PA 2010 Spring Turkey Gobbler Season

This Saturday will mark the start of Pennsylvania’s Spring Gobbler Season. It will run from May 1st to 31st during the hours of one-half hour before sunrise until noon. No fluorescent orange is required during this season, but PLEASE for my sake, your sake, and for the sake of the ones around you identify your target completely before you shoot. I would also strongly suggest putting on an orange hat when moving, because you never know when you might the in the background of someones sight picture. Also it would be a good idea to put out your orange hat on a tree or use a orange tree band while sitting.

Below are some quotations from the 2009 /2010 PA Hunting Digest.

Spring Gobbler Season:
Statewide. Only turkeys with visible beards are legal. Hunting by calling
only—no stalking—one-half hour before sunrise until noon. Hunters
are asked to be out of the woods by 1 p.m.

Spring Gobbler Season: May 1 – 31, 2010

Regulations:
In both spring and fall seasons, it is unlawful to possess or use live tur-
keys as decoys, or to drive or use electronic callers or devices. Dogs can
be used to hunt turkeys during the fall season but not during the spring.
Blinds: The use of turkey blinds is legal under the following definition:
Any artificial or manufactured turkey blind consisting of all man-made
materials of sufficient density to block the detection of movement within
the blind from an observer outside the blind. Artificial or manufactured
turkey blinds consisting of all man-made materials means blinds must be
constructed of plastic, nylon, canvas, cotton cloth, plywood or other man-
made materials. Blinds made by piling rocks, logs, branches, etc. are
unlawful. The blind must completely enclose the hunter on all four sides
and from above to block the detection of movement within the blind.
When fluorescent orange is required at a stationary calling location in
fall seasons, at least 100 square inches must be displayed outside the
blind and within 15 feet of the blind, visible 360 degrees.

Arms & Ammunition:
Spring Gobbler Season: 1) Manually operated and autoload-
ing shotguns limited to a 3-shell capacity in the chamber and
magazine combined; 2) Muzzleloading shotguns of all types
and gauges; 3) Long, recurve, compound bows or crossbows
with cutting-edge broadheads.
Fine shot no larger than No. 4 lead, bismuth-tin and tung-
sten-iron, or No. 2 steel. Rifle/shotgun combination guns may
be used if ammunition is limited to shotgun shells. Carrying or
using single projectile ammunition, rifles or handguns is un-
lawful.

Tagging, Reporting Requirements:
Successful turkey hunters must follow all instructions printed
on tags supplied with licenses. Separate tags are provided for
fall and spring seasons. The turkey must be tagged immedi-
ately after harvest and before the carcass is moved. The tag
must be securely attached to a leg until the bird is prepared for
consumption or mounting. Once you have used your tag it is
unlawful to possess it in the field. Also, please remember to
remove your old hunting license from the holder before you
place your current license in the holder. If you keep your old
licenses with you while hunting you may accidentally use a
tag from a previous year to tag your turkey and unwittingly
violate the law.
Turkey hunters must report harvests to the PGC in Harris-
burg within 10 days, online at the Game Commission’s website
www. pgc.state.pa.us, or using a postage-paid report card
supplied in this Digest. In addition to other information, hunt-
ers are asked to identify the WMU where the bird was taken.
For more details, see the “Tagging, Transporting & Report-
ing” section under “Big Game Regulations” in this Digest.

New Pennsylvania Junior Rabbit Season In 2010-11

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners has approved a Junior Rabbit season to go along with the Junior Pheasant Season. Like the Pheasant season any “properly accompanied” person age 12-16 with or without a license may participate. The season will run from October 9-16. I think this gives kids who have taken their Hunter Safety class, but still are not sure about hunting a great chance to give it a try.

Below is the text of the announcement from the PGC’s site.

BOARD CREATED JUNIOR RABBIT SEASON

To continue its efforts to recruit young hunters, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners gave final approval to a special cottontail rabbit junior hunter season that coincides with the ring-necked pheasant junior hunter season in early October.  The proposal was requested by Game Commissioner Jay Delaney in July.

