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Camp planned for junior shooters

If you are a youngster and like to shoot, there's an event out there for you.

The Pennsylvania Rifle and Pistol Association, in cooperation with the National Rifle Association and the NRA Foundation, is sponsoring a summer camp for junior shooters. It's scheduled for June 15-19.

The camp has been around for more than 20 years. Shooters will live and eat on the campus of Indiana (Pa.) University during the camp, and shoot at Clymer Rifle Club.

The camp is designed for "intermediate level junior shooters who have beginning experience at programs such as NRA Junior club programs, 4-H shooting programs, high school programs, or other organized basic marksmanship programs."

All shooting is done with .22-caliber target rifles on a 50-foot indoor range. Instructors -- available at a ratio of one per every two shooters -- will cover everything from good shooting technique to subjects related to smallbore competition. There will be a number of competition matches throughout the week, too.

Cost of the camp is $185, which includes ammunition, targets, dormitory rooms and meals. Interested shooters should contact camp director David Cramer for applications. He can be reached by mail at 2308 Smith Ave., Aliquippa, PA 15001; by phone at 724-378-4203; or by e-mail at davidjcramer@yahoo.com .

The registration deadline is April 30, but the camp is limited to 20 shooters, so early registration is suggested.

Elk tag

There was more than a little unhappiness last year when Pennsylvania Game Commission executive director Carl Roe awarded the state's first conservation elk tag to the National Wild Turkey Federation rather than the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Some proposed legislation is the result.

State Senator Rich Kasunic, a Fayette County Democrat, is the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 1026, which would create a five-person appointed advisory committee that would decide which conservation organization gets to raffle off the tag. The bill is awaiting consideration by the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee.

Last year, the state's first conservation tag sold for $28,000. The Game Commission got 80 percent of that, and the Turkey Federation the rest.

Roe gave the elk tag to the Elk Foundation this year, which will raffle it off in March.

Kasunic's legislation, though, would take future decisions out of the commission's hands.

His advisory board would be comprised of one representative chosen by the Governor and one chosen by the majority and minority chairs of the Senate and House game and fisheries committees.

Sales up

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission officials reported recently that fishing license sales in 2009 were up over the previous year.

Seems it wasn't alone.

According to the American Sportfishing Association, license sales were up 4.7 percent in eight of the 12 other states that participate in an index meant to represent trends nationally.

"Should the 4.7 percent rise hold true nationwide, it would represent one of the largest percentage increases in fishing license sales in over 30 years," said Association president and CEO Mike Nussman.

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