Friday November 11, 2019

 

THURSDAY’S HIGH, 40; Overnight “low” 44; .23” of rain

FRI-MOSTLY CLOUDY, SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS, HIGH 46

FRI NIGHT-LOW 30

SAT-CLOUDY, MIXED PRECIPITATION LATE AFTERNOON, HIGH 39

SAT NIGHT-LOW 26

SUN-MORNING –RAIN TAPERS OFF HIGH 34

SUN NIGHT-CLEAR, LOW 31

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 Pennsylvania’s Deer season begins Saturday…..Owlet’s bill to  help rural hospoitals advances in legislature…Driver cited for following too closely after rear-end collision in McKean County….Smethport driver arrested for DUI…..Ridgway woman revived after drug overdose….

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The Monday after Thanksgiving has traditionally been a quasi-holiday in Pennsylvania but the Game Commission has “jumped the gun” so to speak by starting Deer season this coming Saturday.-  A Saturday opener for the firearms deer season and the possibility of more older bucks throughout the Commonwealth have many Pennsylvanians excited about Nov. 30 and the weeks to follow.Last year’s firearms deer season saw rainy weather nearly statewide throughout much of the opening day. But even then, 30 percent of the antlered deer harvested in the 2018-19 firearms season were taken on opening day. It was the best day of the season for buck harvest.

It’s likely that opening day will continue to be the best for buck harvest this year, when the season will open on a Saturday

And there now is a third Saturday in the season, as well, since the season was expanded from 12 days to 13 to accommodate a Saturday opener in which more hunters likely will be able to participate.

Pennsylvania’s firearms season historically has drawn the biggest crowds of all hunting seasons and consequently has been the state’s principal deer-management tool for more than a century. Its coming preoccupies many Pennsylvanians through their Thanksgiving meals and sends many more to a variety of outlets to fill their last-minute needs.

Deer hunters had seen the statewide buck harvest increase for three consecutive years until last season’s opening day soaker ruined the streak. But given the carryover of older bucks from last season, there’s no reason a new streak can’t start now Larger-racked – and older – bucks are making up more of the deer harvest with each passing year. Two seasons ago, 163,750 bucks were taken by hunters, making it the second-largest buck harvest in Pennsylvania since antler restrictions were started in 2002. It was the 10th best all-time.

In the 2018-19 hunting seasons the overall deer harvest was 374,690 – 226,940 antlerless deer and 147,750 bucks. But despite the decreased buck harvest in 2018-19 seasons, there were more 2½-year-old and older bucks – 64 percent. Over the previous four years, the percentage of 2½-year-old and older bucks in the annual deer harvest was: 2017, 57 percent; 2016, 56; 2015, 59; and 2014, 57.

The statewide general firearms season runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 14. In most areas, hunters may take only antlered deer during the season’s first six days, with the antlerless and antlered seasons then running concurrently from the first Saturday, Dec. 7, to the season’s close. In WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, however, properly licensed hunters may take either antlered or antlerless deer at any time during the season.

Rules regarding the number of points a legal buck must have on one antler also vary in different parts of the state, and young hunters statewide follow separate guidelines.

For a complete breakdown of antler restrictions, WMU boundaries and other regulations, consult the 2019-20 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest, which is available online at the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.pa.gov.

Hunters statewide must wear at all times a minimum of 250 square inches of fluorescent orange material on their head, chest and back combined. An orange hat and vest will satisfy the requirement. Nonhunters who might be afield during the deer season and other hunting seasons are asked to consider wearing orange, as well.

The statewide general firearms season runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 14. In most areas, hunters may take only antlered deer during the season’s first six days, with the antlerless and antlered seasons then running concurrently from the first Saturday, Dec. 7, to the season’s close. In WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, however, properly licensed hunters may take either antlered or antlerless deer at any time during the season.

