Extension of Elk Hunting Season in Elk Hunt Zones 1 and 5
[46 Pa.B. 7775]
[Saturday, December 10, 2016]
Whereas, The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) conducted the 2016 regular elk hunting season from October 31, 2016 through November 5, 2016; and
Whereas, The PGC has historically observed a higher incidence of human-elk conflict within Elk Hunt Zone 5 as an evident result of the growth of the elk population in this area; and
Whereas, The PGC has attempted to reduce populations in Elk Hunt Zone 5 over the past four years by maintaining increased elk license allocations for this area; and
Whereas, The PGC has observed that elk harvest rates in Elk Hunt Zone 5 have varied over past four years, but harvest rates were poor in 2015 and exceptionally poor in 2016; and
Whereas, The PGC has calculated that at the close of the 2015 regular elk hunting season only 8 of 20 cow hunters (40%) and 3 of 3 bull hunters (100%) assigned to Elk Hunt Zone 5 had successfully harvested an elk; and
Whereas, The PGC has calculated that at the close of the 2016 regular elk hunting season only 6 of 20 cow hunters (30%) and 3 of 4 bull hunters (75%) assigned to Elk Hunt Zone 5 had successfully harvested an elk; and
Whereas, The PGC has determined that evidence suggests that hunters in Elk Hunt Zone 5 were unable to consistently locate elk that were remaining in forested areas and rarely venturing into many of the more traditional open areas and/or were unable to gain access to elk from private landowners, thus resulting in a significant underharvest of elk in Elk Hunt Zone 5 during the 2016 regular elk hunting season; and
Whereas, The PGC has determined that an extension of the elk hunting season within Elk Hunt Zone 5 is necessary to address these recent poor harvest rates and elevated rates of human-elk conflict; and
Whereas, The PGC has further determined that an extension of the elk hunting season within Elk Hunt Zone 1, which is typically open to all licensed elk hunters during the regular elk hunting season, will similarly assist in the continued control of elk populations and human-elk conflict mitigation in this borderland area; and
Whereas, The PGC has identified a total of 15 licensed elk hunters (14 cow/1 bull) from Elk Hunt Zone 5 that were unsuccessful during the 2016 regular elk season that would benefit from an extension of elk season in Elk Hunt Zones 1 and 5; and
Whereas, The PGC has concluded that an extension of the elk hunting season in Elk Hunt Zones 1 and 5 will improve its ability to meet its elk management goals within these areas, increase its rapport with landowners in these areas and increase rapport with previously unsuccessful Elk Hunt Zone 5 hunters; and
Whereas, The Game and Wildlife Code (Code) (34 Pa.C.S. §§ 101 et seq.) and regulations promulgated thereunder (58 Pa. Code §§ 131.1 et seq.) collectively provide broad authority to the PGC to regulate activities relating to the protection, preservation, and management of game and wildlife, including elk; and
Whereas, 58 Pa. Code § 139.3 provides specific authority to the Executive Director of the PGC to extend hunting or trapping seasons in designated areas when a certain species is available in sufficient number the designated area or it is determined that inclement weather conditions or other factors resulted in an underharvest of certain species of wildlife in the designated area.
Now Therefore, I, R. MATTHEW HOUGH, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, pursuant to the authority vested in me by the Code and regulations promulgated thereunder, do hereby order and direct the following:
1. The PGC will open an extended elk season in Elk Hunt Zones 1 and 5 from January 7, 2017 through January 14, 2017.
2. Any person licensed to hunt in Elk Hunt Zone 5 during the 2016 regular elk season who was unsuccessful and currently possesses a valid, unfulfilled elk harvest tag is eligible to participate during the above described extended season in Elk Hunt Zones 1 and 5, but will remain subject to the sex (antlered/antlerless or bull/cow) limitations of their original harvest tag.
3. Written descriptions of the boundaries of Elk Hunt Zones 1 and 5 are as set forth below and are more graphically illustrated on the map titled ''2016 Elk Hunt Extended Season Map'' and incorporated by reference herein. Should any discrepancy exist between the below-listed written boundaries and map of depicting Elk Hunt Zones 1 and 5, the written descriptions shall prevail.
a. Elk Hunt Zone 1: Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson and McKean, counties, bounded and described as follows: From intersection of U.S. 219 and U.S. 6 near Mt. Jewett, follow U.S. 6 to Rt. 155. Rt. 155 south to Rt. 120. Rt. 120 west to Rt. 255. Rt. 255 south to Cleveland St. near Byrnedale. Cleveland St. west to Byrnedale Rd. Byrnedale Rd. west to Gardner Hill Rd. Gardner Hill Rd. west to Clear Cut Rd. Clear Cut Rd. west to Boone Mountain Rd. Boone Mountain Rd. south across Rt. 153 to Fire Tower Rd. Fire Tower Rd. south to Sierra Heights Rd. Sierra Heights Rd. east to Kiehlmeier Rd. Kiehlmeier Rd. east to Mountain Run Rd. Mountain Run Rd. east to Rt. 255. Rt. 255 south to Bark Camp Rd. Bark Camp Rd. east to Rt. 153. Rt. 153 south to Four Mile Rd. Four Mile Rd. east to McGeorge Rd. McGeorge Rd. south to Goshen Rd. Goshen Rd. east to Rt. 970 at Shawville. Rt. 970 south to West Branch Susquehanna River. West Branch Susquehanna River east to Rt. 879 near Karthaus. Rt. 879 south to Rt. 144 near Moshannon. Rt. 144 east to Interstate 80 interchange near Snowshoe. Interstate 80 west to U.S. 219 near Dubois. U.S. 219 north to U.S. 6 near Mt. Jewett.
b. Elk Hunt Zone 5: Clearfield and Elk counties, bounded and described as follows: From the intersection of Rt. 255 and Caledonia Rd., then Caledonia Rd. southeast to Rt. 555. Rt. 555 east to Caledonia Pike. Caledonia Pike south to McGeorge Rd. McGeorge Rd. south to Four Mile Rd. Four Mile Rd. west to Rt. 153. Rt. 153 north to Bark Camp Rd. Bark Camp Rd north to Rt. 255. Rt. 255 north to Mountain Run Rd. Mountain Run Rd. west to Kiehlmeier Rd. Kiehlmeier Rd. west to Sierra Heights Rd. Sierra Heights Rd. west to Fire Tower Rd. Fire Tower Rd. north across Rt. 153 to Boone Mountain Rd. Boone Mountain Rd. north to Clearcut Rd. Clearcut Rd. east to Gardner Hill Rd. Gardner Hill Rd. east to Byrnedale Rd. to Cleveland Rd. Cleveland Rd. east to Rt. 255 at Byrnedale. Rt. 255 north to intersection with Caledonia Rd.
4. This Order is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until it reaches its natural expiration on January 14, 2017 or it is otherwise rescinded or modified by subsequent order.
Given under my hand and seal of the Pennsylvania Game Commission on this 21st day of November, 2016.
R. MATTHEW HOUGH,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 16-2157. Filed for public inspection December 9, 2016, 9:00 a.m.]
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