Start date of squirrel season generates talk
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Might Game Commissioners move opening day of the state's squirrel season up to early September?
That's not something biologists are recommending yet. But commissioners recently asked for and heard a report on the feasibility of such a move.
Squirrels are almost universally abundant across the state. “If there's one game animal that could use some additional attention in Pennsylvania, it's squirrels,” reads the news release the commission put out prior to the season last fall. The agency — always on the lookout for ways to recruit new hunters into a dwindling license-buying base — also has touted squirrel hunting as a good way to introduce kids to hunting.
Yet the Game Commission traditionally waits until mid-October to open the season on squirrels; it began on Oct. 13 this past fall. By comparison, Indiana opened squirrel season Aug. 15, Kentucky Aug. 18, New York, Maryland, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia Sept. 1, West Virginia Sept. 8, Massachusetts Sept. 10, Michigan and Delaware Sept. 15, and New Jersey Sept. 29.
The two reasons given in support of a later opener — the possibility of shooting pregnant squirrels and the presence warbles or bot flies — don't hold a lot of water, it seems.
Commission biologist Matt Lovallo said research done in New York in the 1980s as a result of a legal challenge found that only about 0.5 to 2.8 percent of the squirrels taken by hunters in September were lactating females.
That was not shown to be enough to impact populations, the study found.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Game Commission to direct hunters to deer
- Frye: Big trout and hunting issues
- Outdoors notices: Oct. 4, 2015
- Fish and Boat Commission sells part of Hereford Manor
- Outdoors notices: Sept. 27, 2015
- Fishing report: Cooler weather prompts better fishing
- Outdoor notebook: Wet spring might impact what hunters see this fall
- Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters sites unveiled