Compiled by Fred James
An initiative by Gov. Tom Corbett known as the MedReturn Program to safely dispose of unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter medicine that will improve the health of fish has received the support of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
"Research shows that once prescription drugs and other medicines end up in our waterways, they are being absorbed by fish," PFBC executive director John Arway said. "Low doses of these drugs can ultimately harm fish.
"For example, we have seen a greater frequency of an intersex condition in smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River, with males showing signs of eggs in their reproductive systems and having a protein in their systems that should only occur in females. We have also found sores and lesions on fish, which may be due to the exposure of these fish to the unintended consequences of these drugs.
"We have always been told to flush our expired medicines down the toilet or wash them down the drain, but our wastewater treatment plants aren't designed to remove them before they get into a nearby stream. We fully support the governor's initiative and encourage all Pennsylvanians to properly dispose of their unused or expired medicines, and this improves overall water quality and in turn protects the health of our Commonwealth's fisheries."
Under Gov. Corbett's Healthy Pennsylvania plan, a permanent statewide drug take-back program that will provide up to 250 secure medicine return boxes throughout Pennsylvania, MedReturn boxes have been installed in 29 Pennsylvania counties. To find the locations of MedReturn boxes visit the website www.ddap.pa.gov .
Mark Kropa, Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife conservation officer for Pike and Monroe counties, reports charges are pending against a New York man for shooting a bear from his back porch with a compound bow at 11:30 p.m. the Monday after the close of the regular bear season and the opening day of the firearms deer season, December 2. He faces misdemeanor charges, and fines over $3,000, plus several years of hunting-license revocation.
Kropa reports charges are pending against a New Jersey man for shooting a bear Thanksgiving at 1:30 a.m., and because he was charged and pleaded guilty to shooting a deer illegally in 2008 now faces misdemeanor charges. He faces up to $10,000 in fines and up to 18 months in prison, plus several years of hunting-license revocation.
In another incident a New Jersey man shot a 3-point buck in a safety zone in Porter Township, claiming he thought an antlered deer only needed a total of 3 points to be legal, even though he has been hunting in Pennsylvania for 15 years. Additionally, the deer was shot in three safety zones, meaning he faces fines of up to $1,300, plus revocation of his hunting license.
Kropa also reported that a Hawley resident and another man from New Jersey face charges of hunting over bait. They both stated they had not seen any deer, so they put bait out to try and lure them in, and it was evident that deer had been visiting the baited areas for at least several days.
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 www.wmgh.com  by clicking the link to the program, features Tri-Valley High biology teacher Pam Ulicny, the "2013 Experience The Outdoors Schuylkill County Outdoors Sports Personality of the Year" award winner.
Applications are being accepted from current high school sophomores and juniors for participation in the Youth Education Summit sponsored by the National Rifle Association, which will be held Monday-Sunday, June 23-29, in Washington, D.C.
Information on the NRA Youth Education Summit is available by calling 1-800-672-3888, ext. 1351, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Copies of the 2013 Pennsylvania Big Game Records book are available from the Pennsylvania Game Commission online at The Outdoor Shop, www.pgc.state.pa.us  , or by calling 1-888-888-3459, or mailing remittance to: PA Game Commission, Dept. MS, 2001 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg, Pa. 17110-9797. Copies are $5, plus shipping and handling, and Pennsylvania residents also pay 6 percent sales tax.