Lau clarifies proposal —

The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) has a new program set up whereby all nature lovers can view animals from the comforts of their home via a round-the-clock livestreaming setup that gives viewers a chance to connect with wildlife.

Made available back at the beginning of February showing a black bear den in Monroe County, “This is one of four Game Commissions livestreams planned to run into spring,” stated Travis Lau, communications director for the PGC.

Last year’s Country Eagle Cam, which provides a bird’s eye view into a long-established nest in a giant sycamore overlooking scenic farmland, is back. The ever-popular Hanover Eagle Cam has returned to the Game Commission. All Game Commission livestreams can be accessed through the agency’s website, www.pgc.pa.gov. The livestreams are a collaborative effort by the Game Commission, HDOnTap and Comcast Business.

HDOnTap provides the streaming services and Comcast Business provides the internet connectivity for the two eagle cameras.

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In a Letter to the Editor section of the Feb. 12, 2021 edition of the Pennsylvania Outdoor News, Lau clarified a news release he had sent out concerning “the lifting of the three-limit licenses for antlerless deer.”

“I have seen many loosely reported stories with jarring headlines regarding a proposal by the Game Commission to remove a hunter’s personal limit of antlerless deer licenses,” he stated.

Lau then went on to clarify his original release.

“The headlines typically have painted a picture of ‘unlimited’ antlerless harvest, and the stories have little to provide any facts or details. Regardless of whether the proposed changes are adopted, antlerless licenses will be allocated based on scientific data about deer populations, with numbers set to meet deer management goals within a popular management wildlife unit.

“So, in a unit where the deer population is stable, about the same number of antlerless licenses can be expected to be allocated, and hunters will stand about the same chance of getting one or more licenses as they do in any other year. In fact, if concurrent seasons are adopted, the allocation in such a wildlife management unit (WMU) actually would be lowered, and fewer tags would be available, so licenses likely would sell out faster.

“But the point is, most hunters would be unaffected by removal of the personal limit because they’d still get the same number of tags, they’ve grown accustomed to getting. After the mail-in application rounds, a hunter with fewer than four tags could buy more in any unit where tags remain. Each hunter would be able to carry up to four unfilled licenses at a time — but again, that’s assuming licenses do not sell out in the earlier rounds. In most WMUs, licenses will sell out at some point, and once tags are sold out, they’re gone — there’s no opportunity for hunters to obtain more there until the following license year.

“The idea that removing a hunter’s personal limit of antlerless licenses would result in an ability to obtain unlimited number of licenses isn’t truly realistic. In units where allocations of antlerless licenses are high — such as in the units to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, where hunters long have had no personal limit on the number of antlerless licenses they obtain there — there might be opportunities for a hunter to get more than four antlerless during a license year.

“While hunters would be limited to holding no more than four unfilled antlerless licenses, if a hunter with four licenses harvests a deer and reports it, the hunter could buy more than four unfilled antlerless licenses, if a hunter with four licenses harvests a deer and reports it, that hunter could buy another license, if any licenses remain. But there wouldn’t be an unlimited number of licenses available. That number, as it is now, would continue to be limited by an allocation that’s based on deer management goals that serve ensure a health deer herd, now and in the future,” Lau concluded.

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