From today's PGC News Release #5
PRELIMINARY APPROVAL GIVEN TO TWO BIRD SPRING GOBBLER SEASON The Board of Game Commissioners gave preliminary approval for staff to create a system for hunters to purchase a special wild turkey license that will enable them to take a second spring gobbler in the proposed 2006 spring gobbler season. Fees for the special license are $21 for residents and $41 for nonresidents.
Applications for special wild turkey licenses would be submitted to the Game Commission's Harrisburg headquarters via the Internet or a paper application submitted by mail.
Under the proposal, which must be voted on in April before taking effect, hunters would only be able to submit one application for the special wild turkey license during a license year.
According to Mary Jo Casalena, Game Commission wild turkey biologist, sufficient research has shown that properly timed and implemented multiple bird spring limits have not caused population declines in other states.
"Pennsylvania, however, is unique with its large number of wild turkey hunters and large harvests," Casalena said. "Therefore, it is imperative that sufficient population monitoring occurs prior to any additional season changes. We regularly recommend the change in seasons remain in place for at least 3 years to assess any biological and social impacts caused by that change, after which additional changes could be made, such as extending hunting hours beyond noon."
On July 2, 2004, legislation sponsored by Rep. Merle Phillips was signed into law by Governor Edward G. Rendell to empower the Game Commission to sell special licenses allowing hunters to take an additional wild turkey beyond the two (one fall turkey and one spring gobbler) currently provided for as part of the general hunting license. The measure, House Bill 2042, passed the state House and Senate unanimously.
The Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, a statewide organization with more than 25,000 members, had endorsed the bill.
"The law creating this special wild turkey license enables the Game Commission to provide Pennsylvania hunters with an opportunity to hunt and harvest a second spring gobbler in the same season," said Vern Ross, Game Commission executive director. "This will in no way impact hunters' current ability to harvest one spring and one fall turkey as part of their general hunting license privileges.
"I want to offer my thanks to Rep. Phillips for introducing this measure, all legislators for supporting it and Governor Rendell for signing it into law."
<font color="red"> Revenues from the special licenses could be used to implement and fund the Game Commission's turkey management plan and further educate turkey hunters, thereby promoting additional recreation and safe hunting practices. </font>
Ross noted that Rep. Phillips, a lifelong turkey hunter, has been actively involved in hunting and fishing issues and in the past has worked with the Game Commission to create special youth projects, including the youth spring turkey hunt.
KEY WORDS HERE ARE "COULD BE USED"!!!