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Outdoors notebook: Commission seeks shooting sports coordinator

| Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, 10:15 p.m.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is looking to hire its first shooting-sports coordinator.

The commission has been involved the past several years with the National Archery in the Schools Program, which teaches kids to shoot bows. It wants to get involved in the Scholastic Clay Target Program, which involves youth trap shooting, and other school-based programs, said Keith Snyder, chief of the commission's hunter education and outreach division.

The new coordinator would handle that, while also looking to promote programs, leagues and clubs where adults could shoot firearms and bows, he said. The job is guaranteed for three years and will be funded using grant money.

A website, goshootpa.org, likely will be developed to serve as a clearing house for information on what's available, he said.

The commission also is looking to hire a hunter education specialist on similar terms who will be responsible for developing more advanced training courses.

Drones

Unmanned aerial drones are getting some attention in the hunting community.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission has given preliminary approval to rules that would make it illegal for hunters to use drones to spot potential game, saying such tactics go beyond the guidelines of fair chase.

The use of aircraft to aid in hunting is illegal under federal law, but it predates the development of drones.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, meanwhile, is selling drones called “air angels” for people to use to target hunters “drinking while in the possession of a firearm, injuring animals and failing to pursue them so that they die slowly and painfully, and using spotlights, feed lures and other hunting tricks.”

PETA doesn't mention that those are illegal and unethical activities.

On sale

The Great American Outdoor Show is scheduled Feb. 1-9 at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, and tickets are on sale now. It's the largest outdoors gathering in the country, with 1,100-plus exhibitors. Tickets can be purchased at GreatAmericanOutdoorShow.org.

Land acquired

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy recently bought 38 acres in Slippery Rock Township near Wolf Creek Narrows Natural Area, a Butler County site known for its spring wildflowers. It will be open to the public.

Retiring

Larry Schweiger, the Butler County native who has been CEO of the National Wildlife Federation for years, is retiring in May. He previously was executive director of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

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

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