Copies of the "2012 Pennsylvania Big Game Records" are available from the Pennsylvania Game Commission online at The Outdoor Shop, http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/ , by calling 1-888-888-3459, or by mail at PA Game Commission, Dept. MS, 2001 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797. Over the counter sales cost $5, which includes sales tax; mailed copies are $6.25, which includes shipping and handling costs.
"Hunters who follow Pennsylvania's Big Game Scoring Program will find it interesting that about 150 entries in all trophy categories were added to the listings in the 2012 Big Game Record Book," records program Bob D'Angelo said. "Among those new entries are the new number ones in the black bear and non-typical elk taken with firearms categories and black bear archery category.
"In fact the new record bear with a firearm is not just the largest bear ever taken in Pennsylvania, it's the world's largest black bear taken by a hunter. The 2012 book also includes the photos of the Harris sisters, whose Northumberland County trophy deer rank sixth and 24th in the non-typical white-tailed deer firearms category."
For years the PGC has been posting the most-recent big game records on its website and will continue to do so. In response to public requests, however, the records have been put into a bound booklet with annual updates.
Pennsylvania's Big Game Scoring Program is based on the Boone & Crockett Club's scoring program that was copyrighted by that organization in 1950. Established in 1887, by Theodore Roosevelt, the B&C Club was initially organized for the conservation of wildlife and natural resources on a national basis.
In 1965, the PGC and the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association started Pennsylvania's Big Game Measuring Program, although score sheets and listings in the record book go back as far as the early 1900s, to showcase the outstanding big game hunting opportunities available in this state. Scoring and maintaining records of exceptional big game animals is important because it provides a means to compare the extraordinary whitetails, black bears and elk being taken in Pennsylvania and a starting point to sort out why an animal attained its exceptional size.
Often these animals are the product of outstanding habitat and wildlife management practices.
Pennsylvania Big Game Records contains a wealth of information, including the minimum scores required for each big game category, some Boone & Crockett Club and Pope & Young Club information, a few photos, but most importantly, the listings. In each big game category the entry is ranked, the hunter is listed, and the county, year taken and the score listed.
This year's early season for resident Canada geese opens Saturday, Sept. 1, and runs through Tuesday, Sept. 25, and in most areas of Pennsylvania, including the Atlantic Flyway, the daily bag limit is eight birds with a possession limit of 16 after opening day. Regulations differ for the Southern James Bay Population Goose Zone and the Pymatuning Reservoir, and hunting is closed at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area.
Dove season also opens September and is open through Saturday, Sept. 29, and daily hunting hours are from noon to sunset. Dove hunting's second season is Saturday, Oct. 27, through Saturday, Nov. 24, and the third season is Wednesday, Dec. 26, through Saturday, Jan 5, and the daily bag limit is 15 and the possession limit 30 after opening day in all three seasons.
Woodcock and common snipe seasons open Saturday, Oct. 13, and continue through Saturday, Nov. 24. There is a daily limit of three woodcock and a possession limit of six after opening day, and a daily limit of eight common snipe and a possession limit of 16 after opening day.
Sunday's edition of "Experience The Outdoors," hosted by award-winning Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz, at 7 a.m. on 1410 WLSH and 9:30 a.m. on Magic 105.5, will feature Hawk Mountain Sanctuary information specialist Mary Linkevich.
First Frontier Militia will hold a muzzleloader shoot, Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Bowmanstown Rod and Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 248.
County treasurers are now accepting applications for first round of unsold license by mail from resident and nonresident hunters. Treasurers will begin accepting applications for second round of unsold license, Monday, Aug. 20, by mail, and will begin over-the-counter sales for Wildlife Management Units 2B, 5C and 5D, Monday, Aug. 27.
Bear's Head 3-D course is open daily through Friday, Oct. 12, from dawn to dusk daily, on club grounds located off I-81 exit 134, 148 Lofty Road, Delano. For information, call the association at 570-467-0331.
Hazleton Archery Club, 170 Woodside Drive, Freeland, has 3-D shoots Sundays, beginning at 7 a.m., and Thursdays, beginning at 4 p.m., For information, call the club at 570- 450-0988.