Northcentral Field Officer Report  - March 13, 2015

WCO Mike Steingraber in State College reports that he encountered more coyote hunters during the Mosquito Creek Hunt this year, despite cold and snowy weather.

Land Manager Eric Erdman reports the Centre County Food & Cover Corps is working to make the building at Scotia Range, State Game Lands 176, better to use as a classroom. Hunter-Trapper Education has been held at the building on and off through the years, but the goal is to upgrade the classroom experience not just for Hunter-Trapper Education, but also for other Game Commission trainings and events.   

Land Manager Eric Erdman reports the Clinton County Food & Cover Corps is currently in the process of mowing overgrown and dying apple trees in the apple orchard formerly established and maintained by Rockview Penitentiary in the Spring Creek Canyon area. After mowing, there will be a controlled burn followed by planting of native warm-season grasses and forbs. The habitat transformation will provide better cover and habitat, and a better experience for hunting pheasants stocked by the Game Commission.  

Potter and Tioga counties Land Manager Denise Mitcheltree reports that the Food and Cover crews have struggled over the past month to maintain access to areas where they have been performing timber-stand improvements. The deep snow and remote locations have reduced the acreage they safely can cut. Even the annual cleaning out and replacement of nesting boxes has been hampered by the snow. In an effort to have all the bird boxes ready for spring, the crews have used snowshoes, snowmobiles, and tractors to access the remote locations.

Land Management Officer Colleen Shannon reports that the Food & Cover Crews worked exceptionally hard this winter to continue with habitat improvements and provide woody browse by cutting on State Game Lands 100, 293, 311, 331, and the Chipper Road area of the Moshannon State Forest. However, deep and heavy snow and ice eventually made it too dangerous to operate the chainsaws.

Centre and Clinton counties Land Manager Eric Erdman encourages everyone to get out of the house when the winter weather finally breaks and enjoy some recreational shooting at Scotia Range in Centre County. Besides enjoying the fresh air, it’s important to stay familiar with your firearms and practice good shooting mechanics. If possible, bring a new shooter with you to pass along the information, tradition and share the fun. All range rules and regulations can be found on the Game Commission’s website or in the Hunting & Trapping Digest.        

Pennsylvania Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Ave, Harrisburg Pennsylvania 17110-9797