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Outdoors notebook: Biologists want concurrent buck, doe hunting

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Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, 10:59 p.m.

around the game commission

• Biologists are going to recommend the Game Commission go back to having deer seasons statewide that offer two weeks of concurrent buck and doe hunting. Cal DuBrock, director of the commission's bureau of wildlife management, said biologists would prefer to give sportsmen more flexibility time-wise, while controlling deer numbers via the number of doe licenses made available. “The 12-day season is the preference of the people who are our future,” DuBrock said, noting a survey found that hunters aged through their 30s like it over any other option. It's older hunters who form the basis of opposition to the 12-day season, he added. Commissioner Ron Weaner of Adams County said that fact, and anecdotal evidence that shows people are shifting to hunt areas where concurrent buck and doe hunting is allowed, has him believing a 12-day season is the way to go. Commissioner Jay Delaney disagreed. At a meeting of the board in Harrisburg, he said the preference for a 12-day season, while real, is slight. He said he favors leaving things as is for a few more years.

• Changes are coming to the state's turkey seasons. Next fall, if Game Commissioners follow through on existing plans, as expected, turkey season will expand to three weeks in wildlife management units 2C, 2E, 4A, 4B and 4D and shrink to two weeks in units 2F and 2G. That's the opposite of the ways things have been for several years. But it's by design. The commission has been conducting a hen study in all of those units, trying to determine hen harvest rates, hunter participation and hunter satisfaction. The change will last two years and is meant to help get those answers. “This is not some random act of changing seasons,” commission president Ralph Martone of New Castle said. “It's part of a study that's going to be very, very valuable to us in the future.”

around the fish and boat commission

• The Fish and Boat Commission stocked some local waters with fish earlier this fall. North Park Lake in Allegheny County got white crappie and channel catfish fingerlings, while Lower Burrell, Loyalhanna and Northmoreland lakes, all in Westmoreland, Canonsburg Lake in Washington and Lake Wilma in Greene all got channel cats. Stocked with musk fingerlings were Glendale Lake in Cambria County, Mahoning Creek in Armstrong, the Allegheny River in Allegheny, Armstrong, Fayette and Westmoreland, Loyalhanna Lake and Lake Somerset in Somerset.

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