Outdoors notebook: Consol Energy program gets boost locally
Consol Energy is making it easier for hunters to help feed the hungry.
The Canonsburg-based energy company is footing the bill for processing any deer turned in to the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program in Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties this fall.
The Harvest program gives hunters the opportunity to donate all or a portion of any deer they kill. The meat — 100,000 pounds last year, enough for 200,000 meals — is distributed via food banks, soup kitchens, church programs and others.
Typically, hunters pay to have the deer processed by a butcher. Consol is paying those fees this year, though, so long as hunters use approved processors. A list can be found at www.sharedeer.org/meat-processors.
“More than 1.3 million Pennsylvanians are classified as living beneath the lowest-income poverty level, and Hunters Sharing the Harvest is one of the state's leading advocates in the fight against hunger,” Consol's Dave Bojtos said by way of explaining the company's involvement.
Donation season is under way and continues through the end of the statewide archery and flintlock seasons in January.
Hunters will be able to apply for deer management assistance program permits earlier next year.
Cal DuBrock, director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission's bureau of wildlife management, said the deadline for landowners to enroll their properties in DMAP will go from June 1 to May 1. The change will make it possible for hunters to begin getting DMAP permits in or closer to June each year, when general licenses go on sale.
A hunter out chasing coyotes recently killed the first free-ranging wolf in Kentucky in more than a century.
DNA analysis performed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Wildlife Research Center in Colorado determined the 73-pound animal was a gray wolf. Wildlife officials do not know where the wolf came from.
In the past, snowmobiles were register by the state's Department of Conservation and Natural resources. Going forward, the Department of Transportation will handle that work.
Officials say the partnership will lead to customers getting their renewals two to four weeks faster.