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September shaping up to be busy for hunters

| Sunday, Sept. 16, 2001

September is moving right along and hunting season is getting ready to shift into high gear. Dove season has been open since Sept. 1, and if you have not yet received your anterless deer tags, they will be in the mail tomorrow.

There is a lot going on this month for hunters and many have spent the last few weeks preparing for the upcoming seasons. Antlerless deer licenses sold out in nine counties the first week, and as of Aug. 28, 54 counties had exhausted their allocations for the antlerless permits. Washington County however, still has some permits left. To assist hunters in finding counties with remaining tags, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has been updating its Web site weekly (www.pgc.state.pa.us).

Looking for something to do today•

Head up to Linesville, Crawford County, and visit the Pymatuning Waterfowl Expo. Today is the final day of wildlife related games, programs and activities. The Game Commission's Pymatuning Wildlife Learning Center will also be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The center features new learning-based exhibits and a new Hunting Heritage Room that depicts the crucial role hunting and trapping have played in Pennsylvania's past.

If you decide to visit Crawford County, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is offering guided tours of its game farm in Cambridge Springs. The tours begin at noon and conclude at 3 p.m. The tours offer an opportunity for hunters and others to learn more about the state's game farms and the pheasant stocking program. Each year, more than 200,000 ring-necked pheasants are raised by the state's four game farms. The pheasant stocking program offers additional hunting opportunities at a time when wild pheasant populations are low. This year, production has been better than expected at the game farms, and the Southwest Region can expect to receive some 28,730 males and 16,420 females for the upcoming season. Most of the birds get stocked on State Game Lands. The Pennsylvania Game Commission has a publication listed on its Web site that identifies the game lands, state parks and federal lands with suitable habitat for pheasants. The publication is titled ''A Guide To Pheasant Releases and More.''

Later this month, elk will move into the spotlight as the Northwest Pennsylvania's Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau sponsors an Elk Expo, Sept. 29-30. The event is being held along with the public drawing for 30 elk licenses awarded for the first modern-day elk hunt in Pennsylvania. The drawing will take place at the elk viewing area on Winslow Hill, Benezette Township, Elk County, on Sept. 29. The first 15 will be awarded antlered elk licenses, the second 15 will be awarded antlerless elk licenses. Of the 30 licenses, only two will be available to nonresidents.

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