reports that an individual was found guilty of failure to wear fluorescent orange material while hunting and using an ATV on Co-op Property.
A simulated hunting 3D course is open daily through October 12 from dawn to dusk at Bears Head Archery, Delano, off I-81 exit 134. Sundays, the course is closed from 1-4 p.m. for trap. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year's Lake Ontario Counties Summer Derby is underway through Sunday, July 28, and charter captains enter their boats in the tournament in order that clients are eligible for the cash prizes that are awarded for the largest daily fish species and the overall champion of each species.
There is a total payout of $18,550 in cash for this year's LOC Summer Derby, with a grand prize of $10,000 for the largest salmon and has four divisions for salmon, lake trout, rainbow/steelhead and brown trout. Cash prizes for each division are: first place, $1,000; second place, $400; third place, $300; fourth place, $200; fifth place, $100; sixth-10th place, $75; 11th-15th place, $50; and 16th-20th place, $25.