For the Record – Carl Rowe

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Commonwealths Attorneys and I have concluded at the NCAA sanctions reaching in a month someones got bubble what I know so were gonna want to buy countries welcome to another edition of for the record today were going to talk about the pennsylvania game commission and what better man to speak about it then the executive director Karl Karl welcome to the show thank you for being here Hans my pleasure lets start off with the disc tile legis about you first well I came to Game Commission in 2001 as its a first strategic planner and then took over the administrative duties as we changed to a new business operating system than the executive director then thought I could do that and then I threw my hat in the ring am I in my 30 years of experience the army obviously came in very handy in applying for that position and they selected me in 2005 and have been the executive director ever since its a very challenging job and one of the most important things from my perspective is were losing hunters and I say we because I am a hunter Ill be up front with you on that what can what does the Game Commission need to do to try and get especially young people involved more well we have a lot of youth program its youth field days our mentor youth program has been very successful its increased from the start of around twenty seven thousand youths almost 35,000 this year in a matter of three or four years thats a really great program but I always describe it this way we have about 700 employees in the game commission that each one of those 700 bought in ten new hunters that be seventy thousand two hunters but if our 900,000 hunters bought in one each that would be nine hundred thousand two hundred so its not a game commission issue its up to our hunters to in fact promulgate the great hunting and trapping heritage we have here in Pennsylvania and heritage thats where I come from our family has a long tradition of hunting affect my nephew this year im proud to say in the mentor program harvested a 10-point great now wherever is a 10 year old go from here you know it in his hunting career thats going to be something special that is thats going to be the challenge I think but the opportunity I always say at that 10 point will hopefully hook them for life and now he was looking for a 12 point out there and there are some of those out there there and and thats a good talking point about the decision made to for hunters to make sure there were the antler restrictions for harvesting a deer yeah absolutely and was done for a couple reasons one is to get a better age structure in the in the deer herd and the other was really to move the number of gets me yearling deer we were harvesting before out of restrictions we were harvesting about eighty-five percent of our yearling but now were harvesting less than fifty percent of a yearling but which means were getting older class a bunk thats why youre seeing bigger deer with bigger antlers its its really good all the way around not only for the deer herd before a hunter is awesome now one of the things that you had a press conference earlier this week to talk about chronic waste I know thats not the official scientific thing what impact is that now going to have because its its in Blair in Bedford counties now what what types of things are you going to have to do from the Game Commission perspective this is a tough one as you know last fall we discovered chronic wasting disease in the captive heard in adams county and we believe there may be a link between atoms and blair bedford situation but now we as a result of our surveillance that weve been doing for the last 10 or 12 years went over 43,000 test for CWD on dear we have three positives in the Blair Bedford County area right now were going to be designing a disease management area say okay heres the area around these positive results and from there well say okay weather restrictions were going to have in there clearly we dont want parts brain spinal cords where the disease is found to leave the disease management area theres also about 112 surveyed livestock operators in Blair in Bedford County so theres gonna be some restrictions placed upon them how they can move deer in and now theyre also but that will be up to the Department of Agriculture not to us will you work with them to try and come up with a cohesive plan for that absolutely we have a task force that includes Department of Agriculture Department of Im around protection US Department of Agriculture and of course agriculture eyes mentioned earlier this team puts together the plan and execute the plan and so were in about this next week well be rolling out a lot more issues and Ill be issuing an executive order in the next couple of weeks boat whats going to happen in the disease management area what things with the deer that has chronic waste have there has there been a link yet on if someone eats the meat it can affect a human no theres no transmission of the disease of humans whatsoever and interestingly enough theres no transmission of the disease from serve aids to other animals its really unique just as a service which are deer elk those kinds of serving type round of animals obviously Disease Center for Disease says you should not eat any meat from any animal that looks like its sick but theres been no transmission of disease in humans so theres no human health issue right now now I know if he thought about maybe doing a deer checkpoint the way you do with bears well we did that last year in Adams County because we we knew it was in the survey livestock industry but not in a while we checked over 2,000 deer with the mandatory check in with in the disease management area there that was very expensive cost us well over six hundred thousand dollars to do that we had to get a budget supplement to be able to use more the game for money theres an easier non taxpayer dollars whereas as yourself were self-financed but it was a very expensive time and labor wise we went to see if there was any prevalence outside clearly we of all those tests there were none so were pretty satisfied right now in that area is not in a while you now that we have it in the wild the challenge of the futures could be checking out the prevalence is isnt a while weve had three this year we probably will keep the angelus allocation pretty much the same for that wildlife management unit check increased checking and see what the prevalence is if the prevalence is going up

