The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 24, 2012

Bob Garrett column: Time to put away the spotlights

By Bob Garrett
For The Daily Item

— You, your friends and family can join Joe Rebar and the other Sierra Club trekkers this morning for a moderate-to-strenuous 10-mile hike at the R.B. Winter State Park.  

You’ll hike on a variety of trails and loop back to the meeting spot which is the parking lot nearest to the breast of the dam along state Route 192. Please meet by 8:30 a.m. and bring along a lunch and plenty of water to drink.

If you still need to get your rifle sighted-in for deer season, you need to hurry. The game commission’s public ranges are open from noon to sunset today and then they will be closed for the next two weeks. Most private ranges will also be closed for the season after today.

Jerry Feaser, the spokesman for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, wanted to remind everyone that spotlighting for wildlife is prohibited after 11 p.m. and shinning spotlights onto any building is illegal. The law also prohibits spotlights that would excite, frighten or harass livestock, poultry or other farm animals.

For the most part, it’s illegal to spotlight wildlife while in possession of a firearm. However, there are some very limited exceptions for licensed handgun owners. Spotlighting is not permitted during the two-week firearms deer season. It will be legal to start spotlighting again after the rifle deer season during the muzzleloader season and late archery seasons. It is also illegal to shine a spotlight on photoelectric cell lights — those which have sensors that turn them on automatically at night.

“The problems come in when people are not being respectful of rural residents by shining lights on buildings or livestock,” Feaser said. “The other problem is when people use spotlights to aid in poaching.”

Illegal spotlighting is punishable by a fine of $75 to $200 plus court costs. If the spotlight is used in an attempt to take game illegally, other penalties apply. Anyone who wants to report a potential violation should call the game commission’s regional office at 398-4744.



Monday

This is the Super Bowl for hunters in Pennsylvania. It’s the first day of rifle deer season. Up to 60 percent of the anticipated deer harvest will be taken by sundown today, according game commission officials.

Susquehanna Valley hunters need to double-check their 2012-2013 Hunting and Trapping Digests because deer, antlerless deer and bear season regulations and antler restrictions are set based on the Wildlife Management Unit in which they are hunting.

These separate units make a real “patchwork quilt” out of our Valley. Make sure to know your WMU and the regulations that go along with it.



Tuesday

The Snyder County Historical Society will host a presentation this evening by Max Bingaman of Bingaman Lumber at 7:30 p.m. covering the history of timbering in Snyder County. His talk will touch on the history of sawmill production and the history and development of Wood Mode Industries.

Many of us hunters and outdoors enthusiasts depend on old logging roads and chutes when navigating the nearby forests. It might be interesting to learn how these resources got there. For more information please call 837-6191.



Thursday

“Funding for Community Recreation and Conservation,” is the title of a webinar that is being hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources staff at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29. This webinar is designed for new applicants interested in obtaining grant funding for public recreation and conservation projects through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Bureau of Recreation and Conservation grant program.

The webinar will provide a general overview of the grant program, the various types of projects, matching fund requirements, eligible applicants and projects, and how to create a “ready to go” competitive application. In addition, participants will receive an overview of potential sources of funding available for recreation and conservation projects from all types of sources. For more information, please contact Linda Manning at linmanning@pa.gov or (717) 783-4736.

Congratulations, you got a deer and now you’re trying to figure out your next step.  From 7-8 p.m. there will be a Deer Hide Tanning seminar offered at the Bald Eagle State Park near Howard. Why not bring along the whole family to learn about tanning as one of the oldest ways of making clothing?  

The presentation will go through a variety a ways that deer hides can be tanned. This ancient craft can be difficult. However, understanding the basics can get anyone started in the right direction. A slideshow and a hands-on learning opportunity will be provided. The free presentation will be in the environmental learning center at the park that is close to Lock Haven.

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