New year means new penalties
Pennsylvania Game Commission executive director Carl Roe said that beginning New Year's Day Pennsylvania officially will become the 36th member state of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, under which the worst of convicted wildlife violators will stand to lose their hunting privileges in all states enrolled in the Compact.
"The coming New Year will bring a whole new penalty for those who are convicted of some of the worst violations of our state's hunting laws," Roe said. "Pennsylvania will band together with 35 other states in a united front against convicted poachers, who steal from all citizens, most especially, law-abiding hunters.
"Now, that we are an official member of the Compact, someone who loses his or her hunting license privileges in Pennsylvania for certain poaching offenses, on or after January 1, will lose those hunting license privileges in all states that are members of the compact. By the same token, those who lose their hunting privileges in other Compact member states, on or after January 1, will no longer be able to come to Pennsylvania and lawfully hunt."
Under the new law, the PGC must report to other Compact states those convicted of the following offenses under Title 34 (Game and Wildlife Code): hunting or furtaking while on revocation; unlawful use of lights to take wildlife; buying and selling game; hunting or furtaking under the influence; shooting at or causing injury to a human; counterfeit, alter or forge a license or tag; threatened or endangered species violations; assault/interference or bodily injury to a wildlife conservation officer; illegal taking or possession of big game in closed season; and accumulated wildlife violations for which the penalty provided by Title 34 is no less than a summary offense of the fourth degree and the violation is not the only violation in a 24-month period.
The law also requires that the PGC only recognize the revocation of an individual's hunting privileges in other Compact states for offenses that have the same elements of the offenses listed above. On average, about 1,000 individuals are added to Pennsylvania's revocation list for hunting and trapping license privileges annually, and of those, approximately 25 percent would be submitted to the Compact.
"Coupled with the recent increase in fines and penalties for certain poaching offenses, Pennsylvania has finally slammed shut the door previously left open to convicted poachers who would willingly go from state to state and flaunt laws and regulations designed to conserve wildlife resources for current and future generations," Roe said. "It is important to note that these efforts could not have been possible without the overwhelming support from the majority of law-abiding hunters and trappers in Pennsylvania, who have long been on the vanguard of wildlife conservation."
Those states that are a member of the IWVC are: Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; California; Colorado; Florida; Georgia; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maryland; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nevada; New Mexico; New York; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; and Wyoming.
A fly tying class will be held on Saturday, Jan. 8 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Northampton Middle School at 1737 Laubach Ave., Northampton.
It will be an eight week beginners fly tying class with two flies done a week. Materials and manual will be furnished. Loaner tool kits are available for use at the class.
For more information contact Dale Ott 610-428-1600.
Schuylkill County Conservation District environmental education coordinator "Porcupine Pat" McKinney is the guest of Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz on "Experience The Outdoors," Saturday from 7:30-8 a.m. on WLSH 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, Jan. 6, beginning at 6 p.m., at Orwigsburg Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 443 East, Orwigsburg. For information, e-mail email@example.com.
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.
This year's Garden State Outdoors Sportsmen's and Adventure Show will be held, Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 13-16, at the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center at Raritan Center, Edison, N.J. Show hours are: Thursday and Friday, 1-9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, access on the Web at www.gsoos.com.
Schuylkill County Trout Unlimited meets Tuesday, Jan. 25, 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.