then well have to look at what weve been doing the future to limit the spread of the disease because we cant stop the spread of disease Wisconsin tried that and it just doesnt work how does one hunter know that theyve harvested a deer with chronic waste they wouldnt reality it takes 18 months to five years for the disease to make yourself be aware within it within the animal within the deer and you might see some some symptoms so if you have a deer thats that doesnt look good as looks sick dont consume it call us and well will in fact replace your tag and take the deer and test it but its just pretty difficult because the three people we interviewed who took the deer this year said the deer looks fine and healthy so in in terms of a replacement much like if you were to harvest a deer that had been hit prior and there was some sort of bad area of the meat or somewhere that you take it in to your regional area to have have that approved that way exactly call the regional office and well have a conservation officer or deputy come by and take a look at it and and if its all the things we are correct then we have you a replacement tag for you to be able to go out and harvest us an animal thats novice it thats a good stopping point for us when we come back lets talk about licensing and go from there our guest is Karl row executive director the pennsylvania game commission youre watching for the record on WH VL back with more right after this welcome back to for the record our guest is the executive director the pennsylvania game commission karl rove karl lets talk just briefly again about deer because they theyre my favorite thing to harvest any looking at this year reducing the amount of antlerless deer tags that are available or changing the season again to where it goes back to its own standalone three-day hunt well the latter is probably not going to happen we need the time to be able to maintain a sustainable take of the deer within each wildlife management to keep it in balance with the habitat theres a misconception out there that were still in heard reduction in reality we stopped heard reduction about 2005 will be trying to stabilize the deer in almost all the WMUs except for those in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh area where we still want to take them down because the deer human conflict aspect a lot of people who arent in the great woods where they have pine trees and ferns dont see any deer and think that there are no dear left the actuality is like you said theyve moved into the suburbs in some cases they have theyre going to move where they have something to eat I mean we all know wildlife needs food and cover to be able to survive and so when our forests are really in bad shape and thats what were trying to do is bring the deer herd down and to where we think it should be right now and were monitoring the regeneration of the forest by taking measurements within the forest on stem density and types of trees that are in fact regenerating there and as they get better as that far as healthiest better well be able to relate the deer herd come back up which has occurred in two or three of the WMUs now I know where I hunt in 4d there are areas fenced off after sort of a clear cut that is one of the areas youre talking about about letting the undergrowth grow again for food exactly and that time we kind of know theres a deer impact or not because inside the offensive youre getting great regeneration of oak and other species that are important for a variety of species of wildlife we know that the deer still have a balanced in the issue over too many deer for the area outside the fence is in fact browse down right so were trying to keep that as kind of a measure but what it does do behind the fences will get their regeneration in 10 or 12 years we take the fence down allow that far as to grow and it provides a seed source for for the entire area licensing yes I am still convinced that and I this is going to sound odd to say I dont think you charge enough for your licenses it is still for $32 I can hunt for deer for two solid weeks and I can harvest a buck and I can harvest an antlerless deer how are you going to since your self sustaining the the government doesnt give you money you have to pay for your own bills how do you what do you need to look at about how to raise those prices a lot of fending people well we have to convince the legislature to do it in fact theyre responsible for determining the fees to be paid as you know the basic license of pennsylvanias is nineteen dollars twenty dollars one goes to the vendor we get 19 of that and with that license you get to turkey all the upland game bird all small game and an antlered deer if you compare that to other states like Ohio and New Jersey its cheaper for a non-resident Ohio person hunter to come to Pennsylvania cheap than to buy the same license in her in their own state we havent had an increase in state luckily weve had some revenue come in through bump in the timber industry about five years ago and now Marcellus Shale those two situations have allowed us to continue to operate in the fashion we should be 1998 so we were looking at 15 years no increase yes so for in my case $32 if I harvest to dear Ive had I have enough meat in my freezer for six months for 32 bucks its a pretty good deal it is a good deal a very good deal but the important thing is that most of our hunters know that is a good deal and there they were willing to have an increase in their likes of them and I travel around all over the state and occasionally people will complain that we dont need a license increase in my response is my pay doesnt go up with the license increase but we can take better care of the wildlife and the habitat out there with more resources now in point of sale now you know you can go to your local store or to the county treasurer or or to a regional office get your basic license and in my case I can im going to buy dmap at the same time to hunt have we looked into the idea of being able to buy your aunt lyst tags at the same time in point of sale absolutely the challenge there again is a legislative issue the legislature would have

