Of course we are looking to the upcoming fall turkey season, and the juggling of those seasons last year left a very unpleasant taste in the mouths of most hunters. Here's the update on this year's season.
In Wildlife Management Unit 4D, which affects most of us, the fall season will run from Oct. 29-Nov. 12 and then again from Nov. 24-26. The same season applies to all the other WMU's as well except for 5A, which has only a three-day season, Nov. 1-3 and in WMU's 5B, 5C and 5D, which are all closed to fall turkey hunting. WMU's 1A, 1B and 2A are shotgun only zones; the others may use rifles for fall.
Remember too that fall turkey hunters must wear at least 250 square inches of fluorescent orange on the head, chest and back combined, visible 360 degrees at all times when moving. The orange may be removed at stationary calling location, providing a minimum of 100 square inches of fluorescent orange is posted within 15 feet of the location and is visible 360 degrees.
So dig out the orange banners and stick them in your turkey hunting vest now. If you are like me, you took them out for spring season and now have to conduct a search to find them for use in the fall
Mark your calendar
Remember that Friday, Aug. 12 is the Hunting Heritage Fundraising banquet for the Allegheny Mountain Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
This is always a fun time and so beneficial to wildlife because the money raised goes mainly to habitat enhancement projects, for which this chapter is known. And for educational projects as to safety while turkey hunting.
The banquet will be held at the Bavarian Hall on 13th Street in Altoona. At this banquet there will be countless opportunities to win art prints, sporting firearms, and other outdoor gear at the auctions and raffles.
For information or tickets, contact president Kevin Kunsman at 317 7535.
That's how nature works
The next afternoon after a neighbor told me regrettably of having hit a spotted fawn on the highway, I saw another such casualty. I was on my way home from work and the police were there, just outside Hollidaysburg, on Plank Road, and there on the centerline, lay another spotted fawn.
It's been something of a rough summer for young wildlife: the heat wave they can survive but searching for food sources that are not dried up and brown and water simply requires that they move more than usual. So be watchful as you drive.
Mortality among wild creatures, however, is not abnormal. Wildlife usually does produce more of its kind in the spring than can actually survive to adulthood. Predators take countless turkey and grouse poults and fawns each summer than we ever know about. We just get queasy when we actually have to slowly drive around a little spotted fawn that has just been dispatched by a car. But it is nature's way.
Listen to this
Don Heckman, one of the elder statesmen of the Pennsylvania Chapter of NWTF has sent along some very interesting information.
The Game Commission offers a second spring turkey hunting license to hunters. Figures show that in 2010 exactly 13,598 resident hunters and 492 non-resident hunters applied for and received a second spring turkey license. That brought in $295,025.69.
It got better in 2011. Exactly 14,500 resident hunters and 599 non-residents applied for the licenses, bringing in $328,290.60 in revenue.
I have always gotten the second license. First of all, I know from scientific data that the turkey population is not adversely impacted by whatever harvest comes from the second licenses. As with antlerless licenses, several licenses are sold for every gobbler that is harvested on a second license.
What I enjoy about having a second license is that I can harvest a bird in one place and a second bird in another part of the state. For those of us who have hunting opportunities and buddies in several parts of the state, that is very convenient.