Share This Page

Hunters take porcupines, but what does it mean?

| Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012,

The state apparently has plenty of porcupines, at least if you're willing to believe the least scientific of calculations.

Hunters killed an estimated 10,000 porcupines in 2011-12, the first season in which they were legal game, according to a survey done by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. No one knows, though, the size of the population from which that harvest came.

That generated varying levels of concern at the board's most recent meeting.

Commissioner Dave Putnam of Centre County said he had no problems with the harvest.

“I think if they were taken in the vicinity of someone's building or dwelling or whatever, it's a good thing,” he said.

He also said he suspects the state is home to more porcupines than anyone knows, based on the number of road-killed animals seen.

“From what I see on the road, 10,000 is a drop in the bucket,” Putnam said.

Commissioner Dave Schreffler of Bedford County said there's no way to know that without figuring out porcupine abundance and distribution, however. Counting roadkills doesn't count as research, he said.

“I think there should be some kind of study or something done to examine populations or their role in the ecosystem. We don't make decisions on other species without that background,” Schreffler said.

Commission president of Ralph Martone said the commission changed the rules regarding porcupines for this fall's season. Hunters will be limited to taking three a day and 10 per season. That's more than states like New York, where porcupines have no protection, he said.

“We did move forward with caution,” he said.

Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at bfrye@tribweb.com or 7240838-5148.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.