to change the law to allow other vendors to sell the analyst license right now thats limits with County Treasurers alone once that law was passed it would take us about a year to build a system where you would walk in and be able to buy all your licenses right there on the same day and in reality this past year everybody got their first choice anyhow we did not sell out many wildlife management inning previously in my management is like 2g and 2f where we did sell out we would run an instant lottery and thats see what you can do that very easily within computerized system so if the law changes will move forward and make that available to everybody Pennsylvania has one of the it has the largest elk herd east of the Mississippi I it may have the only one I believe Im not sure this is the 100th year of reintroducing deer elk here yeah absolutely we have one of the larger ones Kentucky has won a little bit large enough because they have a habitat situation down from the old mining where grasslands have come back they have a large herd also but we have between 850 900 elk management area right now and have a great hunting season each year I mean last year meaning two thousand and let me see 11 there was a nine by seven taking the weight I think it was eight hundred and seventy pounds it made the record book made it made a national record book we have an average I guess seven by sevens meaning seven points the east side take in each year with our buck and were managing their her to do that we want but theyre at least five bulls-eyes just over five years five years older or older to be taken out of the herd so were kind of managing the allocation that way to make sure itll be have a good outcome well into the future and that license is only ten dollars for a resident right so for ten dollar thats a better if youre a hundred Pennsylvania thats better than winning Powerball you know whatever harvest the Pennsylvania thats the application fee is tutorial but the license is a little bit more but its still very very reasonable for seven by seven thats what most people have on hunting shows and guys are paying a lot of money to go west for those absolutely yeah we dont we have a great al curd and weve been very successful with the hunt upland birds is you is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania the largest producer of ring next and to put out into the wall thats a great question Ive never compare as anyplace else but as you know this year weve upped the production from a hundred thousand to two hundred thousand again and on the end more stockings we stock three or four times within the season as opposed to a couple times we have in the past four to get greater opportunity and spread those number of birds out so people can have enjoyable hunt and hopefully take more of them we dont want them to be Hawk and coyote team right so were looking at in the future even increasing that leaving a little bit further we think we can get to 250,000 over the next few years pheasants arent a native species of Pennsylvania although many people remember the heyday of pheasants but we do have several wild pheasant re-introduction areas that were working on the trying to bring back a natural population Im gonna say a native but a natural population so we have more wild birds so its a combination of the program increase production of the game farm raised birds and hopefully have a wild population also when we come back I want to talk about turkeys and the fascinating things bears youre watching for the record our guest is executive director the pennsylvania game commission karl rove back with more right after this and were back with carl row from the game commission Carl lets talk about Turkeys they are in my mind the most difficult animal to hunt in Pennsylvania and you have two seasons to do it with two different sets of rules yes and obviously spring turkey has become one of the more popular diseases that we have and we have a youth program for that also it is a real challenge in the spring I mean its a great hunt and its an exciting hunt for youth because the interaction and calling those birds in and nice thing about as we take the gobblers during the spring the fall season we allow hens to be taking because that thats how we manage the population so we determine the length of the season based upon the number of hands that we think we need to take out all of the population thats becomes a different challenge and its a different type of hunt where you have to go in a bus to flock up call them back and successes a little tougher but its not quite as nice in the woods in November as it is in May although i would rather hunting a cold season than it did a warm season plus youre only allowed to hunt spring gobbler only allowed to hunt in the mornings well then we changed that last year a year before the second have this evening and hunt day okay and and for were going to run that program for three years see what the take is in the afternoon and see what that would give you a balance and I would venture say in the near future we probably have an all-day hunt throughout the entire season excellent now lets talk about bears because they fascinate me it seems like theres been an explosion of bears in Pennsylvania is that just a misconception or is that actually happening I wont say an explosion but we have definitely have a healthy population of bears somewhere between 15 and 19 thousand and we have a sustained take of will over 3,000 year before last we took over 40 for almost 40 300l the population is still still strong Pennsylvania is great for bears its gotten great food mayors were prolific to begin with and they end up because our our Sals get to a heavyweight early on they start having Cubs earlier than most any other state so you have a longer time for us house to have Cubs and they average about three per litter so our population is very very strong and theyre a great animal really are are they the number one nuisance call that your conservation officers receive probably low it depending upon the time of your coming out in the spring here when the when the 51 when the boars start coming out getting rambunctious looking for food we get a bunch of then in the fall before they settle back down and go back into hibernation sure but the reality is that we are encroaching on bears too I think thats a big one of the biggest challenges

