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Outdoors notebook: Old hunting licenses becoming an issue in Pennsylvania

| Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, 9:54 p.m.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission may look to officially make it illegal for you to carry more than one year's worth of hunting licenses on your person.

In years past, the color of licenses changed from year to year. That's not feasible with the new automated license system, officials have said, given that the machines not only print out hunting licenses on a fiscal year basis, but also fishing licenses, which are sold on a calendar year basis.

The result, said Rich Palmer, head of the commission's bureau of wildlife protection, is that the problem of people carrying old, outdated licenses has “grown significantly” in recent years. In some cases, people have been intentionally trying to get by with an old license, he said. In others, people have forgotten to swap out their old licenses for their new ones, and sometimes put the wrong year's tag on an animal they've harvested.

That was the case this year with the first bear brought to the check station in Tidioute, said commission executive director Carl Roe. That hunter had to drive 45 minutes home and 45 minutes back to get the current year's bear tag, he said.

Stockings

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocked the Beaver River in Beaver and Lawrence counties with 12,000 channel catfish fingerlings. In Armstrong County, Crooked Creek Lake and Mahoning Creek Lake got 3,500 and 2,700 respectively. Lake Somerset in Somerset got 2,550. In Washington County, Cross Creek Lake got 2,440, Dutch Fork Lake got 1,800, Reservoir No. 2 got 1,450 and Canonsburg Lake got 750. In Westmoreland County, Lower Twin Lake got 400 and Lower Burrell Lake got 100. Lake Wilma in Greene County got 400, Filbert Pond in Fayette got 300, and Upper, Middle and Lower Deer lakes in Allegheny got 150, 150 and 100, respectively.

The Youghiogheny River got 1,900 musky fingerlings where it flows through Allegheny, Fayette and Westmoreland counties. The Allegheny River in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties got 1,100 musky fingerlings, while the river in Armstrong and Clarion counties got 700.

Not so smooth

Jason Farabaugh, a wildlife conservation officer for the Pennsylvania Game Commission in Fayette and Westmoreland counties, recently apprehended two people attempting to shoot a deer with a spotlight.

“When the vehicle was stopped, the passenger attempted to throw the rifle out the window. However, the rifle was entangled in the spotlight cord and was found dangling outside the window,” Farabaugh said.

Club honored

Bull Creek Rod and Gun Club was honored this fall by the Game Commission for the many youth programs it offers each year. The club received a framed work of art for its hosting hunter safety courses, youth pheasant hunt, youth rifle tournament and more.

Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at bfrye@tribweb.com or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.

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