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Outdoors notebook: Hunters awarded elk licenses

| Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, 4:51 p.m.

The drawings to award Pennsylvania elk hunting licenses have come and gone, but they left some big cash behind.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation auctioned off one bull elk license for 2014, and the Keystone Elk Country Alliance raffled off another. The winners of each tag can pursue elk from Sept. 1 through Nov. 8.

The Elk Foundation auction attracted 18 bidders and raised $41,000. The winner was a hunter from Washington state who asked to remain anonymous.

One hundred percent of the funds from this year's auction “were returned to the Pennsylvania Game Commission to assist elk and elk habitat,” the group said.

The Alliance tag — offered for the first time this year — went to Paul Brown of Blandon, Berks County. His name was drawn from among 9,629 raffle tickets sold.

The raffle raised $156,100. The money will be used to support the Alliance's “conservation education and wildlife habitat improvement projects” done in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, executive director Rawley Cogan said.

The 108 hunters who were chosen via lottery to get an elk license from the Game Commission will be able to hunt from Nov. 3-8. Twenty-seven hunters drew tags good for a bull elk; 81 drew tags for cows.

A number of Western Pennsylvania hunters, from towns such as Aliquippa, Pittsburgh, Kittanning and Stahlstown, were among those who drew tags.

CWD meeting

The Game Commission will hold a public meeting to discuss chronic wasting disease and the rules for hunters chasing deer in its disease management zones at 6 p.m. Thursday in DuBois.

It will take place in the auditorium at DuBois Senior High School, 425 Orient Ave. Doors will open at about 5 p.m.

DuBois, as well as portions of Punxsutawney and Brookville, lies within disease management area 3, which was established in May after CWD was detected at a captive deer facility in Jefferson County. Maps of the disease management area and the state's other two areas can be found atpgc.state.pa.us.

No decision

The Allegheny County Airport Authority has not yet decided whether to allow deer hunting on its land this fall.

Last year, the authority — for the first time since 2008 — allowed a limited number of people to hunt on 2,362 acres of airport-leased land in Findlay Township. A total of 2,993 hunters entered a drawing; 157 were chosen. They killed 15 deer, including 11 bucks and four does.

Spokeswoman JoAnn Jenny said she would make an announcement about whether a hunt will be held or not when a decision has been reached.

State firearm

Pennsylvania now has an official state firearm.

Gov. Tom Corbett recently signed into law House Bill 1989, which gave that designation to the Pennsylvania long rifle.

“The Pennsylvania Long Rifle was the first truly American firearm and, due to its exceptional accuracy and range, was considered the greatest achievement in the development of firearms during the 18th century,” reads the legislation.

The rifle was developed by craftsman in Lancaster and Northampton counties before becoming the firearm of choice among western pioneers and settlers, it adds.

New chapter

There's a new chapter of the Quality Deer Management Association. The Mountaineer Branch will serve Fayette and Greene counties in Pennsylvania, as well as Doddridge, Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Taylor, Tucker Tyler and Wetzel counties in West Virginia.

Hunters interested in getting involved can contact branch president Jeremy Preston at 304-534-0303.

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