“Most people agree that one of the best ways to introduce youth to hunting and encourage their continued participation is via small game hunting,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “Rabbits are an underutilized game mammal, and are a perfect addition to the junior season offerings that have been implemented by the agency over the years.”

Under the new opportunity, the junior rabbit season will be held Oct. 9-16.  The season will be open to those juniors age 12-16, when properly accompanied by an adult as required by law, with or without a license.  The daily and field possession limits will be the same as the general rabbit season, four daily and eight in possession.

Roe noted that the junior rabbit season will not be part of the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, which is for those youth under the age of 12.

In other small game season action, based on a recommendation from Game Commissioner Robert Schlemmer, the late cottontail rabbit season will be Dec. 27-Feb. 26, which equates to a three additional weeks of hunting. The Board also gave final approval to include the use of crossbows for small game seasons.

Pennsylvania Bobcat And Fisher Season!

Yesterday the PGC released the adopted 2010-11 seasons and bag limits. Among them a Bobcat season in which all licensed furtakers can obtain one permit! Also new is a Fisher season following the same rules of each furtaker being able to get one permit. One final thing about the season change that stands out is that cable restraint season for Fox and Coyote starts on December 26th opposed to the 1st of January.

Reactions of some trappers in Pennsylvania to this can be found here at the HuntingPA.COM discussion board. (huntingpa.INFO is not associated with huntingpa.COM we just share the same name.)

Below is the text of the Adopted 2010-11 Trapping Seasons announcement from the PGC’s site.

ADOPTED 2010-11 TRAPPING SEASONS

MINK and MUSKRAT: Nov. 20–Jan. 9.  Unlimited.

COYOTE, FOXES, OPOSSUM, RACCOON, SKUNKS and WEASELS: Oct. 24–Feb. 20.  No limit.

COYOTE and FOXES (Statewide) Cable Restraints: Dec. 26-Feb. 20.  No limit.  Participants must pass cable restraint certification course.

BEAVER (Statewide): Dec. 26–March 31 (Limits vary depending on WMU).

BOBCAT (WMUs 2A, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4D and 4E): Dec. 18-Jan. 9.  One bobcat per license year, and all licensed furtakers may obtain one permit.

FISHER (WMUs 2C, 2D, 2E and 2F): Dec. 18-23. One fisher per license year, and all licensed furtakers may obtain one permit.

Making Pre-Lubricated Patches For Shooting Round-balls

Instead of buying pre-lubricated patches for shooting round balls I make my own. Pillow ticking seems to be just about the correct thickness and is mostly 100% cotton (check the label just to be sure so it will not be melting down your bore). I buy my pillowing ticking from Walmart by the yard. I cut my patches square instead of round like some pre-lubed patches you can buy. Most experienced muzzleloader shooters will tell you that round or square the patches shoot the same, but if you really want to make it perfect you should cut your patches at the muzzle. The patches need to be cut big enough that the round ball is in contact with the patching on all sides, however, since it can be hard to line the ball up perfectly on the patch it is wise to cut your patches slightly larger. (Press continue reading.)

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Groundhog Hunting With My Flintlock Muzzleloader

I took my flintlock out groundhog hunting today. It was a great day to go hunting; I saw two other hunters out on another hillside. When I was approaching a fence row a surprised groundhog ran to his hole and stood there looking at me. It presented a perfect shot and my pan flashed, but no boom. I re-primed and fired twice more and still could not make it go off. The groundhog grew wary of this game and went down into his hole. The lesson to be learned from this is that I should always swab my bore with rubbing alcohol followed with a dry patch instead of being lazy and just using a dry patch. This is because the oil that I put down the barrel when I fired it last must have still been in there so it dampened my powder. To finish my day I went to where I have a target set up and eventually got my gun to fire two more tries latter.  😀

While I was out hunting I also heard a turkey gobble once, so that is a positive sign for turkey season.