Representatives of waterfowl organizations, interested hunters and the public are invited to attend a briefing sponsored by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, on the status of Atlantic Flyway waterfowl populations and proposed preliminary federal frameworks for the 2011-12 waterfowl hunting seasons, Friday, Aug. 5, beginning at 1 p.m., at Presque Isle State Park, Picnic Shelter No. 2.
In addition to reviewing frameworks established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for upcoming waterfowl and migratory bird seasons, PGC staff will provide updates on current and planned research and management programs, as well as past hunting results. Public comments will be accepted at the meeting; or by sending a letter to Pennsylvania Game Commission, Bureau of Wildlife Management, 2001 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg, 17110-9797 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Based on public comments, PGC staff will prepare and present recommended waterfowl and migratory bird seasons, bag limits and related criteria to the USFWS for final approval. All migratory bird hunting seasons and bag limits must conform to frameworks set by the USFWS, and states select their hunting seasons within these established frameworks.
Early migratory bird hunting seasons – including September Canada goose, mourning dove, American woodcock and webless species – will be announced later. By mid-August, when the final selections are made, the PGC will issue a news release on the remaining hunting seasons for migratory birds and print and distribute the annual brochure outlining the seasons and bag limits for waterfowl and migratory bird seasons to U.S. Post Offices, where hunters may purchase their mandatory federal duck stamp and post it on the agency website at www.pgc.state.pa.us .
Four of six charges were dropped by the Pennsylvania Game Commission as terms of a plea deal offered to Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania president Steve Mohr of Lancaster County after he admitted purchasing and importing six wolf hybrid pups, some of which tested 98 percent pure, from Ohio into Pennsylvania without a permit.
In pleading guilty to the reduced charges, Mohr paid $2,162 in fines and court costs, but since admitting to his crime, he has attempted to Although the PGC has not released the terms of the plea, four of the six counts against Mohr were withdrawn in exchange for his guilty plea. Rumors of the incident began to surface before the June quarterly meeting of the PGC board of game commissioners, but at that time agency officials would neither comment nor answer questions about the case.
Since admitting to his crime, Mohr, who is a former game commissioner, has made claims the PGC case was "payback" because the USP has attempted to sue the agency over its deer-management policy. To date, the courts have disallowed the lawsuits.
Meanwhile, rumors persist that Mohr planned to tag the pups with PGC ear tags and claim the agency had stocked them to control the deer herd. PGC press secretary Jerry Feaser said the agency has no evidence to support those allegations.
Gov. Tom Corbett signed HB 78, Act No. 33, into law earlier this month which elevates homicide by watercraft by those found guilty of Boating Under the Influence to a second degree felony, increasing prison time from seven to 10 years. This law also allows judges to include DUI convictions for sentencing purposes, and the legislation was supported by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
According to the PFBC, BUI arrests for the last six years are: 2011, approximately 15; 2010, 65; 2009, 59; 2008, 82; 2007, 77; 2006, 60. Also, the agency's annual boating accident reports show that alcohol was a factor in one accident resulting in one fatality in 2010; in four accidents resulting in five fatalities in 2009; and two accidents resulting in two fatalities in 2008.
Greg Dixon of Dixon Muzzleloader Shop is the guest of Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz on "Experience The Outdoors," Sunday, from 7-7:30 a.m. on 1410-AM, WLSH, 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.