Friday May 3, 2019

Black Forest Express


Thursday’s high, 78; Overnight low, 55; .07” rain







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 Successful  turkey hunters invited to enter Game Commission contest……Thieves steal $700 worth of equipment in Tioga County…..Troopers looking for thief and maybe accomplices for theft at Mansfield Walmart…

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Pennsylvania’s Spring Gobbler Season is a week old and successful hunters are invited to enter a Game Commission contest. A beautiful gobbler might not be the only prize a successful turkey hunter brings home this spring.The Game Commission is sponsoring its second annual Turkey Harvest Photo Contest, and hunters submitting the photos of themselves with their 2019 Pennsylvania gobblers are eligible to win one of two personalized, engraved box calls.

Entries will be narrowed to a field of finalists in each the adult hunter and youth hunter category, with one winner in each category then selected by voters on the Game Commission’s Facebook page.

But you must enter to win. Hunters should be sure to submit photos of their 2019 Pennsylvania harvests by email to Submissions should include the first and last name of anyone in the photo, the hunter’s hometown and the county the turkey was harvested.

The contest will run through Monday, June 3, with the winners selected shortly thereafter.

Even though widespread rain and colder-than-normal temperatures discouraged some turkey hunters last spring, those who ventured afield set the highest hunter success rate in years. The estimated 174,500 spring turkey hunters afield in 2018 pales in comparison to the 10-year average of 219,650. But they still took 40,303 turkeys, which is up from 38,101 in 2017.

The 2019  Spring Gobbler Season closes May 31.The forecast for the coming season is a statewide turkey population numbering between 215,000 to 225,000 birds,

Pennsylvania turkeys are coming off their second consecutive rainy spring. Extensive rainfall and well below-average temperatures hampered poult survival in some areas of the state. Light fall harvests and recent mild winters have helped balance the population, though.

The turkey population peaked at 280,000 in 2001 after years of intensive management. Since then populations have declined and now fluctuate annually based upon summer recruitment. But the population also is influenced substantially by habitat quality, increasingly severe weather events, predation and fall harvest. Overall, the population is slowly increasing from its most-recent low of 192,612 in 2010, with increases in the one- and two-year age classes.

A record 20,925 hunters bought second gobbler tags in 2018. Their success rate was a best-ever 65 percent. But second turkeys accounted for only 10 percent of the overall spring harvest.

Hunting hours during the youth hunt end at noon. Junior hunters and mentored youth also may participate in the statewide spring gobbler season.

Hunting hours begin one-half hour before sunrise and end at noon for the first two weeks of the statewide season (April 27 through May 11). Hunters are asked to be out of the woods by 1 p.m. when hunting hours end at noon. This is to minimize disturbance of nesting hens.

From May 13 through May 31, hunting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset. The all-day season allows more opportunity at the point in the season when hunting pressure is lower and nesting hens are less likely to abandon nests.

Only bearded birds may be harvested during the spring season, and hunting is permitted by calling only. The stalking of turkeys is unlawful and unsafe.There is no requirement for hunters to wear fluorescent orange during the spring turkey season, though it is recommended that orange be worn while moving.

Successful turkey hunters must immediately and properly tag the bird before moving the bird from the harvest site, and are required by law to report the harvest to the Game Commission.For most hunters, harvests must be reported within 10 days. Mentored youth and mentored adult hunters must report harvests within five days.There are three ways harvests can be reported. The preferred reporting methods are for successful hunters to visit, click the blue “Report a Harvest” button along the right side of the home page, then fill out a form and submit, or to report by telephone at 1-855-PAHUNT1 (1-855-724-8681). Alternately, hunters can fill out and mail in the harvest report cards given to hunters at the time they purchase their licenses.

The theft of some equipment from  Williamson Road in Covington Township, Tioga County  last weekend remains under investigation by state police at Mansfield. The front tires and rims off of a Polaris Ranger ATV, owned by Penelec are valued at $200 and a Kenworth Exhaust Elbow owned by Precision Pipeline is valued at $610.

Troopers at Mansfield are also looking for a thief who threw a trail camera over the  Walmart garden center fence and then retrieved it earlier this week  after leaving the store . The thief also placed other items in a plastic bag without paying for them. Police say a known man and woman were also seen on surveillance with the unknown crook and may have been involved.

Amy Smith, 42 of Mansfield has been arrested for DUI. State police there claim when they stopped her 2013 Subaru Outback on Route 6  on St,Patrick’s evening, they found she had been driving under the influence.