Our State Forests cannot be all things to all people
Dispersed, non-motorized activities such as hunting, fishing and hiking do not harm our forests. The industrialization by oil & gas activities remind us of the days of king coal, which devastated large areas and then left the cleanup for taxpayers to fund.
Since 1972, our State Constitution has included the Article1 Section 27, which guarantees us the right to pure air and clean water. These rights cannot be diminished by attempts to "balance" them with hopes for economic benefits. The Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation (PEDF) is the leader in assuring Pennsylvania residents of their Constitutional rights. www.PEDF.org
For many years, our readers had been primarily hunters and anglers. Now many hikers, photographers and wildlife-watchers have joined in as stewards of the environment.
Since our membership is now so diverse, we remind the non-hunters among us to continue to use common sense when you're in areas where legal hunting activities take place.
Let’s think of safety - Pennsylvania's Game Commission is proud of their safety record.
There are a few simple things you could do:
[ ] Consider changing your hikes and wildlife-watching activities to areas where you will not interfere with hunting.
[ ] Brown jackets and white mittens are not recommended attire during deer seasons.
[ ] Red, white and Blue may be patriotic - but don't wear it in Turkey Season.
[ ] A black Pittsburgh Steelers sweatshirt is not the thing to wear during bear season (don't laugh. A lifetime friend from Forest County was wearing one when we were heading into the ANF behind his home - during bear season).
[ ] Here are a few safety regs from PGC:"It is unlawful for non-hunters to be present on State Game Lands from November 15 through December 15 inclusive without wearing at least a Fluorescent Orange hat (a vest or jacket of 250 sq. inches is of Safety Orange is recommended ).Orange material must be visible from 360 degrees. This is not the only “hunting season”, it’s just the “busiest”
Blaze Orange should always be your color – and not just between Nov 15 and December 15.You might consider conducting your hikes and fieldtrips in an area where hunting is not permitted, so you don’tunintentionally interfere with lawful hunting activities. DMAP - Please be aware that sportsmen and women could be deer hunting in some State Parks, Conservation Areas, Sanctuaries and other areas where hunting is normally not allowed. The Game Commission’s Deer Management program seeks to reduce damage to habitat by reducing the number of deer in certain hard-hit areas and all Parks & Sanctuaries can request the help of hunters as the most cost-effective method of control.
Hunting is always prohibited on the Appalachian Trail’s National Park Service-owned corridor, but there may be some hunters who might not have been aware of that law. Hunting is allowed where the A.T. goes through State Game Lands [there is no NPS corridor there]. Many hikers do not know when they enter SGLs; many hunters are not aware when they leave SGLs.
We're not trying to make you worry, we just want you to be aware of the many hunting seasons and where ownership of the land makes a difference in regulations.