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Pa Game Comm. Overhaul

Old 09-08-2008, 07:01 AM
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Default Pa Game Comm. Overhaul

I believe the vast majority of those who hunt in Pa would agree our Game Commission is falling short in their obligations to the hunters and wildlife. The "drastic" decline in license sales is evident of this. I wanted to know how everyone who cares enough to post a comment feels about our overall current situation. I am hoping to get viewpoints on all the aspects of the Pa Game management program, the good and the bad - What opinions hunters have that would improve the structure of our commission, the habitat, quality of deer herds, pheasant and other upland gamepopulations, license sales, youth opportunities, and anything else you find of relevance. I want to hear proposed solutions not just complaints. If you have a complaint state it and include your suggestion to rectify the problem.
Now...
I want to start with the commission's structure...

1. We the hunters who pay the majority of the commission's wages should have the ability to choose who is in position of authority. The Executive Director should have limitations set allowing that person to only be able to hold their post for a limited term.
Reason- As the the needs of hunters and wildlife change so too should the perspective of those people who ultimately make the decisions. In my experience when the security ofone's position isdependent onthe support of the people they tend to be more pro-active in dealing with problems.

2. Harvest Reports: The Game Commission estimates only 60% of hunters report their harvest. This mail-in report card system allows too much room for error.

My Suggestion-There should be a survey that must be filled out at the time of license purchase similar to the migratory survey. This then can be cross referenced with the previous year's harvest reports.Mandatory check-in stations should beimplemented. Game commission claims they don't have the man power. Sporting goods stores already do all the license sales for them, why can't a selected number of businesses willing to do the work act as check in stations. This would benefit the small business economy by those reporting their harvest purchasing other items that are otherwise bought at large chains like Cabelas, Bass Pro and Walmart. Even the sale of something as simple as food, snacks and drinks, if nothing else willincrease sales revenues for our small local businesses.

3. Habitat: I can only speak for what I see in my area and this is it.... The game commission is not doing enough scheduled clear cutting or controlled burning. In those areas that are harvested there is not enough being done to increase the quality of the food sources during the regrowth period. They refuse to timber unless maximum lumber profit can be attained. This is not timbering for wildlife, this istimbering solelyfor profit. Once those selected cuttings are done there is no attempt to plant trees more palatable to the wildlife. Even if they did, in most areas there are still too many tall timbers left limiting the amount of light neededfor more beneficial undergrowth to flourish.
(Once again, I speak for my area Dauphin/Schuylkill county)

I'm sure this next suggestion will not be agreed upon by some but that is why I posted this thread, to get the best possible solutions.

In areas where the soil is not nutrient sufficient enough to plant food plots. Those owning private or leased land should be able to supplement the inadequate habitat with harvested foods (Bait for lack of a better word) I know the argument is this... Itunnaturally influences the travel of wildlife and is more harmful than good because it increases maximum carrying capacity by unnatural means and it only makes for a "more efficient" harvest. As long as this supplementation is continued throughout the year on these "private and Leased lands" the increased carrying capacity can be sustained. In some areas of the state it is this alternative or not having any deer at all. It works in many other states but once again PA seems to be behind in the times.

3. Trust- How long does it take to finally make the transition from the back tag to the wallet license? They have been "attempting" to make this change for how many years now? The state claims they are having difficulties with the vendor. Find A New Supplier! It's hard to trust in an organization that appears to not trust us hunters enough to provide us with a concealed license.

Here are just a few topics, I have many more but let's start here.
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:28 AM
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Default RE: Pa Game Comm. Overhaul

I'dwrite a book tocover everything I felt needed corrected.

That said, I think the PGC is handicapped by the legislators in many cases, I think the DCNR is not a very hunter friendly department, and PA is a very complex state which makes deer management very difficult.
One thing I won't complain about is hunter numbers dropping. If people are unhappy & want to quit I am all for that.


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Old 09-08-2008, 01:31 PM
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Default RE: Pa Game Comm. Overhaul

Don't really know where to start on the original post, but I'm sure someone else may be glad to tackle it, point out the factual/philosophical errors and misconceptions, etc. After about 6 or 7 years now of pointing outthings that should be obvious to anyone that paid attention, I've pretty much lost interest.

BTW, it's Schuylkill County.

Will take a wee stab at #3: ALS was selected as the Automated Licensing System vendor via the state's "low bid" process. Low bidder typically gets the gig, providing they meet the specifications. Apparently ALS bit off more than it could chew, since it was also working on several other similar applications and couldn't meet all of the deadlines? Fish and Boat elected to penalize them for not meeting the deadline and now hastheir system up and running. Remains to be seen if the game commission also penalizes the vendor for not complying with deadlines, or perhaps they already have done so?

Problem is, both agencies are supposed to be inter-connected via using the same system from the same vendor. If one agency drops the vendor, it leaves the other one hanging. PGC requires far more individual items (tags, licenses)than PF&BC does, which is probably why Fish and Boat got theirs up first?

Latest word is that ALS has been purchased by a much larger company. That new owner has promised to assign enough personnel to the system, to get it done and done now. Some parts will be getting a test run later this month, for PGC.