Rules regarding the number of points a legal buck must have on one antler also vary in different parts of the state, and young hunters statewide follow separate guidelines.

For a complete breakdown of antler restrictions, WMU boundaries and other regulations, consult the 2019-20 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest, which is available online at the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.pa.gov.

Hunters statewide must wear at all times a minimum of 250 square inches of fluorescent orange material on their head, chest and back combined. An orange hat and vest will satisfy the requirement. Nonhunters who might be afield during the deer season and other hunting seasons are asked to consider wearing orange, as well.

A valid tag must be affixed to the ear of each deer harvested before that deer is moved. The tag must be filled out with a ball-point pen by the hunter.

Within 10 days of a harvest, a successful hunter is required to make a report to the Game Commission. Harvests can be reported online at the Game Commission’s website – www.pgc.pa.gov – by clicking on the “Report a Harvest” button on the home page. Reporting online not only is the quickest way to report a harvest, it’s the most cost-effective for the Game Commission.

Harvests also can be reported by mailing in the postage-paid cards that are provided when licenses are purchased, or successful hunters can call 1-855-PAHUNT1 (1-855-724-8681) to report by phone. Those reporting by phone are asked to have their license number and other information about the harvest ready at the time they call.

Mentored youth hunters are required to report deer harvests within five days. And hunters with DMAP permits must report on their hunting success, regardless of whether they harvest deer.

Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) announces the  House  has passed his bill to help small, rural hospitals save money and better attract talented health care practitioners.

House Bill 533 would eliminate unwarranted delays by health insurers in credentialing applicants for inclusion in their networks, thus helping rural hospitals be more competitive when it comes to recruiting quality health care practitioners.

“Our rural hospitals and other medical facilities face enough challenges as it is when it comes to meeting the needs of our rural communities,” Owlett said. “By setting strict timelines and streamlining the credentialing process, we give our health care providers the stability and predictability they need and remove a major hurdle to ensuring quality care for our citizens in rural areas.”

Under the bill, all health insurers in Pennsylvania would be required to accept The Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare’s credentialing application or another nationally recognized credentialing application designated by the Insurance Department in order to streamline the process. Health insurers would then have 60 days to complete the credentialing process after receiving the credentialing application.

Hospitals, physician practices and community health centers across the state routinely face the situation where a newly hired health care professional who is fully licensed and qualified to provide care is not reimbursed by insurers for months while the insurers work their way through an unnecessarily long and cumbersome credentialing process. Not only does this cost these facilities money, but it also limits access to care by keeping fully licensed and qualified providers on the sidelines until they are credentialed by insurers. Larger hospitals in more heavily populated areas can often absorb these costs and delays, but rural hospitals are at a distinct disadvantage.

“When talking with those in the health care field about what barriers they face when seeking employment, the amount of time in the credentialing process has been identified again and again,” said Owlett. “If we want to attract talented physicians to Pennsylvania and save our smaller rural hospitals money, then we need to make the transition of new physicians as smooth and as quick as possible. Right now some doctors are waiting up to six months to be credentialed.”

Owlett’s bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Both Gifford drivers escaped injury in a rear-end collision Thursday morning I Keating Township, McKean County. State police at Lewis Run say the collision occurred when David Taylor stopped hgis Chevrolet Silverado for a school bus and Christopher Dax failed to see the stopped pick up and allowed his Land Rover to  run into the rear-end. Both units traveled a short distance before stopping. Dax was cited for following too closely.

A Smethport man has been arrested for DUI, State police at Lewis Run claim when they pulled 47 year old Amon Brock over for a traffic violation on Route 155 near Rock Run Road early last Saturday morning, they found he was driving his 1996 Dodge under the influence.

Emergency responders revived a 41 year old Ridgway woman by administer multiple doses of Narcan Wednesday night. The woman was transported to Elk Regional Medical Center after being  found unresponsive due to an overdose on Commons Lane. Narcan is given to counteract an opioid overdose.