we move into a suburb area up short that may be on the edge of a mountain range or whatever bears come around and will wander in your backyard and get into your bird feeders and garbage and then you take care of that then we eliminate that conflict now how do you determine what is that with the colouring and that type of thing how far do you move a bear a nuisance bear what is the what is the protocol for getting one out of the way how far you have to take them away to forget them actually lost sometimes we can think of a long way and they still dont get lost they mine the blend up coming back but we usually take them to the nearest public lands we dont like to put them back out in private land so we take me here in Game Lands or two state forests and release them there and the traps that are used they look like big culvert pipes with with a trip thing on the back to catch them right there called culvert traps interestingly enough absolutely of course we bait them with their favorite doughnuts and they usually work pretty well I to know its a good thing to have any day the seasons have in years past the season was only a few days and now in different management areas its expanded yes and then regular season used to be monday through wednesday and about three years ago we started that season on saturday to see if we could engage more people and we have syntax seen more of our youth out there be able to out in a Saturday enjoy the first day of bear season interestingly enough to harvest has been pretty much has always been far as numbers on the first day second day and third day in some areas where we know the population has increased and if we get more bear human conflict issues weve expanded that into the deer season as in some wildlife management Union its all week long where you have a concurrent season and then others will just from wednesday on depending upon how many bear but you want to take out over a period of time now you have bear checkpoints what what are done at the bear checkpoints what do you look at when they bring them in well we weigh them we take a tooth to be able to age them and we do sometimes we take a blood samples for other for other research but generally doesnt get an idea on the on the number of bear taken based upon the number of beer we have tagged which gives us an idea of the amount were taking out the population its called mark capture release type but with om we release at the end and the aging is real interesting because we take the tooth and you can age it based upon this like a tree has rings inside the two thing to be able to tell how old the bear is it is a wonderful thing to do in a season if you to really get people involved to see what a bear is because a lot of people only see them the size of the rotor or on TV or something like that an up close to experience with a bear thats not going to harm you because theyve already been harvested it fascinates a lot of people me in particular oh absolutely a matter of fact we even great partnerships with many of the firehouses or other community facilities where we do have our bear check stations its great for us because a good facility but its great for them it becomes a fundraiser for them so its a win-win situation all the way around coyotes they have what what has done more to hurt fawns is it bears or is it coyotes its pretty big date based upon our study that we did in 2001 2002 its about this the the predation is about the same both of our date on on on forms but interesting up in the to study areas the area then northern woods the predation was a little bit higher than it was in the farmland because the key was to have cover for those phones and in those forests in the north where you can see for 300 yards and nothing growing on the ground falls have a rough time of it so the predation rate is about the same for bears and coyotes your conservation officers I used to call them gay boards but the real titleist conservation officers how many do you have currently in the field and how many more do you need we have about one hundred and two or three in the field right now were graduating a class tomorrow of 30 so after that class graduates will only have two or three districts that are in fact or are not manned by conservation officers that will change the following week as people retire and people move up and will create more holes but will also start another class next year march of 2014 for conservation officers what do people need to do to be how do you become a game conservation officer its its a its a tough one we usually bring about 500 in through civil service yet take a civil service test and then we go through that list as they provided to us well do interviews we have some other things we have some other tests we need to take and we usually try to bring in between 30 and 35 into the class so al of 500 people who may apply after all the processes here we try to bring in the top 30 to 35 now youre looking for more law enforcement background more wildlife biology background what types of things to look both were looking for somebody who can interact with the public who obviously is not afraid of the law enforcement side but also as a great understanding of wildlife over time as they become a more senior officer and in reality the challenge there is the engagement with the public now Carl they your agents are law enforcement people so what type of training they threw since they carry weapon well clearly they go through a long course to begin with but we have them qualified twice a year fully qualified but with daylight night shooting and and hazardous weather shooting also and what kind of weapon do they carry they carry is sitting 357 very nice yes very cool gun for gun enthusiasts thats a good gun to have car well I want to thank you for being a part of the show we could talk for another hour and a half but Id like to be back in the fall when hunting season really begins we look forward to it thank you so much youve been watching this edition 2 for the record our guest has been karo from the Game Commission Im Steve Miller thank you for watching for the record will see you again soon bye bye

The Centre of It All, Centre County, Pennsylvania, WHVL,, WHVL-TV, For the Record, Steve Miller, Pennsylvania Game Commision, PA Hunting
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