Point Of Salecomputerizedlicensing should make the process of buying and tracking hunting licenses and game reports, easier. It will still take a legislative/regulativechange to do away with back tags in PA; County treasurers being involved in doe tags; and other bits.
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Old 09-08-2008, 02:03 PM
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Default RE: Pa Game Comm. Overhaul

I agree with your opinion on that the DCNR could be more cooperative with hunters. I am not sure if you ever watched the PCN channel when county reps discuss issues of pertinence with PAGC Executive Director Roe. It is evident that these reps are of the same opinion as most the hunters in the state. It is best summed up by the Schuylkill county rep's statement... 6 years ago he had been appointed to this council and spent the night coming up with a short list of questions related to the PAGC's efforts in wildlife management. 6 years later all the same questions continue to be asked and still no remedy to any of the issues have been implemented.
I asked for others inputs onthese issuesbecause I truly do not know what can be done in order to make the Game Commission want to change for the better. I want change and am willing to do what I am capable of in order to make whatever change possible.As long as the commission is structured the way it is we are at it's mercy or we decide (as a united group) we no longer want to support what we do not believe is working. I am ready, I will spend $125 to hunt in Ohio next year and say screw continuing to fund this current commission. But really, How many others are willing to do the same? Will it even matter, the current lack of sales doesn't seem to concern them enough to take more pro-active measures. Their answer... raise the cost of licensesand punish the remaining hunters they have.
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Old 09-08-2008, 02:13 PM
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Default RE: Pa Game Comm. Overhaul

The back tag issue: Once again (if you are correct about the fish commission imposing a penalty) why does it take so long for the commission to recognize there is a problem and take action? It seems the only thing they will get done in a timely manner is raising the cost of our licenses.

My opinion, they are not being held to reasonable standard thus they are allowed totake their time without any negative action taken place. There needs to be annual audits of their spending and their efforts.Imagine how long it will take to get that kind of work and information out of them!
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Old 09-08-2008, 02:27 PM
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Default RE: Pa Game Comm. Overhaul

1. We the hunters who pay the majority of the commission's wages should have the ability to choose who is in position of authority. The Executive Director should have limitations set allowing that person to only be able to hold their post for a limited term.
Reason- As the the needs of hunters and wildlife change so too should the perspective of those people who ultimately make the decisions. In my experience when the security of one's position is dependent on the support of the people they tend to be more pro-active in dealing with problems.
While I agree there should be more accountability and that the commissioners should not be political appointees , I think there is another issue that has to change before we will see better hunting. Until the PGC recognizes the value of fringe habitat and other non-forest habitat, they will always strive to manage the herd at much lower deer densities , than the true MSY carrying capacity of the habitat. That is why 5 C had a goal of 6 DPSM and 5B goal was 5 DPSM ,while at the same time 2G had a goal of 15 DPSM. Just imagine what our buck harvest would have been last year if 2B, 5B and 5C had been reduced to their goals along with numerous other WMU's that were still at double their previous goals.

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Old 09-08-2008, 03:01 PM
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Default RE: Pa Game Comm. Overhaul

I was waiting to hear from you.

The idea of killing off deer to the populations the PAGC suggests shows there are outside influences at work within the commission,for instance- insurance companies.Input from agenciessuch as these should have no bearing on wildlife management if the organization is truly dedicated to wildlife. Even in situations where deer are in abundance and habitat is being destroyed the numbers they are trying to achieve are still unjustifiable.

You seem to be well versed in many stats even if we disagree on the issue of AR. I appreciate anysuggestionsyou have on how to influence the politicians and other powers that be which allow the PAGC to continue to operate on a substandard level on so many concerns.
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Old 09-08-2008, 03:06 PM
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Default RE: Pa Game Comm. Overhaul

The PGC has all the proof they need to show thatherd reductions were necessary to repair the habitat from decades of overbrowsing.

Why would check stations work when hunters are too lazy to send in a self-addressed stamped post card?

Not the insurance industry conspiracy again.
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Old 09-08-2008, 03:29 PM
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Default RE: Pa Game Comm. Overhaul

Ok maybe in Never never land is it necessary to knock off the deer herd to those extremely low levels.

Check stations work and it is proven, even the check in method (such as in Illinois)done over the phone is more exact than the system we have inPa.I have huntedeverywhere fromhere to WV, VA, NY, OH,FL,IL and Alaska and our system isfar from efficient. It isn't about just reporting a harvest it's about measuring the antler size, skull size, etc. (not just points per side and the sex of the animal) as one measure of the effectiveness of the managemnet policy they have in place. How many hunters throw away or lose their handbook. If this was more enforced as it is in other states the lazy hunter will be more inclined to report. Also if you would have read further it also has proven to benefit the small businesses doing these check ins or are you against that too?

Who has more to gain by eliminating deer populations than the insurance companies? Who has more $ to influence deerpopulations than insurance companies?

If you are satisfied with everything in Pa than Good for you. I couldn't be happier for you.
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Old 09-08-2008, 03:29 PM
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Default RE: Pa Game Comm. Overhaul

The PGC has all the proof they need to show that herd reductions were necessary to repair the habitat from decades of overbrowsing.
That is only true if the only goal of the PGC was to insure the regeneration of the commercially valuable timber stands that exist today, for the benefit of one group of stakeholders,the timber industry and DCNR. If their mission also included the interests of the stakeholders that pay for the privilege of managing the herd,the hunters, then they should be managing the herd based on the true MSY carrying capacity of the habitat.

Do you really believe that in 2003 the PGC had the proof to support their claim that 5B could only support 5 DPSM or that 5 C could only support 6 DPSM? Were they wrong when they said in 2003 that 2G could support 15 DPSM or that 2F could support 22 DPSM even though the forest health was rated as poor in both WMU's? Or, is the PGC always right , no matter how ridiculous their goals might be.
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