2018-01-13 / Outdoors

Wolf Tracks

Outdoor Columnist
Dave Wolf

It was only a matter of time. A Pa. Game Commission member believes the agency should consider allowing some hunters to shoot a second buck in the same season.

“It’s pretty obvious we’re not going to get a license fee increase this year from the legislature,” said member Michael Mitrick of York County. “So, having a second buck permit would be a way to raise money.”

His initial thought is to award 10,000 or so tags via a lottery or straight sale. Each would cost between $100 and $150. This would generate upwards of $1.5 million for an agency that hasn’t been able to increase license fees since 1999.

Chris Rosenberry, chief of the PGC’s Deer and Elk Bureau, isn’t taking sides, but he does believe the impact on the deer population would be minor.

“Biologically, under that scenario of 10,000, if they’re used at the same rate as every other tag, you’re talking about 2,000 bucks taken across the state,” he said. “Antler restrictions are already in place to control how many bucks can be harvested, so I don’t think it would necessarily be that big of an issue.”


Writer Dave Wolf’s wife Karen got in on the act during the 2017 deer season. She is among hunters who want no part of a proposal to let hunters kill two bucks in the same season. Writer Dave Wolf’s wife Karen got in on the act during the 2017 deer season. She is among hunters who want no part of a proposal to let hunters kill two bucks in the same season. PGC Executive Director Bryan Burhans said the agency has surveyed deer hunters on the issue. Results are expected to be revealed when the commission convenes in April.

Mitrick’s proposal is probably dead in the water. Many hunters are speaking out against it. Most claim it is difficult enough to find one buck, let alone two.

Also, the measure would require approval by a legislature that has not budged on the agency’s request to increase license fees for nearly two decades. Stay tuned.

Who knows what 2018 will hold for those of us who venture outside every chance we get. We may differ on policies and politics, but we can all agree that we’re blessed to have such an abundance of outdoor activities and we must always exercise wise stewardship.

As Endeavor News reported last month, the Game Commission has changed the title of wildlife conservation officer to state game warden. This will result in an expense for new vehicle insignias, badges, and stationery, to name but a few.

I recall all of the work required to have the name changed to WCO. The title denoted that fact that officers have responsibilities above and beyond enforcing game laws.

This seems like a giant step backwards. It’s an odd choice for an agency that is so strapped for money.

(Dave Wolf can be reached by email at wolfang418@msn.com.)

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