This fall, Pennsylvania Game Commission Southeast Region employees have released pheasants on three separate occasions in numerous areas in both Lehigh and Northampton counties to provide quality game bird hunting opportunities.
Now, birds are also scheduled to be released in Lehigh County in mid-December for the late season, but due to the trend of declining suitable pheasant habitat, particularly in the late season, as well as declines in hunt able areas and hunting pressure the mid-December, stocking of pheasants slated for Northampton County will not occur.
"In order to maximize the resource, we need to be conscientious about where we release the limited number of birds that we have," Southeast Region director Doug Killough said. "We want to release those birds in areas that provide both suitable habitat and maximum hunting opportunities.
"Conditions have changed over the last several years, particularly during the late season, in areas that we previously stocked in Northampton County. Because of this, it became necessary to re-access where birds are released."
To date, 1,280 cock birds and 820 hens have been released in Lehigh County and 410 cock birds and 440 hens have been released in Northampton County.There will be a late season release of 220 hens the week of December 13 in Lehigh County on State Game Lands 205, located along Route 100 in the New Tripoli area, and a portion of this stocking will include birds that were previously allocated for the late season stocking in Northampton County.
A new Youth Hunter Education Challenge chapter is forming at Friedensburg Fish and Pine Grove YHEC is reforming at Game and Roedersville Fish and Game for youth between the ages of 12-18 who have successfully completed the Pennsylvania Game Commission's hunter-trapper education course.
Registration for the newly formed "Coal Region YHEC" will be held Sunday and Sunday, Dec. 19, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., both days, at Friedensburg. For information, call Wayne Dinger at (570) 345-9299 or Bruce Umverdorven at (570) 527-0979.
"Team Pine Grove YHEC" is being reorganized at a meeting held at Roedersville, Wednesday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. For information, call Craig Morgan at (570) 739-2627.
Membership in both YHEC chapters is open to all those meeting the requirements, regardless of county or town of residence. For more information on YHEC, access the Pennsylvania website at www.payhec.org .
Seminar weekends focusing on predator hunting and outdoors winter activities will be held at Cabela's in Hamburg. "Predator Classic Weekend" will be held, today and Sunday; "Winter Weekend" will be held, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 18 and 19, and will have seminars on muzzleloader hunting, ice fishing, reloading and long-range shooting for predators.
For information and seminar schedules, visit on the Web at www.cabelas.com/Hamburg  or call the store at (610) 929-7000.
Roxane Palone, past president of the Pennsylvania Game Commission board of game commissioners, 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, Dec. 9, 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 .
First Frontier Militia, the muzzleloader arm of Bowmanstown Rod and Gun Club, will hold a muzzleloader shoot, Sunday, 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.
Schuylkill County Trout Unlimited meets Tuesday, Dec. 21, beginning at 7 p.m., at Yorkville Fire Company, South 20th and West Norwegian Sts., Pottsville. For information, call Randy Emerich at 570-622-1252 or access on the Web at www.schuylkilltu.org .
Schuylkill Spurs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation meets, Thursday, Jan. 6, beginning at 7:30 p.m., at West Penn Archery, South Tamaqua. For information, call Kevin Titus at 570-668-5903.